Elizabeth Wanielista–change is a constant!

The John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business this year was awarded to Elizabeth Wanielista.

On October 19, 2015, she attended the 27th Annual Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) Conference in Clearwater Beach, FL.

The benefits derived from this endowed chair were information on the skills needed by medical office employees to obtain employment in medical offices. Students need to be able to apply knowledge of computers but also have soft skills as: proper telephone techniques, compassion, helping attitude, and discretion regarding patient information. Also, noted was the fact that transcription is no longer used in medical offices. The use of Electronic Health Records is becoming mandatory in medical offices, so employees will need to have knowledge of how to input these records.

This information was shared with the other Office & Medical Office Administration faculty. Her attending the PAHCOM Conference and meeting with office managers regarding skills needed for medical office employees were obtained as a result of this endowed chair. Students will benefit from the information received from the conference by the information obtained from medical office managers. The information on the skills needed for medical office employees will be used to update the Medical Office Administration Program.

The ability to have contact with employees working in the field gave her first-hand knowledge. Office Managers are very busy and hard to reach when in their regular work environment. Having been with them for three days gave her the opportunity to ask questions of many different managers regarding the skills needed for medical office employees.

“I have attempted to make contact with local medical office managers which resulted in three face-to-face meetings. I have sent out many emails and made many calls to local office managers with not many results. My attending the Medical Office Manager Conference in October gave me more contacts.

“The medical office is changing as a result of technology and HIPAA laws, so it is important to keep in contact with local managers in order to update our program.”

Check out our earlier piece: http://bit.ly/2lUUoXu

Andrew Ray: a visit to China

Andrew Ray, traveling to make life better at home. 1m3a0100-%281024x683%29-2

Andrew Ray took his Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering Programs and went on walk-about this summer. He took two students and combined them with a business program to China in July, to take a look at how China is exploring renewable energy.

Originally, they were going to Germany, but that became an impossibility, so instead of calling it quits, Ray changed his plans, and took his students to China, where just a few years previously, the Chinese—known for renewable energy in the runup to the Beijing Olympics—had blossomed with solar.

In the lead-up to the Beijing trip, they started with a trip to the UCF campus in Cocoa to look at renewable energy.

Once in China, they looked at solar, thermal, and some wind. They looked at wind energy being produced in the Gobi Desert, as well as work being done in Beijing and Shanghai. They also attended lectures at Polytechnic of Shanghai. They also discovered that the air quality is worse in Beijing (despite the cleanliness of the air at the Beijing Olympics!)

China is leading the world in manufacturing solar panels and ranks second in solar energy production, and are by far the leader in wind power. They have also been leading the movement to robotic construction technologies, and 3D printing of buildings. Despite this, they also have a leading role in pollution—a problem still to be solved!

 

James Inglis–going where no man has gone before

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James Inglis, Program Director Hospitality/Restaurant Management, used this year’s Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association Chair in Hospitality Management to fund his visit—and the visits of 12 students—to the National Hotel show in Chicago this year.

“Attending the national show is amazing: all the new technology, educational seminars and product demo’s are very informative. I gain by keeping up with the latest industry trends and products and the students also gain in the same way.”

It really opens students’ eyes to the current state of the industry and what the future holds, which is very bright, continues Inglis.

One of Inglis’s favorite cooking demos was Chef Rick Bayless, who showed the attendees how to make several basic marinades to keep on hand, and what to use them on.

It wasn’t all fun and games, of course. There were also business-oriented workshops on things like overtime laws, and how to motivate entry- and line-level employees.

They saw a demo on sustainability and how to purchase products within a 50 mile radius oimg_0106-1f your location.

Lots of new product demos were going on during the show, and the new img_0168-1technology of tablets and new ordering systems being introduced into the quick service and fast casual dining segments.

They even saw a robot cooking food. No word on the improvements to dining at the space station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert McCaffrey, professor of digital media

Robert McCaffr20160921_191035ey, professor of digital media, used his 2015-2016 Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications to purchase an interactive LCD screen system to use with the journalism media production class. The class it was intended to accompany didn’t make the cut in the spring semester, but the equipment will be used as part of a revised Valencia Voice (student newspaper) starting this fall (2016).

“The students will learn how to send content to the device and we will test it in different locations on East Campus to see if we can connect the stories of the student journalists with a student audience on campus.”

Although it was bought primarily for the student journalists, this device will likely have a secondary benefit as a platform for the interactive design courses in the department. It gives students a different input device for which they can imagine and design interactive products.

“You can think of the device as a giant iPad. We can program it to run certain content, but then us20160921_184746ers can touch the screen to interact with the content. That might mean stopping a currently running story and starting a different one, or thumbing through a photo gallery, or tapping on a Twitter feed from the college new group, or even rearranging all the content on the screen into a different configuration.”

The students are really excited about the potential of the screen. One of the most active ideas at the moment is to create a ‘Know Your Candidates’ interactive news project in time for the presidential election.

 

 

Deborah Howard: math, the struggle is real–and good!

D HowardDeborah Howard, math professor at the east campus, is using the Lockheed Martin chair in Mathematics this year in several ways, including bringing in Jeff Kosovich and allowing Professor Howard to attend the “Learning and the Brain” conference last winter.

Jeff Kosovich is a psychological researcher from the University of Virginia. He came to Valencia to conduct several cognitive interviews with Valencia students and front door math instructors on experimental design, growth mindset and motivation theory.

“We learned several useful procedural strategies that will assist us in collecting meaningful data,” says Howard. For example, their first attempt in recruiting students to participate in a focus group consisted of them contacting random Valencia math students. Only a few students attended even after they were called and reminded. “Jeff suggested we have the student’s math instructor make the contact with the student, since they already had a relationship with the student, and we were able to recruit a much larger sample of students.”  A protocol was created to ensure that each student’s experience in the focus group was as similar as it could be compared with other focus groups and that the interviewers did not influence the group’s responses.

The “Learning and the Brain” conferences Howard attended were “Shaping Student Mindsets” and “The Science of Imagination.”

“I learned that mastery-based goal orientation promotes a growth mindset, whereas performance-based goal orientation fosters a fixed mindset. Some effective strategies are to make the learning criteria known to students, emphasize productive struggle, and encourage students helping others which creates autonomy and resilience. In addition, passion for learning is sparked when students’ curiosity is engaged. I aspire to challenge my students to “Wonder Boldly”!”

Additionally, they were able to fund materials—including 40 jump drives for the secure data transfer of confidential and student-sensitive data, and two literature books, The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st-Century Schools” by Mariale Hardiman and “Mathematical Mindsets” by Jo Boaler and Carol Dweck.

Howard said, “Valencia wins! The teaching pedagogy of twenty-three East Campus front door mathematics faculty who participated in the growth mindset and motivation theory training were enriched. In turn, the students for these instructors for this year and future years will benefit with potential decrease in course drop-out rates, increase in math interest, and increase in overall course success rates. I have been approached by some of my own students who are so thankful that they now have the ability to believe in their own success in math. They are no longer afraid or believe that they can’t do math!”

Colin Archibald – “Big Data” is not ready for Valencia

Professor Colin Archibald, computer programming professor, used part of his University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology this year to explore the world of “big data.”

“In this project colinarchibaldwe explored the emerging field of big data. Also called data analytics, and closely related to other emerging fields in computing, such as predictive analytics and business intelligence. Big data is not a well-defined field of study. In fact, most of what is called big data is really the rebranding of well-known mathematics. The new part is that we have data being collected from many different sources, including from a myriad of internet-connected devices.”

 

Dr. Archibald attended an intensive three-day course during the Christmas break. This course was offered by Learning Tree International, and called Introduction to Big Data. This was a very valuable course – although what was learned wasn’t what was expected!

One of the most valuable lessons was that the computer science department has determined that “the wme-and-earl-1eek long, intensive, boot-camp style courses are not the most effective way to learn this material”; they chose to go a different route, and purchase some online video courses that would help people in the computer science department learn this new technology. One plus is that taking the courses on an ad-hoc basis means that they can take these courses as needed and as time allows, without disrupting their usual day-to-day teaching.

A series of several video courses were purchased instead, making it a very high learning-value. Additionally, they generated some interesting discussion among the advanced students. One student did his project for the honors program on “big data” (Correlation or Causation).

Although the original objective was to create a course for Valencia programming students in big data, that proved to be a bit beyond the reach of faculty and students at this time.  Dr. Archibald says “We’ll keep an eye on it. When it is a bit more solid, and a lot less ‘hype,’ we’ll have another look at whether it should be part of the curriculum.”

 

Mayra Holzer (Speech): intercultural traditions

eva-perons-grave-1“The purpose of my sabbatical work was to allow me to cultivate my intercultural competence and to become a more competent global citizen and educator.” Mayra Holzer, professor of speech, used her Rhymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications to that end.

Through her sabbatical, she “sought personal and professional renewal and development,” in large part by immersing herself in the culture of Argentina. While in Argentina, she visited museums, cultural and historical monuments, and was able to experience their food, music and community.

In addition to full immersion in the culture, she participated in a variety of professional development activities in the area of intercultural communication. She received personalized training in intercultural communication through Iceberg Inteligencia Cultural Iceberg, an international organization that promotes multicultural understanding and global competency for effective intercultural communication in professional acasa-rosada-2nd educational settings, specializing in Latin American cultures.

“My overseas experience enriched my world view in general, and my multicultural approach to education in particular.” Through her travels to Buenos Aires, Argentina, she was also able to re-connect with her Hispanic heritage, was able to practice her Spanish language skills, and learned about a new culture in a country she had never visited.

While on sabbatical, she worked on internationalizing her curriculum for SPC1017 (Interpersonal Communication) and SPC1608 (Fundamentals of Speech), with a strong emphasis on the impact of culture on communication styles. Upon her return she created two INZ toolkits (SAGE) for SPC1017 and have submitted a request to offer an internationalized course as part of Valencia’s Global Distinction Program. She has also developed a workshop to be offered in the 2016 fall term during Global Peace Week. The workshop is titled “Cultural attributions and their impact on communicating with others.”