Help Us Identify Distinguished Graduate 2016!

The Valencia Alumni Association needs your help!


The application process for the Mary Smedley Collier  Distinguished Graduate 2016 Award is in full swing.  Along with the distinction that comes with being selected, the Distinguished Graduate 2016 will serve as the keynote speaker at both the morning and afternoon Commencement ceremonies this year and will receive $2,000. We know from experience that many of our eligible students are too humble to see themselves in this role.

This is where you come in.

Don’t let your candidate slip by.  If you know an eligible applicant, please encourage them to apply today.  The deadline for accepting applications is February 19, 2016.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: -Must have a minimum overall 3.5 GPA.

-Must be nominated by a member of the Valencia faculty or staff.  (The nomination letter is required as a part of the online application packet the student submits.)

-Must graduate during the academic year in which the scholarship is awarded. This includes Summer ’15, Fall ’15 and Spring ’16 terms.

-Must be available to attend both commencement ceremonies on May 8th and give their commencement speech at both.


Please contact the Alumni Relations office for more information at or 407-582-3217.


Join us for A Night of Celebration

You are invited to the Valencia Alumni Association’s
 “A Night of Celebration” event.

Please join us as we celebrate this year’s
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

draft image 3

Main bottom

linkedFB icon2000px-Twitter_Logo_Mini_svg

1 week to the big day- let’s make some noise!




What: #DollarsforScholars is Valencia College Foundation’s end of year campaign.

Why: #DollarsforScholars will make the difference for many students to get the education they’ve always wanted.

When: Starting with #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving, on December 1 through the end of the year.

How: Donate any amount. Take an unselfie.  Spread the word.



FB icon2000px-Twitter_Logo_Mini_svg

Alumni Update from Cece Burns, ’13

Chacoryia “Cece” Burns, Valencia’s 2013 Mary Smedley Collier’s Distinguished Graduate is currently a Broadcast Journalism major at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). Those of us that have read Cece’s triumphant story and may have also had the privilege of meeting such a kind spirit know that she has manage to persevere through all odds. She has proven that if you put your mind to it you can accomplish any goal.

 c1(Top, 2nd left)

Cece shares “Recently, I’ve become the weather anchor for FAMU TV News-20 which broadcast live to over 8,000 Comcast viewers in the north Florida and south Georgia area. I am a Gospel Radio Personality for WANM 90.5 FM “The Flava Station” which airs on Sunday’s from 8am-11am. As I continue with my journey as a reporter, I plan to continue to work with FAMU TV News 20 as the lead desk anchor as well as intern for a local news station and print journalism company until my graduation on April 30, 2016. After that I plan to either move to Orlando or stay in Tallahassee and pursue a Masters in Fine Arts in Production as well as become a Multi-Media Journalist (MMJ) for a local news station or become a local Gospel Radio Personality.”



“My advice to the students is to continue to strive for your dream. Never let anyone deter you from being what you want to be in life. And also always volunteer and get internships in your profession. Be persistent and always be kind to others because you never know who you will meet and who will take you to the next level.”

Cece is a positive role model and is constantly giving back to the community, whether it be volunteering for children’s church or serving on the Transfer Student Association. Her story encourages us all.


Cece is doing big things and is truly an amazing Valencia Alum….Way to represent!

Check out Cece’s story here


calling for alumni class notes for Vitae magazine!

Social Media PostCheck out the current edition of the Vitae magazine.

The power of the plume

I appreciate technology. Communication has become quick and easy.

It can also be a bit impersonal.

And I miss handwriting. I miss personally written notes and letters – however imperfect and sans “spell check.”

Recently I discovered a box of cleverly folded (who knew I was so clever?) notes from high school – penned when I was supposed to be paying attention to the teacher.

I enjoyed unfolding and reading each one, surprised at and reminded of the tales they told. And no doubt the lessons I missed in class.

I have a very similar joy when I receive a scribed thank you note from a student, donor or partner. I know that it may have taken a little more time than a quick email. They took an extra minute to prepare the envelope and put it in the mail.  They put pen to paper in a very lovely and personal way. Sometimes they are musical (For our students who have sent those, please know I am the geek who opens your card over and over, still enjoying every moment). Every now and then they have a misspelling. (I am reminded of biblical observation and the tradition of Amish quilters that there is no perfection but for God. I know that is true of my own handwriting too.)

Always your notes me make me smile.

Among lessons I may have missed in school, I did learn one thing: The power of the pen and the pleasure of a handwritten note are without question. Below are two cards I’ve received in the last six months. Both are on my refrigerator.

What was your most memorable handwritten note?



5.17.14 food, wine and spirits to benefit scholarships and medical education

On Saturday, May 17, from 7pm to 10pm at  Rosen Shingle Creek vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Hundreds of wine and spirits options will be available. Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

On Saturday, May 17, from 7pm to 10pm at Rosen Shingle Creek vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Hundreds of wine and spirits options will be available. Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

winter blessings

This holiday season is a special time of year, one when we focus on friends and family; our gifts express generosity and love to those we care about.

This winter I’m reflecting back on the blessings received in 2013.  There have been many in my life including travels, new family members, additional professional accomplishments, budding friendships and visits to and from long time friends.

One of the most profound blessings is the work I do for the Valencia  and the students that are served because of our mission.

Valencia students are more determined than ever to improve their opportunities in life, and perhaps change the future of their family for generations.  This is where your generosity makes a huge difference.

I have witnessed how our student’s lives are impacted by the kindness of our donors. Without foundation scholarships, many would not be able to attend college. Your support continues to make a tremendous difference in the lives of these students.

This holiday season is a special time of year, one when we focus on friends and family; our gifts express generosity and love to those we care about.

If you are considering extending your generosity and want to make a difference in the lives of others this year, please consider a donation in support of Valencia College and the students we serve.

If you wish to make a donation please visit us online at and click on >>Give Now for our secure website.  You may also send your contribution to Valencia Foundation 190 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801. Checks dated on or before December 31, 2013 will be marked as a 2013 donation.

I trust that you will give as generously as you can to provide the opportunity for a life-changing learning experience for a Valencia students.

And I wish many blessings to you and your family in the New Year.

Happy holidays!

every drop counts: the courtyard fountain

Tucked away in a courtyard on Valencia’s Osceola Campus, this fountain is surrounded by embedded bricks engraved with warm wishes by community members. These bricks have been placed around this special water feature with proceeds from each sale supporting Osceola student scholarships.

Your small change makes a big difference! Donations to this fountain benefit student scholarships at Osceola Campus through the Valencia Foundation.

This fountain is located in the courtyard of Valencia’s largest building,
the state-of-the-art building 4, which opened at Osceola Campus in 2013.

Recently, Valencia’s facilities team noticed this water feature had begun to collect change, much like a wishing well. Perhaps students and employees reliving nostalgia of childhood by tossing in spare change?

No matter who made the first toss–or how the loose change appeared–Valencia’s Osceola administration wanted to make sure the contributions really did help someone’s wish come true.

Thanks to the coins of those first optimistic tossers, a purpose has been identified for those contributions: they will be included into the “etch your name in someone’s future” Osceola Campus scholarship fund.

This May, a plaque was installed on the Osceola Campus foundation that reads:

Your small change makes a big difference!
Donations to this fountain benefit student scholarships at
Osceola Campus through the Valencia Foundation.

If you are interested in helping to lay the foundation for a student’s future, please consider purchasing a brick to be embedded in the courtyard around the Osceola Campus fountain.

The cost of a personalized memory brick is $100.  The proceeds from these courtyard-bound bricks will be used to support scholarships for Osceola Campus students of Valencia College.

For more details or to place your order, please visit

Click here to purchase your engraved brick and etch your name in Valencia's legacy.

Click here for more information on the Osceola Campus engraved bricks.

nursing faculty and students perform 26 acts of kindness

Nursing Faculty and Students Perform 26 Acts of Kindness in Memory of Newtown Shooting Victims By Linda Shrieves Beaty AreYouIn

How many Valencia College nursing students and faculty members does it take to change the world?

Apparently, not many.

That was the lesson that nursing faculty delivered this January and February as they urged students, staff and faculty members of the nursing department to participate in a unique public-service event.

Every year on Learning Day — which was held on Feb. 8 this year — Valencia College staffers perform some type of community service –  work that ranges from landscaping in local parks, to walking dogs at a no-kill shelter, or volunteering in area schools. But this year,  members of the nursing faculty had a different idea. They decided to perform 26 Acts of Kindness, part of a national movement to reach out and help fellow Americans.

The idea came from NBC news correspondent Ann Curry. In the days after the shootings of 26 children and teachers in Newtown, Conn., she tweeted this idea:  “What if? Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.” Her idea quickly gathered momentum and 26 Acts of Kindness was born.

At Valencia, Kim Laughman, along with a handful of other nursing faculty members, discussed different ways they could honor the victims and families. “We thought, ‘What would happen if we let everyone in the Nursing Department know that we wanted to perform 26 Acts of Kindness to show support for our own community. Would they want to join us?’ ” said Tommi Graves, another nursing professor.

The response, says Graves,  was overwhelming. For three weeks, 26 full-time nursing faculty members and adjunct faculty, along with staff members and nursing students collected hundreds of donations.  By Learning Day, their cars were full of goods to deliver.

  • Food was collected for Pooky’s Pantry, a food pantry for Valencia College students in need of a meal.
  • Salad dressing was collected for the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.
  • VNSA (Valencia College Nursing Student Association) wrote letters and valentines to soldiers serving overseas.
  • Coupons were clipped and donated for military families to use in military PX stores.
  • Clothes and coats were collected and sorted for the Union Rescue Mission and the Orlando Coalition for the Homeless.
  • New and gently used socks & shoes, and clothes were bagged up for Park Place Adult Behavioral Center.
  • Board games, craft materials, & books were boxed for Park Place Children’s Behavioral Center.
  • Blankets, towels and pet supplies were gathered for the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Orlando.
  • Nursing students put donation jars in nursing classrooms and collected change for Shepherd’s Hope, a Central Florida medical clinic that relies on donations and volunteers to provide health services for people without health insurance.
  • Handmade blankets, cookies and valentine baskets with “sock cupcakes” were made  for Crossroads Nursing Home in Davenport.
  • A valentine-card distribution chain was coordinated to deliver Valentine’s Day cheers to nursing home residents at another center.
  • Toys, books and children’s clothing were collected and sorted for the Methodist Children’s Home in Sanford.
  • VNSA collected food for the Community Food and Outreach Center to be dispensed to low-income families in the Michigan Avenue area in Orlando.
  • Peace books were gathered to be distributed to different organizations.
  • Paper products were collected for Matthews Hope, a homeless outreach program in Winter Garden
  • A mysterious donor made and delivered many cupcakes to the nursing teams on West Campus and staffers at Florida Hospital South’s cardiac unit, where many Valencia nursing students do clinical and practicum rotations. .

“This experience,” said Graves, “reminded us that it is important to remember that it doesn’t take a ‘Learning Day’ to show acts of kindness and generosity.”

For Paula Pritchard, Valencia’s nursing dean, the outpouring of support was no surprise.

“Our faculty are very giving; they always give to the community, and our students are always the first to volunteer for any type of community service,” Pritchard says. “That’s really the heart of nursing. And I think the spirit of Valencia and the philosophy of the institution absolutely lives and breathes within the students and faculty of our division.”


Source: Written by: Linda Shrieves Beaty,

valencia alumni association moves forward


The Valencia Alumni Association Leadership Board guides the planning and activities of the association. Members represent the diversity of Valencia College and build enthusiasm for college and association programs, provide opportunities for involvement, and recruit new members and volunteers. Association president Michael J.G. McLaughlin ‘03 and leadership board members recently elected committee chairs to coordinate a broad array of activities/programs for the upcoming year:  Zia Ansari ’10, Membership; Julie Bennett ’00, Learning and Growing; and Marcy Porter ’05,  Fundraising.  Contact the Alumni Relations Office for more information and to get involved.

grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship

There is still time to apply for the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship! Apply today by visiting:

valencia college retirees celebrate!


Members of the Valencia Retiree Connection gathered for their annual luncheon on October 9th at Valencia’s West Campus.  Valencia alumnus from the class of ’81 and retiree of the college, Betty Palmer, echoed what others were saying at the luncheon:  “It’s wonderful to be able to get together to catch up with each other and to celebrate Valencia!”   The group is led by Valencia retiree Joan Tiller with the purpose of encouraging Valencia College retirees to maintain a connection with each other and with the college by providing opportunities for recreational, social, educational and volunteer events/projects of interest to members.  Upcoming events, photos and information about how to get involved are at:

valencia to host “the courage to remember” visual narrative


Valencia College will host, “The Courage to Remember,” a 42-panel visual narrative of the Holocaust, presented by the Foundation for California and produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. With nearly 200 original photographs, many never before seen by the general public, The Courage to Remember offers compelling new insights into the Holocaust.

You’re invited to the opening event on Thursday, October 11 from 4:00-5:00 p.m., at Valencia’s East Campus Black Box Theater. To RSVP for the opening event, call 407-582-2340 or

In conjunction with the exhibit, Valencia will host a public lecture series featuring Holocaust and genocide scholars.

Monday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m., Building 3, Atrium – “Police, State and Systemic Violence: How the Police are Used as Instruments of Horror,” by James McDonald, professor of Criminal Justice

Tuesday, October 16 at 1:00 p.m., Building 3, Atrium – “The Courage to Transcend,” panel discussion featuring Richard Gair, professor of Reading and Holocaust Literature, James McDonald, professor of Criminal Justice, and Michael Savage, instructor of History. The panel will be moderated by Lee Thomas, East Campus dean of Social Sciences

Tuesday, October 16 at 6:00 p.m., Building 3, Atrium – “Yes, They Did Fight Back: Resistance During the Holocaust,” by Richard Gair, professor of Reading and Holocaust Literature

Wednesday, October 17 at 6:00 p.m., Building 3-113  “Problems Associated with Memorializing Genocide,” Michael Savage, Genocide expert and instructor of History

Thursday, October 18 at 1:00 p.m., Building 3 Atrium – “Nazi Propaganda: How They Used It to Sell Their Ideas,” Richard Gair, professor of Reading and Holocaust Literature

Thursday, October 18 at 6:00 p.m., Building 3 Atrium – “Preventing Mass Atrocities in the 21st Century,” George Lopez, professor at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, at Notre Dame University

The Courage to Remember exhibit will be on display through October 18, including Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m., and weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

grainger tools for tomorrow industrial trades scholarship

Grainger Tools for Tomorrow is currently accepting scholarship applications for students who are studying electronic systems, heating/air conditioning, plumbing, pneumatics, welding, automotive, construction, facilities maintenance or other industrial trades. Please take a moment to apply for this great opportunity by visiting and completing the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship application today!

engineering scholarships available now!

There is still time to apply… 

If you are a female student enrolled in the engineering field, 19 years of age or older and residing in Orange or Osceola County, the Progress Energy scholarship may be available to you! Please take a moment to apply for this scholarship by visiting in order to complete the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation scholarship application! Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and apply today! 


2012-13 grainger tools for tomorrow scholarship

Since 2006, the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship program has helped technical education students across the country realize their educational goals. This scholarship recognizes outstanding students with a $2,000 scholarship and customized Westward toolkit upon successful completion of the student’s technical education program.

Applicants must be United States citizens or legal residents at select community colleges in which they are studying electronic systems, heating/air conditioning, plumbing, pneumatics, welding, automotive, construction, facilities maintenance or other industrial trades.

Beginning in Fall of 2010, a limited number of scholarships will be set aside specifically for students who have served in the military. These scholarships are available to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard).

All students must be enrolled for at least 12 course credit hours per semester. The scholarship is not transferable to another institution. The scholarship monies must also be used by the student within 24 months.

All applicants must provide the following:

  • One letter of recommendation from a professor, teacher, advisor or military first line supervisor.
  • A list of clubs, activities, accomplishments, leadership roles held and years involved, including those related to their field of study or military job experience.
  • An essay of 200-300 words on why the student chose to study technical education, how their achievements and/or leadership roles have helped them grow individually and their future goals within the technical field.
  • GPA must be 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Grainger employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to apply.

APPLY TODAY! Applications are being accepted via the 2012-13 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Application. Visit:

orlando magic vs denver nuggets game discount tickets


Don’t forget to purchase your discounted Valencia Homecoming Orlando Magic vs. Denver Nuggets tickets by this Friday!

Check out full details on the event flyer by following the link below:

progress energy scholarship

Progress Energy is boosting access to female students who are pursuing a career in the engineering field. If you are female, 19 years or older, currently enrolled in an engineering program, with a 3.0 GPA or higher, live in Orange or Osceola counties, and have documented financial need – please take a moment to apply for this great opportunity!$4,275 will be awarded annually for 2 years at Valencia and 2 years at UCF!

Visit our scholarship bulletin board TODAY for additional information and instructions on how to apply.

valencia recognized for accelerating latino student success


Valencia was recently selected as the 2012 Example of Excelencia honoree at the associate level for our work to accelerate Latino student success in higher education through the DirectConnect program.

Examples of Excelencia is a data-driven initiative that recognizes programs and departments with evidence of effectiveness in accelerating Latino student success at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels.

“This honor is recognition of Valencia’s commitment to Latino student success by building pathways for students to complete a bachelor’s degree,” explained Joyce Romano, vice president of student affairs.

The DirectConnect to the University of Central Florida (UCF) initiative is designed to build pathways, reduce barriers and encourage student success. Since the program began in 2006, Valencia Latino student transfer to UCF has increased by 300%, while the number of Valencia transfer students who complete a bachelor’s degree from UCF has increased by 200%.

“DirectConnect includes specific advising, communication, and process improvement to make it easier for students to transfer to UCF,” Joyce said. “Curriculum alignment and course planning makes Valencia graduates’ transition to UCF more successful.”

As a result of this recognition, Valencia’s DirectConnect profile will be included in the 2012 edition of What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education: Examples of Excelencia Compendiumand in the Growing What Works database. The college will also receive a check for $5,000.

On Wednesday, October 3, Joyce will represent Valencia and the entire DirectConnect to UCF initiative on a panel at the Accelerating Latino Student Success Workshop in Washington, D.C.

progress energy 2+2 scholarship – $4,275 annually

ImageProgress Energy is boosting access to female students who would like a career in the engineering field. So to serve the needs of our community, this generous donor is looking for female, engineering majors in Orange or Osceola counties. Students must demonstrate financial need and students must be at least 19 years of age or older to be considered.

The scholarship is a 2+2 allowing students to study for two-years at Valencia and two-years at the University of Central Florida to earn a bachelors.

Don’t delay – apply TODAY!

valencia makes list of “military friendly” schools


Valencia College has made the 2013 Military Friendly Schools list, honoring the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows Valencia College’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media, which publishes the list on its website. The company said that the 1,739 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.

More than 1,800 veterans are enrolled in classes at Valencia this fall. In fact, according to latest figures from the Florida College System, Valencia is home to the second largest enrollment of veterans among Florida’s 28 state colleges, second only to Florida State College at Jacksonville, home of the Mayport Naval Station.

Valencia provides veterans services on all of its campuses, including assistance with VA benefits, student support, workshops and activities. There’s also a student veterans club, a veterans-only speech class, and professional development to help faculty recognize the unique challenges of veterans in integrating into the college environment.

Now in its fourth year, the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 VA-approved schools nationwide. The survey results that comprise the 2013 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by G.I. Jobs. Each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country.

Article by: Carol Traynor

global peace film festival comes to valencia

To celebrate International Peace Day, which is September 21, Valencia College will partner with the Global Peace Film Festival to present free screenings on multiple campuses. Valencia is offering three selections from this year’s festival. Please come out and join us. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend. The three films that will be shared are as follows:

1. Khaati Suun (Pure Gold)
Thursday, September 20, 2:30 p.m.
East Campus, 3-113

2. Opening Our Eyes
Thursday, September 20
East Campus, 7:00 p.m., Room 3-113
West Campus, 7:00 p.m. Building 8

3. Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story
Friday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Winter Park Campus, Room 225-226

These events are made possible by the support and partnership of the West Campus H.E.R.O. Club, Study Abroad and Global Experiences (SAGE), East Campus student development, and thePeace and Justice Initiative (PJI). For more information

it’s official – valencia is smoke free!


Monday, August 27, 2012 not only marked the start of fall classes, but it was also the day that Valencia officially implemented the smoke-free campus policy. In taking this step, Valencia joins more than 580 college and university campuses around the country in providing for healthier academic environments.

In partnership with the Quit Smoking Now program, Valencia will provide free on-campus tobacco treatment programs for students, employees and members of the community who wish to quit smoking. Curriculum for the program is developed by ex-smokers for those who want to become ex-smokers themselves. The five week program usually includes six sessions.To register today for free, call 1-877-848-6696.

FALL 2012

Winter Park Tuesday Sept 11-Oct. 9, 1-2pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

CJI Tuesday Sept 11-Oct. 9, 5-6pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

West Tuesday Sept 11-Oct. 9, 3:30-4:30pm – 4-204 -Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

Osceola Tuesday Sept 11-Oct. 9, 5:30-6:30pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

Winter Park Tuesday Oct 16-Nov 13, 1-2pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

CJI Tuesday Oct 16-Nov 13, 5-6pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

West Tuesday Oct 16-Nov 13, 3:30-4:30pm – 4-204 -Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

Osceola Tuesday Oct 16-Nov 13, 5:30-6:30pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

For more information about Smoke-Free Valencia, visit

100 new u.s. citizens sworn in at valencia college ceremony


On August 10th, Valencia College was proud to serve as host when 100 people were sworn in as U.S. citizens.

Kathy Redman, southeast regional director for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, administered the Oath of Allegiance to 100 candidates at the Performing Arts Center on East Campus. Dr. Joyce Romano, Vice President of Student Affairs for Valencia, delivered welcoming remarks, and Major Jay Jeyasingam, a Valencia College graduate and current member of the U.S. Army, delivered keynote remarks.

Nicholle Trapp, a student services specialist at Valencia, sang the national anthem.  The crowd and new U.S. citizens rose to their feet and waved small American flags as Valencia student and disabled Marine Corps vet Brandon Montgomery sang, “God Bless the U.S.A.,” a song written and made famous by Lee Greenwood.

The citizenship candidates hail from 28 countries: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia and Zambia. The largest number originate from Haiti, Colombia, and Jamaica.

This ceremony marks the first time USCIS has held a naturalization ceremony at Valencia College.

valencia coming to lake nona medical city

Valencia College will soon open its fifth campus in Lake Nona Medical City, where it will train students for careers in the life sciences, as well as offer traditional coursework toward the associate degree. Although the fall semester officially begins Aug. 27, student services staff will be available to help students starting Aug. 20.

The three-story, 83,000 square-foot building replaces shared space at nearby Lake Nona High School, and is the first of four buildings proposed for the branch campus. This month, the campus received its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

When the new campus opens, it will feature 18 “smart” classrooms, six science labs—including a biotech lab—a library, a bookstore, small café and student services offices. Sitting areas throughout are meant to encourage studying in groups, catching up with friends, or just contemplating the third-floor view of Lake Whippoorwill.

But the primary focus—at least for campus leaders—will be on math and science. And students seem to be responding, with those courses filling up as fast as the college can offer them.

Teaching part-time are four scientists who work in Medical City labs. Other scientists will be invited to campus to share their research projects with students in a monthly lunchtime series called “Hungry Minds.”

“We are also in the process of developing a Life Sciences Institute,” said Michael Bosley, executive dean of the Lake Nona Campus, “and are exploring opportunities for collaborations with UCF’s College of Medicine, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Orlando VA Medical Center, and the University of Florida Academic & Research Center.”

Together with Valencia’s Osceola Campus, a new Associate in Science degree in biotechnology is planned for the fall of 2013 and programs in physical and occupational therapy are also in the works.

Valencia has offered college courses in a wing of Lake Nona High School since 2009, both to the general community and through its Collegiate Academy, where high school students can enroll in advanced placement and dual enrollment courses leading to an Associate in Arts degree. As of last spring, there were 400 students enrolled in the Collegiate Academy, up from 33 two years ago.

Built at a cost of $21.7 million by the design-build team of SchenkelShultz Architecture and PPI Construction, the campus features an environmentally friendly design. “Green” features include energy saving lights and air conditioning, reflective roofing materials, recycled construction materials and native landscaping that requires very little piped irrigation. It is slated to achieve a Level 2 Green Globes Certification based on specifications set by Green Building Initiatives, a Portland, Oregon based non-profit.

The Lake Nona Campus website has construction updates and additional information:

purchase tickets online now!


Tickets to attend A Taste for Learning are available for purchase online!

Join us as vintners from around the world serve their finest wines, complemented by exquisite cuisine from local chefs.Tempting auction items will include everything from travel to truffles, wine and wild nights out. There’s something for everyone!

The event will be held on September 15, 2012 at Rosen Shingle Creek and reduced room rates will be available for guests! To purchase you tickets to this exciting event, follow the link below:

To book your room accommodations, follow the link below:

silent auction sneak peek!

Thanks to the generous support from local organizations, this year’s silent auction at A Taste for Learning is sure to be memorable! Check out some of the great items you’ll be able to bid on:

Hotel Stay in Cancun, Mexico for 4 people
Orlando Magic Team Autographed Basketball
High Performance Glider Flight Experience
Hotel Stay at the Grand Bohemian Celebration
Grand Pines Golf Club Foursome
60 Day Golf Membership at Tuscawilla Country Club
4Rivers Sandwich a Week Gift Basket
Tampa Bay Rays Fan Pack
Richard Petty Driving Experience
90 Minute Massage at Euro Day Spa
Disney Park Hopper Passes
Busch Gardens Tickets

If you are interested in donating a silent auction item OR if you’d like to purchase tickets to attend the event, you can access more information at

a taste for learning: international wine sampling and auction

Vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines- thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits-hundreds of wines will be available.

Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

For more information on the event including tickets, sponsorships and Rosen Shingle Creek Resort special room rates for attendees please visit our website online.

endowed chairs for learning leadership at valencia

Valencia educators are encouraged to remain current and continually improve discipline knowledge. The endowed chair program at the Valencia Foundation, with support and resources from many community partners, provide Valencia faculty the opportunity to examine the effectiveness of their teaching, counseling, librarianship and assessment techniques as they influence student learning.

Valencia Foundation is honored to have the support of our dedicated individual and corporate partners. Valencia College and our students benefit from the kindness of philanthropic individuals, corporations and organizations that are deeply rooted in our community.

Endowed Chair Recipients (2012-2013)

Rachel Allen: Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences

Suzette Dohany: Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications

Yolanda Gonzalez: Howard Palmer Chair in Foreign Languages

Debra Hollister and Brian Macon: Freeda Louise Foreman Chair in Family Resource Development

Mabel Machin: John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business

Julia Nudel: Lockheed Martin Chair in Math

Bonnie Oliver: Bank of America Chair in Business

Robin Poole: Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Nursing & Allied Health

Marva Pryor: Bank of America Chair in Business Management

Richard Sansone: University Club Chair in Humanities

Brenda Schumpert: Lockheed Martin Chair in Science

Irina Struganova: Lester N. Mandell Chair in Natural and Physical Sciences

Elizabeth Wanielista: Wayne M. Densch Chair in Geriatrics

Joan Alexander: University Club Chair in Computers

Kenneth Bourgoin: HuntonBrady Architects Endowed Chair in Hospitality Management

Ralph Clemente: Walt Disney World Chair in Film Technology

Steven Cunningham: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise

Kitty Harkleroad: Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and Allied Health

Deymond Hoyte: SunTrust Teaching Chair in Economic Development and Business Education

Jim Inglis: Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Chair

Chris Klinger: Tupperware Worldwide Chair in Community Quality

Ilyse Kusnetz: Eugene & Jessie Drey Endowment of English Speaking Union

Pamela Lapinski: Harry J. and E. Mary Hobbs Teaching Chair in Nursing

Adrian Manley: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications

James May: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Teaching Chair

Pierre Pilloud: Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant & Food Management

Andrew Ray: Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering

Suzanne Salapa: Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment:

Pamela Sandy: Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Health & Life Science

valencia film students shooting romantic comedy

Summer may be slow on campus, but Valencia’s film production technology students are busy filming a new movie.

“An Act of God” is the summer feature film project for Valencia students. A romantic comedy written and directed by Stewart Schill, the film has a budget of about $500,000.

Schill, who has worked as an editor on a number of TV shows, including “Dexter,” has experience with Valencia’s film students. In 2007, he teamed up with Valencia’s students to produce the 2007 short feature, “I Hate Musicals.”

“An Act of God” is about a man whose home has been destroyed by a tornado. When his insurance claim is denied because the storm was “an act of God,” he decides to sue, naming God, along with representatives of the world’s religions, as defendants. Eventually, however, he discovers that love requires a leap of faith.

The producers are filming scenes in Osceola County from June 26 through June 30, where filming will take place in and around the historic Osceola County Courthouse. Because the set is closed to the public, a portion of West Bryant Street in Kissimmee will be closed on Saturday, June 30 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The film also gives Osceola County a chance to show off.

“This film will showcase a significant historic landmark located in the heart of our community. Osceola County has much to offer the film industry with its fast track permitting process and rich history,” said County Commission Chair John Quinones.

Producers originally tried to film the courthouse scenes in Volusia County at the DeLand courthouse, but county officials there declined.

Volusia’s loss was Osceola’s gain, however.

Dirty Martini Productions and Valencia Motion Pictures estimate the film’s local economic impact is estimated at $20,000.

Orlando Film Commissioner Sheena Fowler said, “Osceola County has a long string of success with productions. Having Osceola County as part of our location base helps make Metro Orlando the popular filming destination that it’s become today.”

The following organizations worked with the producers to bring the production to fruition: the City of Kissimmee’s communications and public information office, Osceola County Economic Development Department and the Metro Orlando Film Commission (a division of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission).

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

valencia president cited as a “change agent”

U.S. colleges and universities cannot continue doing things the same way they have for decades, argue Richard Skinner and Emily Miller in an essay for “Inside Higher Education.”  But to enact change, most need good leaders, the two say. One of those leaders willing to take risks and become a change agent is Valencia’s president, Dr. Sandy Shugart.

To read the article, click here.

new study: valencia boosts local economy by $1 billion a year

A Press Release from Valencia’s Marketing and Strategic Communications Department

Orlando, FL – At a time when Florida’s unemployment rate is 9.4 percent and public funding for higher education is being cut, a new study finds that Valencia College boosts the economy of Orange and Osceola counties by $1.05 billion a year.

The study, conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI) on behalf of the college, calculated the college’s total economic impact, based on the 70,000 students enrolled at Valencia, and includes alumni earnings, student spending and expenditures related to college operations.

The impact study also examined the college’s return on investment, for both students and taxpayers.

  • For students, every dollar spent on tuition today increases a student’s future income by $5.60, according to the EMSI study.
  • For Florida taxpayers, the rate of return on their investment in the college is 8.9 percent, outperforming nearly all private investments’ return on the dollar.

Valencia, the 17th largest employer in the region, has become an economic engine for Central Florida, generating close to 3,000 jobs and spending $231 million a year on buildings, salaries, services and supplies.

In addition to the impact of students currently enrolled at the college, the study found that Valencia’s graduates contribute $781.7 million in earnings, spending and savings to the region’s economy each year.

To understand Valencia’s economic impact on its two-county region, compare the college’s $1 billion impact to that of the University of Florida (UF). In 2011, an economic impact study found that UF’s impact on the statewide economy was $8.76 billion – and $2.9 billion of that was attributed to the Shands Hospital system and UF physician practices.

“Valencia is a billion dollar gem. We hope the independent study will help the community understand what an asset Valencia actually is to the region,” said Valencia Board of Trustees Chair Bertica Cabrera Morris.

Trustees, along with Valencia President Sandy Shugart, are calling on business and community leaders to join the college’s efforts to increase public and private investment in Valencia.

“We encourage business leaders to get involved with the college and become a part of its success. Seek Valencia interns. Hire the college’s graduates. Serve on industry boards. Support the foundation. It all fuels our local economy and makes a real difference,” added Cabrera Morris.

Valencia stands out as a model of efficiency compared to its peer colleges around the state. Based on data gathered by the Florida Department of Education for the 2011-2012 school year, Valencia has lower funding per FTE (full-time equivalent) than its sister two-year colleges – and yet Valencia consistently produces more graduates and more students who are earning technical certificates.

Valencia was named the best community college in America for 2011/12 when it won the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The Aspen Prize was the first national recognition of extraordinary accomplishments at a community college. Valencia won the honor for an overall graduation rate nearly three times that of similar, large urban public community colleges. In addition, Valencia had the highest job placement rates at 95 percent, and the most productive transfer program in the country, because of its partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF).

Valencia plays a key role in educating the region. Of the graduating high school seniors in Orange and Osceola counties, almost twice as many start their college careers at Valencia as at all other state universities combined. And, today, that’s the new “normal” among college students. Only 25 percent of America’s college students are full-time students, living away from home. Seventy-five percent of current college students are part-time students, juggling families, jobs and school.

At Valencia, 39 percent of the students are focused on learning specialized skills that prepare them for the workforce through the college’s Associate in Science (A.S.) programs or Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees. To produce graduates who are ready to hit the ground running, the college works closely with 400 area businesses to tailor the curriculum to meet the needs of the workplace.

In some technical areas, such as nursing and allied health, Valencia graduates make up a large percentage of the local workforce. Valencia’s RN program supplies many of the nurses to local hospitals and is highly regarded for its quality. In 2010, for example, 94 percent of Valencia’s nursing graduates passed the national registered nursing exam – a higher passing rate than the state and national average.

That specialized training is reflected in the graduates’ earnings. Valencia’s Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degree graduates earn on average an annual salary of about $43,385 in their first year after graduation – more than double that of a high school graduate and $7,839 more than a bachelor’s degree graduate from UCF in their first year out of college, according to the latest data from the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP).

In addition to preparing students for the workforce, Valencia offers a two-year A.A. program that prepares students to transfer to an upper-division college or university – at half the cost of tuition at the state’s four-year universities.

And, thanks to DirectConnect to UCF, an innovative partnership between the University of Central Florida and area members of the Florida College System that began in 2007, Valencia students who earn an associate degree are guaranteed admission to UCF’s upper division. Through DirectConnect, Valencia has become an “on ramp” to a four-year degree. In 2011, 22 percent of all UCF graduates started their college careers at Valencia.

Also helping the local economy is the fact that Valencia is attracting more students from outside Orange and Osceola counties. Since DirectConnect began, the number of students moving to the area grew from 14,967 to 21,134, a 34.5 percent increase. These students rent apartments, purchase goods and services, and stay in the area to attend UCF and build their lives here.

Click here to get the economic impact facts.

The full report, “Economic Contribution of Valencia College,” is available on the Valencia News website.

New Study Finds Valencia Boosts Local Economy by $1 Billion a Year

valencia magic scholarship

Valencia Magic Scholarship Recipient – Davon Sherman

There was something truly amazing that I was able to be a part of yesterday. The Orlando Magic Youth Fund and McCormick Foundation have created a new scholarship for Valencia College students.

Three deserving high school seniors were selected to begin their educational journey at Valencia beginning the 2012-13 academic year. Each student received a two year scholarship in the amount of $6,000.

Valencia Magic Scholarship Recipient – Joan Marcelin

As we surprised each student in their classrooms, hallways and at lunch each moment was a great experience. To see the joy and excitement on their faces, is a memory that I will take with me for year’s to come. What a fabulous way to start the week!

Valencia Magic Scholarship Recipient – Shaiquan Williams

Edgewater H.S. student Davon Sherman will attend Valencia College and plans to study creative writing or journalism; Joan Marcelin (Evans H.S.) will attend Valencia College and plans to study business or hospitality; Boone H.S. student Shaiquan Williams will attend Valencia College in the area of gaming.

valencia spring break this week

The college and foundation offices are closed this week for spring break. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy week and we will be back soon!

fafsa frenzy february (cont…)

More and more students need financial aid to pay for college. Simplifying the process is the purpose of a month-long event dubbed FAFSA Frenzy February. Valencia’s financial aid experts will assist students one-on-one with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA, whether they are first-time applicants or are reapplying for next year.

Those students who complete their FAFSA on site are also eligible to enter a drawing to win one of three laptop computers. Attendance at Valencia is not required to participate in the event or the drawing.

FAFSA Frenzy events have been scheduled for the following locations and dates:

Feb. 22, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., East Campus, Bldg. 4, Rm. 122

There are a number of documents students will need to bring with them, including a social security card, driver’s license and proof of 2011 income. If they are dependents, they will need to bring the same information for their parent or guardian.

For details and to register visit

This event was made possible with support from Valencia’s Student Development office, Bank of America and USA Funds®, a nonprofit organization that helps American families benefit from postsecondary education.

Valencia participates in most federal, state, and local financial aid programs, awarding over $192 million each year to students. Approximately 54 percent of Valencia students receive financial aid. Among those students is the largest enrollment of Bright Futures recipients among Florida State Colleges.

fafsa fenzy february – west campus

Where: Valencia College West Campus, Student Services Building (SSB), Room 142
1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando Florida

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Get the experts to help you fill out the FAFSA so that you can get money for college.

In order to receive financial aid, you must submit a FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) each year. Let Valencia’s financial aid experts assist you with the process. Help is available for first-time applicants and those who are updating their information/renewing their application.

Participants will have the chance to WIN A LAPTOP. There will be three giveaways per campus event. You must complete the FAFSA onsite to be entered to win.

What to bring with you to the event:

1. 2011 Income information (taxable and untaxed income)
2. Social Security Card
3. Driver’s License
4. Alien Registration Card (eligible non-citizens)
5. Your parent and your parent’s information for question 1, 2 and 3 (if you are a dependent student)
6. Your FAFSA application PIN #. Get yours online at (before or during the event)

For more information, visit: or call 407-299-5000, ext. 3.

valencia in the spring

As another major term is upon us – I have to ask myself, are students aware of all of the deadlines that come with a brand new semester?

Although registration began in early November, flex courses are still available for the spring term. If you are intersted in searching for possible classes – visit to see what’s still available! Monday, January 9, 2012 will start another school term and you have until January 17 to add or drop classes. Please remember that this is a critical deadline, you don’t want to be a “no show” if you decide a class isn’t for you!

Remember to always check for important dates and deadlines and login to your atlas account for important announcements from the college, faculty and staff.

Here’s to a healthy, safe and successful school term!

happy new year

Happy 2012! I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and happy holiday season. As this new year starts, back to work and back to schedules, I am going to work hard to keep the spirit of the season alive all year.

This year, as a staff service project, foundation staff volunteered at IDignity. IDignity was created to help the disadvantaged in Central Florida overcome the difficulties of obtaining the personal identification that is crucial to enabling them to become self-sufficient. For more information about the program, visit

The December event was held at the Orlando Rescue Mission. As a staff we spread out, working in different areas. I ended up helping with crowd flow as folks went through reception and intake. For some clients, this was a second trip to an IDignity event, they had already processed all of the paperwork and were awaiting a document  (birth certificate, etc.).  Those folks would check in at reception, where there was a door with a window, and a volunteer would often say, “Okay, wait just a second, let me check the list.” The client would wait patiently as the volunteer would check a few places.

If the door opened, it was great news! Document in hand, the volunteer confirmed the client’s identity and handed over the document. This was a celebratory occasion, not enough to just slip the document through the window and please move on your way. Volunteers offered applause, backslaps and cheers, with the clients in the reception area always joining in. For the client, the moment usually brought some tears, along with a story of how long this journey has taken. For some, it was as long as eight years spent trying to get correct documentation.

I joined in the cheering and revelry, but inside I felt a pang of guilt. I remembered back to when I lived in Illinois for a bit and had to get a new driver’s license. I was turned away because I didn’t bring in a certified copy of my birth certificate, just a photocopy. Even with my mom there, vouching the birth certificate was correct (she had been there!), even then they still turned me away. I remember the anger and frustration and inconvenience I felt, and now how out of context that was. All I had to do was wait for my mom to return to Florida, overnight the official copy and that was that.

My experience at IDignity was a great reminder not the let life’s little frustrations get you down. Even those working against insurmountable odds were able to face the day with a smile, a thanks, even a God bless. And I do promise, as one of my new year’s resolutions, to carry that experience in my heart all year as a reminder to always be grateful for what you do have. Happy new year!

sounds of sandy shugart

Don’t miss Sandy Shugart in concert, releasing his newest CD, “Distances We Keep, “ at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden.

Don’t miss Sandy Shugart in concert, releasing his newest CD “Distances We Keep,” at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden.  Saturday, January 14, 2012 8pm.  Tickets: $15 (students/seniors $12); visit online for tickets.

This is coffeehouse music at its best – intelligent and engaging. Ranging in style from Americana to alternative country to urban folk, this singer-songwriter offers an acoustic tour of the emotions, including humor, with original songs mixed with the occasional cover.

Extended tickets for $40 include 6:30 pm pre-show reception plus 8 pm concert; visit online for tickets.

Garden Theatre –
160 West Plant Street
Winter Garden, FL 34787


achieving the dream president congratulates valencia on aspen prize

The following statement was released by William E. Trueheart, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream Inc., a national nonprofit dedicated to helping low-income students and students of color stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree.

Silver Spring, MD (December 12, 2011) – We are proud to congratulate Valencia College for winning The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  Valencia College – an Achieving the Dream Leader College and 2009 winner of Achieving the Dream’s most prestigious award– the Leah Meyer Austin Institutional Student Success Leadership Award – was recognized today for demonstrated excellence in improved student performance over time. Valencia College was also recognized for achieving high levels of equity in outcomes among all student populations, and for its deliberate and sustained focus on using data to guide practice and policy to sustain student success and program completion. Today’s recognition is the culmination of an intensive, year-long process that included the review of institutional-level, disaggregated data on completion, labor market, and learning outcomes, and two-day site visits to each of the ten finalist colleges.

We want to especially applaud Valencia College President Sanford C. “Sandy” Shugart and the entire faculty and staff, who are outstanding leaders in every sense of the word – serious, committed, and effective exemplars of the student success process.  The work of improving student success is difficult, important, and urgent. Across the nation, more colleges are committing to raising persistence and graduation rates. Achieving the Dream Institutions like Valencia College are national exemplars of what is possible with an institution-wide commitment to student success and equity.

We are also proud to congratulate Achieving the Dream colleagues at Mott Community College and Southwest Texas Junior College who were among the top ten finalists for the Aspen Prize.  

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

2010-2011 annual report

The 2010-2011 annual report for the foundation is available on our Web site., under the important information tab, or click here to view

Smoke-Free Campus Coming in 2012

Following an announcement last summer, Valencia College is moving forward with plans to go smoke-free on all its campuses by August 2012. Several other Florida colleges and universities, including the University of Florida in Gainesville, have enacted smoke-free policies, meaning they don’t allow students, employees or visitors to smoke anywhere on school grounds. The University of Central Florida (UCF) is considering taking similar steps.

“I hate to interfere in people’s private lives and habits, but secondhand smoke affects everyone,” said Valencia President Sandy Shugart in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.

The college will spend the next eight months preparing students, faculty and staff for the change in policy, and has launched a communications effort with the theme,  “Share the Air.”

The Share the Air campaign includes campus banners, ashtray decals, printed informational materials and a new website, among other things.  Valencia, in partnership with the Quit Smoking Now program, is also providing free on-campus quit-smoking programs for students, employees and members of the community who wish to kick the habit.

In November, student groups at all four campuses held events in conjunction with the America Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke-Out, an event that challenges people to stop smoking cigarettes for a day, hoping their decision not to smoke will last forever. The students used the occasion to introduce the college’s new smoke-free policy with a focus on health and nutrition (“Smoke a turkey, not your lungs” was the fun theme of Winter Park Campus’ event).

To see a video of the East Campus festivities and hear the views of smokers and non-smokers alike on the college going smoke-free, click here:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Source: Carol Traynor, Marketing & Strategic Communications

academically motivated students apply here

The new James M. and Dayle L. Seneff Honors College at Valencia will launch Fall of 2012, offering four distinct paths to an honors degree.

Students are being asked to aim higher.

This program is for students who want more from their college experience—more challenges, more opportunities and more connections with fellow students and great professors. The Seneff Honors College is for those with a deep passion for learning.

  • overseas trips
  • special scholarships
  • recognition at commencement

Valencia offers this and more, all in a setting that nurtures the whole individual.

Admission information will be available December 2011.  For more information please visit the James M. and Dayle L. Seneff Honors College website or contact Director Valerie Burks at

professor james may receives national honors for top professor in florida

A Passion for Technology and Teaching Earns National Honors for Top Professor in Florida

A Valencia College professor is being recognized today by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as the 2011 Florida Professor of the Year.

James May teaches English to speakers of other languages, but he has developed his own style – using technology to get beyond language barriers and help students learn.

“I guess I’ve always liked technology,” May said, “but I have never really believed in using technology for technology’s sake. Ask a language teacher and you will hear, ‘Truly acquiring a language requires interaction.’ As social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video-sharing sites and smart technology proliferated, so too did my ability to interact with my students. And I have found that, in addition to being more interested, my students read and write better as a result.”

The U.S. Professors of the Year program, administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country – those who excel as teachers and influence the lives of their students.

A total of 27 state winners and four national winners will be honored at a reception today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

“We’re thrilled that Dr. May was named Florida Professor of the Year,” said Ruth Prather, president of Valencia’s East Campus, where Professor May teaches. “His students do extraordinarily well. He’s a credit to Valencia and to his fellow faculty.”

May has had an extraordinary year. He won the Excellence in Technology award by the Association of Florida Colleges, taking first place. And last November, May was honored by the Florida Association of Community Colleges as their 2010 Professor of the Year.

Valencia is one of the nation’s largest and most celebrated two-year colleges. In September, the school was named one of 10 finalists for the million-dollar Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which rewards the best and most innovative community college in the nation. Valencia is also ranked first in the nation among all community colleges in the number of associate degrees awarded, second in the number of associate degrees awarded to Hispanics and third in the number awarded to African-Americans.

MEDIA KIT with video, B-roll, supporting material

nursing professor susie boatman forehand retires

Valencia Nursing Professor Susie Boatman Forehand Retires

After 35 years of hard work and dedication, we would like to announce the retirement of Valencia nursing professor Susie Forehand (she began at Valencia November 11, 1976).  Susie has been an advocate for quality nursing education all of her life. At Valencia, Susie’s dedication to students is exemplified in her contributions to nursing. She has educated and nurtured thousands of students who have gone out into the community to serve with her same dedication, preparing numerous men and women for a career in nursing.

Many will tell you that Susie is a hard professor, but she says she just expects the best from her Valencia students. Her students have been given a gift of an education that they will never forget. Many graduates return to see Susie and say, ‘thank you for teaching me how to be a great nurse.’  Susie’s commitment to excellence and service continue and will forever remain her legacy at Valencia College.

In lieu of gifts or an elaborate retirement celebration, Professor Susie Boatman Foreman requested donations to support current and future nursing student scholarships at Valencia. Should you wish to make a contribution please visit online at:

Her nurturing character has extended over many years.  In the early 1960s Susie participated in the Civil Rights movement during the Dr. Martin Luther King era of peaceful protest.  In our own Orange County, Susie participated in passive marches, sit-ins and demonstrations that untimely resulted in “black & white” signs removed and local lunch counters open to serve all patrons.

She continued to explore new cultures by traveling the world and covering five continents in 11 years.  These visits to Hong Kong, Spain, Greece, Mexico and England expanded her passion for inclusion.  In addition, her travels have extended to six countries in Africa: Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Senegal, and the Congo.

Susie’s good work has been recognized within our community through a number of awards including Nursing Excellence, Nursing Educator Award, Instructor of the Year and nominations as Woman of the Year.  Although Susie Forehand is retiring, her commitment to nursing students at Valencia College will continue with your support.

In lieu of gifts or an elaborate celebration, Susie requested donations for current and future nursing student scholarships at Valencia.

We hope you will join us in honoring Susie’s milestone with a contribution reflecting her commitment to educating future nursing professionals at Valencia College.

Should you wish to make a donation please visit us online at:

Valencia literary magazine wins statewide awards

PHOENIX Cover 2011

Phoenix, Valencia College’s art and literature magazine, has been named the first place winner of its division in the Florida College System Publications Association’s 2011 magazine competition.

Phoenix competed with others from around the state, and once again, the magazine was awarded the “General Excellence” plaque.  In addition to the overall prize, magazine contributors won nine first-place awards and one third-place award.  The Phoenix features art, poetry, and prose from Valencia students.

In the poetry category, Valencia received first place award for the collection of poetry submitted by students Michael Martin, Helen MacMaster and Philip Pantely. Michael Martin also received a third-place prize for his poem, “Delayed Reaction.”

In addition, MacMaster won the Debra Vazquez Award in Poetry, which is given to one poet annually to honor a slain English teacher and poet who was a key presence in the FCSAA until her untimely death in 2004. This was the first time a Phoenix poet has won the award.

In the nonfiction category, Merlaine Sivels won a first-place award for her article, “Daddy Issues.”  

In the art category, Alyssa Aviles won first place for her “Self Portrait,” and she also was awarded another first place prize for her work, “Endless Adoration,” in another category. Aviles and Angel Rivera’s illustrations combined to help the magazine with first place in the collection of illustrations with text.

In the design category, Meg Lavinghousez and Patrick O’Connor won first place in overall magazine design. They also landed a first-place prize for the magazine’s cover, and another for the magazine’s content page.

In the editing category, Echo Slocum won first-place.

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

leaving a legacy through planned giving

Secure your future while doing the same for students.

Your deferred donation can provide support to future Valencia students.
Bequests are the simplest form of a planned gift, by naming Valencia Foundation a beneficiary through your will or amending your will with a codicil, you are affirming a commitment to education. You can pledge today to leave a lasting legacy. There are three types from which you can select when creating or amending your will. Below are definitions of each type of bequest and sample language that you and your lawyer may find helpful.

Bequest Type

Sample Language

Specific Bequest:A specific value or dollar amount named for a charitable gift by will. I give $_______ (specific amount or percentage) to Valencia Foundation, a not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974, in support of (a specific area of interest). 
Residuary Bequest:A residuary bequest will provide remaining / residuary property of the estate after all the special gifts designated in the will were made. I give and bequeath the residue of my estate to Valencia Foundation, a not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974, to be used to further its purposes as the board of directors in their discretion may deem appropriate (or in support of a specific area of interest). 
Contingent Bequest:This gift in your will depends upon an event which may or may not occur. Should your beneficiary pass on or disclaim the property, this contingency would ensure your estate is distributed as you requested. In the event that ___________(beneficiary) does not survive me, I give the rest, residue and remainder of my estate (or $_______ specific amount or percentage) to Valencia Foundation, a not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974, to be used to further its purposes as the board of directors in their discretion may deem appropriate (or in support of a specific area of interest).

We welcome your feedback on our online resources, designed to help you chart your charitable intentions, which can be found at

If you would prefer, our foundation team would be delighted to meet with you to discuss your philanthropic objectives and to explore how you and your family can benefit.

Valencia president named one of Orlando’s most influential businessmen

Dr. Sanford "Sandy" Shugart

Dr. Sanford “Sandy” Shugart, Valencia College’s president, has been named one of the Orlando Business Journal’s Most Influential Businessmen for 2011.

The business publication selected Shugart as the most influential businessman in the education field.

Shugart, 55, has led Valencia since 2000. He came to Valencia from North Harris College near Houston.  Prior to that, the North Carolina native served as vice president of the North Carolina Community College System. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Shugart is the fourth president of Valencia, one of the nation’s largest and most celebrated two-year colleges. Earlier this year, Valencia was named one of 10 finalists for the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which rewards the best and most innovative community college in the nation. Valencia is also ranked first in the nation among all community colleges in the number of associate degrees awarded, second in the number of associate degrees awarded to Hispanics and third in the number awarded to African-Americans. 

Shugart is well known on campus as a poet and musician. But the Orlando Business Journal article spotlighted a few things you may not know about Valencia’s president. For instance, did you know that his favorite movie is “Twelve O’Clock High,” a 1949 film about a general who takes over a bomber pilot unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape?  Or that he describes the birth of his first child as his “most life-changing experience”?  And who would have guessed that his pet peeve is aggressive drivers?

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

looking to the future

When economic prospects look dismal it’s natural to focus on short-term, rather than long-term, goals. Our foundation board is committed to keeping both horizons in our line of sight so that we can serve today’s deserving student and prepare for tomorrow’s generations. 

We imagine a community in which family finances
never stand in the way of earning a college education. 

As you plan for your family’s future, I invite you to use our web site tools at, which may spark some creative thinking about how to maintain your legacy forever. 

  • Make a bequest pledge that costs you nothing during your life.
  • Give a contribution that provides you lifetime income.
  • Preserve your estate for your heirs and provide years of income to Valencia.
  • Convert surplus life insurance coverage into an endowment.
  • Donate appreciated securities and realize larger tax savings than if you had used cash.

We welcome your feedback on our new online resources, designed to help you chart your charitable intentions, which can be found at If you would prefer, our foundation team would be delighted to meet with you to discuss your philanthropic objectives and to explore how you and your family can benefit.

Geraldine Gallagher, CFRE
President and CEO

P.S. If you have already made Valencia Foundation a planned giving priority please let us know so that you can become a founding member of our new Legacy Society. Feel free to contact Donna Marino at (407) 582-3128 to learn more.

author, paul guest, will be reading on october 28

Paul Guest, author of the memoir One More Theory About Happiness and four award-winning poetry collections, will be reading on Friday October 28th at 7pm at the Winter Park Campus of Valencia College in Rooms 224-226. 

 At age 12, Guest was paralyzed from the neck down from a biking accident.  He has triumphed over extreme physical challenges to become an acclaimed writer and teacher.  Currently, Guest is a professor at the University of Virginia and continues to write about his experiences. 

 from One More Theory About Happiness:

 “It was terrifying to no longer be a patient. To no longer be inrehabilitation. In recovery. Unspoken, but quietly feared, was the assessment, by doctors, by nurses, and therapists, that you had reached an endpoint in this process. That your rehabilitation had come to its expiration date. That nothing more could be done. What awaited was the rest of your life.”

This event is made possible by funding from the Dr. P. Phillips Chair in Education for the Physically Challenged.  For further information, please contact Dr. Ilyse Kusnetz at or at extension x6937.

dia latino en ICE! on saturday, november 19

dia latino en ICE!

This year the Gaylord Palms ICE! is hosting a whole day scholarship fundraising event called Dia Latino en ICE! on Saturday, November 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Gaylord Plams’ is offering a 47% discount off general admission. The price for an adult is $12.00 and $8.99 for children. Half of the discounted ticketed price will be donated to the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship fund to support Valencia students!

For donations to be made to the Hispanic Business Council and to get your discounted rate, please purchase your tickets online and use the discount code SENOL

The ICE sculptures are new and the hotel has other activities to make it a fun day.  Even thought it is a Latin day promotion, all the shows are in English, same as a regular day.     

The chamber is also working on having a “meet the chamber” event from 5 p.m. to
7 p.m. where they will have free hot chocolate and coffee. All groups are welcome!

Dia Latino en ICE!

etch your name in someone’s future

You are invited to create a memory! Click here to purchase your engraved brick and etch your name in Valencia's legacy.

Help lay the foundation for a student’s future!

The sale of personalized engraved bricks are available to anyone who wishes to create a lasting memory. 

These bricks will be embedded in the entry courtyard of the newest Valencia Osceola Campus building 4 once construction is complete.

The cost of a personalized memory brick is $100.  The proceeds from these courtyard-bound bricks will used to support scholarships for Osceola Campus students of Valencia College.

For more details or to place your order, please visit

news from Russia

Steve Cunningham, professor of ESL and English is currently in the Russian Federation as a Fulbright Scholar, lecturing at the Orsk Humanities and Technology Branch or Orenburg State University.

“After almost two days of travel with a nine hour layover in the Moscow airport, I arrived in Orsk, Russia, at 2:00 in the morning on Friday, September 30th.  The head of the Institute’s English department, Marina, and her husband were there to welcome me, and move me into my room at the student dispensary.  What is a student dispensary, you wonder?  So did I.  I thought it was going to be a student dormitory.  It is far from it.  The dispensary is actually a facility where students can live while they are being treated for minor medical problems, and it also has guest rooms for special guests.  I am in one of the guest rooms, and it more like being in a hotel than a dorm.  My room is not huge, but it has a comfortable bed, a stuffed arm chair, a private bath, refrigerator, a radiator heater, and a 13″ color TV with rabbit ears.  The only thing I’ve noticed missing so far is a laundry facility, so I’ll be washing my clothes in the sink and drying them on the radiator – a very workable solution.”

To find out more about this post and Mr. Cunningham’s other Russian adventures, visit his blog at

the results are in: tina’s turnout for scholarships

Remembering Tina Collyer. At the event Fire Chief John Miller (pictured here) spoke to friends and family and honored their commitment to keeping Tina's spirit of service alive.

Tina’s Turn Out was established by friends and community members in memory and celebration of Tina Collyer’s life.  With the proceeds from the inaugural Sept. 24th walk, the Tina Collyer scholarship has reached $9,400 and is almost half way toward becoming a perpetual scholarship. 

Tina Collyer, a Valencia graduate and an Orlando firefighter, had a passion for helping young Explorers fulfill their dreams of becoming firefighters.   Once endowed, the Tina’s Heart scholarship will be earmarked for students, especially Explorers, who wish to certify as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at Valencia College. 

The EMT-Paramedic Program is designed for students who are interested in providing pre-hospital emergency care to acutely ill or injured patients. A stumbling block for many is the expense of completing the EMT program. 

Help us with the next steps.  Please contribute in memory of Tina Collyer and to help future EMT students.  You can contribute online at, just click on Give Now and make a donation. 

If you would prefer to mail a check, write ‘In Memory of Tina Collyer’ in the memo field, and send to: Valencia Foundation, 190 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32801.

Thank you, in advance, for your consideration.  Every gift, no matter how large or modest, will make a difference to our students.

Honoring Tina Collyer, community members create a scholarship in her honor.
Thank you to all who participated. Every gift, no matter how large or modest matters! You can still support future EMT students in memory of Tina Collyer by visiting and click on ‘Make a Donation’

More photos from this event are available on Facebook via Valencia Alumni Association or click here

etch your name in someone’s future

You are invited to create a memory! Click here to purchase your engraved brick and etch your name in Valencia's legacy.

Help lay the foundation for a student’s future!

Valencia College recently broke ground on a new $35 million building in Osceola County. 

In conjunction with the groundbreaking, the sale of personalized engraved bricks officially opened to the community and college supportors.  Once the building is completed these bricks will be embedded in the entry courtyard of the newest Valencia Osceola Campus building 4.

The cost of a personalized memory brick is $100.  The proceeds from these courtyard-bound bricks will used to support scholarships for Osceola Campus students of Valencia College.

For more details or to place your order, please visit

october college fair: 100+ college & university reps at valencia

Valencia College is proud to host the 2011 Orange & Osceola County College Night programs for the state of Florida.

College Night 2011 will provide an opportunity for high school and college transfer students to scope out their options for the future.

Students can sign up online .    Attendees will receive information on everything college related, from admissions requirements to financial aid, degrees and programs and campus housing.

More than 110 admissions representatives from colleges and universities across the country will be present for this two-night event, which will be held at Valencia College.

College Night, Osceola Campus (Sign Up)
Valencia College
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

College Night, East Campus  (Sign Up)
Valencia College
Thursday, October 6, 2011
6:00-8:00pm (EST)

Last year’s representatives hailed from universities including Yale, Cornell, Rutgers and the University of Florida, as well as local schools including Valencia, University of Central Florida, Rollins, Florida Southern and Stetson. There were also representatives from the United States Air Force and military academies.

College Night 2011 registration at:

For more information please visit

valencia wants your stories – video contest underway

Already, a dozen videos and 150 entry forms have been submitted by students hoping to win up to 60 credit hours of free tuition. Through October 21, Valencia is sponsoring a video contest for original videos that make best use the theme, “Why College? Why Valencia?”

The contest is open to all current Valencia students as well as former students who attended the college in the last five years, so long as they are at least 18 years old and U.S. residents. Videos must be no longer than three minutes in length and must be produced in a standard video format (see contest rules for details).

To submit your video, go to the contest website (, complete an entry form and upload your video.

All entries will be posted on Facebook, where viewers can later vote for their favorites. Five winners will be selected by a panel of judges from the videos that get the most votes. The winners will be announced on Nov. 15 and their winning videos will be featured on, Valencia’s homepage.

Valencia hopes to use the contest to draw attention to the personal stories of its students and inspire others to complete college, while offering the ultimate incentive to five lucky winners – a free education.

Source: Carol Traynor, Marketing & Strategic Communications

classes for bachelor’s degree program in radiology set to begin this fall

Valencia is rolling out a new degree program this fall – one that will give students in the health profession a chance to earn their bachelor’s degree.

One of only two bachelor’s degrees offered at Valencia, the Bachelor of Science in Radiological Imaging Science will begin online classes this fall. Students who earn their bachelor’s degree in radiology science can boost their earnings, in some cases significantly, depending on the field they work in.

According to a 2007 salary survey from the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, a student who earns an associate’s degree in radiography earns an average starting salary of $46,376, while a student who holds a bachelor’s degree in the field earns between $64,000 and $85,744 a year.

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in radiography also gives current sonographers and radiographers a chance to move into administration and management jobs, said Penny Conners, dean of Valencia’s Division of Allied Health. The bachelor’s program will allow the students to specialize in high-demand areas of the radiology field, such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and quality management.

The University of Central Florida offered the B.S. program in radiology science, but dropped it in July 2009 because of state budget cuts. Valencia has picked up the program – and that’s good news for students. Why? Because the estimated cost of four years of study for a bachelor’s degree in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences at Valencia would be $13,554. The estimated cost at a state university would be $19,308. The cost at a private school could be as high as $37,120.

To sign up for courses for the new bachelor’s degree in radiography, students must have completed their associate in science degree and must have passed the national certification exam.

Most of the courses will be taught online, Conners said, which makes the program ideal for those who are already working in the field, but want to earn their bachelor’s degree. “There’s only one course doing clinical work” – a practicum – “so it’s very doable, even if you’re a full-time employee,” Conners said.

Meanwhile, demand for employees with a bachelor’s degree in radiology should continue to be strong. By 2014, there will be 801 project job openings in the field of radiology in Orange, Osceola, Lake, Sumter and Seminole counties, according to Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.

“It’s a good opportunity,” Conners said, adding that the bachelor’s degree program fits Valencia’s mission of serving both its students and the community. “A community college still brings that ability for someone in the community to advance themselves professionally.”

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

valencia to break ground in osceola county

Valencia College will break ground on a new $35 million building on its Osceola Campus in a ceremony Thursday, Sept. 22. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 9:15 a.m.

The new four-story building, designated Building 4, will be the largest building on any Valencia campus – with 150,000 square feet in academic and support space. The campus is off East U.S. Highway 192 and Denn John Boulevard in Kissimmee.

 Expected to open to students in spring of 2013, the building will house the campus library, cafeteria, bookstore, classrooms, science labs and a learning support center that will contain tutoring stations, computers and small-group study rooms.

Designed in Southern California “mission style” architecture, the building has two wings attached by a four-story atrium. The library also features a curved, two-story space with windows overlooking the lawn and commons area.

The building was designed by Hunton Brady Architects. Clancy & Theys is the project’s construction manager.

Landscaping and gathering spaces were considered an integral part of the design, said Kathleen Plinske, president of the Osceola Campus. “Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, we’re so crowded that there aren’t good places for students to spend time with their friends or with professors on campus,” Plinske said.

So Plinske, along with Valencia’s president, Sanford Shugart, and the design team from Hunton Brady Architects, designed the building around a green space – creating a “Jeffersonian” lawn, similar to that found at the University of Virginia.

 “Dr. Shugart was thinking of a plaza space, with student activities, seating areas, and even outdoor learning areas,” said Hunton Brady vice president Maurizio Maso. “That’s how we ended up locating the cafeteria on one end, with a loggia or covered area, looking out into the green space. And on the other end of the building, we have a terrace, looking out into the student commons area.”

The outdoor space will also include three outdoor courtyards, which will feature benches, power outlets, wireless Internet and six-foot-tall glass slabs that will serve as whiteboards for students and instructors.

 Because the building will have a variety of energy-efficient and green features, such as high-efficiency air-conditioning systems, dual-flush toilets and green materials used in the floors, walls and ceilings, Valencia officials are aiming for the building to be certified as a LEED Silver facility. If it receives that certification, it will be the fourth building at Valencia College to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED facility.

 In addition to the energy-saving features inside Building 4, the landscaping plan will use native plants, which require less irrigation.val The new building will also house a cistern to capture rainwater and re-use it.

 The University of Central Florida, which operates a regional campus at Valencia’s Osceola campus, committed $7.5 million to the project. In return, the new building will contain 12 classrooms for UCF, plus an office suite for administration and faculty members.

In conjunction with the groundbreaking, Valencia is also announcing the sale of engraved bricks, which will be embedded in the entry courtyard of Building 4. Each brick will sell for $100; a portion of the money from the brick sales will be used to support scholarships for Osceola County students. For details, go to

In conjunction with the groundbreaking, Valencia is also announcing the sale of engraved bricks, which will be embedded in the entry courtyard of Building 4. Each brick will sell for $100; a portion of the money from the brick sales will be used to support scholarships for Osceola County students. For details, go to

The Osceola Campus, founded in 1997, is Valencia’s third largest campus, with about 12,000 students. Osceola is Valencia’s fastest-growing campus, where enrollment has nearly doubled in the last five years.

Reposted from Thursday, Sept 15, 2011 Around Osceola article.

fall musical at valencia: the drowsy chaperone

This magical performance will transport you from the living room of a die-hard musical theater fan into a dazzling 1920’s theratical musical.   

This musical-within-a-play is anything but drowsy! Get your tickets online now.

7:30 p.m. curtain – October 21, 22, 27, 28, 29
2:00 p.m. curtain – October 23 and 30

In 2006 The Drowsy Chaperone, a homage to jazz musicals, won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score with many featured actors/actresses nominated.   

Click Here To Purchase Tickets

For more information about Valencia’s 2011-2012 Arts Season please click on the image above or visit:

student video contest

Five winners will get free tuition (up to 60 credit hours, does not include books) for the remainder of their two-year associate degrees at Valencia.

Valencia College is offering students who recently attended Valencia a visual voice!

Through a video contest students are asked to share goals, challenges, struggles and motivations in answering two questions: Why College? Why Valencia?

Five student winners, no matter where they are in pursuit of a degree, will receive the remainder of their coursework at Valencia (up to 60 credit hours).

For more information please visit, see contest information below or go online at:

Contest Instructions

Why College? Why Valencia? Submit a video sharing your answers. Tell us your story and you could be one of five students to win a free education at Valencia College. No matter where you are in pursuit of your degree, we’ll pay for the rest of your coursework at Valencia (up to 60 credit hours). We want to hear about your goals, challenges, struggles and motivations. This is your chance to share your story, inspire others and have the rest of your Valencia associate degree paid for!

Prize Details

Five winners will get free tuition (up to 60 credit hours, does not include books) for the remainder of their two-year associate degrees at Valencia.

Contest Starts: September 01, 2011 @ 12:00 pm (ET)

Contest Ends: October 21, 2011 @ 12:00 pm (ET)

Prize Eligibility: The contest is open to students who are currently enrolled at Valencia College or who have taken a course at Valencia College (or Valencia Community College) within the last five years (after January 2006). Only persons residing in the United States who are at least 18 years of age can enter. You will need your Valencia ID (VID) or a Valencia email address to enter.

Need more Details? Read the Official Rules

About the Company: For Frequently Asked Questions please visit here.


Valencia president to perform at Orlando Science Center

He may not be the next American Idol, but Valencia president Sandy Shugart will show off his guitar chops in an upcoming performance at the Orlando Science Center.

On Aug. 20, Shugart will perform some of his original songs at the Orlando Science Center, where the museum is currently hosting the traveling exhibit, “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World.”

Shugart’s performance will be part of the science center’s quarterly Cocktails & Cosmos event.  The August event, “Where Science Meets Mystique,” offers adult guests a chance to experience Arabic culture – in celebration of the new big-screen film, “Arabia,” which is opening in the science center’s Dr. Phillips CineDome theater.

An accomplished musician and poet, Dr. Shugart has performed for crowds worldwide

A published poet and songwriter, Shugart will be performing on a performance stage inside the “Guitar” exhibit. The event opens at 7 p.m.; Shugart performs at 8 p.m.

Shugart has performed in acoustic and folk-rock venues in California, Texas, the Midwest and Canada. In recent years, he has combined his musical life as a singer-songwriter with his speaking life as an academic, weaving songs and poems into his speeches.

Shugart has completed three recording projects over the past 10 years and has a fourth CD ready for release this fall, available through or direct from Flat Foot Records.

The Cocktails & Cosmos event will run from 7 to 11 p.m. and is only for those ages 18 and up. Admission is $13 per person and includes admission to the Guitar exhibit. Admission is free for science center members.

“GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World,” explores the history and evolution of the guitar-from lutes and lyres to modern high-tech instruments-and show how the instrument became the cultural symbol it is today. It will be on display at the science center until Sept.  11.

And, in case there’s a quiz later, remember this: Shugart plays a Taylor Custom Concert Grand Auditorium guitar.

The Orlando Science Center is located at 777 East Princeton St., Orlando. For more information about Cocktails & Cosmos, contact Heide Evans at 407-514-2036 or visit

internship reflections…

The following post was contributed by our intern for the past two semesters, Ben Kuykendall. Ben is studying for his Master of Nonprofit Management Degree at the University of Central Florida and will be graduating in December. We asked Ben to write a reflection on his internship experience and this is what he had to say.

“My internship experience at Valencia Foundation has made a significant contribution to my career development. Before interning with Valencia, my experience working in nonprofit organizations was limited, and my passion to make a difference outweighed my knowledge of how to do so effectively. After spending the last 7 months learning under the staff at Valencia Foundation, I can say with confidence that I am prepared to enter the challenging field of nonprofit management and contribute to an organization’s success.

Our handsome young intern, Ben.

Before interning at Valencia I knew little of how to actually go about raising support for a worthy cause. Sure, I had read about what was expected in my textbooks, but I had no direct experience and, to be honest, the idea of asking for money intimidated me a bit. Taking part in the various aspects of development and donor relations for Valencia Foundation gave me the experience, and with it the confidence, necessary to overcome any hesitation I may have had about developing support.

Whether I was writing letters to donors, organizing information in the Raiser’s Edge database, managing the Wall of Scholars donor recognition program, or even creating my own grant proposal, the foundation staff was there every step of the way; guiding me in my projects, while giving me the freedom to learn and take ownership of my work.

I can’t think of a better introduction to nonprofit management than to have interned with Valencia Foundation for the past two semesters. The work I was given was meaningful and applicable to my degree program and eventual career goals, but the people I was able to work under are who made my time as rewarding as it was. Specifically, Donna Marino, manager of donor stewardship, poured into me her wealth of knowledge and experience. Donna showed me daily how to effectively maintain relationships with donors and, most importantly, how enjoyable and how rewarding working for the benefit of others can be.

Armed with the knowledge and experience passed down to me from Valencia Foundation’s 37 years of success, I’m much more prepared now to begin my career in nonprofit management after graduation this December.

Thanks Valencia Foundation!”

Ben Kuykendall

Master of Nonprofit Management Candidate

University of Central Florida

professor receives fulbright award to teach in russia

Steve Cunningham, professor of English as a Second Language for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Valencia College’s Osceola Campus, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach in Russia during the 2011-2012 academic year, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Cunningham will be teaching at the Humanities and Technology Institute, a branch of Orenburg State University, in the city of Orsk. His three-month trip will be focused on training current and future high school English teachers in Russia how to best incorporate educational technology into their English language instruction.

While this will be his first trip to Russia, Cunningham is no stranger to teaching English to non-native speakers. In his 26 years as an educator, he has worked as an English as a Second Language instructor, intensive English program coordinator, international programs director, curriculum designer, and has conducted teacher training at Valencia and other colleges both in the U.S. and abroad.

Cunningham is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2011-2012.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education and athletics. Forty-three Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes. Prominent Fulbright alumni include: Muhammad Yunus, managing director and founder, Grameen Bank, and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient; John Atta Mills, president of Ghana; Lee Evans, Olympic gold medalist; Ruth Simmons, president, Brown University; Riccardo Giacconi, physicist and 2002 Nobel Laureate; Amar Gopal Bose, chairman and founder, Bose Corporation; Renée Fleming, soprano; Jonathan Franzen, writer; and Daniel Libeskind, architect.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

dance summer repertory concert will showcase student performances and guest choreography

Valencia College will hold its 11th Annual Dance Summer Repertory Concert on July 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) in the Performing Arts Center on Valencia’s East Campus.

The concert will showcase the work of Valencia students enrolled in the Associate in Arts Dance Performance program and will include choreography from faculty and guest artists, including alumni from the dance program. Also, students from Valencia’s Summer Dance Institute will participate in the performance.

The Valencia Summer Dance Institute is a four-week program that provides free quality dance instruction to high school students from Central Florida. Participating students are given the opportunity to work with college and guest instructors in the areas of dance and costume.

Choreographers for this year’s Dance Summer Repertory Concert include: Leslie Brasseux Rodgers, Valencia’s artistic director; Jeanne Travers and John Parks, dance professors from the University of South Florida; Sarah Harkness-Sebastian, guest choreographer; Casey Saxon, dance adjunct faculty member at Valencia; Emily Cordell, Ashley Hymson, Nikki Peña and Jessica Smith, alumnae of Valencia’s Dance Performance A.A. Pre-Major; and Alayna Catella, a current student in Valencia’s Dance Performance A.A. Pre-Major.

Ticket prices are $8 for the general public and $6 for senior citizens and Valencia students, faculty and staff.

The East Campus is located at 701 North Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. For further information and tickets, please call the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 407-582-2900 or visit

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing and Strategic Communications

valencia professors love for math knows no borders

Cliff Morris retired from Valencia in 2005, but that doesn’t mean that his days as an educator are over. In fact, the former West Campus dean of mathematics is back in front of the classroom—it just happens that the classroom is halfway across the world— in South Africa.

Cliff's students at Portland High School, Cape Town, South Africa

As often as three times a year, Morris makes the trip to Cape Town, South Africa, where he teaches mathematics to students at Portland High School for two and three week intervals. “I connect with educators around the world, especially in South Africa,” said Morris. “They have the same concerns and challenges that we do. They don’t have enough teachers or enough resources. That’s where I can help.”

Morris first realized his calling in South Africa back in 2000, when he traveled there through a nonprofit group called People to People International. He joined 37 other U.S. math educators for 10 days to tour South African schools and meet with education officials. Wanting to help improve the state of education there, Morris and the other group members asked how they could be of assistance. They were told to share their expertise in the classroom. Morris decided to do just that, making his first solo-teaching trip to Portland High in 2002 and sparking a long-term relationship with the school.While Morris’s trips to Portland High have become routine, his experiences there certainly haven’t. Sometimes he’ll spend an entire visit assisting one teacher, other times he’ll hop around from class to class. Oftentimes he ends up being the on-call math substitute, stepping in to teach anything from algebra to calculus.

In addition to teaching, Morris has helped in many other ways. In the beginning, this meant raising funds for students’ tuition. (In South Africa, even public schools charge tuition, which can range from $30 a year, to $300, depending on the school.) Eventually though, he felt he could make a more lasting impact by helping to bring more resources to the school. The first thing that Morris accomplished was to get Texas Instruments to donate graphing calculators to the school. He and other volunteers also painted classrooms to cover graffiti, outfitted classrooms with new cabinets and chalkboards, and got the school its own router and server so that it could receive quicker Internet access.

One of the biggest resources that Morris has brought, and continues to bring, to South African schools is more volunteer instructors. Morris partnered with some of his colleagues from his first trip to create the Volunteer Education Support 4 Africa Trust, or VES4A. The purpose of the trust is to create a cross-educational exchange program where U.S. educators can travel to South Africa to teach both the students and instructors there.

By focusing on collaboration and remaining constructive rather than critical, Morris and the other visiting instructors are able to have the greatest influence. “We don’t want to export the common philosophy that America’s way is the best way,” said Morris. “We’re there to export help.” It is this philosophy that has made Morris a welcomed visitor, colleague and friend to Portland High and the students and faculty there. Lending a hand is a tradition that he hopes to continue long into his retirement. “I was fortunate that I got paid for 30 years to do something I loved and fortunate to be able to continue on,” said Morris. “I retired at 52 and at 58 I can still travel, get around fluidly, and I have the pleasure to teach— so I do.”

Source: Melissa Tchen Valencia Vitae

valencia is again top producer of associate degrees in nation

For the second year in a row, Valencia Community College ranks first in the nation in the number of associate degrees awarded by a community college. The ranking was published on Monday by Community College Week.

The report was compiled using preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and focused on degrees conferred during the 2009-2010 academic year. In that year, Valencia awarded 6,303 associate degrees, including 2,650 earned by minority students.

“Valencia’s focus on improving student success, particularly in the critical first year of college, is paying off,” said Valencia president Sanford C. Shugart. “The rankings also underscore the role Valencia plays as the primary entry point to a college education in our region.”

Also noteworthy, the college ranks second in the number of degrees awarded to Hispanic students and third in the number awarded to African Americans.

Aside from overall associate degrees conferred, Valencia ranked high across a number of academic disciplines: first in the number of degrees awarded in general studies, 9th in registered nursing and 18th in engineering technology.

Valencia offers three types of degrees: the Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.) and the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. The A.A. degree parallels the first two years of a four-year bachelor’s degree. In Florida, graduates with an A.A. degree are guaranteed acceptance as juniors into the state university system.

A long-standing partnership between Valencia and the University of Central Florida has contributed to Valencia’s transfer rate, considered to be among the highest in the country. DirectConnect to UCF guarantees Valencia grads acceptance and accelerated admission to the university. Since the program’s inception in 2006, approximately 45,000 students have indicated that they are DirectConnect to UCF students.

On July 1, Valencia will drop “community” from its name and become Valencia College. Starting in August, it will expand its offerings to include several bachelor’s degrees.

Source:  Carol Traynor

construction set to begin on lake nona campus

On Wednesday, June 22, Valencia College will break ground on the first building of its new Lake Nona Campus, opening opportunities for students to study biomedical and life sciences and earn their associate degrees.

Located in the northeast quadrant of Lake Nona’s “medical city,” the campus will join UCF’s medical school, the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center.

“We are delighted to bring a campus to the Lake Nona community that will allow us to expand our course offerings and develop new programs to support the unique economic development needs of the region,” said Kathleen Plinske, president of the Lake Nona and Osceola campuses.

In addition to offering advanced science and math courses leading to the A.A. degree, the campus will focus on meeting the technical training and employment needs of the surrounding research facilities and hospitals, as well as Orlando International Airport.

Valencia has offered college courses in a wing of Lake Nona High School since 2009, both to the general community and through its Collegiate Academy, where high school students can enroll in advanced placement and dual enrollment courses leading to an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree. There are currently 364 students enrolled in the Collegiate Academy, and 9 out of the top 10 students at Lake Nona High School are Collegiate Academy members.

When it opens in August of 2012, the three-story, 83,000 square-foot building will contain 18 classrooms, six science labs, a library, a bookstore, small café and administrative offices.

Built at a cost of $21.7 million, this is the first of four buildings proposed for the campus, which will eventually accommodate about 5,000 students and total a minimum of 250,000 square feet.

The campus features an environmentally friendly design based on specifications set by Green Building Initiatives, a Portland, Oregon based non-profit. “Green” features include energy saving lights and air conditioning, reflective roofing materials, recycled construction materials and native landscaping that requires very little piped irrigation.

The Lake Nona Campus website has additional information:

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

new online scholarship application

Valencia Foundation offers a new online scholarship application that makes it even easier for our students to access essential financial support as they juggle their coursework with family and professional responsibilities.

Scholarships may be specific to a degree, program, profession or demographic. They may include community service, academic achievement or financial-need components. Each one is a little different so students will qualify. Fall-semester decisions will be made over the summer, and new funds also are available throughout the year.

Students can visit and complete to complete the application and essay online.

Valencia Foundation scholarships represent the leadership, investment, and kindness of philanthropic individuals, corporations and organizations that are deeply rooted in our community.  In the past three years, we’ve disbursed more than $10 million in private scholarships.

If you have any questions about online scholarship application please contact Celica Cofield.  If you would like more information on how you can establish a Valencia scholarship or have questions regarding the Valencia Foundation please contact Donna Marino at 407-582-3128.

student life at valencia college

Clubs and Organizations

Clubs and Organizations

Valencia offers more than 60 groups, clubs and organizations, including clubs for movie, book, art and animal lovers, clubs for African-American, Latino, Caribbean and Muslim students, career interest groups, student government and Valencia Volunteers. We also offer intramural sports and campus fitness centers for aspiring athletes and those who just want to stay in shape.

Campus Activities
Campus Activities

From film festivals to music and dance concerts, plays, guest speakers and cultural events, there’s always something happening on Valencia’s campuses.

The biggest student event is Matador Day, a festival held each fall. A long-standing tradition, this fun-filled event features music, food, games and contests. (Little known fact: the matador is Valencia’s mascot.)

Student Life

Around Town

Year-round sunshine, local theme parks and nearby beaches have made Central Florida a vacation destination – and a great place to live. As a Valencia student, Disney, Universal, Islands of Adventure and SeaWorld will practically be in your backyard, along with more than 5,000 restaurants and shopping destinations like Mall at Millennia, Florida Mall and the outlet stores.

For a more local experience, there’s also downtown Orlando, which is home to unique arts venues and a thriving music scene. If sports are your thing, you can cheer on the UCF Knights at their new football stadium nearby the East Campus or catch a Magic game at the completed Amway Arena in downtown Orlando.


what is

LifeMap is a student's guide to figuring out "what to do when" in order to complete their career and education goals.

MeInTheMaking is part of Valencia’s LifeMap program and is a way to reach student who are experiencing Valencia as new college students and assist in setting and achieving goals.  However, LifeMap is not just for ‘new’ students!

LifeMap links all of the components of Valencia (faculty, staff, courses, technology, programs, services) into a personal itinerary to help students succeed in their college experience. LifeMap is a student’s guide to figuring out “what to do when” in order to complete their career and education goals.

Students have access to LifeMap web resources, online planning tools, and connections to people and college services through Atlas.  Atlas is Valencia’s online system that allows a student to receive e–mail and check student record information using a secure personal identification number and can be accessed at

The website is aimed at increasing students’ understanding and use of LifeMap and the many resources available to help them set and achieve goals at Valencia.

Students will notice environmental graphics/murals on all the campuses that reinforce LifeMap messages and drive interest in the MeInTheMaking website.     The LifeMap tools—My Job Prospects, My Career Planner, My Education Plan, My Portfolio and My Financial Planner—are avialble to all student through their Atlas account!

register for fall classes now!

Need help registering for classes? Here are some helpful tips on how to get ready for the fall semester.

Atlas Web Registration
The Atlas system provides Web registration at Valencia . Point your Web browser to and follow the directions to log on. On campus, you can use the Atlas Access Labs in the Student Services Building on the East Campus (Building 5, Room 213), West Campus (Student Services Building, Room 142), Osceola Campus (Building 1, Room 151), and Winter Park Campus (Building 1, Room 220). Atlas registration provides current class listings and a search feature to find the courses you need. Students with holds cannot use Atlas registration until the holds have been cleared. Help is available in the Atlas Access Labs and through the AskAtlas site in Atlas. If you have a hold on your account, please visit the Answer Center.

Wait List:
Some departments use a wait list to prioritize seat availability. If a course that you want has a wait list, you must add your name to the wait list from the drop-down menu that will appear when you attempt to register. Wait listed students will be notified via their Atlas e-mail account as seats become available. You will have a limited time to respond to the e-mail or the seat will be offered to the next wait listed student. Important: Check your Atlas e-mail account frequently. Please note that if you needed to get an override in order to register for a course, you will NOT be able to add your self to a wait list for that course on Atlas. You must come in person to the Answer Center so a Student Services Specialist can manually add you to the wait listed course.

Assisted Registration
Assisted registration is a limited option for registering on campus. Course selection and required approvals are entered by a Student Services Specialist in the Answer Center. Assisted registration is only an option for senior citizens, internship placement students, students who wish to audit a course, and students who received a course override and need to be added to a wait list. All other students must register for courses on their Atlas account.

Dual Enrollment Registration
Dual enrolled high school students may only register for classes by:

  • Contacting the Dual Enrollment Office at (407) 582-1600 or visiting the office on West Campus in SSB-132.

Class Cancellation
Classes may be canceled during registration due to low enrollment or the ability to find a qualified instructor. If a course is canceled, every effort will be made to notify the students involved and to help them find a suitable substitute class. Notifications will be sent to students’ Atlas e-mail account. Important: Check your Atlas e-mail account frequently.

Need additional info? Visit

valencia students wins addy

Valencia Community College students and five Orlando organizations and took top place at American Advertising Federation’s Annual ADDY award ceremony in Miami on May 1.

A graphic design student, Jaclyn Steinberg, took top place at the American Advertising Federation’s District Addy Awards. Jaclyn’s winning entry, a 1950s-style anti-smoking campaign, goes on to compete at the national show in San Diego June 4. Our fingers are crossed that she’ll win! Another student, Brian Nutt, won a silver Addy award for a logo design.
Gold Addy winners were: Acropolis, Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group, Florida Hospital, Red Rocket Studios, Universal Orlando Resort and Jaclyn Steinberg, students at Valencia Community College.

For a complete list, click here.

The winners move on to the national competition in San Diego June 4.

Full article at Orlando Business Journal
Read more: 6 win district gold ADDY awards | Orlando Business Journal

valencia and directconnect to ucf

Why DirectConnect at Valencia?  If a student is planning to transfer to the University of Central Florida after completing an associate degree at Valencia, Direct Connect helps to ensure a smooth transition to UCF after graduation.


    • Guaranteed admission to a bachelor’s degree program at UCF.
    • Preferential admission to select bachelor’s degree programs at UCF.
    • Joint advising from UCF and Valencia help ensure a smooth transition.
    • UCF staff available on-site at Valencia’s West and Osceola campuses to help with advising, admissions, financial aid and academic support.
    • Can take your UCF courses at the main campus or on Valencia’s West or Osceola campuses.
For more information please visit online at: Valencia/UCF DirectConnect FAQ

student gives thanks!

As a student from a single-parent household, with an immigrant parent, paying for school is a big concern of mine. Without the aid of outside funds such as scholarships and grants, I would not be able to dedicate the majority of my time to achieving academic excellence. Instead, I would have to work a full-time job to earn money to go to school and support my other expenses that stem from adulthood. I am grateful to be a recipient of your scholarship, and your assistance has motivated me to continue to reach for my goals.  

T. Harvey
2010/11 Scholarship Recipient

traditions! class songs and class support

2010-2011 Class Songs & Class Support

Raise Your Glass
I Made It

This year three, yes 3, songs have been selected to play at commencement – celebration at its best after the years of hard work! Plug in and preview Firework, Raise Your Glass, and I Made It here!

A 2nd tradition is continued this year: current students along with past alumni are working together to help future Valencia students attend college.

Any gift to support students, no matter how large or modest will help a future Valencia Student! You have many ways to contribute to the 2010-2011 class gift – in any amount!

  • Drop off your cash or check donation in any amount at the Alumni Relations Office (407-582-5483) on West Camppus in the Special Events Center – Building 8
  • Have card will travel? Make a credit card donation of any type by filling out the online form.
  • Just the text – feel free to text VALENCIA to 20222 to make a $10 one-time donation that will appear on your next phone bill.
  • Or donate $10 at and enter your phone number – don’t forget to reply YES on your cell.

Your help with the student effort is needed and appreciated!

Text VALENCIA to 20222 to donate $10. Or visit and simply enter your cell phone number. Donations will be applied to Valencia’s Student Government Association Scholarship. Visit for more details.

A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. All donations must be authorized by the account holder. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of Valencia Community College by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at Messaging & Data Rates May Apply. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to short code 20222; text HELP to 20222 for help.

parent information sessions

If you are the parent of a graduating high school senior you are encouraged to attend on of our Valencia parent information sessions

These evening sessions are scheduled on all campuses throughout the month of May. 

Information will be provided on multiple areas of interest including: Residency, Financial Aid, Orientation, Testing and more.

For session dates and to register online please visit the PARENT INFORMATION website at

bachelor’s degrees come to valencia

Valencia launches its own bachelor’s degree programs for the first time in its history this fall, with electrical and computer engineering technology and radiologic and imaging science. They add to an already strong presence of bachelor’s programs offered through UCF’s regional campus at Valencia. They also are in high demand by Valencia students and lead to well-paying jobs in stable industries—health care and high technology.

Similar bachelor’s degrees had been offered by the University of Central Florida until July of 2009, when budget cuts forced the university to eliminate the programs. The B.S. in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences will offer concentrations in Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Quality Management. The degree will primarily be offered through online courses for the flexibility they offer to working health-care professionals.

The program aligns with associate degree programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Radiography already offered by Valencia. The B. S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology will have concentrations in Computer Systems, Electrical/Electronic Systems and Laser and Photonics. It aligns with the A.S. in Electronics Engineering Technology and the A.A. in Engineering. The curriculum prepares graduates for engineering occupations related to electrical/ electronics, computer systems, digital electronics, digital and wireless communication and lasers and optics.

Reprinted from Valencia Vitae, Spring 2011

valencia expands influence through study abroad programs

While Valencia may be known as a Community College for a few more months, it has already established a global influence. Valencia students looking to expand their horizons as well as their job opportunities have traveled to Denmark, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and even as far as China through existing programs and faculty-led projects. In an effort to produce graduates who will keep the United States competitive in a global economy, Valencia works to help students “learn to appreciate and value different ways of doing things”, according to Jennifer Robertson, director of Valencia’s Study Abroad and Global Experiences (SAGE) program.

Educators maintain that spending time immersed in a foreign culture greatly impacts students’ lives and career choices, gives them a wider perspective on the world, and allows them to relate in a genuine way to people from many different cultures. All of these benefits and more have led to Valencia’s decision to expand study-abroad opportunities.

Through SAGE, Valencia has partnered with Community Colleges for International Development, Inc. and the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, among others, to provide opportunities for students to learn through cultural immersion. One trip in particular, to the Dominican Republic, has spawned follow-up efforts at home to assist those in great need overseas. Valencia student Vanessa Hornedo sold handmade jewelry at local events and also contributed to a student written book “In Our Village” that is sold to raise scholarship funds for Dominican students. Lana Powell, the Valencia professor who accompanied students on that trip, has found that her experiences abroad translate into powerful learning tools that she often includes in lectures to fortify her teaching.

Whether a short term class trip, service learning project, semester program, or student exchange opportunity, Valencia students can easily select the study abroad option that best suits their needs. Currently students can study in over 45 countries as well as U.S. Territories Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The average cost of a short-term study abroad trip is $3,000, with semester long programs ranging from $5,000 – $15,000+. Scholarships are available to help fund trips and in many cases financial aid applies toward payment for study abroad.

For more information, visit; or

taste for learning: april 2, 2011

Yes, tickets are hot for this event!  A Taste for Learning, April 2, 2011 at Rosen Shingle Creek is our second  joint philanthropic event between Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida.

Vintners from around the around the globe bring their finest wines and spirits, local donor chefs fire up the grills to provide their best cuisine, and hundreds of supporters gather for an evening of fellowship and shopping for gifts, trips and experiences. The formula unites partners who donate every product for the event, including the venue, media, décor, food, wine and auction items.

The result? 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts will go directly to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling a donor’s investment.

Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

Become a Silent Auction Gift-In-Kind Sponsor
Become a Sponsor

Tickets are $125 each or $200 for a couple. Check out or call 407.582.3128 for more details.

3 in motion

Kristin Anthony (from left), Christin Carlow and Cara Carper perform Yow Dance's "Empty," part of the "3 in Motion" program. (photo by Selena Moshell)

Yow Dance, Valencia Dance Theatre and Dr. Phillips students team for ‘3 in Motion’

A trio of dance organizations bands together tonight for “3 in Motion,” a free production on the first day of ArtsFest, the annual festival of arts and culture run by United Arts of Central Florida.

The twist to “3 in Motion”? Each group is at a different level of development: The dancers come from the Dr. Phillips High School dance magnet program, Valencia Dance Theatre at Valencia Community College and Yow Dance, an Orlando professional company.

“The idea is to really get the three different groups intermixed,” says Eric Yow, artistic director of Yow Dance.

During the show, each group performs numbers from its repertory — but what the public sees is just the final event in a three-day educational program.

Beginning Wednesday, the companies met for dress rehearsals, master classes, mini-performances for Dr. Phillips students and a sometimes emotional discussion about life as a dancer.

“The room kind of sizzles” during the discussion session, says Kathy Follensbee, dance director at Dr. Phillips High.

Yow says the students are transfixed by stories from the real world: “They have it from the horse’s mouth — because these [professional] dancers are doing it, are living it.”

In past years, the professionals have become emotional when discussing the challenges in their careers.

“Some of my dancers really opened up,” Yow says. “It was a real heartfelt discussion. Some of the dancers cried.”

The students soak up an incredible amount of knowledge in a short time, Follensbee says, from technique to how to behave professionally during a warm-up session.

“Any time you work with people of a higher caliber, it raises your game,” she says.

The enthusiasm of one group ignites the others, says Suzanne Salapa, director of dance at Valencia Community College.

“We all eat, sleep and breathe dance,” Salapa says. “We share the same belief system — to get dance out in Orlando.”

Because each troupe has its own flair, the “3 in Motion” program lets the audience experience a variety of contemporary styles. “It becomes really special because it’s about education — not only for the three companies but for the community,” Follensbee says.

The joint performance perfectly represents the collaborative nature of ArtsFest, says Margot Knight, United Arts president.

“The more you get creative minds together, the better the product,” Knight says. “When we get creative people in a room together exciting things happen — and audiences like it when exciting things happen.”

See for yourself

  • What: ‘3 in Motion’ contemporary dance program
  • When: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday
  • Where: Dr. Phillips High School Performing Arts Center, 6500 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando
  • Tickets: Free. Go to and click on “Schedule.” Then scroll to page 8 of the schedule and click on the “Tickets are limited” icon.
  • Call: 407-355-3200


q & a: valencia foundation

Wonder how Valencia Foundation supports Valencia Community College?  Below are frequently asked questions and answers.

Have a question about the Valencia Foundation not answered here?   Please feel free to reach out:
Donna Marino, Valencia Foundation
407-582-3128 or 407-582-3150

the search for a nonviolent future: author michael nagler to speak at valencia

How can we foster peace in our families and our world?

Michael M. Nagler, a professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley and internationally recognized scholar on the subject of nonviolence, will offer some suggestions during a free lecture at Valencia Community College’s East Campus on January 25 at 1 p.m.

In light of recent events in Arizona, where violence marred the lives of so many, the topic is a particularly timely one.

Prior to the lecture, the college will host a reception in the atrium of Bldg. 3, followed by a book signing. The East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

Nagler’s book, “The Search for a Nonviolent Future,” which received a 2002 American Book Award, explores the history of nonviolence and attempts to offer alternatives to confronting violence—both for individuals and societies as a whole.

The event is being presented by the University Club of Orlando Endowed Chair, the East Campus Humanities Speakers Series, and the Peace and Justice Initiative.

To read more Valencia news, please go to

Source: Carol Traynor, Marketing & Strategic Communications

ten for 2010

What were the highlights for Valencia in 2010? While there were many things accomplished, these would certainly qualify for the short list.

1.  Professor James May was chosen Florida Association of Community College’s Professor of the Year.

2.  We added bachelor’s degrees for the first time.

3.  We broke through to #1 in most associate degrees awarded in the country.

4.  We smashed records in financial aid, awarding $156,064,210, up almost a million dollars from ’09.

5.  We had our first Jack Kent Cooke scholar, Mikhail Elliott, who scored a $90,000 scholarship.

6.  Our new classroom building jointly used by UCF opened.

7.  Two of our students (Charnee Ball and Kathryn McCormick) were chosen from 200 contestants to appear in a video series called, “Take America to College.”

8.  Kathleen Plinske, Pepperdine grad and one of 24 Emerging Leaders in the world according to Phi Delta Kappa International, was named to head the Osceola Campus and Valencia at Lake Nona High School.

9.  We launched a new joint Valencia/UCF architecture degree in the fall.

10.  Valencia went greener than ever thanks in part to custodial supervisor Jerry Cochran. Valencia’s recycling program has reduced its carbon footprint by saving 5,931 trees, 132,744 gallons of oil, 1047 cubic yards of landfill space, 1,395,520 kilowatts of energy, and 2.44 million gallons of water.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

help with free application for federal student aid (FAFSA)

For current or potential students, this workshop is an opportunity to receive expert help completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Please see below for registration and what you’ll need to bring.

East Campus click here to register
January 21, 2011, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Bldg. 4, Room 122 – Driving Directions

West Campus
click here to register
January 21, 2011, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., SSB, Room 142 – Driving Directions

Osceola Campus click here to register
Feburary 18, 2011, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Bldg. 2, Room 115 – Driving Directions

What to do prior to coming:

  • Students and Parents need to sign up for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at

What you need to bring with you:

  • 2010 Income Information (taxable and untaxed income)
  • Social Security Card
  • Driver’s License
  • Alien Registration Card (eligible non-citizens)
  • Your Parent’s information for 1,2 & 3 (if you are dependent)

Online Dependency Status Worksheet

The Dependency Status Worksheet helps students determine if they need to provide parental information on the FAFSA.

Why Attend?

  • You must submit a FAFSA every year to receive financial aid.
  • Applying early every year can increase your financial aid award.
  • Valencia’s financial aid experts will assist you with the process
  • Help is available for first-time applicants and those updating their information (renewal).
  • High school is out that day anyway (Jan. 21, Orange County and Feb. 18, Osceola County)

Financial Aid Resources:

happy new year

closed for the holidays

In observation of the holiday season, Valencia Community College and Valencia Foundation offices will be closed beginning Wednesday, December 22, 2010. We will reopen on Monday, January 3, 2010.

We hope that you will consider making your year-end gift, if you are able, to support deserving individuals. Every gift – no matter how modest – will give a student a hand-up in achieving their own potential. All gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Any gift that is dated before Jan. 1, 2011 will count toward the current tax year. (Checks should be dated by Dec. 31, 2010 to qualify). You may also make a credit card donation through our secure website at

 We wish you a peaceful and blessed new year.

and the Exemplary Practice Award goes to…

Valencia VP Wins Exemplary Practice Award for Fiscal Stewardship

Keith Houck, vice president of Administrative Services for Valencia Community College, received the 2010 Exemplary Practice Award from the organization of Community College Business Officers at their Annual International Conference on November 15 in South Carolina.

The award was based on Valencia’s demonstrated excellence, under Mr. Houck’s leadership, in addressing ten key business imperatives that resulted in reduced costs, improved efficiencies and new sources of income. As a result, Valencia was able to generate more than $3 million a year in operational savings and added more than $400,000 a year from new revenue sources.

“This was really a team effort that could not have been accomplished without everyone’s assistance,” Houck said, who oversees the college’s business, financial and information resources, as well as facilities management.

The CCBO is made up of business officers and other professionals from community colleges across the U.S. and Canada.


Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Carol Traynor, 407.582.1015,

giving and receiving

Our student’s lives are impacted tremendously by the kindness of our donors. This is where your generosity makes a huge difference. Your tax-deductible donation goes 100 percent to students in need. Please visit and make a donation today.

Over the last year, Valencia has experienced tremendous growth. A look back into the college’s history revealed that in 1967 Valencia opened its doors with 567 students. Enrollment has steadily grown during the past 42 years, this last school year Valencia received a total of 67,001 students.

In this economy and with this job market, our students are more determined than ever to improve their opportunities in life, they want to give their families an optimistic view of the future.

By working a second job, cutting family expenses and packaging federal aid and scholarships, many students manage to cobble almost enough to pay tuition, often forgetting that textbooks are an additional expense and can cost just as much.

As we unwrap gifts and wrap up another year, this is the time when we think most of others. The familiar saying reminds us it is “better to give than to receive.” As the year winds to a close, I ask you to give hope.

Our student’s lives are impacted tremendously by the kindness of our donors. This is where your generosity makes a huge difference. Your tax-deductible donation goes 100 percent to students in need. A gift of $95 will purchase a textbook; $2,391 will cover tuition for one year.

To make a contribution, please visit us online at and click on >>Give Now for the secure website.  You may also send your gift to Valencia Foundation, 190 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando FL 32801. Every dollar makes a difference.

This holiday season, please take a moment and consider the gifts you would like to make – no matter how large or modest.

I wish many blessings to you and your family in the new year. 

Happy holidays!

the godfather of Valencia

Founding UCF President Remembered

The University of Central Florida’s founding president, Dr. Charles Millican passed away today. A strong supporter of Valencia during its founding and throughout the college’s development, Valencia Community College unveiled a plaque to honor Dr. Millican and the role he played when it dedicated the joint UCF-Valencia building on its West Campus last year, named the University Center.

Valencia Community College president, Sanford Shugart, issued the following statement upon learning of the higher education leader’s death at 94:

“Charles Millican, the founding president of the University of Central Florida, in 1967 endorsed the creation of a new junior college in Orlando. He was countering initial local resistance to the notion. His support helped pave the way for Valencia’s establishment. If Dr. Millican is considered the father of UCF, he also could be considered the godfather of Valencia.”

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

philanthropy: creating a legacy of learning

There are other ways to support Valencia, create student scholarships, and enhance education in our community. By naming Valencia Community College Foundation as a beneficiary through a will or amending a will with a codicil, you can make a commitment in support of education with your deferred donation.

Philanthropy has built remarkable college institutions, cured deadly diseases and continues to fund research and facilities dedicated to our health and education.  This generosity also funds religious, environmental and social efforts globally and locally.

The truth is that while many are limited by the realities of a day-to-day budget, a little careful planning today makes it possible for almost anyone to do more in the future through a planned gift. 

There are other ways to support Valencia, create student scholarships, and enhance education in our community.  By naming Valencia Community College Foundation as a beneficiary through a will or amending a will with a codicil, you can make a commitment in support of education with your deferred donation.

Valencia provides an authentic, learning-centered environment with giving, talented teaching and service-oriented professionals who care for and lead students to discover their greatest potential. 

If you haven’t already, please consider supporting the Valencia Foundation with your learning legacy, your gift makes a real difference for the students we teach and serve every day.

If you would like more information on planned giving, sample bequest language, completing a legacy gift form or just have general scholarship questions please contact Donna Marino at 407.582.3128 or e-mail

For more than 40 years, Valencia has swung open the doors of learning in Central Florida. We envision a day when no individual in our community is shut out of college because of family finances.

With your support, I believe this community can make that happen.

legal issues for the community college

The Community College Conference on Legal Issues is a dynamic three-day conference that addresses the complex issues, current trends, and legal matters unique to community colleges.  

Participants will engage with experts in the field targeted to Community College concerns.  Areas include:

  • Campus safety and emergency preparedness
  • Recruitment and hiring practices
  • Discrimination and harassment
  • Considerations of race and diversity factors
  • Student privacy issues
  • Intellectual property
  • ADA compliance
  • Employee relations
  • Social networking

This conference is designed to give knowledge updates on the constantly evolving laws that impact community colleges.  Scheduled for January 30 – February 1, 2011 at at the Gaylord Palms Resort, this event will provide information on a diverse range of legal issues.

For more information please contact Valencia’s Meeting Planning Services:

a how-to book by two Valencia professors

 Valencia Professors Write a How-To-Book for Young People Interested in Entering the Healthcare Field 

“Heads Up: Successful Strategies for Planning a Career in Health Care,” by Valencia Community College professors, Dr. Linda Speranza and Dr. Diane Reed

Have you always wanted to be a nurse? Or maybe you envision yourself as a radiologist or an EMT. If so, you could start preparing for your dream career as early as middle school with the help of a new book, “Heads Up: Successful Strategies for Planning a Career in Health Care,” by Valencia Community College professors, Dr. Linda Speranza and Dr. Diane Reed.

The 77-page pocket sized book serves as a resource for middle school and high school students (and their parents) who are interested in pursuing careers in the health care field. It provides 20 chapters, each filled with valuable tips that range from investigating the many career options within health care to which classes to take while in high school.

“One big thing that we realized was that teens were taking any kind of -ology class,” said Reed. “Things like ecology and theology are rigorous, but they’re not going to help you in the health sciences.”

Reed is an allied health professor and has been an adjunct clinical instructor at Valencia for 10 years and Speranza has been a nursing professor for 34 years. Much of the advice that they incorporate into their book came from experience gained through a grant-funded program called Pathways Into Nursing (PIN).

The PIN program, which existed from 2002 to 2005, was geared toward helping Hispanic and other minority students get on the path to becoming professional nurses. Valencia worked with students from Gateway High School, Osceola High School and Cypress Creek High School, providing qualified participants with guaranteed admission into Valencia’s registered nursing program.

“After the grant ended, we thought the book was a logical next step,” said Speranza. “We realized that a lot of parents and school guidance counselors want to help their child or student [start preparing for medical careers] but don’t know how.”

Both authors stress that the most important thing is to start the process early. They recommend that students begin the career investigation process as early as middle school. With increasing educational costs and academic requirements for admission to colleges and universities, having a clear career direction can save time and money.

Dr. Diane Reed is an experienced delivery room nurse, a clinical nursing instructor, a professor of allied health, and a career and retention strategist. She has more than 10 years of professional teaching experience in the classroom and online and more than 10 years of career planning and retention experience with middle school, high school and college students. She is also a career planning consultant for the Orlando Magic. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in nursing and health care informatics.

Dr. Linda Speranza is a nationally certified family nurse practitioner. In addition to teaching full-time at Valencia, she practices part-time in emergency departments at Bartow Regional Medical Center and Central Florida Regional Hospital, as well as in a private family practice urgent care clinic. She was recently appointed to a four-year term with the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice.

Published by Tate Publishing, “Heads Up: Successful Strategies for Planning a Career in Health Care” is available in paperback for $8.99. It can be purchased online at or

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778;

professor to influence nursing policies

Dr. Linda Speranza Appointed to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice

Orlando, Fla. – On November 17, Dr. Linda Speranza, a nursing professor at Valencia Community College’s West Campus, will attend her first meeting in Washington D.C. as a new member of the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP).

Speranza’s four-year term on NACNEP began July 1, 2010 and will end June 30, 2014. As a member of the council, she has the opportunity to influence national policy matters relating to nursing education, the nursing workforce, and improving nursing practice.

NACNEP advises and makes recommendations to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Congress on policy matters arising in the administration of Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act. Instituted in 1964 in response to a shortage of nurses, Title VIII focuses on training advanced practice nurses, increasing the number of minority and disadvantaged students enrolling in nursing programs, and improving nurse retention through career development and improved patient care systems.

NACNEP is made up of 23 members, including nursing students and professors, professional nurses, leading authorities in the various fields of nursing, and representatives of advanced education nursing groups (such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists), and hospitals and other institutions and organizations which provide nursing services.

“It’s an honor to be able to serve Valencia, our community, and now at a national level,” said Speranza. “It’s a great opportunity to serve students from a variety of backgrounds as they start their nursing career pathways from middle to high school to college and as they proceed through their professional careers.”

Dr. Linda Speranza is a nationally certified family nurse practitioner. She has been a professor at Valencia Community College for 34 years. In addition to teaching full-time at Valencia, she practices part-time in emergency departments and in private practice. She authored as well as served as director of the Pathways Into Nursing (PIN) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Grant from 2002-2005 and is co-author of a new book aimed at teens, “Heads Up: Successful Strategies for Planning a Career in Health Care.”

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778;

phoenix magazine wins big!

Valencia’s West Campus Student Art and Literary Publication, Phoenix, won “General Excellence” at the 2010 Florida Community College Press Association Magazine Competition on Friday, October 22, 2010. In addition to General Excellence award, Valencia won multiple honors in Division B, which was comprised of submissions from eight of Florida’s largest community colleges (categorized as greater than 6500 Full Time Equivalent students).

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Pick up your FREE issue of the 2009/2010 Phoenix in the lobbies of most West Campus buildings. Can’t find one? Contact Professor Jackie Zuromski in West Campus Building 3, Room 143 or by email.

For more information about Phoenix Magazine, please visit:

For the complete list of state-wide winners, download the Florida Community College Press Association Magazine Competition 2010 Awards Program (PDF).

Valencia winners include:

Poem: 1st place
Ryan Patton, “Ghost”

Poetry: 3rd place
Mark Alton, “Independence Day”
Chris Garcia, “Where Went my Forest?”
Ryan Patton, “Gentlemen”

Fiction: 3rd place
Rania Elbohy, “Starry Night”

Illustration with Text, Individual: 2nd place
Samantha Harvey, “Determination: A World at his Back”

Photo: 3rd place
Joanna Knowles, “Fall Rhapsody”

Design: 1st place
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

Editing: 3rd place
Michelle Cavanaugh

Cover: 1st place
Jody Roun, “Frame Work,” and Katie Mascarello Simari

Contents Page: 1st place
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

Staff Page: 1st place
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

Inner Circle of Excellence Award (for students placing in 3 or more categories)
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

For more information about the Florida Community College Press Association, please visit :

free art event today, Friday, Nov. 5

From Dr. Wendy L. Givoglu, Dean, Arts & Entertainment:

We are pleased to offer two free Arts & Entertainment events this Friday night, November 5th. In the Anita S. Wooten East Campus Gallery, we have the opening of Selected Fine Art Faculty featuring the works of Courtney Canova, Linda Ehmen, Michael Galletta, Kyle, Rima Jabbur, Michael Katz, Alan Maxwell, Jackie Otto-Miller, and Camilo Velasquez.  Opening reception is from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Building 3 Atrium.  Refreshments will be served.

And…in the adjacent Black Box Theater, we have our House Band Concert, a rock concert performed by students in the Commercial Ensemble class (with visual effects by students in our Digital Media program). Directed by Dr. Troy Gifford, the House Band will perform an eclectic program featuring varied artists including Alicia Keys, Radiohead, Pink, Queen, The Fugees, Whitney Houston, and Dream Theater. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Please join us, and invite your students and friends for a fun night of ART + ROCK!

celebrating a new architecture program

UCF President John Hitt and Valencia Community College President Sandy Shugart talk during Friday's ceremony.

UCF President John C. Hitt, Valencia Community College President Sandy Shugart and other academic, community and architecture leaders celebrated the inaugural class of the  unique new UCF architecture program on Friday, Oct. 15.

Forty-one students are enrolled in the 2+2+2 partnership program.

Students take two years of architecture classes at Valencia’s West Campus and receive an associate’s degree before completing the Bachelor of Design in Architecture program at UCF Valencia West.

Graduates can then remain in Central Florida to pursue a master’s degree in Architecture by enrolling in the University of Florida’s College of Design research center, Citylab-Orlando, in UCF’s downtown Center for Emerging Media.

UCF Provost Tony Waldrop, College of Arts and Humanities Dean José Fernandez and Architecture Program Director John Maudlin-Jeronimo also attended Friday’s celebration.. They recognized the region’s growing architecture community in addition to the Valencia-UCF-UF partnership.

The local chapter of the American Institute of Architects has worked closely with Valencia Community College, UCF and UF to develop the program, which will prepare students for a variety of careers, including professional architecture, construction management and industrial design.

Source: UCF Today

you can sponsor taste…

As the foundation previously blogged, A Taste for Learning returns Saturday, April 2, 2011 to the Rosen Shingle Creek – thank you Rosen for hosting our event for a third year now!

an international wine sampling & auction

This joint philanthropic event between Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida will benefit our 2+2 scholarships for DirectConnect, which guarantees Valencia graduates a seat at UCF.

This event is truly a remarkable social event. Vintners from around the around the globe bring their finest wines and spirits (thank you ABC Fine Wine and Spirits) local donor chefs fire up the grills to provide their best cuisine, and hundreds of supporters gather for an evening of fellowship and shopping for gifts, trips and experiences. The formula unites partners who donate every product for the event, including the venue, media, décor, food, wine and auction items. The result? 100 percent of all sponsorships, tickets and auction receipts will go directly to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling a donor’s investment.

Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

Become a Sponsor    
Become  a Service-In-Kind Sponsor   
Become a Silent Auction Gift-In-Kind Sponsor

Tickets go on sale soon! Check out or call 407.582.3150 for more details.

We hope to see you April 2!!!

Remember: 100 percent of each dollar given for tickets, auction items and sponsorships goes to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling your investment.

announcing the get schooled college affordability challenge

We’re pleased to announce the Get Schooled College Affordability Challenge — a national competition created in partnership with MTV for current and aspiring college students to reengineer the financial aid process.

The goal of the Challenge is to receive proposals for new digital tools that will help simplify the task of acquiring financial aid, particularly for low- and middle-income college students. This project underscores our commitment to provide innovative solutions that connect students to college success.

Singer and education advocate John Legend announced the challenge at Howard University on Sept. 16, while serving as a “stand in” professor for the day. MTV has since broadcast mtvU “Stand In” to more than 750 college campuses.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan participated in a press conference with the College Board and MTV on Oct. 4 to discuss the critical importance of higher education, a new study on the value of a college diploma, and the Challenge.

MTV General Manager Stephen Friedman said, “MTV is proud to join forces with the College Board to leverage our reach with young people nationwide to harness their creativity and make financial aid more accessible … Our hope is that this Challenge will empower students to take advantage of opportunities that can open doors to higher education.”

The Challenge’s call for submissions will run from Sept. 16 to Dec. 17, 2010. We’ll be represented on the panel of judges for the winning designs. In late January, we’ll unveil the three finalist concepts. These finalists will have the opportunity to work with world-class innovation firm frog design to iterate their ideas during a two-week period of intense creative collaboration. The winning individual or team will be rewarded with $10,000 and see their idea brought to life by MTV, the College Board and the Gates Foundation, with a development budget of up to $100,000. The final winning design will be announced in the spring of 2011.

dance on display

Valencia to Showcase Student Choreography

Valencia will present the 12th annual Choreographers’ Showcase on Friday, November 19 and Saturday, November 20 at 8:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center on Valencia’s East Campus, located at 701 North Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

The event provides a creative outlet for Valencia dance students to showcase their choreography in a variety of genres. In addition, dancers from the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance will join Valencia students on the stage this year.

Ticket prices are $8 for the general public and $6 for senior citizens and Valencia students, faculty and staff. To order, please call the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 407-582-2900 between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Source:  Marketing & Strategic Communications

endowed chair program

Valencia educators are encouraged to remain current and continually improve discipline knowledge. The endowed chair program at the Valencia Foundation, with support and resources from many community partners, provide Valencia faculty the opportunity to examine the effectiveness of their teaching, counseling, librarianship and assessment techniques as they influence student learning. 2009-2010 overview of winners:

Meet This Year’s Endowed Chair Distinguished Professors

Meet the faculty
Developing for the Droid
Dr. Colin Archibald, Computer Programming

Always one to embrace new technology, “Dr. A” is working on ways to incorporate smart phones into his coursework. Currently, he’s learning how to program for the Android operating system so that he can create online teaching materials, including screen-casts, for smart phones. He is also working on programming his own application to be sold on the Android market.

 Meet the faculty
Bringing Feature Films to Valencia
Ralph Clemente, Film Production

Ralph Clemente is a well-known name in the Florida film scene. As director of Valencia’s film program for more than 20 years, he’s brought over 35 feature film projects to Valencia, giving students the opportunity to work on-set, right alongside industry professionals. Each year, the Valencia Film Celebration showcases the latest Valencia film project as well as a variety of short subject films produced by students.

Meet the faculty
Managing Online Math Courses
Dr. Fitzroy Farquharson, Mathematics

Dr. Farquharson is currently developing a web-based program that will help students determine whether or not they are prepared to take math courses online. This way students will know what to expect from an online math course as opposed to one taught in the classroom and can decide if it’s the right mode of instruction for them. Dr. Farquharson also serves as a mentor for Valencia’s Bridges to Success program and has been named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Meet the faculty

Researching the Holocaust

Richard Gair, English and Reading

To bring first-hand experience to his course, Multimedia Literature and the Holocaust, Professor Gair has traveled the world to areas impacted by the Holocaust, including leading students on a study abroad trip to Poland and the Czech Republic. This past summer, he went to Israel to study at Yad Vashem, the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, and to serve for the third time as a volunteer for the Israeli Army.

Meet the faculty

Taking Hospitality Students to NYC

Jim Inglis, Hospitality Management

This fall, Professor Inglis will take a group of 12 hospitality students to the International Hotel and Restaurant Show in New York City where they will get to meet industry experts, witness culinary competitions and tour several hotels and restaurants. Inglis, who is on the Board of Directors for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, also took 100 students to the Florida Restaurant Show this year. He is currently helping to start a student chapter of the FRLA at Valencia.

Meet the faculty

Creating Creative Writers

Dr. Ilyse Kusnetz, English

To teach students in her Composition I and II classes about different elements of literature, Dr. Kusnetz has them write their own poems and stories. This way, students don’t just learn to identify elements such as figurative language, symbolism, setting, and allusion, but to use them as well. Dr. Kusnetz is also exploring the possibility of launching an A.A. degree in creative writing at Valencia.

Meet the faculty

Putting the App in Apple

Dr. Lisa Macon, Information Technology

Dr. Macon is currently helping to create a new certificate program in mobile applications programming. The program will teach students how to create and distribute iPhone and Android applications. Dr. Macon, who represents the Apple side of the project, is currently learning more about the process by developing her own iPhone and iPad applications to be distributed on the iTunes App Store. Dr. Macon also specializes in online learning, virtual worlds, and technology careers for women.

Meet the faculty

Adding More Multimedia Offerings

Robert McCaffrey, Digital Media Technology

Professor McCaffrey teaches several of the production, motion graphics and post-production classes at Valencia and also serves as the program chair for Digital Media. He has produced and written several short films, as well as a feature-length horror film, “Vampire Rock.” Currently, he is working to create a web development specialization to be offered through the Digital Media program.

Meet the faculty

Taking Chefs to Chicago

Pierre Pilloud, Culinary Management

Swiss-born and trained, Chef Pierre is a phenomenal chef and instructor who is also known for his sense of humor. In addition to helping students hone their skills in the kitchen, he teaches them about the restaurant industry as a whole. In 2011, he’ll take a group of students to the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago to attend seminars, meet industry professionals and learn about the restaurant business.

Meet the faculty

Crossing Borders in Education

Dr. Yasmeen Qadri, Education

To help students gain cross-cultural and inter-faith understanding, Dr. Qadri will take two of them to Pakistan for a week to visit schools built by author and humanitarian, Greg Mortenson. Since 1994 he has established over 180 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, providing an education to over 51,000 children, with an emphasis on girls who have very few educational opportunities.

Meet the faculty

Bringing Guest Dancers to Valencia

Dr. Suzanne Salapa, Dance

To expose students to innovative and diverse choreographic approaches, Dr. Salapa likes to bring renowned guest artists to Valencia to both perform and teach. This year’s guest artist is Robert Battle, founder of Battleworks Dance Company, who will teach a series of master classes focusing on the heritage and history of his dance company.

Meet the faculty

Combining Culture with Language

Richard Sansone, Portuguese

Professor Sansone believes that learning about a people’s culture goes hand-in-hand with learning their language. To help students gain a better understanding of both, he leads study abroad trips to Brazil and also organizes the annual Valencia Brazilian Film Festival. Next up, he is planning a trip to Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking African country of Cape Verde, where he will study the language and culture, collect audiovisual materials and gain first-hand experiences to share with students.


Congratulations to our Valencia Foundation President and CEO, Geraldine Gallagher for receiving the Women’s Achievement Award in Education at the 39th annual Women’s Executive Council luncheon.
Additional kudos to Ilene Wilkins, President UCP of Central Florida for her dedication and volunteer service she received Central Florida Woman of the Year.

With thanks to all of the 2010 honorees for your support within of our community: 

– Hillary Bressler, .Com Marketing, Inc., Founder and CEO

– Christi Ashby, Editor, Owner of Orange Appeal Magazine

– Elinor Steele Zegelbone, VP Global Comm and PR, Tupperware Brands

– Leigh Ann Horton, Advantage Integration Technology

– Eva Krzewinski, Pearls for Women

– Geraldine Thompson, Representative District 39

– Geraldine Gallagher, President and CEO, Valencia Foundation

– Laura Lee Shields, Bodiford Law Group

WEC’s first annual Women’s Achievement Week was held in 1972 honoring women in the categories of Arts & Science, Business, Community Service, Education, Government, Communications and Downtown Woman of the Year.  The program was expanded in 1987 to include awarding of scholarships to deserving students enrolled in our local colleges.

The 2010 Women’s Executive Council scholarship recipients included Valencia students Deborah Bukowski and Francoise Kogan with additional community scholarships to Randi Alberry, Traci Campana, Jaquelyne Fulco, Alice Pham Le, Tracey Oliver, Marie Sabbagh, Lynn Slivinski and Haydee Torres.  We wish you all great success as you pursue your academic goals!

it’s official!!!

an international wine sampling & auction

A Taste for Learning returns Saturday, April 2, 2011 to the Rosen Shingle Creek.

Vintners from around the world will donate and pour their finest wines, thanks to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Hundreds of wines will be available. Please join us by inviting friends and colleagues, sponsoring a table and contributing auction items.

This joint philanthropic event between Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida will benefit our 2+2 scholarships for DirectConnect, which guarantees Valencia graduates a seat at UCF.

Remember: 100 percent of each dollar given for tickets, auction items and sponsorships goes to scholarships and is eligible to earn dollar-for-dollar match through the state of Florida First Generation in College matching grant program, doubling your investment.

For more information, please visit or call the foundation at 407.582.3150.

And as an added bonus,  when you buy select products during the month of October, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will donate to the Valencia Foundation. See ABC stores for product information.

enjoy the music of Carousel

The Valencia Character Company will kick off its 2010-11 theater season with the classic, award-winning musical, “Carousel,” with book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and music by Richard Rodgers.

“Carousel” tells the story of mill worker Julie Jordan and her ill-fated love affair with carnival barker Billy Bigelow. The tale is told with the help of a brilliant score of music which includes the songs, “If I Loved You,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the delightful “June is Busting Out All Over,” among others. Composer Richard Rodgers deemed the score his personal favorite of the many he created.

The musical opens on Friday, Oct. 22, with additional performances on Oct. 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 and 31. Curtain time is at 7:30 p.m. for Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.

 The performance on Saturday, Oct. 30 will be American Sign Language interpreted, and there will be a special section of seating reserved for the hearing impaired.

 All performances take place at the Performing Arts Center on Valencia Community College’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

 Ticket prices are $12 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors and Valencia staff and alumni. For reservations and further information, please call the Box Office at 407-582-2900. Tickets are also available online at Season tickets for 2010-11 are still available, and can be purchased at the Box Office.

 Valencia’s Artistic Director, Julia Allardice Gagne, will direct the production, with musical direction by Alan Gerber and Tim Hanes and choreography by Lesley Brasseux Rodgers.

For the first time, the resident Valencia dance company will be performing in a Valencia musical. They, with Ms. Brasseux Rodgers, will be recreating some of the original choreography by world renowned and groundbreaking choreographer, Agnes DeMille.

Source: Valencia Marketing & Strategic Communications



Are you or someone you know interested in attending Valencia? Perhaps you’re asking yourself, why Valencia?

Well, let’s see…

  • Valencia’s tuition is 40% less than a state university’s.
  • Valencia is the #1 producer of associate degrees in the U.S.
  • Average starting salary for our A.S. and A.A.S. grads is $44,680.
  • Valencia is accredited by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools.
  • More than 50,000 students attend Valencia each year.

The Valencia Difference

At Valencia, you’ll get the same quality education available at a state university, only at about half the cost. And, with smaller campuses and classes, you’ll get more support along the way. You’ll also have the flexibility to take classes when and where you want – day, night or weekend at any of our four campuses, or online. And with Flex Start, courses are starting all the time. Then, when you’re finished, you’ll be ready to go straight into a high-skill, high-wage job or transfer to a four-year university as a junior with guaranteed admission.

How’s that to start?

Click here to learn more about student life, get answers to some of our most frequently asked questions, meet some of our faculty and to schedule a campus visit.

We look forward to seeing you on campus!

a message to Valencia from NASA

Christian Pinto Rey wanted to send Valencia a little message on the space shuttle Atlantis. Christian, a former Valencia engineering student started an internship with NASA – and wanted to leave his mark regarding the two schools that have taken him to incredible heights!

Christian has moved on to Embry-Riddle and is currently studying Aeronautical Engineering. We wish you the best of luck, Christian. Keep reaching for the stars!

2010-2011 arts season at Valencia

A message from Wendy L. Givoglu, Dean of Arts & Entertainment

Welcome to the 2010-2011 Arts Season! Our Valencia season of arts events officially kicked off last week with our East Campus Gallery opening of the exhibition Curator’s Choice:  Small Works by Central Florida Artists. Our new season continued Tuesday evening with our Music Faculty Recital at 7:30 p.m. in the East Campus Performing Arts Center. We are currently distributing brochures that present our Arts & Entertainment season of events in Music, Visual Arts, Film, Dance, and Theater. This information is also available on

We are excited to share a backstage pass to everything happening in Arts & Entertainment through our Facebook page at Please consider joining our group, and share this with students as a great resource for cultural happenings at Valencia.

Rehearsals and set construction have started for our production of Carousel, opening October 22. This fall musical is a wonderful collaboration between faculty and students in our Theatre, Dance, Music, and Entertainment Design & Technology programs. We can accommodate large groups of students, faculty, staff, families, friends, etc., so please consider a night out at the Theatre at Valencia! For information on purchasing tickets, you can contact our Box Office at 407-582-2900.

Finally, I wanted to share that Broadway Across America/Florida Theatrical Association is offering discounted individual tickets to their 2010-2011 Season for Valencia students, faculty, staff, family, and friends. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to and enter password valenciabroadway

Thank you for your continued support of our programs! Please let me know if you have any questions or if you want any additional information. 

 We hope you’ll join us this Arts Season at Valencia!!!

student gives thanks!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for accepting my application and reviewing my information. I am truly honored to be chosen for this scholarship.

I am very humbled by your generosity, and truly appreciative. I began this semester with high hopes and goals. With your generosity I will be able to focus on those goals and work towards making them a reality. Being a student again has lifted my perspective on life and is opening my views to a brighter future for myself and family.

People always say it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks and I think that is completely untrue. I base my life on a quote by Mr. George Eliot that states, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

Valencia is providing me with the tools to build a better tomorrow. I am ready, willing and able to accept the challenges. It is a great pleasure and privilege to be a part of Valencia Community College.

D. Pirmal
2010/11 Scholarship Recipient

valencia to host college night 2010

College Night 2010 will provide an opportunity for high school and college transfer students to scope out their options for the future.

More than 100 admissions representatives from colleges and universities across the country will be present for this two-night event, which will be held at Valencia Community College.

Students can receive information on everything college related, from admissions requirements to financial aid, degrees and programs and campus housing.

College Night 2010 will be held Tuesday, Oct. 5 on Valencia’s Osceola Campus and Thursday, Oct. 7 on Valencia’s West Campus. Both events run from 6-8 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Last year’s representatives hailed from universities including Yale, Cornell and the University of Florida, as well as local schools including Valencia, University of Central Florida, Rollins, Florida Southern and Stetson. There were also representatives from the United States Air Force and military academies.

Valencia’s Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee. The West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando.

For more information please visit or contact 407-582-2330 or

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

congratulations to Valencia Foundation’s board chair, Linda Landman-Gonzalez


Linda Landman-Gonzalez, vice president of community relations and government affairs for the Orlando Magic, was named the 2010 Osceola Hispanic Business Council’s Amigo Award winner at the 12th annual Gala Osceola on Saturday August 21, 2010. Landman-Gonzalez is the only two-time winner of the Amigo Award and accepted the recognition on behalf of the Orlando Magic.

The Osceola Hispanic Business Council’s Amigo Award is presented annually in recognition of those who have excelled at celebrating the diversity of Hispanic culture through music, dance and community involvement.

“We want our entire fan base to know we value them,” said Landman-Gonzalez.  “We want to continue our education on how to effectively reach every Magic fan and it’s important to understand our consumer’s needs and make everyone feel a part of our team.”

In her role with the Magic, Landman-Gonzalez oversees community relations, government affairs, multicultural insights and the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation. Under Landman-Gonzalez’s leadership, the Orlando Magic has become champions in the community, celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture. The Magic host an annual Hispanic Business After Hours to honor the contributions of Hispanic leaders across Central Florida. Prior to coming to the Magic, Landman-Gonzalez spent nine years as director of diversity, community and government relations for Darden Restaurants, Orlando’s only Fortune 500 corporation. 

The Orlando Magic is committed to the Hispanic community and has instituted a variety of initiatives to reach our multicultural fan base throughout Central Florida.  In July 2008, under the leadership of team President Alex Martins, the Orlando Magic created a multicultural insights department whose mission is to create an inclusive environment in which our community partners, fans and employees feel welcome, valued and appreciated.

About the Hispanic Business Council:

The Hispanic Business Council is an organization under the umbrella of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce. The mission is to provide leadership, education, networking and marketing opportunities for Hispanic businesses located in the Central Florida Area.

About The Orlando Magic

Orlando’s NBA franchise since 1989, the Magic’s mission is to be world champions on and off the court, delivering legendary moments every step of the way. On the court, Orlando has won five division championships (1995, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2010), had six 50-plus win seasons, and won the Eastern Conference title in 1995 and 2009. Off the court, on an annual basis, the Orlando Magic gives more than $2 million to the local community by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise, scholarships and grants. Orlando Magic community relations programs impact an estimated 75,000 kids each year, while a Magic staff-wide initiative provides more than 6,000 volunteer hours annually. In addition, over the last 21 years nearly $16 million has been distributed to local non-profit community organizations via the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF-MFF), a McCormick Foundation Fund since 1994, which serves at-risk youth. Ticket highlights for next season in the new Amway Center include: 2,500 seats priced $15 or less, 7,000 seats priced $25 or less, and for the first time ever a $5 per game ticket while supplies last. For ticket information log on to or call 407-89-MAGIC. 

Source: Orlando Magic Communications Contact: Noah Sharfman – 407-916-2630,

can you sing?

Valencia Chorus Groups Seek New Members

Valencia Community College’s chorus groups are looking for new members for the fall term. Membership is open to all students, staff, faculty and community members.

There are two opportunities available:

Valencia A Cappella
The Valencia A Cappella group sings the music of the Voices of Liberty from Epcot and performs at local events, resorts and other venues. Those interested in joining must be able to read music. Basic musical talent is a plus. Auditions are required.

To join the Valencia A Cappella, participants must register for the Valencia course MUS 2930, CRN # 11961. Members will receive one hour of college credit. The course costs $91.73. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free. The group will meet every Monday night, beginning Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

Voices of Valencia
Voices of Valencia is a musical group for singers of all levels. They sing a wide variety of music at local community events. For the fall, the group will focus on preparing for the Epcot Candlelight Processional, which it has participated in for the past nine years as part of the Fall Holiday Music Concerts. Anyone can join Voices of Valencia and no auditions are required.

To join the Voices of Valencia, participants must register for the Valencia course MUN 1311, CRN # 11213. Members will receive one hour of college credit. The course costs $91.73. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free. The group will meet every Tuesday night, beginning Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

For more information about either group, please contact the director, Mr. James Jones at

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778;

quick look back with our appreciation

Monday, Aug. 30 is the start of a new academic year at Valencia. We welcome our new freshman class as we take a look at images from last year. We wish all students great success, wonderful connections, and a lifetime of learning.


way to go, Julie Phelps

Dr. Julie M. Phelps

Julie M. Phelps, Valencia mathematics professor and project director of Achieving the Dream, was named the 2010 winner of the Virginia B. Smith Innovative Leadership Award.

The award, presented annually by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), recognizes leaders who have made exceptional contributions to advance innovation in American higher education. A committee of national experts selects the award winner, who receives a $4,000 stipend.

From 2005-2009, when Valencia participated in Achieving the Dream, Phelps served as project director. Achieving the Dream was a national, grant-funded initiative aimed at helping more community college students succeed – particularly those who have traditionally faced barriers to success, including low-income students and students of color.

Valencia’s Achieving the Dream work focused on identifying and closing achievement gaps across racial and ethnic groups, between college-ready and under-prepared students, and between student success in mathematics and other discipline courses.

As project director and professor of mathematics, Phelps’ work focused on three learning community strategies: supplemental instruction or cooperative learning inside and outside of class; the expansion of the Learning in Community (LinC) approach that brings faculty members and student support experts to work with students in double-class periods; and expanded course offerings focused on academic success and life lessons designed for community college students.

“We were very impressed with Julie Phelps’ ongoing work to give students at Valencia Community College a good start and help them meet the academic and social challenges of college,” said Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center. “When we provide early support, particularly to at-risk students who are not college-ready, we can help ensure that they continue their education and make it to graduation.”

For the past 10 years, Phelps has studied ways to increase student engagement, learning, retention, and graduation among developmental education students. This research has provided her with strategies to strengthen student engagement and performance through peer mentoring in which a “role model” student demonstrates how to be a successful student both in and out of the classroom.

Valencia’s supplemental instruction focuses on high-risk courses, those with less than a 70 percent success rate, instead of high-risk students so that the students are not stigmatized. Since beginning in 2004, the supplemental instruction courses have grown from 10 sections to over 40 sections each term.

In her work with Achieving the Dream, Phelps has used data to understand how Valencia students experience college during their first year. She also has taught developmental mathematics as part of an intentional learning community by linking mathematics to a student success course. In this LinC program, two courses are taught back-to-back in the same classroom with two different faculty members and a success coach.

Phelps holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Community College from the University of Central Florida. Her dissertation, “Supplemental Instruction in a Community College Developmental Mathematics Curriculum: A Phenomenological Study of Learning Experiences,” focused supplemental instruction in developmental math by looking at the experiences of students in supplemental instruction courses at other Valencia campuses.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778;

to register for fall classes at valencia, apply by august 13

With classes beginning on Aug. 30, Valencia Community College’s fall term is quickly approaching – and so is the Application Priority Deadline, which is this Friday, Aug. 13.

New students are encouraged to submit their applications by this date in order to ensure that they complete the enrollment process in time to register for fall classes. Admissions information and the online application are available at

Aug. 13 is also the initial fee payment deadline for anyone who has already registered for classes. Those who do not pay their fees by this date will be dropped from their courses. Tuition for Florida residents is $91.73 per credit hour.

Valencia is expecting fall enrollment to be at an all-time high with courses filling up on a first-come, first-serve basis. For the best selection of courses, students are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

Courses are available at any of Valencia’s four campuses throughout Orange and Osceola counties, as well as at the newest location at Lake Nona High School. Many courses are also available online. A full listing of available courses can be found at

Valencia offers three types of college degrees. The Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree prepares graduates to transfer to a four-year university as a junior. The Associate in Science (A.S.) and the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees prepare graduates for immediate entry into the workforce.

New offerings beginning this fall include an A.A. pre-major in Music Performance and a specialization in Digital Forensics and Cyber Security, available through the Computer Engineering Technology A.S. degree.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing and Strategic Communications

obj chats about a dear friend

Orlando Business Journal took to blogging at The Buzz about the Foundation’s dear friend, C.T. Hsu of C.T. Hsu + Associates, P.A.

Read the entry below:

If the Hsu fits…

The old adage that it’s not what you know, but who you know certainly is taking Orlando architect C.T. Hsu to some pretty interesting places.

The C.T. Hsu + Associates president traveled to Taiwan July 22-23 as part of a Florida delegation attending the second annual Florida-Taiwan Higher Education Conference.

Hsu was in good company, being part of a 14-member Florida delegation that included representatives from eight of the state’s universities and colleges. 

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (center) meets with C.T. Hsu (seventh from the right) and the Florida delegation attending the second annual Florida-Taiwan Higher Education Conference.

A highlight of the trip, according to Hsu, was the delegation’s private meeting with Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and Education Minister Wu Ching-ji at the presidential office in Taipei.

For Hsu, it was an opportunity to revisit an old friend he’s known for many years.

“I am very proud to have known President Ma since our junior high school days,” said Hsu. “He has shown remarkable leadership in his support of international education, and I believe he will continue to successfully lead Taiwan into a bright future.”

Ma has, in fact, done just that.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education established the Taiwan-Florida Scholarship in 2010, providing $10 million for students from cooperating universities to apply for admission to universities in Florida.

Ma shared with the Florida delegation his personal experience of traveling to the United States for three months as a university exchange student and returning to the U.S. after graduation to continue his studies. International education and academic interaction can have a long-lasting impact on students, Ma said — something he hopes to foster through academic exchanges between Taiwan and Florida.

Nowadays, it really is a small world after all.

Source: If the Hsu fits…Orlando Business Journal’s The Buzz

welcome to the Valencia family

Valencia Welcomes Dr. Kathleen Plinske, New Provost of the Osceola Campus

On July 19, Dr. Kathleen Plinske began as Valencia Community College’s new provost of the Osceola Campus and Valencia at Lake Nona High School.

“I am truly delighted to have the opportunity to join Valencia,” said Plinske. “They’ve earned a national reputation for creating a learner-centered environment focused on student success, and it will be a privilege to provide leadership for the Osceola Campus.”

Prior to coming to Valencia, Plinske served in a number of positions at McHenry County College, a community college located in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago. During her nine-year tenure there she progressed rapidly into positions of greater leadership, serving as a coordinator, director, executive director, associate vice president, vice president, and ultimately as the interim president.

Her experience includes distance education, professional development, institutional research, marketing and public relations, and institutional effectiveness. She also served as a Spanish instructor, with experience teaching face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses.

A graduate of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Plinske attended Indiana University-Bloomington as a Herman B. Wells Scholar, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Physics with highest distinction and honors. She completed a master’s degree in Spanish from Roosevelt University, and a Doctorate in Educational Technology with honors from Pepperdine University.

Committed to advancing the community college mission, Plinske has published a number of articles in professional and peer-reviewed journals, and is frequently invited as a speaker at national and international conferences. She was selected as a community college leadership doctoral fellow by the University of San Diego and was recently recognized as one of 24 Emerging Leaders in the world by Phi Delta Kappa International.

In her role as a Valencia provost, Plinske will be responsible for providing academic, administrative and fiscal leadership for the Osceola Campus and the Valencia at Lake Nona High School site.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications, 407-582-1778,

faculty member gives thanks

Dr. James S. May, Professor of English as a Second Language, expresses his appreciation for the endowed chair process:

Thank you!  Click here for a video of Dr. May's work.

Every year in June, endowed chair recipients submit a form that quantifies how funds are utilized over the course of a year. Unfortunately, reports of this nature often fail to capture the depth and breadth of the impact endowed chairs have on students, faculty, and staff. Many of the most profound effects that endowed chairs have go unrecorded because, simply put, they are difficult to quantify. This post is an effort to qualify, rather than quantify, a few of these effects.

It is easy to quantify the purchase of Camtasia (screen-casting software) and the use of Jing and Screenjelly (Free Web 2.0 applications that allow students and other teachers to make screen-casted videos themselves), but how do I quantify the looks on my students’ faces when they first watch individualized feedback videos for essays they have written? Or when they Jing their own videos and tweet or facebook them to their friends? How do I quantify the looks on colleagues’ faces when I show them the possibilities that these new technologies offer?

It’s easy to quantify the purchase of Dragon Naturally Speaking (software which turns my voice to text), but how do I quantify the feelings of inclusion felt by a Deaf student watching a closed captioned YouTube instructional mash-up I have made? How do I quantify the feelings of inclusion felt by a soon-to-be mother home on bed rest who sits next to me “digitally” as we go over one of her papers on a digital/video conference call?

I can quantify the money I spend buying books or going to a conference for training and the purchase of software and hardware to improve materials for my students. I can list the tools and tricks: Adobe CS4, Soft Chalk, Flip Cameras, WordSmith, Camtasia, Snag It, Voice Thread, Word Clouds, SCORMS, Screencasts, Mashup Videos, etc… But how do I quantify the moment of realization when I tell a student, “No, you don’t have to buy a book for this class. Go ahead and put that money to better use. Your book is online and it is free, interactive, and embedded with audio and video”? How do I quantify the charge I get when I see the light bulb come on in the mind of a student because of something I am doing as a result of an endowed chair? Or when a colleague asks me, “Hey James, can you show me how you did that?” Or when lab staff asks, “Hey, can we use that, or will you come teach us that?”

Last year, I was privileged to receive the Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair. As a result, this fall I will pilot a free digital text for writing students, and the text includes embedded practice tests and quizzes. I will also be offering this content to others who wish to reduce the cost of texts for their students. During the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 academic years, I utilized funds from the  Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Endowed Chair to bring learning leaders into EAP classrooms and to enhance student engagement opportunities through the use of Web 2.0 technologies. This year, as the recipient of the Jessie and Eugene Drey Endowment, I have the honor of continuing my work and exploring how vocabulary learning can be enhanced through the use of digital corpora. I would like to thank these families for helping me to do what I do, but the word “thanks” can’t really quantify my sincere appreciation for what these endowments do for teaching and learning. Even expressing the word “thanks” in the various languages of my students just doesn’t get it. So, in an effort to better qualify and give others a better feel for how endowed funds continue to cultivate the learning landscape for teachers and students, I have created a brief showcase to share some of the things endowed chairs have allowed me to do with my students.

The interactive word cloud above this post was created to give you a brief glimpse of how endowed chair funds have allowed me to turn static text into dynamic learning. So, take a moment and think back to your college days, remember those heavy, expensive, and considerably dense texts and then roll over the words in the cloud, click on them, and imagine how these new technologies are changing learning for students.

With sincere thanks,

Professor James May

James S. May
Professor of English as a Second Language
Visit online at:
Valencia Community College

catch up with two of Valencia’s retirees

Where Are They Now?

Marlene Petty-Geis retired in 1999 as the Employment Manager in Human Resources after 30 years of service at Valencia. 

“Hard to believe that it has been 10+ years!

I have taken several trips with my brothers and their wives. All four brothers still spoil their sister! I traveled to NYC with friends for shopping and the theatre, have taken several cruises and went to Italy with my daughter, Twighla, and her family, traveling to Venice, Tuscany, Florence and Rome. What a wonderful trip! I took a trip to Atlanta and Virginia to visit with friends in June. Keeping my bags packed just in case another trip comes along!

I have delighted in seeing two of my grandchildren get married this past year, and my granddaughter Trisha receiving her Master’s degree and buying her first condo.

I serve on the Retiree Connection Committee and volunteer at ORMC two days a week. I love being a part of giving back to the community. I am so blessed!”

Dr. Carole Law Trachy retired from Valencia as a Professor of Humanities on the West Campus in 1995 after 18 years of service. She is enjoying her retirement and is excited to have become a great-grandmother in August 2009!

Valencia Retiree Connection
Annual Luncheon

Lunch, Program & Networking!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Valencia West Campus Special Events Center, Bldg. 8
1800 South Kirkman Road, Orlando, FL 32811

(Reprinted from In The Mix
Summer/Fall 2010 VITAE Magazine Issue 6)


annual florida playwrights competition open!

Annual Florida Playwrights Competition open for new plays!

The Valencia East Campus theater program is accepting plays from Florida playwrights for its annual Florida Playwrights Competition which has been held every year since 1991. Scripts must be original, previously unproduced, full-length plays (scripts that have received staged readings may be submitted). Collaborations are eligible, but children’s plays, musicals and adaptations are not. Deadline for entries is October 15, 2010.

The winning play will be announced in early December and be staged in April 2011, as part of Valencia’s regular subscription series. The playwright will be invited to develop and workshop the play beginning in January, and will receive a stipend to cover travel and other expenses related to the production.

Electronic submission of manuscripts is requested. Playwrights residing in Florida are invited to send the first 15 pages of no more than two scripts each to Valencia’s Artistic Director, Julia Gagne, at .

For further submission information or a mailing address, please call 407-582-2296.

Source:  Marketing and Strategic Communications, 407-299-5000, ext. 1015;

valencia partners with the TSA


Valencia Partners with TSA to Provide Security Officers with Training and a Path Toward a Degree

Valencia Community College has been contracted to participate in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) training program, which offers educational opportunities to Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) already employed by the agency.

“Valencia is looking forward to launching this important partnership with TSA to train critical front-line personnel so vital to national security,” said Gaby Hawat, Valencia’s special assistant to the president for strategic initiatives and executive dean for economic development.

Valencia will deliver TSA training courses on-site at the Orlando International Airport. The college is one of 32 selected to partner with airports throughout the United States – and is the only partner in Florida.

The TSA is responsible for security checkpoints at all U.S. airports, with OIA being one of the busiest. In 2009, the airport saw more than 33 million travelers, with a record-breaking total of 2,977,920 of them traveling internationally.

TSOs who complete the training program will receive a TSA Certificate of Achievement. They will also receive college credits for the training courses, which they will be encouraged to apply toward an associate degree from Valencia.

Global Corporate College, which is contracted to work with the TSA Educational Programs and Partnerships Office, will help Valencia implement the training program and possibly to develop a homeland security associate degree program eventually as well.

The first training course that will be offered is Introduction to Homeland Security, which will start fall 2010.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications, 407-582-1778,

meet valencia’s 2009-10 distinguished graduate


Kim Do was the president of the Alpha Phi Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and has been recognized for her academic excellence, community service and student leadership.


 Dream big and have courage to take on big roles. Do not pass on an opportunity to be a leader in your school or community.
               -Kim Do, 2009-10 Distinguished Graduate


Academic excellence, community service and student leadership have earned Kim Do the honor of being named the 2009-10 Distinguished Graduate by the Valencia Alumni Association. 

Born in Vietnam, Kim moved to the United States with her family when she was just nine years old. While her father had his own business back home, he gave it up and took a minimum-wage position here in order to provide Kim and her younger sister the opportunity for a U.S. education. His efforts were not in vain.

Kim quickly adapted to her new life, overcoming culture shock and learning a new language in order to make friends and succeed in school. Now, as a graduating Valencia student, she holds a 3.64 GPA and has earned a reputation for her involvement around campus and within the community.

As president of the Alpha Phi Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society on the Osceola Campus, Kim wanted to inspire other students to become active as well. To increase membership, Kim promoted the group, hosted orientations for new members and developed a rewards program for participation. Under her leadership, the group’s number of active members has nearly tripled.

“Kim really wanted to improve the chapter and make a difference in our college and community,” said Albert Groccia, mathematics professor and PTK advisor. “She really believes that phi Theta Kappa is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn how to communicate, become leaders and help the community.”

Through PTK, Kim has led many community service initiatives. She has helped to organize bake sales, car washes and cookouts to raise funds for Relay for Life, and has volunteered with several organizations, including BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation, Give Kids the World, Second Harvest Food Bank and Florida’s Nature Conservancy.

“It’s important for me to give back,” Kim said. “Because I have been given opportunity, I want to pass that on. It’s almost like a rent you pay – giving back to those around you and to the community.”

During her time at Valencia, Kim has also served as the parliamentarian for Phi Theta Kappa, as the treasurer for the Student Government Association, and as historian for the Honors Student Advisory Committee. She has been named to Valencia Dean’s List, the National Dean’s List and the 2008-09 All Florida Academic Team. She is the recipient of Phi Theta Kappa’s High Star Achiever Award and was nominated for 2009’s Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Kim graduates from Valencia with an Associate in Arts degree focused in biology. She plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and is currently awaiting admission to University of Notre Dame, University of Central Florida and Florida State University. Kim’s ultimate goal is to become a plastic surgeon so that she can help children with birth defects.

As she leaves Valencia, Kim continues to encourage other students to get involved.

(Reprinted from Association UpdateSummer/Fall 2010 VITAE Magazine Issue 6)

giving opportunities: legacy society

If you have already included Valencia Foundation in your estate plan, please contact the foundation at (407) 582-3128 to become a part of the Valencia Legacy Society.

Valencia Legacy Society

There are other ways to support Valencia, create student scholarships, and enhance education in our community.  By naming Valencia Community College Foundation as a beneficiary through a will or amending a will with a codicil, you can make a commitment in support of education through your future donation!

If you would like more information on planned giving, sample bequest language, completing a legacy gift form or just have general scholarship questions please contact Donna Marino at 407.582.3128 or e-mail

Your generosity matters to students now and in the future. Consider the words of the Honorable Charles D. Gill “There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you do not do them.”

If you have already included Valencia Foundation in your estate plan, please contact the foundation at (407) 582-3128 to become a part of the Valencia Legacy Society.

faculty attend institute on peace studies

Faculty from Valencia Community College attended the Kroc Institute's second annual Summer Institute, "Teaching Peace in the 21st Century."

 More than 60 faculty from 19 colleges/universities including Valencia Community College attended the Kroc Institute’s second annual Summer Institute for Faculty, “Teaching Peace in the 21st Century.”  

The weeklong institute was created in response to growing interest in peace studies at the college and university level. Participants come from institutions in the United States, Colombia, and Israel.  

Valencia Faculty stated the institute provided an opportunity to learn about Peace Studies and its 50 year history of credible contribution to academia.  Professor Rachel Allen noted: “The faculty at Kroc Institute were extremely generous with their time, meeting with our four faculty members to help design and develop our program.  Professors Yasmeen Qadri, Penny Villegas, and Paul Chapman will bring these teachings home to promote the Peace and Justice Initiative as well develop our own Peace Studies curriculum at the college.  We are very grateful to everyone at Kroc for providing such an awesome experience!” 

The Summer Institute was created to guide teams of faculty seeking to launch or expand peace studies programs. George A. Lopez, an internationally recognized authority on peace studies program development, led the Institute, along with about a dozen faculty and staff from the Kroc Institute.  

About 400 colleges and universities around the world offer peace studies programs at the undergraduate level. The Kroc Institute is unique in higher education for its combination of a substantive research agenda and degree programs at all levels — doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate. The Kroc Institute’s nearly 25 year history and faculty who are pioneers in the field position Kroc to help academic institutions with peace studies programs at every stage of development.  


one more week! one more week! i repeat, one more week…

…before the 21st Annual AIA Orlando Golf Tournament.

Don’t wait to sign up for an incredible day on the links. AIA’s annual golf outing continues to prove itself successful as an excellent opportunity for strengthening professional relationships within the architectural industry. Additionally, each year’s tournament promises to provide all participants with an opportunity to contribute to the local community by raising scholarship funds for students in financial need. With a portion of the proceeds benefiting Valencia Foundation’s American Institute of Architects Scholarship, the AIA has raised $139,500 in scholarships since 2002.

When: Friday, June 25, 2010

Where: The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, 4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, Florida 32837

Additional Info: 8:30 a.m. shotgun start – scramble format. Individual spots for AIA members are $150, non-members are $175. There are also a number of sponsorship opportunities available. Feature your company by becoming a hole sponsor for only $600 or be recognized as a friend of AIA and Valencia for $300.

For additional information, contact Karen Jones with AIA Orlando at 407.898.7006 or or Anissa Alvarez with Valencia Foundation at 407.582.3153 or

conversation on higher education dropout crisis

Educators, officials and others discuss this worrisome trend.

Source:; by Eliza Krigman; Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thought leaders from the government, academia and business today called for an improvement in college completion rates. At stake, they said, is Americans’ ability to remain competitive in a global economy.

The statistics are grim: Only about 56 percent of students enrolling at four-year colleges in America today graduate within six years. For Hispanic students, that figure is 49 percent, and for black students, it’s 42 percent. At community colleges, fewer than 30 percent of those who start as full-time students graduate with an associate’s degree in three years.

“We need to do more in the area of college completion,” Robert Shireman, deputy undersecretary for the Education Department, said at a National Journal LIVE forum on Capitol Hill this morning. Shireman, a veteran of higher education, oversees the department’s effort to help Americans pay for college and develop strategies to increase college completion, among other initiatives.

Some critics argue that abysmal graduation rates are reflections of a system designed for mass production, not creating learned people. “There is no rationale for having lecture sections with a thousand people,” said Sandy Shugart, president of Valencia Community College in Orlando, Fla. Instead, Shugart argued, college leaders need to rethink the value of students. They’re “unique human beings,” not “raw material,” he said.

Another part of the problem is disagreement over the data. There is no consensus over how best to measure college completion rates. The most widely used formula in four-year colleges is the percentage of full-time students who graduate within six years. Higher education stakeholders, however, are vexed by how to capture difficult variables such as transfer students.

Still, “bad data is no excuse not to do better,” said Hilary Pennington, director of education, post-secondary success and special initiatives at the Gates Foundation. David Leonhardt, a business columnist for the New York Times, also posited that flawed measurements should not allow leaders to ignore the problem.

Kevin Carey, policy director at the Education Sector and an expert on higher education, argued that the urgency surrounding the college completion problem needs to be greater. Education Secretary Arne Duncan talks about the high school dropout crisis all the time, Carey said, but the dropout crisis facing higher education doesn’t get the same attention.

Leaders of post-secondary institutions, nonprofits and the private sector are experimenting with ways to address the retention problem.

Early college credit is one approach. In several hundred high schools around the country, students have the opportunity to simultaneously complete high school and earn post-secondary credit; they can earn an associate’s degree or work two years toward a bachelor’s tuition-free.

Starfish Retention Solutions of Arlington, Va., sells software to help mitigate the dropout phenomenon. The software purports to help identify at-risk students in real time and connect those students to support resources by drawing information from an institution’s student management system.

One of the most powerful solutions, Shireman suggested, is very simple: paying attention. Colleges need to monitor whether students are coming back for the second semester, or the second year, and take follow-up action, he added.

However, Shireman won’t be leading the administration’s college completion initiatives much longer. He’ll be returning to California this summer, and James Kvaal, who currently works at the White House National Economic Council, will take his place.

When the administration announced on May 18 that Shireman would be leaving, Wall Street responded. Stocks of 10 publicly traded higher education companies rose between 1 percent and 13 percent, with analysts speculating that Shireman’s departure might be beneficial for the higher education’s private sector.

“I thought that leaving would help spur the economy,” joked Shireman.

Source:; by Eliza Krigman; Wednesday, June 2, 2010


end of season performance: Almost, Maine

Almost, Maine: performances June 10-13 & June 17-20, Thursdays - Saturdays @ 7:30 p.m.; Sundays @ 2 p.m.

The Valencia Character Company will present the John Cariani comedy, “Almost, Maine” as their final production of the season. Performances will be held June 10-13 and June 17-20, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m..

In the town of Almost, Maine, residents find themselves falling in and out of love in very unexpected and often hilarious ways, and as the Northern Lights appear in the sky, magical happenings abound. The play has been produced hundreds of times in theaters all across the country, as well as internationally, and has had many sold-out runs along the way. Valencia Artistic Director Julia Gagne directs the cast of Valencia theater students.

All performances will be in the the Black Box Theater on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. Ticket prices are $8 general admission and $6 for students, seniors, Valencia staff and alumni. Seating is limited in the Black Box, and a number of performances this season have sold out, so advance ticket purchase is advised, and latecomers may not be seated until intermission. To purchase tickets and for further information, please call the box office at 407-582-2900; tickets are also available online at

Source: Valencia Marketing & Strategic Communications

enjoy a safe memorial day weekend

Safety Tips for the Upcoming Memorial Day Weekend

The Valencia Community College Security Department came across this article and wanted to share with the Valencia community. Remember an ounce of prevention will help alert everyone to the simple dangers we all face but never take into consideration while enjoying the sun, water and outdoor grilling. The American College of Emergency Physicians has put together the top five tips that you and your family should follow in order to stay safe and healthy over the holiday weekend.

Tip 1: Food Safety – To avoid food poisoning, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture recommends cooking fresh poultry to 165 degrees, hamburgers to 160 degrees and beef to at least 145 degrees. Refrigerate all perishable food within 2 hours, I hour if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees. To guard against cross-contamination of bacteria, keep uncooked meats away from other foods.

Tip 2: Grill Safety – Emergency physicians see firsthand the dangers associated with an outdoor grill. Consumers should thoroughly clean a grill of any grease or dust. Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockages from insects or food grease that can cause an uncontrolled fire. Replace any connectors which can lead to a gas leak and keep lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames away from a leaking grill. Do not use a grill in a garage, breezeway, carport and porch or near any surface that can catch fire. Also, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions that accompany the grill.

Tip 3: Water Safety – To prevent drowning, avoid alcohol when swimming or boating. Wear a lifejacket whenever you are on a boat. Make sure young children are supervised at all times when near the beach, on a boat, or by a pool or hot tub. Don’t swim alone or in bad weather. Learn to swim and teach your children to swim. We also recommend that you learn CPR in case of an emergency.

Tip 4: Sun Safety – Protect against sunburn and heat stroke. Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 or higher and apply it generously throughout the day. Wear a hat outdoors and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Drink plenty of water, especially when in the sun or if you are sweating heavily. If you feel faint or nauseous, get into a cool place immediately.

Tip 5: Travel Safety – Do not drink and drive or travel with anyone who has been drinking. Wear your seatbelt at all times. Make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in good working shape before a long road trip. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings if you are in an unfamiliar place and know where the nearest emergency room is to you at all times in case of an emergency.

“Many of the factors that will determine your safety over Memorial Day weekend or any time this summer will come down to good decision-making and common sense,” said Dr. Gardner. “As someone who sees the consequences up close, my best advice is, know your limits, be mindful of certain risks and stay smart.”

Source: The Bulletin, Valencia Community College, Vol. XXXIX, No. 20, May 24, 2010

faculty and staff honor colleague

Expressing their gratitude for Helen Clarke's magnanimous contribution to T/LA, colleagues donated funds to the Valencia Foundation in her honor. Helen will have the opportunity to designate her favorite Valencia scholarship or program as the recipient of these contributions!

Valencia Community College faculty and staff recently honored Teaching/Learning Academy director Helen Clarke for her years of commitment to the program.   

At a May 26 reception over $1050 was presented to Helen with the opportunity to designate her favorite Valencia scholarship or program as the recipient of these contributions! 

The Teaching/Learning Academy, a community of practice, supports new professors, counselors, and librarians as they develop Individualized Learning Plans, a fundamental phase of the tenure process designed to assist tenure candidates to expand and improve their professional practices and students’ learning. TLA provides support on pedagogy, course design, student development, and professional portfolio development. 

Expressing their gratitude for Helen Clarke’s magnanimous contribution to T/LA, colleagues donated funds to the Valencia Foundation in her honor. Helen will have the opportunity to designate her favorite Valencia scholarship or program as the recipient of these contributions!  

Many thanks to Helen Clarke for your years in the Teaching/Learning Academy.  We wish you the best as you return to your first professional love. . . teaching!    

Note:  contributions in Helen’s honor are still being accepted through a secure online process, if you wish to make a contribution please designate your donation is in honor of Helen Clarke.

board scholarship committee

The Valencia Foundation continues to award scholarships to deserving and hard-working students currently attending Valencia. With the continued support of our generous donors, Valencia Foundation was able to provide $3.4 million to Valencia Community College in 2008-09 through scholarships, teaching chairs and academic program assistance.

This Thursday, May 27 at 10:00 a.m. our scholarship chair, Kay Walters,  and Valencia Foundation board will meet for our annual scholarship committee meeting. The brief get-together will allow the board to become more involved in the scholarship and awarding process.

Our hope is to award $25,000 to deserving students.

remain “phishing savvy” Valencia friends~

Valencia’s Office of Information Technology Tip of the Week

How to Avoid Being Caught by Phishers

You receive an e-mail from [Your Bank Name Here] stating that there has been some suspicious activity on your account. To verify that the account activity is fraudulent, you are directed to click on the link provided and log into your account. You click on the link and it takes you to a [??Your Bank??] log-in screen. A username and password is required to log in. You enter your user credentials and the website directs you to another screen asking you to enter your bank account number, online pin and to verify your mother’s maiden name. Obligingly you enter the information and select submit. However, the form just goes blank and asks you to enter you information again. After another attempt you give up and call the tank. The representative denies that the company ever sent you an e-mail, and after a quick review of your account, it seems that there have been several withdrawals over the past few minutes totaling $1,200.

This story has been true for countless unsuspecting people who have fallen victim to Phishing scams. The term Phishing refers to the process of attempting to obtain personally sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, bank and credit card account numbers by imitating legitimate, trustworthy, sources. Asking yourself the following questions and following a few simple rules will help you identify and avoid falling victim to these scams. 

  • Does the e-mail contain misspellings or bad grammar?
  • Is this the first e-mail that you have received from the company?
  • Do you have any suspicions about the legitimacy of the message at all?
  • Does the web address of the website match the web address of the link on the e-mail?
  • When you receive the e-mail, it is always recommended that you call the company that initiated the request.
    • Note: A legitimate company will NEVER ask to go to a website and verify you account or user credentials.
  • Never open a link in a suspicious e-mail; doing so could infect your computer with Trojans, viruses and other malware .

Finally if you do receive an e-mail that you suspect is a scam, report the message to the company that the message claims to be from. Doing this can help the company report the problem to the appropriate agencies, in turn keeping others from being ripped off.

foundation f.a.q for you


FAQ's for you!

Want to know more about the Valencia Foundation and how we support Valencia Community College?  F.A.Qs for you are provided so you can be one of Those-in-the-Know.

What is the Valencia Foundation?
The foundation is a separate, not-for-profit, IRS approved 501(c)(3) corporation chartered in 1974 to provide financially for the educational needs of Valencia that cannot be met through state aid or student tuition income.

What does the Valencia Foundation do?
The office coordinates campaigns that help Valencia Community College provide a range of benefits, including scholarships, new technology, facilities, faculty improvements, and special programs. Nearly 60 community leaders volunteer generously of their time, talent, and resources by serving on the board of directors.

Can I tell the foundation how to spend my money?
Yes, you can tell our foundation how to utilize your donation by making a restricted gift.   *Please see the next question and answer for more information about restricted and unrestricted gifts.

What is the difference between a restricted gift and an unrestricted gift?
If you make a restricted gift, also known as a designated gift, you can direct your contribution to a specific scholarship, academic program, or any other special need. If you make an unrestricted gift—one with no restrictions on its use—you give Valencia the ability to apply funds where students need them most, including taking advantage of unexpected opportunities and meeting unforeseen challenges.

Will I receive tax benefits for my gift?
Yes, in most cases, the college’s supporters can deduct gifts from their taxes. Besides making direct, one-time contributions, you may also want to consider the long-term tax and estate-planning benefits of giving through annuities, trusts, and other financial tools.

Can I make a gift in honor or memory of someone?
Yes. As a tribute to a friend, colleague, mentor, family member, or anyone else, you can give in a person’s name.

How can I double or even triple my contribution?
Check with the human resources office at your company to see if it offers a matching funds program. More than 1,200 corporations have programs that match employees’ gifts to organizations like Valencia Community College.

What is a planned gift?
A planned gift is an arrangement to make a contribution to the Valencia Foundation, usually in the future. Annuities, trusts, and bequests in a will are examples of planned gifts. For more information, please visit our planned giving website at or contact Donna Marino at (407) 582-3128.

What is an outright gift?
An outright gift is an immediate, direct contribution, usually consisting of cash, real estate, or securities. 

Are there any advantages to making an outright gift?
Yes!  In fact, the advantages of making an outright gift are many… Valencia now offers more than 50 pre-major associate of arts, over 100 associate in science and applied science degrees and certificate programs: most programs lead to immediate entry into the workforce.

When you make an outright gift of cash, property, securities, or other assets to the Valencia Foundation,

  • You provide instant assistance to the college and gain an immediate tax deduction.
  • You usually get a charitable deduction for the full cost of the gift in the year you make it.
  • It’s an easy, efficient way to support a cause you believe in.
  • There are no complex financial documents to fill out.
  • You get the satisfaction of offering direct financial help that furthers Valencia’s mission of reaching out to potential students and providing affordable, accessible learning opportunities.
  • You receive other benefits depending on the type of gift: cash, real estate, or appreciated securities.

Because most Valencia Foundation benefactors make an outright gift of cash, the foundation has established several convenient ways for you to provide that support, including a check or credit card.

Are all gifts useful?
Yes, gifts of all amounts are deeply appreciated no matter how large or modest. Added to other gifts, any one gift combined has a large impact. Any gift demonstrates your concern for educational excellence at Valencia.

Can I make a gift online?
Yes. It’s quick, easy and secure through our online registration form at Make a Donation.

What is an Annual Fund?
An Annual Fund is a yearly campaign that raises resources for student scholarships and college programs and establishes a vehicle for Valencia to broaden its base of support. The rental income from the foundation’s real estate investments cover most of the foundation’s operating and fund-raising expenses, ensuring that 100 percent of donations are used exclusively for our donors’ intended purpose.

What is the Capital Campaign?
The Capital Campaign is a special campaign for new investments in people, programs, technology, and facilities for Valencia.

Where can I get more information?
Contact the Valencia Foundation at 190 S. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804; (407) 582-3150 or by emailing the foundation at

dmarino orig posting 09/09

take america to college

Two Valencia students were chosen from 200 contestants to appear in a video series called, “Take America to College.” Charnee Ball, a navy veteran, and Kathryn McCormick, a single mother who waitresses 35 hours a week, will reveal their struggles in getting through college along with five other nontraditional students.

Ball and McCormick will travel with the other finalists to Washington, D.C., to share their stories and concerns with policymakers about whether current initiatives to increase graduation rates are helping or whether more needs to be done. The finalists will also earn $500 and receive a video camera. Valencia was the only college to have two students selected for the series. East Campus faculty helped the students produce the audition videos that they submitted.

The series is produced by Purple States, a media company that produces and distributes videos that put a human face on policy challenges. The creators hope to air the segments this spring on a major news site. They can also be seen at

student thank you

I am overjoyed and appreciative of your assistance in helping me achieve my educational goals. Due to your contributions to my education, I feel bound to represent the ideals and morals that you stand for to the best of my ability. Please know that each and every day that I awake, I walk this earth knowing that I am a product and representative of all those who have helped, invested, and supported me throughout my life.

 Tyree R., engineering
2009/10 Foundation Scholarship Recipient

hitting the links for scholarships

One more week be”FORE” CREW Orlando tees off for student scholarships…

19th Annual CREW Orlando Golf Tournament 
“A ‘Network Series’ of 18-Holes”

When: Friday, May 14, 2010

Where: MetroWest Golf Club
2100 South Hiawassee Road, Orlando, FL  32835

Additional Info: 8:00 a.m. shotgun start – scramble format. Individual spots are $150 and there are a number of sponsorship opportunities available.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit and fund the CREW Orlando Valencia Foundation Scholarship Endowment Program.

For more information, please visit

nursing graduate fulfills lifelong dream

On May 5, when Pamm Danley-Piester walks across the stage during the pinning ceremony for Valencia’s 85 nursing graduates, she will fulfill a life-long dream.  The 43-year-old mother of three always longed to work in nursing, a profession that makes a tangible difference in people’s lives

Like so many women, Pamm’s dreams were derailed after marrying young and raising her three boys, Trevor, Brandon and Brent, now 28, 20 and 17.  A satisfying career in medical transcription didn’t extinguish her dream.  Like most who are drawn to nursing, Pamm is motivated by a deep desire to help others.

“My mom was the neighborhood nurse,“ explains Pamm. “She took care of everybody. Both of my parents instilled a sense of caring for others and giving back. My husband Jerry and I live by that value and have passed it on to our children.”

In 2006, with her youngest son nearing high school age, the St. Cloud resident summoned the courage to rekindle an old dream and enrolled at Valencia.  Its nursing program is recognized as one of the finest anywhere.  In the most recent exam required to become a registered nurse (National Council Licensure Examination), Valencia graduates had a higher pass rate than both the state and national average with a whopping 92.92 percent pass rate for first-time takers.

Pat Woodbery, director of Valencia’s nursing program, underscores the support available to students like Pamm. “Nursing is a very difficult program but the camaraderie students share helps them go through each step together.  It can be tackled in manageable chunks.”

Pamm worried that she would be the oldest student in her classes. She worried that after so many years away from school, math would prove too difficult.

“The professors at Valencia are phenomenal,” says Pamm who quickly realized that life experience gave her a unique perspective on health care.

In 2004, Pamm’s terminally ill mother moved in with her family. The skill and gentleness with which hospice nurses tended to her mother had a profound impact on her and the entire family.  She now wants to specialize in geriatric care.

“My faith grows stronger, as I get older, that what gets us through life is not what we can get but what we can give,” says Pamm. It took almost four years to complete the requirements for her degree.

Pamm isn’t done yet. She plans on enrolling in the University of South Florida online program and has her sights set on a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then a master’s degree. Ultimately teaching is where she hopes to make her mark.

Her more immediate goal is a position with Florida Hospital where she did several clinical rotations. Pamm also worked at St. Cloud Hospital, the Council on Aging, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and Arnold Palmer Hospital.

Her advice to anyone thinking of going back to college after a long delay in their studies is to realize they can do it. “Don’t be afraid to pursue your dream,” says this new Valencia nursing graduate whose fear of math proved unfounded.  In her last semester, Pamm earned an A in statistics.

Nursing Graduate Fulfills Lifelong Dream.

exchange agreement signed

Exchange Agreement Signed with College in the Netherlands

“This agreement is part of Valencia’s larger commitment to the globalization of our curriculum and broadening international experiences for faculty, staff and students,” explained Dr. Shugart.

Officials from Valencia Community College and Koning Willem I College in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, signed an agreement last week that establishes a comprehensive exchange program.  The agreement outlines the exchange of degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students, academic publications, faculty and research scholars, and collaboration on joint research projects.

A 10-person delegation from the Netherlands made the trip to Orlando this week and toured Valencia, meeting with key administrators, in part to formalize the partnership.

“The goals of the partnership are to foster relationships and understanding and give participants tremendous options for study and work abroad,” said Joyce Romano, vice president for student affairs at Valencia.

Participants will be enrolled concurrently at both institutions and have access to opportunities to learn and work in a foreign country.  To facilitate the program, Valencia has applied to the U.S. State Department to be authorized to issue J exchange visitor visas to foreign participants.  Other similar agreements are being pursued with colleges in Great Britain and China.

The agreement was initiated by the two colleges’ presidents, Valencia’s Sanford “Sandy” Shugart and Coen Free of Koning Willem I. The two met through their involvement in the Chair Academy, an international leadership and training program for college and university leaders.  

“This agreement is part of Valencia’s larger commitment to the globalization of our curriculum and broadening international experiences for faculty, staff and students,” explained Dr. Shugart.  

The first exchange trips are expected to occur during the upcoming academic year.

friend spotlight

CREW Orlando and AIA Orlando continue to tee off for students

Valencia Foundation’s successes are the direct result of successful partnerships with organizations and individuals who do their part to contribute, advocate and invite others to learn about Valencia Community College. Partnerships with organizations like Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando and American Institute of Architects, Orlando Chapter (AIA), take the important step in setting the philanthropic curve in today’s world – finding new and unique ways to bring funds to those who need it most and over an extended period of time.

CREW Orlando, formed in 1987, is the local chapter of CREW Network, an international organization comprised of over 8,000 members in 66 chapters. This association was formed to attract the most powerful and influential professionals in the commercial real estate industry. Offering a unique business development network, CREW Orlando represents key decision makers in virtually every discipline of commercial real estate. Over 63% of CREW Network members are chief executive officers, presidents, owners, partners or senior managers and CREW Orlando boasts an average of 15 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry.

With current foundation board chair Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier of AEGIS Law Firm PL and current foundation board member Sarah Kelly of Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers leading the charge for partnership with CREW, CREW’s support includes scholarship endowment, an annual golf tournament, a planned mentoring program and CREW Careers ™, an interactive program designed to introduce female high school students to the career opportunities available in the commercial real estate industry. The CREW Orlando Scholarship was created to support our students who seek a future in commercial real estate. Their scholarship endowment value stands at $230,663 with more than $22,000 awarded in student scholarships in recent years. Serving as a role model for AIA Orlando, CREW Orlando has raised some $80,000 including state match through their annual golf tournaments for student scholarships since 2002.

AIA was founded in 1857 to “promote the scientific and practical perfection of its members” and “elevate the standing of the profession.” Today, AIA has over 83,000 members with its Orlando chapter among the largest in the state of Florida comprising over 600 members. The Orlando chapter serves to create opportunities for professional development and fellowship, encouraging members to become active leaders in the community and the profession.

For 19 years, AIA Orlando has organized golf tournaments at some of the finest courses in Central Florida. Attended by the area’s top architectural design professionals, the tournament draws support from throughout the community in the form of sponsorships, golf teams and in-kind donations. Former foundation board member C.T. Hsu, FAIA, of C.T. Hsu + Associates PA and current foundation board member Alan Helman, FAIA, of HHCP Architects Inc. inspired the AIA Orlando board to devote their golf tournament proceeds to Valencia. With Michael Lingerfelt, AIA, and Nathan Butler, AIA, both serving as AIA Florida vice presidents and with Michael seated as golf committee chairman for 5 years, AIA’s golf tournaments have generated $227,000 for scholarships, including matching funds since 2002. Additionally, AIA Orlando established the American Institutes of Architects scholarship for those pursuing their studies in Architecture and Building Construction with more than $60,000 awarded to students in recent years. AIA Orlando’s total endowment is over $61,000.

Unique partnerships such as those with CREW Orlando and AIA Orlando helps Valencia Foundation give students opportunities to learn and succeed and keep within our goal to provide access for every person in our community who wishes to attend college.

Reprinted from: 2006-08 Valencia Foundation Biennial Report

open opera summer classes

Robert Swedberg, Former Orlando Opera Director, to Offer Summer Classes at Valencia

Following the success of last year’s summer opera program, visiting artist Robert Swedberg, former director of the Orlando Opera, will return to Valencia to teach two summer classes: Opera and Music Theatre Workshop, and Yoga for Performers.
Both courses are open to members of the community. Participants must enroll at Valencia and will receive two hours of college credit for each course they take. The fee is $174.72 per course. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free.
Opera and Music Theatre Workshop
This course addresses all aspects of opera and musical theatre production with a focus on music preparation, character analysis, and performance skills. The class will culminate in a program of semi-staged and costumed operatic and musical theatre excerpts. 
To join this class, participants must register for the Valencia course MUO2001, CRN # 32821. The class will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:20-6:55 p.m. from June 8-Aug. 3 on Valencia’s East Campus. This course requires an additional fee of $35.  
This course is designed to help performers balance their physical, mental and spiritual practice through yoga. Professor Robert Swedberg is a certified yoga instructor, and has developed this course specifically for the needs of the performer, using elements of several different yoga styles. Each participant will be assisted in building an individual yoga practice relevant to body type, physical condition and goals. 

To join this class, participants must register for the Valencia course MUS2930, CRN # 32784. The class will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:06-4:40 p.m. from June 8-Aug. 3 on Valencia’s East Campus. 

Robert Swedberg served as the general director of Orlando Opera from 1990-2007. Prior to that, he was the general director of Syracuse Opera and also held positions with Opera Carolina, the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Wagner Festival. He also worked as a professional singer and voice teacher for several years. Currently, he serves as an associate professor of voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

For more information, please contact Wendy Givoglu, dean of Arts and Entertainment, at 407-582-2218 or

Yoga for Performers

Source: Valencia Marketing & Strategic Communications

student gives thanks

You have not realized this yet, but you are helping me achieve my dreams in a country of limitless potential. Those dreams will be a foundation for my children and the generation that proceeds long after my legacy is nothing but a whisper.

I do not come from poor beginnings nor do I come from an extremely wealthy family line; however, my family has always reminded me of the importance of education. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing me with this type of assistance. Thank you for setting an example in a society that keeps our greater generation growing into bright individuals.

 Jayson F., computer engineering
2009/10 Foundation Scholarship Recipient

donor spotlight: Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier, Esq.

Helen created the Valencia/UCF Frances Millican 2+2 Scholarship in 2007.

Helen’s roots in philanthropy and community run deep in Central Florida. She plays an indispensable role as one of Valencia Foundation’s key leaders and is the longest and among the top contributors. Her history as a volunteer at Valencia goes back more than fifteen years when she became involved with Valencia’s displaced homemakers program in the 1990s. Valencia Foundation’s board chair since 2008, Helen has helped the foundation thrive through even the most challenging of circumstances.

Under her leadership as chair of the board’s finance committee, Valencia Foundation implemented a new, comprehensive investment policy, revised financial policies, addressed audit issues, developed new financial strategies and continued to raise monies, meeting a $2.5 million first year external funding goal and more than $31 million in seven years. Under her leadership, the endowment has increased from $15.8 million in 2001 to more than $60 million in 2008. As head of the Valencia planned giving committee, Helen offers her professional guidance as a volunteer to field financial questions from donors and partners. In 2003, she spearheaded a campaign to raise $50,000 to name Valencia’s gallery in memory of a gifted faculty member, Anita Wooten.

Her personal contributions support the arts, women in transition, Valencia’s paralegal program and honors college, the Association of American Women in Community Colleges and scholarships that support access for all. She is gifted at cultivating new donations, bringing in American Express, BENCOR Inc. and other major corporations in support of the foundation. A master of nurturing new relationships, Helen uses the foundation’s special events as an opportunity to gather dozens of friends and colleagues and expose them to the goodness of Valencia – throughout the years, they have all become donors.

As an estate planning attorney and certified financial planner, she is in a unique position to help people reassess their priorities by giving to a cause whose mission the individual shares. In fact, she makes this a part of every presentation to show how charitable giving not only feels good but it also makes good fiscal sense. Her savvy in uniting people for collaboration has been of great benefit to Valencia and the foundation.

Helen created the Frances Millican Two Plus Two Scholarship in 2007, named in honor of the wife of UCF’s founding president, to help build a financial bridge for Valencia students to the University of Central Florida (UCF). And she created the Legal Eagles Pathway Scholarship in honor of her law school graduation, which funds students from Valencia through UCF and Barry University School of Law. 

Helen is a professional with great expertise who is willing to do whatever it takes. In the words of Valencia Community College’s president, Dr. Sanford Shugart, “Valencia Foundation is honored to have the passion, knowledge and friendship of this one-of-a-kind treasure.”

donor spotlight: C.T. Hsu

C.T. Hsu and Valencia President Sandy Shugart
C.T. Hsu and Valencia President Sandy Shugart

Foundation Director Emeritus C.T. Hsu, president of C.T. Hsu + Associates, P.A., is a true philanthropist.

In 1994, he established the Hsu Family Endowed Scholarship at Valencia to support minority students pursuing higher education. In 2006, C.T. and his wife, Jean, contributed $150,000 to establish the Hsu Family East Campus Development Fund to support teaching and learning, which resulted in a $600,000 endowment. His family’s giving commitment also includes hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked to scholarships, faculty endowed chairs and program support. 

He also helped bring the pre-architecture program to Valencia, which allows students to start the program at affordable tuition while remaining close to home. The program now matriculates directly to the University of Florida, and C.T. is committed to developing transfer scholarships. 

C.T. has been instrumental in attracting new donors and major contributors to The President’s Circle. In 2002, he secured the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Orlando Chapter as an annual donor to Valencia Foundation with more than $100,000 in contributions. Always one of the first to sponsor foundation events, C.T. also encourages his company and community organizations to sponsor Valencia Foundation events as well. 

His willingness to leverage both his professional and personal relationships in support of Valencia student scholarships has been instrumental in the continued success of Valencia Foundation and its fundraising efforts. 

Professionally, C.T.’s creative design genius is visible throughout Valencia’s campus locations, from the East Campus Criminal Justice Institute and Osceola’s flagship building to the soon-to-emerge UCF/Valencia joint-use facility on the West Campus. Personally, his leadership and enthusiasm are priceless assets to Valencia Community College and Valencia Foundation.

is it really free?

You plan on going shopping after work, so you go to the internet to see if there are coupons available for the items you want to purchase. In your search you come across a “coupon club” that promises to send you coupons on a weekly basis for the items you purchase the most. Thinking this is going to save you some money, you sign up for the “free” club and install their “free” coupon printer. About a week later you notice some strange charges to your bank account. The free coupons are not so free anymore.

The reality is you unintentionally downloaded spyware onto your computer. Spyware is software that can install itself or run on your computer without providing you with adequate notice, consent or control. Spyware might not display symptoms after it infects your computer, but many types of malicious software or unwanted programs can affect how your computer runs. Spyware can, for example, monitor your online behavior or collect information about you (including personally identifiable or other sensitive information), change settings on your computer or cause your computer to run slowly.

Spyware is frequently piggybacked onto computers when “freeware” applications are installed. These applications are generally written with little thought to security and hackers target the code to load spyware on systems. Spyware is difficult to get rid of, can threaten computer security, and perhaps compromise personal information.

Lesson: Be safe when online and do not install non-essential applications on your computer.

Source: The Bulletin, Valencia Community College, Vol. XXXIX, No. 13, April 5, 2010

the scholars “wow” us again

Lisa Macon shared fun news with the college and its all about the scholars…the Rogue Scholars that is!!!

If you missed Valencia’s famous rock band, the Rogue Scholars, the first time around, you can catch them again! And our suggestion – you don’t want to miss their performance. They really know how to “WOW” a crowd!!!

When: Saturday, April 17, 2010 7-9pm
Where: Osceola Campus Auditorium (Building 2)
Cost: $5 donation at the door (concessions available for additional donations)
Why: All proceeds from this concert go directly to the Valencia Foundation to support student scholarships…

…and besides (the sentiment of many), the band simply rocks!

Who: The Rogue Scholars are Al Groccia (Math professor, vocals), Brian Macon (Math professor, drums/vocals), Danny Charriez (bass/vocals), David DaPonte (tutor, guitar), Brett Sholar (tutor, guitar), Johnny Nunez (tutor, bass), Martin Olvera (professional entertainer!), Lisa Macon (IT professor, vocals) and Andrew Becker (instructional support, guitar and all-around great guy).

This is an interactive rock concert featuring songs from various periods of rock and roll history.  Sing along, dance and party it up with the Rogue Scholars!  Kids, family, friends welcome! 

Foundation staff will be there. Will you?

valencia class of 2009/2010


CLICK HERE to donate

CLICK HERE to make your class gift donation.

Breaking new ground:
1st Class Song & 1st Class Gift


The class of 2009/2010 has started a legacy that will live on and challenge future graduation classes with another first: the creation of a Student Class Gift.  Graduating students have challenged each other to make a donation for future student scholarships.  The Valencia Alumni Association will support these efforts by matching the donations up to $2000!!!

Donations of any amount are accepted by students, parents, faculty, staff and loved ones.  Graduating students are encouraged to become a ‘perfect 10’ with their $10 donation.  Credit cards are accepted online at: 

 The campaign runs through the end of April and closes with a special check presentation at the May commencement ceremony by this year’s Distinguished Graduate selected through the Valencia Alumni Association.  

Check out for the class song and more online Class Gift donation information. 

It’s gonna to be a great graduation and a good, good time! 

For the first year ever, the graduating class has replaced their traditional exit recessional march with a song selected by student class leaders.  All the tradition of commencement with an ending pop of flavor to celebrate!


Remember good ol’ Corkey from the Save the Corks! campaign?

Well he’s back to announce the total number of corks the Valencia and UCF families and our wonderful community collected during the Save the Corks! campaign for A Taste for Learning!

Get ready for it……………………………………97,500!!!

Our most heartfelt thank you to all those involved in the campaign efforts – we couldn’t have done it without you!!!

And remember: you can still collect your corks and drop them off at local ABC Fine Wine and Spirit stores to benefit UCP – United Cerebral Palsy. Every cork counts!

pain free knees

Need Pain-Free Knees? Start Here!
By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer

If your knees are giving you problems, and you feel like the Tin Man from “The Wizard Of Oz” when getting out of bed, you’re not alone. Nearly 50 million Americans feel the same way.

Knees are the most commonly injured joints in the body. Considering that when you simply walk up stairs, the pressure across your knee joints is four times your body weight, it isn’t surprising. Simple, everyday wear and tear can end up hurting your mobility.

But it’s not too late. Like a rusty door hinge, with care and maintenance, you knees can be trouble free. Even if you already experience problems, exercising the muscles surrounding the knee joints- Quadriceps (front of thigh), Hamstrings (back of thigh), Abductor (outside thigh), and Adductor (inside thigh}-will help make your knees stronger and less susceptible to injury. Exercise keeps your joints from stiffening and provides needed support, making movement easier and reducing pain. Here are some exercises you can do to both stretch and strengthen the knee area:


1. Chair knee extension: Sitting in a chair, rest your foot on another chair so the knee is slightly raised. Gently push the raised knee toward the floor using only leg muscles. Hold for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times on each leg. 

2. Heel slide knee extension: Lie on your back, with left knee bent and left foot flat on floor. Slowly slide the left heel away from your body so both legs are parallel. Hold for 5-10 seconds, return to starting position. Repeat 5 times on each leg. 

3. Knee flexion: Sitting in a chair, loop a long towel under your foot (resting on the floor). Gently pull on the towel with both hands to bend the knee, raising your foot 4-5 inches off the floor. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg. 

4. Hamstring stretch: Standing, put one foot in front of you, toes up. With hands on the small of your back (or one hand holding a chair for balance), bend the opposite knee and hip (not your lower back), until you feel the hamstrings stretch. The upper body comes forward at the hip. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg. 

Strength Training

1. Wall slide: Leaning with your back against a wall, bend your knees 30°, sliding down the wall, then straighten up again. Move slowly and smoothly, using your hands on the wall for balance. Keep feet and legs parallel, and do not allow knees to go out over the toes. Repeat 5-10 times. 

2. Bent-Leg Raises: Sitting in a chair, straighten one leg in the air (without locking the knee). Hold for about one minute. Bend your knee to lower the leg about halfway to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to starting position. Work up to 4 reps on each leg. 

3. Straight-Leg Raises: Sitting in a chair, rest your foot on another chair. Lift the foot a few inches off the chair while keeping your leg straight. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Return to resting position. Repeat 5-10 times. (Also work on increasing the time, up to 2-3 minutes if possible).

4. Abductor Raise: Lie on your side, propped on one elbow. The leg on the floor bent, the other straight. Slowly lift the top leg, hold for 5- 10 seconds, then lower. (Ankle weights will increase the intensity). Do 1-3 sets with 12-15 repetitions each. Remember to rest in between sets. 

5. Hamstring Curl: Stand with the front of your thighs against a surface (a table or wall). Flex one knee up as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then lower slowly. If possible, do not touch the floor between repetitions. (Ankle weights will increase the intensity) Do 1-3 sets with 12-15 repetitions each. Remember to rest in between sets. 

6. Step-Ups: Stand in front of a step, like a sturdy bench or stairs, about two feet high (or less if necessary). Step up onto the support, straighten your knees fully (without locking them) and step down. Maintain a steady pace. If you are comfortable with your balance, pump your arms while doing this exercise. Start with 1 minute, slowly building your time. Gets your heart pumping too!

7. Stationary Bike: Biking is a good way to increase strength and range of motion. Make sure you have the right positioning of the legs. At the bottom of the pedal stroke, the bend in the knee should be 15 degrees. Start with 10 minutes and slowly increase your time. Depending on your current level of activity and mobility, a good start is 3 stretching and 3 strengthening exercises, 3-4 times a week. Stretching can be (and should be) done every day if possible to prevent stiffness and achy joints. These stretches can be done a few times a day if needed.

Source: The Bulletin, Monday, March 29

endowed scholarship update

The following is an open copy of the letter sent to Valencia Foundation endowed scholarship donors and scholarship contacts. 

Thank you for your continuing support of our mission to expand college access. We appreciate the difference you make in the lives of students through your endowed scholarship.

Because of that generosity, Valencia Foundation provided more than $3.4 million to Valencia when the most severe recession in recent memory was running full throttle. That’s about $130,000 more than the previous fiscal year.

We face tough economic challenges in serving students and managing scarce resources, but we have been able to maintain our foundation support this year because of donor loyalty and commitment.

You may have read in the newspaper about multi-billion-dollar university endowments suffering losses so significant that all spending has been suspended. As we balance the needs of our students with legal and fiscal accountability, I wanted to share with you the measures our board has taken to preserve your endowment. Because of their careful vigilance, we find only a handful of funds currently below their original corpus value as of Dec. 31, 2009. However, once spring disbursements have been recorded and our fiscal yearend figures examined by independent auditors, we shall evaluate each and every one of our 500 accounts, including yours.

We can’t predict what the next 18 months will bring economically, and we wish to be certain that we do not find ourselves in the position of other institutions which have had to freeze all disbursements from their endowments for several years.

So what does this mean?

  • First, we’ll be calculating each account individually to determine its value above corpus, your original gift plus any matching dollars. I will be able to share those numbers by mid-May, which is several weeks later than usual.
  • Second, in order to compensate for a potential “double dip” in market performance, we’ll be projecting your disbursement for two academic years (2010/11 and 2011/12) to ensure sustainability. Should the market continue to rebound, we’ll be able to expand disbursement in the second year.
  • Third, if we discover that your fund is below its corpus value, we’ll communicate with you personally to review our options.

The bottom line is that we want to honor our covenant to steward your investment, our legal fiduciary responsibility to manage contributions – and the urgent needs of students. In partnership with the college, student financial aid has increased threefold during this recession to a total of $90.4 million. Student enrollment has grown by one-third, at the same time the state’s allocation dropped by 12 percent.

We’re dedicated to working hand in hand with the college to do more with less – and to serve our community.

We won’t let you down.

Should you have any questions, please contact me or our donor stewardship manager, Donna Marino, at (407) 582-3128 or To learn more about Valencia Foundation, visit us at

Geraldine Gallagher, CFRE
President and CEO
Valencia Foundation

seeking new singers

Valencia Community College’s chorus groups are looking for new members for the summer term. Opportunities are available to anyone with an interest in singing, regardless of previous musical training.

Participants must enroll at Valencia and will receive one hour of college credit for each group/course they join. The course fee is $87.36. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free.

There are two opportunities available:

Voices of Valencia’s “The A Cappella Experiment”

Voices of Valencia is a nonprofessional community/student choral ensemble. This summer, the group will explore the various genres of mixed men’s and ladies’ a cappella singing. Anyone who is interested in learning more about a cappella music is invited to join. No auditions are required.

To be a part of this group, participants must register for the Valencia course MUN 1311, CRN # 31073 and show up the first night. The group will meet every Tuesday night, beginning May 11, at 7 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus. 

Valencia A Cappella Chorale

The Valencia A Cappella Chorale performs the same scores as Epcot’s Voices of Liberty. Derric Johnson, writer/director/producer for the Voices of Liberty, serves as a mentor for the Valencia A Cappella Chorale and James Jones is the director. Mr. Jones has trained alongside Danny Murray, the director of the Voices of Lee, who were recently featured on NBC’s “Sing Off.”

Auditions are required. Those who audition must be prepared to sing 16 bars of an up-tempo piece, as well as a ballad. To be a part of the group, participants must register for the Valencia course MUS 2930, CRN # 31075. The group will meet every Monday night, beginning May 10, at 7 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus. 

Audition dates:

Friday, April 9, 2010 
7 – 9:45 p.m.
Valencia’s East Campus
Building 3, room 124

Friday, April 23, 2010 
7 – 9:45 p.m.
Valencia’s West Campus
Building 5, room 111

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. The West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando.

For more information about either of these groups, please contact Mr. James Jones at

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communication, 407-582-1778

teaching & rocking for students

There are ways to give other than money.  A collection of musically talented faculty, staff, and friends–-fondly called The Rogue Scholars–-have found a way to utilize their talent and time raising funds for student scholarships. 

As the video below illustrates, these faculty members are combining their love of rock-n-roll with a passion to help others.   

Another scholar, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, once said “Give what you have; to someone it may be better than you dare to think”.  To our Rogue Scholar friends I say: thank you for what you have – both your time and your talents are appreciated!