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?

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endowed chair sparked recent TEDx ValenciaCollegeLive

TEDxValenciaCollegeLiveStudents

Valencia’s East Campus recently hosted TEDxValenciaCollegeLive.
This photo of Valencia College students and faculty made an appearance on the TED global stage in Scotland during the TEDGlobal 2013 Live Stream.

Dr. James S. May, Professor of English as a Second Language, expresses his appreciation for the 2012-2013 Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair:

“It is with the support Valencia Foundation and the Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair, that Valencia College was able to take part in the recent global collaboration as part of TEDGlobal 2013 Live Stream.

Valencia students, faculty and staff  had the opportunity to experience these enriching TED talks, presented in time-delayed simulcast from the TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Last February, thanks in large part to the Valencia Foundation and the Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair, I had the honor of attending TEDActive2013. There, I experienced the true power and wonder of TED. An outcome of the endowed chair was this participation with TEDGlobal 2013. “

Valencia Foundation Endowed Chairs for Learning Leadership program has been established to recognize and promote academic excellence at Valencia College. The program honors outstanding members of the Valencia teaching faculty and provides resources needed for advancement of instruction at Valencia.

At Valencia College the endowed chair program recognizes and supports the Valencia faculty. In contrast to endowed chair programs at four-year institutions, which aim to attract preeminent researchers, Valencia Foundation endowed chairs fund a faculty proposed learning experiences.

These proposals that supports the mission, vision, and values of Valencia College and has a connection to student learning.  Endowed chairs also provide funding for projects that enhance learning-centered activities and/or foster professional development departmentally, college wide, within a discipline, or within the central Florida community.

Additional photos of Valencia’s day-long event are posted online.

sending appreciation to faculty and staff

You may soon see Valencia employees on campus sporting a new piece of Valencia flair: the gold Valencia Foundation lapel pin.

This lapel pin is given in appreciation to those faculty and staff members who are “Giving Opportunity” to Valencia students through payroll contributions to the Valencia Foundation

This lapel pin is given in appreciation to those faculty and staff members who are “Giving Opportunity” to Valencia students through payroll contributions to the Valencia Foundation

This lapel pin is given in appreciation to faculty and staff members who are “Giving Opportunity” to Valencia students through payroll contributions to the Valencia Foundation.

Employees who contribute by payroll deduction can select which scholarship they would like to support. These scholarships may reflect discipline, organization affiliation, or in memory of a colleague.

Others Valencia employees support Valencia’s Student Opportunity Scholarship, the first scholarship created and funded solely by faculty and staff for the students they serve.

For a full list of scholarships please visit the Valencia Foundation website.  If employees wish to contribute by semi-monthly payroll deductions please download the application here.

The Valencia Foundation would like to send special thanks to Katie Shephard and Josh Murdock who lead the 2012-2013 Faculty and Staff Committee!

If you are interested in serving as a faculty and staff campus ambassador please contact Donna Marino, manager of donor stewardship for Valencia Foundation at 407-582-3128 or email dmarino@valenciacollege.edu.

mayor richard t. crotty-valencia-ucf 2+2 scholarship

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Mayor Richard Crotty (L), Mathieu Hill (C), and Dr. Sandy Shugart (R) pictured at the Alumni Achievers Reception in June, 2011. Mathieu Hill entered Valencia as a high school recipient of the Mayor Richard T. Crotty-Valencia-UCF 2+2 Scholarship from the Osceola County School for the Arts in 2011. He is graduating from Valencia this year and has once again been selected as a recipient for this scholarship as he goes on to attend UCF.

Eight recipients for the Mayor Richard T. Crotty-Valencia-UCF 2+2 Scholarship have been selected after interviews by a joint committee consisting of members from both the Valencia and UCF alumni associations.  This scholarship is awarded annually to graduating Valencia College students entering the University of Central Florida this fall along with graduating high school students from Orange and Osceola Counties entering Valencia College this fall who will attend UCF upon graduation.

Recipients of this $4,000 scholarship for this year are:

Graduating Valencia students entering UCF:

  • Mathieu Hill
  • Javier Grisales
  • Andrew Wulf

High school students entering Valencia College:

  • Michael Cerverizzo, West Orange High School
  • Christopher De Miranda, Olympia High School
  • Kaveena Jaikaran, Colonial High School
  • Daniel Romero, Osceola High School
  • Stacy Tran, Evans High School

young money live: financial literacy week

Financial Literacy Week Presents “Young Money Live
Monday, April 8 at 9:30am to 3:00pm
East Campus, Bldg 5, Room 112 & Great Hall
701 N Econlockhatchee Tr.Financial Learning

Along with special sessions like Young Money Live, Student Financial Learning Ambassadors promote financial literacy and responsible money management through peer-to-peer skillships and by presenting at campus events.

Many of the Ambassador presentations occur in the classroom through Valencia’s Student Success course, which is a class teaching strategies for success in life and college and is an appropriate platform for introducing the topic of financial responsibility.

It is with the support of USA Funds over the last 2 years that the Financial Learning Ambassador program has grown and expanded college-wide.

Mounting student debt to cover rising college costs is creating a challenging environment for a number of students pursuing a college degree. A college degree is an avenue to financial success and long-term stability and most college graduates experience more stable employment, higher income, security through assets, and an overall better quality of life than non-graduates.  One mechanism to work toward higher graduation rates and lower default rates is by way of financial literacy strategies and initiatives like the USA Funds supported Financial Learning Ambassadors at Valencia College.

new lake nona rotary supporting valencia students

Valencia Osceola President Kathleen A. Plinske, (L), Valencia Foundation Manager Donna Marino (C)  and  Lake Nona Rotary President Michael Valenzeula

Valencia Osceola President Kathleen A. Plinske, (L), Valencia Foundation Manager Donna Marino (C) and Lake Nona Rotary President Michael Valenzeula

Special appreciation is extended to Lake Nona Rotary; this group modeled service above self with a recent contribution of $4,000 for Valencia student scholarships.

The March 2013 donation is earmarked for first responder student scholarships.

At the same meeting, Lake Nona Rotary members honored the good work of local students in the Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary.

This Civil Air Patrol unit collaborated with Valencia College and Lake Nona Rotary to implement the 9/11 memorial flag display on Osceola Campus.

Valencia Osceola President Kathleen A. Plinske, (L),  Student Leaders from  Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary (C) Valencia Foundation Manager Donna Marino (R)  and  Lake Nona Rotary President Michael Valenzeula (R)

Valencia Osceola President Kathleen A. Plinske, (L), Student Leaders from Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary (C) Valencia Foundation Manager Donna Marino (R) and Lake Nona Rotary President Michael Valenzeula (R)