DON’T BE CAUGHT OFF GUARD!

Daylight Savings Time ENDS Sunday, November 1st.
Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour Saturday night.

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It’s not too late!

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Alumni Spotlight

2015 Veterans of Influence: Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones

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Valencia alum Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones ’09, program manager, ZelTech Training Solutions LLC, is one of Orlando Business Journal’s 2015 Veterans of Influence who was recognized at a this years awards luncheon.

Here, she tells a bit about how serving in the military
made her into the woman she is today.

Check out this amazing video of Daila “Dee” Espeut-Jones!  

TEDxOrlando 2015

September LIVE Ted Talk

We’re very pleased to announce that TEDxOrlando will return Saturday September 12 to the beautiful, historic Garden Theatre in Winter Garden.

At TEDxOrlando, an exceptional group of thinkers and doers from across Central Florida come together to experience an exciting, interdisciplinary program of short talks given in the celebrated TED format.

Tickets will go on sale to you beginning June 1 — because you are among our most valued supporters. Tickets will be announced to the general public on June 12.

We’re especially excited about this year’s event and hope very much that you’ll join us.

In the meantime, we welcome you to let friends and family know about TEDxOrlando, share your “idea worth spreading,” check out our volunteer opportunities, or participate in a TEDxOrlandoSalon event.

Need money for college?

 

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congratulations valencia alumnus mikhail elliott ’10!

Congratulations Valencia alumnus Mikhail Elliott ’10! As the Valencia College 2010 recipient of the prestigious Jack Cook Kent Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, Mikhail went on to graduate from the University of Tampa and now …has earned a master of science degree in development economics and policy from the University of Manchester in the U.K. Mikhail currently resides in London and is seeking employment there in economic policy/consultancy or economic research. Mikhail is also a proud member of Valencia’s Association of Honors Alumni, a.k.a. AHA! You can join him by indicating your interest when you complete your new or updated online membership form: http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/membership_form.cfm.

Mikhail

 

a night of celebration!

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

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

Info

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kudos to desiree quinto! desiree graduated from valencia in 2011 and from ucf in 2012. and on she goes!

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By: Adam Rhodes, Central Florida Future

Imagine finally getting that job offer that has seemed so far away for so long. Now imagine getting it on national television.

For Desiree Quinto, a 2012 UCF graduate, that was her reality on Oct. 13, when, after two long years of job hunting, she was offered a job as a discovery specialist for her dream company, Birchbox, on Good Morning America during a segment about college graduates struggling to find work.

“I love the transparency there and the culture of the office,” Quinto said of the company. “CEOs are walking around, sitting side-by-side with their employees and getting to know [them]. There’s so much inspiration and room for growth. Ever since I walked in, I knew it was where I wanted to work.”

While Quinto was sure of her desire to work for Birchbox, she had no idea about the outcome of that Good Morning America segment.

“I had no idea,” Quinto said. “Even [that] morning I had no idea that was happening. I got in there at 5 a.m. and couldn’t be near TVs or have my phone.”

Even before she graduated UCF with an interdisciplinary studies degree, Quinto said she had been applying to places in New York City in hopes of moving there after graduation.

During her time at Valencia College, and then UCF, Quinto immersed herself in volunteer and non-profit work.

At Valencia, she became a member of the Model United Nations. Then at UCF, she made the dean’s list a handful of times and became a member of the Nonprofit Management Student Association and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Through those organizations, Quinto was able to become a certified nonprofit professional.

It’s that nonprofit experience that Quinto said made her competitive in the job market.

Even with that competitive edge, Quinto said, she still had trouble landing a job, despite getting relatively far with several interviews. Since graduation in December 2012, Quinto had been in South Florida working at a Mexican restaurant, Baja Cafe Dos.

But that’s all about to change as she makes her journey to her dream city.

As a Birchbox discovery specialist, Quinto will work directly with customers either over the phone or online through social media and email.

“She really showed us that she cared about the customer experience and what it really means to work with a customer and give them a great experience,” said Melissa Enbar, director of recruiting and talent development for Birchbox. “She showed us she was curious and asked a lot of questions. She was interested about the job in the company.”

Aside from Quinto’s curiosity and people skills, Enbar also said she stood out thanks to the research she did about the company.

“She was really knowledgeable about Birchbox,” Enbar said. “She did her research on what we do and how we do it.”

This coming weekend, Quinto is able to finally live her dream of living in New York City as she moves to Queens to start her position as a discovery specialist at her dream company.

orlando history vote!

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The Orange County Regional History Center is holding a contest, asking the public to vote on “100 Historic Icons of Orlando” for an upcoming exhibit.

Please consider voting for the founding of Valencia College in 1967 – and please cast a vote for the founding father of Valencia, Raymer F. Maguire, Jr. (West Campus students may recognize his name; the campus library is named for him.)

What you may not know is this: Maguire fought Orlando’s good-old-boy network, which wanted a segregated junior college. Instead, he led the fight to create a public college open to everyone.

Voting ends this week, so please go online at the link and cast your vote for the founding of Valencia and for Raymer Maguire Jr. To vote, you can go to either one of the following places:

History Center Website: http://www.historiciconsoforlando.com/

History Center Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Historic-Icons-of-Orlando/293074144177867?sk=app_140144849426314

valencia alum louis gray ’98 making a difference

From “the Projects” to Gray’s Project: A Profile of Louis Gray
By Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

Louis Gray is the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships “go-to” person in USF Registrar’s Office, helping OCEP fulfill its mission to support the service-learning curriculum on campus. Gray, the Registrar’s Office’s Academic Services Administrator, has been working behind the scenes, under the leadership of his supervisor Tony Embry and USF Registrar Angela Debose, coding each service-learning class offered on campus in Banner, the university’s administrative information system.

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Once the courses are coded, students are able to easily find service-learning offerings in OASIS; and OCEP can calculate the number of service-learning course sections and students enrolled. During the last academic school year, there were 188 sections of service-learning courses coded in the system, and over 4,000 students enrolled in these courses, which is a significant increase thanks to outreach efforts by OCEP and the Registrar’s Office.

And, it is no surprise that OCEP can count on Gray to help with these efforts, because he “gets it,” and he lives it. A natural connector, Gray said, “I’m the type to bring the community together.”

To that end, Gray started a Tampa-based nonprofit called G.R.A.Y.S. Project Inc. (Granting At-Risk Adolescents and Youth Sustainability), to provide the kind of support system for young people that he wished he had growing up in the Lake Mann Housing Project in Orlando.
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Through his eponymous nonprofit, Gray devotes evenings and weekends to tutoring young people of all ages with their schoolwork and to helping high school students with their college entrance exam preparation. Gray’s Project also partners with Second Chance Center for Boys & G3 Life Applications to provide tutoring, life coaching, and ACT Test prep to the local high school students.

Soon, he plans to expand the reach of Gray’s Project to Orlando to strengthen his partnership with Orlando’s Parramore Kidz Zone, one of eleven sites to receive a Promise Neighborhood Grant through the National League of Cities, in conjunction with the White House’s black male achievement initiative. Parramore Kidz Zone is a model program in an historically black neighborhood that has been making a difference. Additionally, the local Housing Authority has requested that he return to his roots in Lake Mann to tutor and mentor the youngest residents at its onsite Kids Café.

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(USF student volunteers with Gray’s Project)

He mused, “the projects…think about that word,” while remembering his childhood in Lake Mann.  His first eighteen years living in government-subsidized housing, often referred to as “the projects,” was challenging. There was a police presence there, but he called it a “mirage.” He said, it was more about “getting to know you to arrest you,” than to protect and serve the residents.

Gray’s work is completely self-funded, but he also relies on the help of others to keep his programs going. “When you give, give, give, people go above and beyond.”

Gray has enlisted a corps of volunteers, including twelve USF students and ten working professionals, to tutor and mentor young people.

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(Gray’s parents)

He credits his parents with giving him the support and structure that kept him on the forward trajectory that eventually led him to earning his MBA and working in academia. He said, “Family is key. Studies show family support and structure in the house [determine whether] you succeed or fail in life.”

He said that his father, who worked as a sharecropper as a child and drove a truck throughout his adult life, was home every night with his ten children. Gray’s dad told his son stories of working hard in the fields, only to get “scraps” from the owners of the farm. This made him wary of the predatory lending schemes often marketed to minority communities and informed his decision to raise his family in government-subsidized housing.

Gray is the youngest and his family refers to him as “baby boy.” He said, “We had to be in the house by the time the street lights came on or we would get in trouble.” He said that his father was both stern and playful with the large and loving family.

His mother, who worked as a housekeeper, and his father valued family dinners, getting eight hours of sleep, and a nutritious breakfast every morning before school. He said that wasn’t the case for many of his contemporaries who were often allowed to stay out late and/or would go to school hungry, which made it difficult for them to concentrate in school.

As part of his school district’s efforts to integrate the local school system, Gray attended middle school eight miles away and high school ten miles away from his home. He said, “I really think it was successful. It broke down a lot of barriers, [e.g.,] how you relate to different races as you get older.”

He was an enterprising young person, starting a small candy store and a cookie and juice stand marketed to other children. He believes he had an “internal drive to overcome his situation.”

Even with his family’s support, however, he realizes that in many ways the deck was stacked against him. He said that his lens was always “that’s just the way it is.”

After graduating from high school, he said he “stumbled across a job at Valencia Community College delivering mail from campus to campus.” He got free tuition, so he started taking one or two classes at a time over a fourteen-year period and obtained an Associate of Arts degree. Then, he completed his Bachelor of Arts at Columbia College, Orlando branch, and went on to earn an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management, while working in different administrative roles at Valencia Community College. In 2012, shortly before finishing his MBA, he began working at USF.

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Gray said he has seen “so many struggles in our country and how people just gave up and settled.” Gray’s Project, he said, is designed “to uplift, give promise and hope to all individuals.”

“I look like them,” he said; and he tells them, “I’m from where you are.” He hopes to inspire young people, “not to say, look at me, I’ve got so much, but [to show] what you can be if you stay focused.”

Gray takes time away from his own family to work with local children, which can be difficult. But as soon as he reaches them, and connects with them, it makes it worthwhile. When they ask, “Mr. Louis, are you coming back next Saturday?” he knows he is making a difference in their lives.

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In addition to his work mentoring and tutoring, Gray educates young people about the “school-to-prison pipeline.” When children are expelled, the rate of those going to prison increases tremendously. He said that he wants young people to be aware that they need to be very careful; because discipline can be meted out in a biased way impacting minority communities.

Gray is also very active on campus, including serving as the Vice Chair of the Student and Presidential Advisory Committee on Black Affairs (COBA), which advises the President on matters affecting Black faculty, staff, and students of the University.

In the fall, Gray plans to begin a Post Master’s Leadership in Higher Education graduate certificate with a goal of working toward a PhD.

He will also begin teaching Academic Foundations; and he plans to add a service-learning component into the course. Students will be able to volunteer with Gray’s Project or with the Moffitt Center.

He will incorporate his strong will to persevere into the course. “That will be a story that I can share with incoming students.”

To learn more about how you can get involved, go to Gray’s Project.  For more about the Parramore Kidz Zone, click here.  For more on the school-to-prison pipeline, click here for “Demanding Zero Tolerance for Florida’s School- to-Prison Pipeline.”

 

New York Times Applauds Valencia’s Efforts to Cut Student Loan Default

While addressing the nation’s growing student loan debt — and the troubling default rate at some colleges — The New York Times editorial board recently applauded Valencia’s efforts to reduce the number of students who default on their loans.

 

Valencia students who received both Pell Grants and loans defaulted at a rate of 19 percent — compared with 26 percent across all of the colleges in the study and at only a slightly higher rate than their more affluent classmates. The same was true for students who took remedial course work versus those who did not. The overall default rate for the colleges in the study was 22 percent.

 

See below for the full article or visit online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/opinion/how-to-control-student-loan-defaults.html?_r=0

New federal rules that penalize colleges for excessive student loan defaults offer a powerful incentive for schools to educate students on the complexities of the federal student loan program, including the crucial fact that they can delay or make partial payments if they get into financial trouble. Keeping loan default rates low, a new study of nine community colleges shows, is not rocket science: Schools can do it.

Colleges with default rates of 30 percent or higher in any given year are now required to develop a plan for keeping more students on track to repay their loans. Beginning in September, institutions that reach or exceed the 30 percent for three consecutive years will lose eligibility for both the federal loan program and the Pell Grant program, subject to appeal. This places schools with runaway default rates at risk of having to shut down.

The new rules provide important protection for students for whom default can mean a shredded credit history that makes it difficult for them to buy cars or homes and even shuts them out of jobs. The rules also protect taxpayers, who are on the hook when a loan goes bad.

Some colleges argue that the regulations unfairly target and penalize schools that serve “high risk” populations like the poor and young people who need remedial help. A study of nine community colleges carried out by the Association of Community College Trustees and the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit research group, rebuts that argument.

The study suggests instead that default levels for students of all descriptions depend importantly on the quality of the academic support and counseling they get from the schools. Valencia College in Florida is held up as an example of a school that does this well. Valencia students who received both Pell Grants and loans defaulted at a rate of 19 percent — compared with 26 percent across all of the colleges in the study and at only a slightly higher rate than their more affluent classmates. The same was true for students who took remedial course work versus those who did not. The overall default rate for the colleges in the study was 22 percent.

Valencia’s mandatory orientation process shows students from the beginning what it takes to succeed and what services are available to help them. The school also keeps in touch with delinquent borrowers, explaining important options like income-based repayment.

The most important predictor of default is whether a student completes the academic program. Across all campuses in this study, students who graduated defaulted at a rate of just 9 percent, as opposed to 27 percent for those who left college before receiving their degree. This means schools need to keep an eye on and intervene with struggling students before they get overwhelmed and drop out.

Identifying and reaching out to students with academic problems, counseling all students on their rights and obligations under the various loan programs — these are important tools for preventing defaults. But what is likely to persuade colleges to deploy these tools in the first place is the threat of losing federal aid if they do not.

after-hours wine and cheese reception

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tedxorlandosalon at valencia!

tedAnnouncing TEDxOrlandoSalon’s next meeting on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.
Hope you can come!

When: Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Where: Valencia College Osceola Campus, Bldg 4, Rm 105
1800 Denn John Lane
Kissimmee, FL 34744
Register: http://www.tedxorlando.com/salon/
Email us: info@tedxorlando.com
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New! Book exchange! Bring a book, take a new one home. (Please remember to take unclaimed books home with you.)

Two TED Talk videos will be shown, each followed by a discussion break; the event program is determined by vote.

What we have planned for our next meeting:

  • Sarah Jones: What does the future hold? 11 characters offer quirky answers
  • Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know (and what we don’t know yet)
  • Mellody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?
  • Amy Webb: How I hacked online dating
  • Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge

TEDxOrlandoSalon
TEDxOrlandoSalon meets every other month at Valencia College locations. A typical meeting draws approximately 50 smart, interesting, engaged people. Some will be regulars and some will be newcomers. Some choose to eat during the event, others choose not to. Two TEDTalk videos are shown, each followed by a discussion break. The event program is determined by vote, and discussions are open-ended.

TEDxOrlando
TEDxOrlando is a one-day conference featuring live speakers. Please stay tuned for details.

Code of Conduct
TEDxOrlando and TEDxOrlandoSalon are about the exchange of meaningful ideas and deep discussion, not selling. Opportunities do sometimes result from contacts made at our meetings and we encourage that. However, we ask that you refrain from using TEDxOrlando or TEDxOrlandoSalon primarily as a platform for promoting yourself, your personal political or religious views, your business, or your organization.

TEDx
TEDxOrlando and TEDxOrlandoSalon operate under license from TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share ideas worth spreading. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. http://tedxorlando.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4065cf3354e5dbe3aa57ab169&id=771295dc95&e=dda8202fc9

TED
TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our future. And in fact, the event is broader still, showcasing ideas that matter in any discipline. Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists — is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono. http://tedxorlando.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4065cf3354e5dbe3aa57ab169&id=30542d058c&e=dda8202fc9

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making a difference

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(L to R; Melissa Pedone, Barbara Shell and Katherine Pedone at
the Valencia College 9th Annual 5K Run, Walk & Roll)

BY JOY S. JONES

Barbara Shell teams with valued community partners and a host of volunteers in her role as the director of community and alumni relations. It’s a position where the sky’s the limit. After all, her goal of providing lifelong personal educational and professional growth for alumni and students of Valencia College can take many forms when dealing with a group as far reaching and diverse.

Just this week, two Valencia alums, Dick Batchelor, business and political consultant, and State Senator Andy Gardiner were listed in “Orlando Magazine’s” 2014 “50 Most Powerful List.” And new alumnus Angel Sanchez, Valencia’s 2014 “Distinguished Graduate,” is speaking at Blackboard World’s 2014 conference today.

It’s a huge responsibility and a welcome career for anyone who relishes no two days at work being the same, which is how she describes what she does.

“A true advocate of Valencia and our wonderful alumni, I’ve worked closely with Barbara the last few years and am always impressed with how well she works with so many different types of people and personalities,” says Michelle Matis, foundation vice president and chief operating officer. “She is very patient and compassionate and truly believes in developing authentic relationships with everyone she meets.”

Any wonder that Barbara’s work in alumni and community relations keeps her extremely busy with numerous meetings and events. “Many of these happen after hours and on weekends and she tirelessly keeps up with managing all of them and always with a smile on her face,” Michelle continued.

“The challenge is to find opportunities that will appeal to everyone — all different ages and interests, but fun. And any success that I might have is thanks to the many community volunteers with whom I work,” Barbara says. Those volunteers include current students and alumni.

One such opportunity is the TEDxOrlando partnership, with TEDxOrlandoSalons.

“TEDxOrlando has been very successful for over four years and held the organization’s TEDxOrlandoSalons monthly at a restaurant in College Park that closed down in December 2013,” says Barbara. “Many of our alumni, retirees, employees and students were involved and loved the TEDxOrlandoSalon experience, including me, and I was able to develop a partnership to bring the Salons to Valencia campuses. Now instead of offering them at only one location, it expands the opportunity for others to more conveniently participate,” she says.

One important factor that drives the success of her office is the database of alumni, now 25,000 members strong, including the 600-member Retiree Connection group. All receive “Vitae” magazine, a part of the glue that keeps alumni connected to the College and each other. They’re an industrious bunch, spread throughout the country and abroad. Barbara struggles to keep up with what’s new with them and their current contact information, to keep the relationships alive, which is something she invites faculty and staff to help her do.

“Whenever anyone is in touch with alums, if you just prompt them to be sure that the alumni office has their current contact information, it will help us a great deal,” she says.

Barbara readily confesses that the work itself isn’t difficult, given Valencia’s outstanding reputation in the community, and nationwide, as a result of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. What’s more, she frequently encounters those who contribute in some way who say they simply want to “pay it forward.”

“Seems that everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who has been impacted by Valencia in a positive way. Most everyone wants to be part of a good investment, which Valencia is,” Barbara says.

In turn, they make investments in the gifts of their time, talent and treasure.

“When a person provides an internship opportunity that will help a student succeed later in life, volunteers with our office or programs, or contributes to student scholarships, they’re making important and valuable investments,” she says. “And our impact as an institution is felt, not just in Central Florida, but in the world community. It’s just very exciting to be a part of it all.”

Among the most prized aspects of her job is coordination of the annual Alumni Achievers Reception held each June where Alumni Association scholarship awards are celebrated.
14396511362_28a686a1a1_o“What’s always fascinating to me is how surprised the recipients are to see themselves as ‘special’,” Barbara says. “With their families looking on, many with children and many more, first generation college students, it is just tremendous to see their level of gratitude that someone believes in them and their abilities. Their example of working to get an education and placing an importance on the value of an education goes a long way for everyone.”

While she shares that it’s a challenge to keep up with it all, she finds it all very rewarding.

“We have the entire spectrum of people who can tell you a compelling story about how Valencia was a significant factor in helping them achieve their educational goals — and the stories just keep growing.”

Barbara has been employed at Valencia since 2004. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington and a master’s degree in community health from Plymouth State University.

association of honors alumni transfer scholarship

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Student volunteers from the Honors Program will be working hard selling roses at Valencia’s Commencement this Saturday to raise funds to support the Association of  Honors Alumni Transfer Scholarship.  Donations to support their work and the scholarship can be made online .

 

valencia graduate doing it big!

grad picHeather Marinello ’11,Valencia College Honors graduate–
“To fulfill my dreams of becoming a doctor, I started off by taking heavy science classes at Valencia and without them I would never have had the foundation necessary for me to get to where I am today.”

Heather graduated on December 16th, 2013 from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Bio-medical Science, Health Science, and a minor in Medical Sociology. She participated in two outreach trips to Haiti in 2012 and 2013, and became the treasurer for the club International Medical Outreach. Heather was then awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and also worked in the Florida Hospital Waterman emergency department in Tavares for a year. “Throughout my last year, I found a great balance of medical sciences and patient interaction in Clinical Audiology.”  Heather has now been accepted into Nova Southeastern University’s Doctor of Audiology program for fall of 2014. Once she has completed this program, Heather hopes to publish using her medical illustration skills and education.  She also hopes to own her own practice.

Go Heather! Doing BIG things and making all of Valencia proud.

valencia graduate- michael maguire

 

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By Joy S. Jones

For Michael Maguire, operations manager, video productions, Valencia represents access to opportunity, which he experienced first as a degree-seeking student majoring in theater in 1992.

“Prior to Valencia, my future prospects were dim and the idea of getting into and affording college seemed impossible,” said Michael, a first-generation college student. “No one in my family had ever gone to college, few had even graduated high school, and because of a series of hardships, they were often caught in a vicious cycle of low-paying jobs, living check-to-check, and under constant threat of homelessness.”

Graduating from Valencia in 1995 enabled him to break this cycle. “It transformed my life in countless ways, both personally and professionally. It opened doors of opportunity and life experiences that I would have never had access to without it,” he said, enabling him to build a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that would help him, and future students, to be successful.

Over time, he would come to see the College through many lenses.

From 2007 through 2008, he taught two courses — electronic imaging and digital video and sound — as an adjunct professor for the graphics technology program. “Fostering student learning and witnessing their growth over the semester was incredibly rewarding and gave me unique insight into the many challenges instructors face.”

Now, those classroom insights come in handy as he uses his skills as a video producer to help students develop a richer understanding of their subjects via instructional videos.

The student becomes the master.

Michael managed a full-scale, five-year renovation of the West Campus video production studio when the mission of the department shifted from broadcast to educational video production, resulting in a user-friendly, state-of-the-art studio with robust teaching tools.

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“This facility is positioned to handle instructional video needs better than ever before and provides a host of options for instructors to make their videos more dynamic and engaging for students,” he said.

A collaborative effort, the studio represents the culmination and refinement of rich conversations with faculty and input and support from numerous areas of the College including OIT, plant operations, learning support services and others.

Michael values the joyful experiences he shares daily working alongside colleagues who radiate a strong sense of purpose and who give freely of themselves, because they know their work here is meaningful and has the ability to positively impact a student’s life. He shares that it’s the strong sense of community, shared passion for learning and the culture of inquiry and collaboration that keeps him motivated; and it’s something he brings to each project he undertakes.

He’s carried this sense of community with him ever since professors Celine Kavalec-Miller, now faculty director of the Teaching/Learning Academy (TLA), and Elizabeth Eschbach, professor of humanities, sparked a flame in him for learning that continues to blaze white hot. After graduating from Valencia, Michael would go on to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in communications from Florida State University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Rollins College.

“There just is no substitute for that gratifying feeling of creating an ‘aha’ moment in a student’s life. Creating videos that help students develop a richer understanding is very rewarding, and in some ways, is the most significant work I have ever done.”

 

alumni events!

Blue Martini Flyer

We are starting the year off right and it’s all happening TONIGHT, you don’t want to miss this! The FIRST Alumni after-hours mixer of 2014, so come on out Valencia Alumni and Friends.

Solar Flyer II

Don’t forget to get your DISCOUNTED tickets while they’re HOT and going fast for the Valencia College Alumni and Friends with the Orlando Solar Bears Night.

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 www.VALENCIA.org 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!

preparing for tomorow’s generations

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 new web site tools at www.VALENCIAGIVING.org, 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 www.VALENCIAGIVING.org. 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.

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, CFRE at (407) 582-3128 to learn more.

valencia graduate mehdi khoumassi

Mehdi-Khoumassi-fc-grove

 

Mehdi Khoumassi, information technology manager of Campus Technology Services at West Campus, was challenged by his father, who was on the verge of retirement at the time, to complete his bachelor’s degree so that he could retire without worrying about his son. Mehdi not only completed his bachelor’s degree, but around that same time he became a U.S. citizen and his son was born.

In early 2000, he enrolled at Valencia as an international student from Morocco — he is fluent in French and Arabic, but at the time did not speak much English. While completing his associate degree at Valencia, he worked as a student assistant in the Audio Visual Department.

“Since coming to Valencia I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with a variety of people. In fact, beginning my full-time tenure at Valencia was considerably easy because I had met so many of the faculty and staff of the West Campus in my roles of student and student assistant.”

In 2004, he became a permanent resident of the United States and was hired as a classroom technology support specialist at West Campus, a role that he thrived in for seven years.

“Mehdi has a ‘can-do’ type of attitude that perfectly balances out his technical abilities,”  says Carmine La Pietra, director of Campus Technology Services on West Campus, and Mehdi’s manager.

In 2011, Mehdi was promoted to IT manager of Campus Technology Services for the West Campus. As manager, he oversees the daily operations for the campus technology office that provides technology support for all classrooms and special events for the West Campus.

“I met Mehdi Khoumassi when he arrived at Valencia as an international student in 2000. I have followed his academic and professional progress since that time. Mehdi is an exceptional young man who is genuinely happy, caring and compassionate. To say that I am proud of Mehdi is an understatement, I believe he is a living example of Valencia’s “start right” philosophy,” shares Bliss Thompson, senior coordinator of international student services on West Campus.

Mehdi shares that he has “always been fortunate to work for and with good people.” He mentions mentors and friends, Karen Blondeau, Carmine LaPietra and John Watson as people who have helped him to achieve success at Valencia, but also notes that the culture here has promoted a collaborative environment and great teamwork among his whole department and beyond.

“All the part- and full-time staff of the department — these, and others I may not even be aware of — have always helped me to realize the potential in me and have continued to support all of my personal, academic and professional goals.”

Mehdi explains that he has the opportunity to see community, partnership and collaboration in action regularly while supporting technology components for community events sponsored by Valencia. “While the word community is no longer in the name of the College, the spirit of community lives [on],” he notes.

Mehdi has an associate degree from Valencia and a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of Central Florida. He feels he has enjoyed great success, but says his most significant accomplishments are “as a husband and father.”

 By Laura Knight

idignity

Michael DippyGlenda Lenihan and Michael Dippy of IDignity at
Association of Florida Colleges Gala

Michael Dippy graduated from high school with aspirations to major in architecture at the University of Florida (UF).  His application was not accepted.  Not one to give up, this led him to enroll at Valencia College.

Although Michael took numerous math and drawing classes at Valencia to prepare himself for a career in architecture, he attributes the encouragement he received from professors and several humanities classes he took for planting the seeds for his future. It was the study of the human condition that resonated with his inherent sense of empathy and compassion.

After Michael graduated from UF, he spent several years working for architecture firms. In his spare time, he would volunteer with social service organizations that served the local homeless population. Through the knowledge he gained about services available, he began to assist homeless people he met on the streets or at his church. Much of Michael’s assistance was directing individuals where they could go for food, shelter or healthcare. When a homeless man asked him where to get help to replace his photo-ID card so that he could accept a job he had been offered, Michael discovered a gap.  There was nowhere to refer the man for help.

Michael began work to create IDignity, an Orlando nonprofit organization dedicated to helping poor and homeless citizens obtain the identification they need to participate fully in society. The first IDignity event was held in May 2008 as a collaborative outreach program of five downtown Orlando churches with Michael in its leadership role.  The plan called for a monthly event that incorporated all multiple government agencies along with attorneys and numerous other volunteers to provide needed services in one visit.

IDignity has hosted monthly events at downtown’s Orlando Rescue Mission since that time.   Each day-long collaboration serves about 250 clients. Since it began, IDignity has provided life-changing identification to more than 10,000 clients in Orlando and thousands of additional clients though its three self-sustaining satellite sites in Deland, Merritt Island and Sanford. IDignity is also currently working with national consultants to expedite the launching of IDignity programs throughout Florida and other states that have requested assistance.

Michael’s work has not gone unnoticed. In 2011, the Orlando Sentinel recognized his leadership strengths and designated him the 2010 Central Floridian of the Year.  He also was designated a “Local Hero” by Bank of America and awarded the 2012 Community Service Award from the RAFMAN Club (Retired Air Force, Marine, Army and Navy).  In November 2012, Idignity received national recognition by winning the Manhattan Institute’s 2012 Richard Cornuelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship.  He was a recent finalist in the Association of Florida Colleges Leroy Collins Distinguished Alumni Awards 2013.

Michael sums up his journey from Valencia to IDignity this way:  “Even though I am no longer working in architecture, I am still using those problem solving skills, only now focusing on societal problems. Much like my nurturing experience at Valencia College, I am now meeting individuals where they are in life and offering the guidance and support necessary for them to reach their full potential.”

Learn more on a short video, “Identity Crisis” at http://www.idignity.org/video-gallery.

valencia homecoming 2013

ImageValencia board of trustees chairperson, Maria Grulich, and daughters at
Valencia Orlando Magic Night.

Homecoming 2013 wrapped up with the Magic’s opening night game on Friday night!  Valencia alumni and friends were busy during October with Osceola notable alumni and paralegal networking receptions, a Retiree Connection luncheon and the 35th Dental Hygiene Program Anniversary reunion.

Check out the photos for each event in the Alumni Association website photo gallery or Facebook page.

 

going fast!

Good news!  There is still time to get your tickets,  but they won’t last.

Print

Come be a part of the action in the Amway Center on OPENING NIGHT!
Valencia Homecoming Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans
tickets by 
Monday, October 21st!

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

 http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/documents/ValenciaCollege11113.pdf

5k honoring 9/11 heroes

DRAFT PIC

 

 

Dear Friends,

Want to make a difference in our community? Sign up for the Valencia College Family Walk/Run for Heroes Osceola Campus 5K run and 2.5K run. All proceeds go toward the Rotary Club of Lake Nona’s Sept. 11 Memorial Fund to support Valencia scholarships for emergency responders at the Osceola Campus.

The Rotary club of Lake Nona’s September 11th Memorial Project — A flag for each of the 2,977 people that were lost on that fateful day — will be installed at the Osceola Campus for the second year.

Date: Saturday, September 7
Time: Race Start is 6:30PM
Distances:  5K and 2.5K fun run

Come and enjoy:

  • Lots of awards and fun
  • Refreshments
  • Kids Fun Run and crafts for kids under 10
  • Commemorative t-shirt and race bag
  • Flag display honoring 9/11 heroes

Go here for more information and to register.

See you there!

Your Osceola 5K Planning Committee

ALL Sponsors

help make a difference!

Drawing

 

Has Valencia College had a positive impact on your life or on a loved one? A college degree, a new career, a better job, renewed self confidence?

If so, please consider making a modest donation to support deserving students who are the first in their families to attend college. Every dollar matters, goes 100 percent to scholarships and will be doubled by a challenge grant.

More than 100,000 students have graduated from Valencia, and more than 60,000 will enter our classrooms next week. Our professors and staff are committed to student success, which has resulted in extraordinary completion rates, jobs after graduation, and starting salaries.

These achievements earned Valencia the first-ever Aspen Institute Prize for community college academic excellence.

We are grateful for your consideration.

www.valencia.org/FirstOne

letter from the governor to valencia graduates

College Graduate

aha is hosting another exciting luau for alumni!

luau 3

Tomorrow night The Association of Honors Alumni (AHA) will host their 4th Annual Luau. This wonderful networking event will not only be fun, but will include tropical food and beverages, music, games and much more! Casual or tropical dress recommended!

This year’s event will be held on Valencia College West Campus, Special Events Center Bldg. 8, from 7-9 pm.
Suggested Donation $10.00.

ALL donations will support the Honors Alumni Transfer Scholarship; Marleina Ubel was this year’s 2013 recipient. Donations can be made online at https://donate.valencia.org/honors

valencia alumni news

Miriam

 

Miriam Ivelisse Martinez ’03 earned an AA degree in General Studies from Valencia College. She graduated from UCF in May with her Master’s degree and will be working with Homeland Security (ICE).

Go Miriam!

valencia alumni news

 

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Nursing alum Richard Gerber ’74 is currently serving as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  He would love to hear from fellow classmates from the class of 1974!  Richard celebrated the birth of his first born grandson, Hudson and he and his wife, Valerie, celebrated an amazing 37 years of marriage. Now if that wasn’t enough good news, he and his son have started a courier business called AllPoints Courier Express, specializing in medical courier deliveries. Check out their website: www.allpointscourierexpress.com

Wow! Congratulations Richard

new vitae magazine is out!

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Graduate Susannah Jo Snavely ’11 is featured in the Class Notes section on page 29. Susannah is majoring in Human Resources Management at the University of Central Florida, preparing to graduate with a B.S. in August 2013. After graduation, she hopes to continue in Human Resources full-time at Regal Marine Industries, her employer of almost three years.

An avid world-traveler, she recently expanded her trip portfolio to include a week in Ireland and two visits to Washington, D.C. with her brother, Valencia alum John Snavely. She also discovered a passion for politics, and devoted her free time last fall to promote Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign with the Republican Party of Florida.

Check this and more out! 

please take a moment of silence for former valencia student and veteran

christian

PV 2 Christian Anthony Clausen V

Clausen, V, PV 2, Christian Anthony “” 24, of Orlando, Florida, passed away Thursday, June 6th, 2013 in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife Samantha; parents, Chris and Terry; sisters, Kayla and Annie; grandparents, Chris and Julia Clausen, Dorothy Lee and the late Arthur Lee, and numerous family members and friends. He is a graduate of University High School then attended Valencia Community College. He went on to serve in the US Army where he received numerous awards including three Army Achievement Medals, the Global War Terrorism Award, Korean Defense Service Award, and the Overseas Service Ribbon. His hobbies included hunting, fishing and skateboarding, baseball, cross country, music, cooking, boating and wakeboarding. He was raised in a traditional Cajun household; he loved all things in the Louisiana culture, including the New Orleans Saints and especially the LSU Tigers. He was an amazing young man and will be greatly missed by many. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. The family will receive friends on Saturday, June 15th from 9-11 AM with a service to be held at 11 AM at Osceola Memory Gardens Funeral Home, St. Cloud, interment to follow at Mount Peace Cemetery, Saint Cloud, with full Military Honors. Arrangements under the direction of Osceola Memory Gardens Funeral Home, 2000 13th Street, St. Cloud, FL 34769; (407)-957-2511. www.OsceolaMemGds.com.

Published in the Orlando Sentinel on June 13, 2013

celebrating student achievement!

LOVELYNE

Meet Lovelyne Toussaint, one of this year’s recipients of the Alumni Association Student Scholarship.  Lovelyne is one of the many students that were recognized at the 2013 Alumni Achievers Reception hosted by the Valencia Alumni Association.  Please enjoy this excerpt from this wonderful student’s thank you letter to the association:

“Thank you so much for investing in my education.  It means the world to me that you have chosen to help me succeed. I am a first generation Haitian American student and my education means everything to me. My parents did not have the chance to attend college but still managed to create a comfortable life for me and my three little sisters; I want to make them proud. My educational goals include graduating from Valencia College and attending the University of Central Florida. There I plan on majoring in Technical English Communication for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. My career goals include writing technically for a prestigious company, publishing books, doing research, and later teaching English at a College or University.

I believe that one of the greatest things in life any human being can accomplish is learning to love and help others. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of some very special individuals. One day I dream of being able to give back and help others achieve their dreams, just like you are helping me with this donation. My father often says that a leader does not create followers, they create leaders; that’s the type leader that I want to be. I believe that my career path in writing and communications will graciously allow me to help and connect with others. Words cannot express how much this means to me, thank you so much for your donation and God Bless.”

alumni association celebrates students!

Sandra Murphy

Meet Sandra Murphy, this year’s recipient of the Dr. Homer Samuels Dental Hygiene Scholarship.  Sandra is one of the many students that will be recognized at the 2013 Alumni Achievers Reception hosted by the Valencia Alumni Association.  Please enjoy this excerpt from this wonderful student’s thank you letter.

“I want to take a moment to thank you for this generous gift. This scholarship will help me continue my education and better my life. My goal is to become a registered dental hygienist and this gift is going to help accomplish that goal. I was very surprised to see the email notifying me that I had been awarded this scholarship, as I have applied to many and not received any responses.

I will be the first from my mother’s side of the family to graduate from college and as you can imagine this makes my mother very proud. Nothing will make me happier than to show her that I can do it, that I can be someone and in the meantime help people have not only better oral hygiene but also have better lives. Thank you again for this wonderful gift!”

alumni association scholarship celebration

The Valencia College Alumni Association hosts its annual Alumni Achievers Reception each year to celebrate the Valencia students who are recipients of its scholarships for the academic year.  Thirty-six awardees and their guests will join Valencia alumni, students, community partners, and friends at this year’s reception on June 5th on the West Campus.   Volunteer excellence awards will also be presented to Valencia student partner groups and alumni who make it possible for the alumni association to fulfill its mission of providing opportunities for lifelong personal, educational and professional growth for alumni and students of Valencia College.

This year’s host will be Monica May who is a member Valencia’s Black Advisory Committee.  Ms. May is the host of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, as well as news/community affairs director at STAR 94.5.

achivers social mediaDr. Falecia Williams, West Campus President, Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Osceola Campus President  and students at the
Alumni Achievers Reception 2012

bill castellano civic leadership award recipient honored

bill castel

José Abastida and Osceola Campus President, Dr. Kathleen Plinske.  On stage with José: City of Orlando Commissioner Mr. Tony Ortiz; Consulate General of México in Orlando, Mr. Efrén Nicolás Leyva Acevedo; Executive Director of Casa de México, Mrs. Blanquita Trabold; and Valencia Trustee and President of the Board of Casa de México, Mr. Guillermo Hansen.

José Abastida, Osceola SGA president during the 2012-2013 academic year and recipient of the Bill Castellano Civic Leadership Award 2013 by the alumni association was recognized by the Casa de México.  He received el Reconocimiento Tenochtitlán at a Cinco de Mayo celebration at Orlando City Hall last week.  This award is presented to a student of Mexican or Latin American descent who has displayed outstanding leadership and character.  We agree with Dr. Plinske:  “We are so proud that José received this honor. ¡Felicitaciones José!”

alumni and friends reunion/reception!

dental ready

Saturday, May 18th, 2-5 pm! Register online or call 407-582-3426!

dhr

watch graduation live

grad

Click here on May 4 at 10 a.m. to watch Valencia College graduation live!

Valencia College’s Commencement Ceremony will be streamed live on Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m. and will last about two hours. Limited technical support will be available at 407-582-1872.

Watch live on May 4 at 10 a.m. – click here!

2012-2013 Valencia Commencement Program

Please note: The broadcast will only be viewable until the ceremony’s conclusion. No other video recordings of the ceremony will be made available.

gograd

join the valencia alumni association!

keep calm

 

Joining the Valencia Alumni Association has never been so easy.

Why join?  To put it simply, the Valencia Alumni Association helps Valencia’s graduates stay in touch with one another, students and with the college. Getting involved is the perfect way to know what’s going on with Valencia, other alumni and the community.

Check out some of the amazing leadership, networking and volunteer opportunities currently on our always changing menu:

  • Discounted Valencia Theater tickets
    Theater – Valencia Character Company
  • Create and participate in alumni-sponsored events
    Alumni Calendar and News
  • Contribute to Valencia’s future through leadership and participation in various programs and committees
  • Receive a copy of Vitae, Valencia’s bi-annual magazine

I WANT TO BE A MEMBER!

let everybody know what you’ve been up to!

It’s not too late for Valencia graduates to be featured in “Class Notes” of the upcoming edition of Valencia’s Vitae magazine.  You can submit your own CLASS NOTE online.  It’s simple!   There is an option for including photos as well.  News can include personal and professional highlights that have recently happened to you.

The deadline to submit for this edition is Thursday, May 2nd.

All editions of Vitae magazine can be viewed on the Alumni Association’s website.

 

 

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

Matheiu

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

valencia 5k photos are up!

2013 Alumni 5k312

Coming together and running together for a cause.   Over 225 athletes and  volunteers gathered to do just that on Saturday, March 30th on Valencia’s West Campus for  Valencia’s 8th Annual 5K Run, Walk & Roll sponsored by the Valencia Alumni Association.  Funds raised through this event will go to support Valencia students through criminal justice, firefighter, nursing and EMS scholarships.

not too late

today

Here is a quick reminder that the 8th Annual Valencia 5K Walk, Run & Roll is this Saturday, March 30th at 6 pm. Funds raised will provide scholarships for Valencia students who want to have careers in nursing, law enforcement, fire-fighting and as EMTs.

Watch for:

  • Lots of awards categories and awards 
  • Refreshments
  • Free Kids Fun Run and crafts — like Easter basket creations — for kids under 10
  • Commemorative t-shirt and race bag

Go here for more information and to register.  Onsite registration will be available as well.

Can’t make it but still would like to participate? Valencia 5K donations can be made online at https://donate.valencia.org/alumni.

 

fb linked pin

valencia alumni association has new pinterest

Pinterest

 

The Alumni Associations’ Pinterest website has officially launched! Check out photos and stay up-to-date on upcoming events, like our 8th Annual 5K.

Don’t forget to follow us!

 

almost time to run, walk & roll!

5k post

The Valencia Alumni Association continues to build its team as it gears up for its 8thAnnual Valencia 5K Run, Rock & Roll scholarship fundraiser on Valencia’s West Campus on Saturday, March 30th.

This year’s 5K funds will once again support criminal justice, firefighter and EMS student scholarships at Valencia in honor of former Alumni Association board member, Justin Harvey.

Over 300 Valencia supporters came out last year where they ran, walked and rolled their way to raising more than $7,000 in student scholarship funds.  The race brought together Valencia alumni and employees; students, including those from Valencia’s Criminal Justice Institute, Paralegal, Respiratory Care and Bridges programs; as well as community participants, many of them from local law enforcement agencies. An energetic team of students and instructors from Boone High School’s criminal justice program also participated in the race for the first time.

Discover the many ways you, your organization or someone you know can invest in Valencia students’ pursuit of higher education as part of the Valencia 5K team.  There will also be some wonderful activities for children like a Kids Fun Run and Crafts for kids under 10; one of the activities will be creating little Easter baskets.

For more information about 5K sponsorship and other opportunities, contact the Alumni Relations office at alumni@valenciacollege.edu or call 407-340-3426.

SAVE THE DATE! See you on Saturday, March 30th!

Register Online or Mail-In registration 

networking reception photos are up!

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Over 150 Valencia students, alumni and business community members enjoyed getting together at the Professional Networking Reception on Valencia’s West Campus on Friday night, February 22nd.  The Heart of Florida United Way’s Emerging Leaders group partnered with Valencia’s Alumni Association, Career Services and Internship and Workforce Development offices to bring together these diverse groups for a night of networking fun.  A common question was:  “When is the next one?”   Stay tuned!

come together, run together!

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Benefiting student scholarships for Criminal Justice, Nursing, EMS and Firefighting.

get connected!

Looking to make connections that can help your career or to help someone else make those connections?  Join Valencia alumni, students and professionals from various businesses for a Professional Networking Reception on Friday, February 22nd, 6-8 pm, on the Valencia West Campus at 1800 South Kirkman Road in the Special Events Center, Bldg. 8.

Light refreshments will be provided. Business attire and business cards recommended.

RSVP by Thursday, February 21st to 407-582-3417 or alumni@valenciacollege.edu.

 Sponsored by Valencia’s Alumni Association, Career Center, Internship and Workforce Service; and the Emerging Leaders of the Heart of Florida United Way

distinguished graduate award and scholarships go live!

Valencia Alumni Association scholarship applications for Valencia students are now available online!  Students can choose from a variety of scholarship areas, including:  general studies, nursing, respiratory care, criminal justice, dental hygiene and more.

The application for the prestigious Mary Smedley Collier Distinguished Graduate 2012-13 Award is also available.  This award requires a nomination from a Valencia faculty or staff member.  Valencia’s Distinguished Graduate serves as the keynote speaker at the college’s Commencement Ceremony in May.  The recipient will be awarded $1,500 at the Alumni Achievers Reception in June, 2013.  Up to four finalists will also be recognized at that time and will receive an award of $100 each.

Panel interviews will be conducted for finalists for both Distinguished Graduate and for the Mayor Richard T. Crotty – Valencia – UCF Alumni Associations 2+2 Scholarship.  The Crotty 2+2 Scholarship is valued at $4,000.

Encourage your candidates to apply.

ImageValencia Alumni Association President Michael J. G. McLaughlin presents Shardeh K. Berry with Mary Smedley Collier 2012-13  Distinguished Graduate plaque during Commencement ceremony in May, 2012.

 

gearing up for the 18th annual valencia celebration

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Future Valencia alumnus and president of the East Campus Student Government Association, Mike Acevedo (center) and colleagues Vicky Alvarez (left) and Laura Thomas (right) are pulling together the 18th Annual Valencia Celebration.  Check it out on Facebook.  The Valencia Alumni Association is a potential sponsor of the event and always supportive of Mike and team!

valencia alumnus interns for rollins’ 2013 winter with the writers series!

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Valencia Alumni Association member Melvin Thompson ’12 (R) is pictured with Dr. Jamie Washington at the Rollins College Martin Luther King Vigil. Melvin is currently a student at Rollins majoring in Psychology with a minor in Writing. He is thrilled to have been recently selected as one of the interns for Rollins’ 2013 Winter with the Writers series.

Want to get involved?  Join the Valencia Alumni Association for networking and other opportunities.  Membership is free!

valencia college alumni association officially carved in brick!

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The Valencia College Alumni Association and many others have taken advantage of the chance to be included as a part of the walkway in front of the new Building 4 at the Osceola Campus.  Engraved bricks purchased in the names of individuals, families, businesses, clubs, in memory of loved ones, and even as gifts have contributed over $11,000 in scholarship support for Osceola Campus students. Please consider adding your own engraved brick to this walkway while also supporting Valencia students.

 Purchase your memory brick! Check out Valencia Colleges The Grove publication to see   Building 4.

rafman club supports valencia college students

Image(Pictured:  Arthur Jarvis ’85 (L) and Davidson Saint Fort ’96 (R))

“Men striving together to make a better community for all concerned” — this is the motto of the RAFMAN Club.

The Retired Air Force, Marine, Army and Navy (RAFMAN) Club established an endowed RAFMAN Club scholarship through the Valencia Foundation to support Valencia College students in 1996.

The club and its scholarship committee, chaired by Valencia alumnus Arthur Jarvis ’85, have raised funds through an annual banquet to make it possible to award the scholarship annually since that time.  Currently, the RAFMAN Club Foundation awards an all tuition paid scholarship for one year to two deserving students in need of financial assistance.

Davidson Saint Fort ‘96 was the recipient of the first RAFMAN Club scholarship.  Since earning his AS degree in computer science at Valencia College, he went on to earn a BS degree in computer engineering and computer information systems at Florida A&M University, and is currently employed as a senior engineer at the Cerner Corporation.  He also serves as a volunteer on the RAFMAN scholarship committee to “pay it forward”.  In his words:  “I want to thank God and the RAFMAN Club for investing in me.  When there appeared to be no solution to my financial situation to attend college, you believed in me.”

This year’s RAFMAN Scholarship Banquet will take place on Saturday, March 16th in Faith Hall of the First Baptist Church of Orlando, 3000 John Young Parkway.  Registration and a silent auction/raffle will begin at 6:00 pm followed by the banquet and program at 7:00 pm.  Dr. Barbara Jenkins, Orange County Superintendent of Schools, will be this year’s keynote speaker.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, silent auction donations and individual tickets, please contact Arthur Jarvis at 407-492-1266 or afleet7@bellsouth.net.

what an honor!

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The Valencia College Chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi National Honor Society in Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies recently inducted graduating students Gino Ibanez and Kimberly Marisa Moy. The honorees were announced during the Paralegal Graduate Celebration in December.  Ms. Moy is pictured with Instructor Wendy Toscano (L) and Dean Carin Gordon (R).

valencia nurses rock!

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This team of Valencia Nursing Student Association (VNSA) leaders was among many nursing students and faculty at the Valencia Nursing Luncheon on December 12th. The luncheon, proudly supported by the Valencia Alumni Association, was held in celebration of our nursing students who would be graduating the next night at their Nursing Pinning Ceremony – transitioning from Valencia nursing students to nursing alumni at long last!

All Valencia graduates are invited to join the Valencia Alumni Association. Membership is free and offers opportunities to network and support our students. http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/membership_form.cfm

two valencia college alums tie the knot!

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High school sweethearts and Valencia alumni Andrew Harmic ’08 (computer science) and Dana Wagner ’09 (graphic design) were married on October 13, 2012.  After Valencia, Andrew attended UCF where he received his BS in Computer Science. He is currently working as a Systems Engineer for Coleman Aerospace in Orlando. Dana is currently working as a freelance graphic designer.

If you are also a Valencia graduate with exciting news, please share at http://valenciacollege.edu/alumni/class_notes.cfm

valencia alumni association leader attends foundation board retreat

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Ashley Bravo ’12 was invited to represent the Valencia Alumni Association’s Leadership team as a participant in the Valencia Foundation board retreat last week in Daytona Beach. She is currently a student at UCF studying business and marketing.

Ashley encourages fellow Valencia alumni to get involved in the association:  “Valencia gave me the opportunity as a student to be a leader and make lifelong friends which now I consider family. Now that I have graduated, the Valencia Alumni Association allows me to continue that relationship and to give back to Valencia for all that it gave to me.”

revisiting Valencia’s economic impact

Wondering how much value Valencia brings to the area?

The independent economic impact study shows Valencia’s economic value amounts to more than one billion dollars a year. For every dollar students invest in tuition, they will see a $5.60 increase in their lifetime earnings.

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

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 www.VALENCIAGIVING.org.

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 award winning faculty and staff

The video below highlights Valencia Foundation Endowed Chair and National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD) award winners. 

Congratulations to each Valencia College Faculty and Staff for above and beyond efforts to support and enhance the student experience at Valencia! 


 

Valencia educators are encouraged to remain current and continually improve discipline knowledge. With these endowed chairs, our faculty are given the opportunity to examine the effectiveness of their teaching, counseling, librarianship and assessment techniques as they influence student learning.

 Congratulations to the following Distinguished Professors and Scholars, who have been awarded a 2011-12 Valencia Foundation Endowed Chair for Learning Leadership:

 Category I

Rachel Allen: Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences
Deidre Holmes DuBois:  Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications
Richard Gair: Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Chair in the Study of the Shoah
Claudia Genovese-Martinez: Lockheed Martin Chair in Mathematics Albert Groccia:  Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Chair in Mathematics
Debra Hollister and Brian Macon: Freeda Louise Foreman Chair in Family Resource Development
Deymond Hoyte:  Bank of America Chair in Business Management
Richard Sansone: University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities
Brenda Schumpert: Lester N. Mandell Chair in Natural and Physical Sciences
Patricia Smith: Lockheed Martin Chair in Science
Betty Wanielisat:  Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Allied Health Yasmeen Qadri: Wayne Densch Chair in Geriatrics  

Category II

Colin Archibald:  SunGard Endowed Teaching Chair in Computer Science
Mary Beck:  Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair
Ralph Clemente: Walt Disney World Chair in Film Technology
Steven Cunningham: Tupperware Corporation Chair in Community Quality Corinne Fennessy: William C. Demetree Jr. Foundation Chair in Education for Special Needs
Debbie Hall:  Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Free Enterprise
Kitty Harkleroad: Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and Allied Health Jim Inglis:  Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Chair in Hospitality Management
Ilyse Kusnetz: Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Education for the Physically Challenged
James May: University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology
Pierre Pilloud:  Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant and Food Management
Lana Powell:  SunTrust Chair in Economic Development and Business Education
Suzanne Salapa:  Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment
Pam Sandy and Robin Poole: Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Health and Life Sciences
Michael Shugg:  Jessie and Eugene Drey Endowment of the English-Speaking Union/Central Florida Branch Chair in English and Humanities
Nicole Spottke: Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications

valencia degree and career programs

A.A., A.S., A.A.S., A.T.D.? Which one's for you?

No matter your style, Valencia College has a program that fits you.

Valencia has several university pre-majors to try on for size, and an A.A. degree that guarantees admission to a Florida state university.

There are also 33 A.S. career programs that give you the option to pursue a bachelor’s degree or strut directly into a new career with a job placement rate of 93% – 95%.

Check out Valencia Colleges full line of programs below!

Degrees Educational Enhancements
University Parallel Programs

Career Programs

Credit Course Search

Current Students

International Students

High School Students

on set with valencia film students

Orlando Sentinel film critic Roger Moore writes about Valencia’s latest indie film, the comedy “My Fair Lidy.” One article is about the shoot, and one is about its star, Christopher Backus.

via On the Set of “My Fair Lidy” with Valencia’s Film Students.

the valencia college era begins

The Valencia College Era Begins

Valencia Community College officially becomes Valencia College tomorrow. Along with a new name, the college introduces a new ad campaign to support student enrollment and communicate Valencia’s impact on the community.

“The word ‘community’ may be out of our name, but it is part of our DNA,” said Valencia President Sandy Shugart. “We are deeply committed to the principle of an open door to higher education and empowering students to achieve their greatest goals.”

The campaign underscores Valencia’s belief that “anyone can learn anything under the right circumstances,” a philosophy that has transformed the college into a leading learning centered institution and the top producer of associate degrees in the nation.

Helping students attain a college degree includes helping them afford tuition. Valencia awarded $180 million in financial aid this year and offers workshops on financial literacy throughout the year. Tuition remains low at under $100 per credit hour, approximately half that of a state university.

Valencia is the primary entry point into higher education in Central Florida. More than twice as many local high school graduates enroll at Valencia than at all public universities in the state combined. Through DirectConnect to UCF, Valencia paves the way for more students to transfer to a university than any two-year college in the country. More than 20 percent of UCF’s upper division is made up of Valencia transfers.

Valencia begins two new bachelor’s degree programs 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.

UCF offers complete bachelor’s degrees in applied science, architecture, business administration, criminal justice, electrical engineering, elementary education, interdisciplinary studies, legal studies, nursing, political science, psychology and sociology at Valencia’s West Campus.

On Osceola Campus, UCF offers bachelor’s degrees in applied science, business administration, elementary education, interdisciplinary studies and psychology.

Valencia’s workforce offerings are highly regarded with signature programs in film, nursing, hospitality and culinary, digital media, and computer technology. This year it began a new program in cyber security and digital forensics and is developing one in homeland security.

Valencia also operates several programs, including Take Stock in Children and Bridges, that identify at-risk students prior to college and provides them with mentors coupled with financial support throughout their academic careers.

The college operates six campuses and centers in Orange and Osceola counties offering credit and continuing education programs. Last month it broke ground on what will become the Valencia Lake Nona Campus. The college was founded in 1967 as Valencia Junior College and renamed in 1972 as Valencia Community
College.

Television spots can be seen on YouTube and will air locally in July and August.
In addition to TV, the college plans to have outdoor billboards, bus shelter ads, cinema advertising, and online ads. You can see more of the campaign at http://valenciacc-news.com/campaign.

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 www.VALENCIA.org/scholarship 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.

summer dance: repertory concert July 15-16

Save the date! 

A more recent addition to Valencia’s Dance Series, the Summer Repertory Concert is designed to showcase Valencia’s resident dance company, Valencia Dance Theatre and provide a performance opportunity for the annual Valencia Summer Dance Institute.

The Repertory Concert includes faculty and guest artist choreography, including choreography by former Valencia Dance graduates. The Summer Repertory Concert provides a summer performance opportunity for not only our dancers, but for our Valencia viewing audience as well.

Performance Dates:
Friday, July 15, 2011 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 16, 2011 8:00 p.m.
East Campus Performing Arts Center
Box Office: 407-582-2900
Tickets: $8.00 General Admission/$6.00 Valencia Employees, Students and Seniors

valencia offers weekend-degree program

Community colleges try to keep up with rapid rise in student population

Instructor Daeri Tenery, right, discusses an experiment with chemistry students Ashley Munns, left, and Steffanie Graber recently at Valencia Community College's East Campus. The college will offer a weekend track to associate-of-arts degrees. (George Skene/Orlando Sentinel / June 7, 2011)

Instructor Daeri Tenery, right, discusses an experiment with chemistry students Ashley Munns, left, and Steffanie Graber recently at Valencia Community College's East Campus. The college will offer a weekend track to associate-of-arts degrees. (George Skene/Orlando Sentinel / June 7, 2011)

By Denise-Marie Balona, Orlando Sentinel

6:51 PM EDT, June 8, 2011

Like community colleges statewide, Valencia has had to turn away students because there aren’t enough classrooms to keep up with surging enrollment.

Now, to try to fit more people on campus and also meet a growing demand for courses that accommodate working adults, Valencia is introducing a weekend associate-degree program.

In August, Valencia will roll out the new program, designed to help students complete a degree in about seven semesters exclusively through classes Friday nights and during the day Saturdays and Sundays.

Although the college has long offered some classes on weekends, this is the first time it has packaged a variety of courses in a way that allows students to fit everything they need to earn an associate of arts into the weekend.

No other community college or state college in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole or Volusia counties offers the option. But it’s an emerging trend among state-funded colleges in Florida — and one of the innovative ways educators are trying to stretch their limited state construction dollars while also serving a student body that has grown by more than 100,000 during the past four years.

Enrollment within the state-college system jumped 14 percent from the 2005-06 school year to last school year, according to the Florida Department of Education.

At Valencia, already one of the nation’s largest community colleges, growth was even bigger. Enrollment there spiked almost 30 percent.

Valencia’s new weekend-degree program will be introduced first at the East Campus on North Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando — its largest. It was built for about 14,000 students but serves about 21,000, said Michelle Foster, assistant provost there.

If the program goes well, she said, it might be expanded to other locations.

In 2010, weekend degrees were introduced on a limited basis at Miami Dade College and Polk State College. Both institutions plan to expand their programs this coming school year.

Ken Ross, vice president for academic and student services at Polk State, based in Winter Haven, predicts that weekend degrees will eventually catch on with other institutions.

One of the main missions of a state college, Ross said, is to help students earn a degree in the fastest, most convenient way possible so they can move into the work force or get started on another degree. Right now, in an economy that is still sluggish, people can’t afford to leave their jobs during the week to sit for a lecture or do science experiments.

Weekend degrees offer a perfect fit for these students and higher-education institutions struggling with a space crunch, he said.

That’s why Polk began offering a bachelor’s degree in applied science in a weekend format last year. Next school year, students will be able to complete a bachelor’s in nursing on a weekend schedule.

“It’s kind of a no-brainer,” Ross said.

Colleges everywhere are trying new things to stretch their available space. A number of colleges nationwide — for example, Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts and Northern Virginia Community College — have introduced “graveyard” classes, which begin around midnight, according to the American Association of Community Colleges.

Seminole State College is adding classes in the early mornings at its Altamonte Springs campus to squeeze more courses into the regular weekday.

This fall, two to four classes will be offered at 6:30 a.m. — an option that Lynn Colon, provost of that branch, hopes will appeal to working adults. The plan is to offer some classes on a Monday-and-Wednesday schedule and some on a Tuesday-and-Thursday schedule.

“Someone who did work could possibly take two classes before work in the morning,” she said.

Many colleges are expanding their online offerings so students can work from home whenever they like.

“We’re seeing more demand for online classes, and that’s what we’re working on expanding,” said Chuck Mojock, president ofLake-Sumter Community College.

Valencia’s new weekend-degree program will allow students to complete an associate of arts degree by attending classes fewer times a week but for longer chunks of time. They will take primarily general-education courses — those foundational courses students need to take before they can move on to upper-level courses to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Although students will be able to choose from a variety of classes and class times, the selection will be considerably smaller compared with offerings available during the week, Foster said.

Friday classes will run from about 7 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Classes offered Saturdays and Sundays will run from about 7 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. or from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. or from 1:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The last class of the day Saturdays and Sundays will be longer so it can accommodate a science lab.

dbalona@tribune.com or 407-420-5470.

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

what is meinthemaking.com?

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 www.MeInTheMaking.com.

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!

a midsummer nights dream

For its final play of the 2010-2011 theater season, the Valencia Character Company will present William Shakespeare’s classic comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

For its final play of the 2010-2011 theater season, the Valencia Character Company will present William Shakespeare’s classic comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Showtimes are June 9-11 and June 16-18 at 7:30 p.m. and June 12 and 19 at 2 p.m.

Silly, magical, funny, romantic and mystical, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of the Bard’s most often produced plays. It follows the adventures of four young lovers and a group of amateur actors who are manipulated by the fairies inhabiting a moonlit forest. Valencia’s interpretation will be fairly traditional, exploring love as a sometimes-irrational facet of life that often seems beyond our control.

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission and $8 for students, seniors and Valencia staff and alumni. Tickets are free for Valencia students.

To purchase tickets please visit: http://www.redchairproject.com/

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.

Benefits:

    • 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
 

valencia graduation: live webcast on may 7

Valencia Community College’s 2011 Commencement Ceremony will be streamed live on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. and will last about two hours.

Visit the graduation countdown and webcast location online at: http://valenciacc.edu/graduation/live.cfm

Limited technical support is available at 407-582-1872.

Please note: This broadcast will only be viewable until the ceremony’s conclusion. No other video recordings of the ceremony will be made available.

valencia chosen to compete for prestigious aspen prize for community college excellence

Florida College System Chancellor Dr. Will Holcombe today announced that 14 Florida colleges have been deemed eligible for The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The Sunshine State leads the nation in the number of colleges qualified to compete for part of $1 million to reward excellence at two-year institutions that have outstanding academic and work-force outcomes.

“Colleges in our system are selected for national recognition and grants on a regular basis. We are thrilled that half of our colleges, the most of any state, have been chosen for this prestigious honor, “said Dr. Holcombe. “This competition will bring further recognition of the vital role our colleges play in Florida’s economy and people’s lives.”

The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence seeks to recognize community colleges with outstanding academic and workforce outcomes in both absolute performance and improvements over time. The selected colleges must demonstrate that students in their schools gained knowledge and skills, completed degree or certificate programs, and obtained jobs with competitive wages.

The Florida colleges eligible to compete for The Aspen Prize are:

• Brevard Community College
• Broward College
• Central Florida Community College
• Chipola College
• Daytona State College
• Lake City Community College
• Lake-Sumter Community College
• Miami-Dade College
• Northwest Florida State College
• Santa Fe College
• St. Johns River Community College
• South Florida Community College
• Tallahassee Community College
• Valencia Community College

Eight to 10 finalists will be named in September 2011, with the final prize winner and up to three runners-up announced in December. The winner will receive approximately $700,000, with the runners-up sharing the remaining money.

The Aspen Prize is financially supported by the Joyce Foundation, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

More information on the Aspen Institute and a full list of the 120 community colleges eligible to apply is available at http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/aspen-prize.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

take stock in children of orange county

Take Stock in Children of Orange County is administered by Valencia College, in collaboration with Orange County Public Schools. It is part of a statewide program that provides underserved children with a college scholarship and a mentor in the effort to help them stay in school, earn a high school diploma, graduate from college and enter the workforce.

This program is based on the principal that given extensive support, motivation and accountability, children will work hard to ensure that they graduate from high school and attain a college degree. Take Stock in Children of Orlando funds the college scholarships and student services through a unique public-private fund raising model, and the mentors generously volunteer their mentoring services to the children.

Take Stock in Children’s multi-year commitment to at-risk children is also an investment in the community. The education of a child is an investment in their future and an assured way of breaking the cycle of poverty.

The goal of Take Stock in Children is to continue to reduce the number of high school drop-outs and to increase the number of students who finish college and enter the workforce successfully.

Participating children begin the program in the eighth grade and continue on until they graduate high school. They must sign performance contracts agreeing to get good grades, exhibit positive behaviors and remain drug and crime free. In return, they will receive a 2 + 2 Florida Pre-Paid scholarship, which provides two years tuition at any community college followed by two years tuition at any state university.

For more information or to make a donation to this support the program, please visit Take Stock in Children of Orange County or contact Elisha Gonzalez-Bonnewitz, Director, Orange County Take Stock in Children or e-mail takestockinchildren@valenciacollege.edu

traditions! class songs and class support

2010-2011 Class Songs & Class Support

Firework
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 valenciacc.edu/give 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 www.valenciacc.edu/give and simply enter your cell phone number. Donations will be applied to Valencia’s Student Government Association Scholarship. Visit www.valenciacc.edu/give 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 www.hmgf.org/t. Messaging & Data Rates May Apply. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to short code 20222; text HELP to 20222 for help.

valencia students are programming champs of intercollegiate competition

Valencia’s computer programming students took on students from Seminole State College and  Brevard and Lake Sumter community colleges at the first annual Intercollegiate Computer Programming Competition held in late March.

Gabriel Arvam from Valencia won first place and a $500 prize by being the first to solve four programming problems. The competitors could choose their language from amongst C, C++, Java, C# or Visual Basic.

“When I first saw the problems, I was afraid that nobody would be able to solve any of them in the time they had,” said Colin Archibald, computer programming professor at Valencia East Campus. “They were very challenging.”

Competitors were presented with four programming problems and given just three hours to complete as many as they could. Winners were determined by the number of problems solved and the total time taken.

A second Valencia computer programming student, Brent Richardson, took second place and received $250. The third place plaque and a $100 prize went to Jonathan Lundstrom from Seminole.

The team trophy was won by Valencia.

Archibald said, “We had a large team at the competition, and the more advanced students won the prizes, but the students who are earlier in their studies gained some valuable experience in the competition, and we should have an even stronger team next year.”

Professional software developers from AAA, Clear Channel and Lockheed Martin served as judges. Additional support and prize money came from EA Sports and Disney.

The competition, which took place at Seminole State College’s Lake Mary campus, was organized and hosted by Seminole Professor Dick Grant and was partly funded by a National Science Foundation grant.

The NSF grant had been awarded to UCF and the four participating colleges (Seminole State, Brevard, Valencia and Lake Sumter community colleges). The main goal of the grant is to create a new educational pathway—the Bachelor of Applied Science in Software Development. This UCF degree is designed for graduates of the partnering schools’ Associate in Science Computer Programming and Analysis degree programs. The new bachelor’s program is expected to begin offering classes this fall.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

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 http://valenciacc.edu/studentservices/parentSignup.cfm

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

you hold a student’s future in the palm of your hand

Scholarships make a tremendous difference in ability of students to attend college. This year Valencia current students along with past students from the Alumni association are working together for a class gift to help future Valencia students attend college.

Your help with the student effort is needed and appreciated!

Text VALENCIA to 20222 to donate $10. Or visit www.valenciacc.edu/give and simply enter your cell phone number. Donations will be applied to Valencia’s Student Government Association Scholarship. Visit www.valenciacc.edu/give 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 www.hmgf.org/t. Messaging & Data Rates May Apply. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to short code 20222; text HELP to 20222 for help.

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 www.valencia.org/taste or call 407.582.3128 for more details.

valencia closed feb 11

All Valencia campus locations will be closed for Learning Day on Friday, February 11th.

Learning Day is a college-wide event designed to provide an opportunity for Valencia employees to come together and collectively focus on Valencia’s learning-centered mission. Learning Day 2011 will be unlike any Learning Day we have ever had. For the first time, this year we would like to extend an invitation to all part-time and adjunct employees to attend this day of learning, service, and celebration. You won’t want to miss this opportunity reconnect, lend a hand, and celebrate Valencia’s commitment to being an extraordinary learning community.

For more information please visit online:  http://www.valenciacc.edu/learningday/

valencia film program alumnus shows film at OLA Fest

The Orlando Latin American Film & Heritage Festival’s seventh edition opens Thursday, with four days of movies, music, talks and a staged reading of a play.

Full story: film festival orlando: Ol – OrlandoSentinel.com.

Orlando filmmaker Aaron Hose is a Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida film program alumnus who works in video production at UCF.

“Tony was doing things around town to make people aware that Taiwan was not just Chinese, that there were these tribes that were there before the Han Chinese came and took over the culture,” says Hose. “His mother, who had died, had never told him she was from the Atayal tribe. We thought ‘There’s a documentary in that story.'”

Hose spent years documenting former Orlandoan Tony Coolidge‘s search for the indigenous heritage his mother hid from him all his life.

Filmmaker Aaron Hose shot "Voices in the Clouds" in locales from Orlando to Taiwan. (Aaron Hose, Voices in the Clouds / February 3, 2011)

Full story:

film festival orlando: Ol – OrlandoSentinel.com.

Source: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/movies/os-movie-story-olafest.2011-20110204,0,5117464,full.story

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 artsfestFL.com and click on “Schedule.” Then scroll to page 8 of the schedule and click on the “Tickets are limited” icon.
  • Call: 407-355-3200

Source: http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_arts_letter/2011/02/yow-dance-valencia-dance-theatre-and-dr-phillips-students-team-for-3-in-motion.html

wine sampling to benefit valencia and ucf students

Visit http://www.valencia.org/taste for tickets and event information. If you wish to turn the evening into a sparkling weekend, reserve your room with a special Taste for Learning rate.

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

Tickets are now on sale! Check out www.valencia.org/taste or call 407.582.3128 for more details.

q & a: valencia foundation

http://www.VALENCIA.org

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
dmarino@valenciacc.edu

free event: duality-paintings of Chris Kahler

Examples of Chris Kahler paintings, biography and exhibitions from www.artnet.com.

Examples of Chris Kahler paintings, biography and exhibitions from http://www.artnet.com.

Students, friends, community members, alumni and family are invited to view the paintings of Chris Kahler and share in a lecture by the artists.  The exhibition, Duality, is housed at Valenica’s Anita S. Wooten East Campus Gallery.  The reception is free and open to the public on January 21, 6:30-8:30pm.

Valencia is pleased to bring the paintings of Chris Kahler, Professor of Painting and Drawing at Eastern Illinois University.   A review of his work was featured in the magazine Art in America.   

If unable to make the Gallery opening please consider visiting the exhibit from Jan. 21 – March 11, 2011.   

For more information on Valencia's Arts and Entertainment offerings please visit: http://www.valenciacc.edu/arts

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 http://www.pin.ed.gov

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:

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 www.valencia.org.

 We wish you a peaceful and blessed new year.

valencia trustees move to become “valencia college”

Valencia Community College will soon be known as Valencia College after trustees today approved President Sanford Shugart’s recommendation to rename the school to more accurately convey its mission and program mix.

“The name Valencia College conveys who we are and all that we offer and may yet deliver in fulfillment of our mission,” said Shugart in an e-mail to faculty and staff earlier this week. “It is consistent with the evolving higher education landscape in Florida and with our position in it.”

Shugart stressed that the college remains committed to its core principles of an “open door,” affordable tuition, and a learning-centered philosophy for which it has become known as one of the best community colleges in the nation. Valencia produces more associate degree graduates than any two-year college in America.

In their discussions, trustees emphasized that Valencia is now the “primary on ramp” to higher education for Central Florida with more than 60,000 students. More than twice as many local high school graduates enroll at Valencia than at all public universities in the state combined.

“Valencia loves its role in serving a very broad range of students in this community and is arguably one of the best in the nation at achieving the vision of a community college,” said Raymer F. Maguire III, chair of Valencia’s District Board of Trustees.

The college’s highly successful guaranteed transfer program into UCF, known as DirectConnect, has also turned Valencia into a sought-after college destination for many students. More than 20 percent of UCF’s upper division is made up of Valencia transfers with many in the pipeline, thanks to the seamless transition.

Valencia launches its own bachelor’s degree programs for the first time in its history next 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.

“We’re pleased to see Valencia moving forward with the offering of select bachelor’s degrees,” said UCF Board of Trustee Chair Rick Walsh. “I believe our partnership can only be strengthened as we work together to ensure students a path toward degree completion.”

On Valencia’s West Campus, UCF offers complete bachelor’s degrees in applied science, architecture, business administration, criminal justice, electrical engineering, elementary education, interdisciplinary studies, legal studies, nursing, political science, psychology and sociology. On Osceola Campus, UCF offers bachelor’s degrees in applied science, business administration, elementary education, interdisciplinary studies and psychology.

Valencia’s workforce offerings are highly regarded with signature programs in film, nursing, hospitality and culinary, digital media, and computer technology.

Driven by a belief that “anyone can learn anything under the right circumstances,” Valencia has instituted several innovative strategies to improve academic performance for students in their critical first year of college, including linking paired courses to strengthen learning, and placing specially trained student leaders in the classroom to offer support and tutoring.

The success of these reforms has earned Valencia support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through non-profit group MDC, Inc., who gave Valencia almost three-quarters of a million dollars last year to expand its efforts to close educational achievement gaps across racial and ethnic lines.

Valencia also operates several programs, including Take Stock in Children and Bridges, that identify at-risk students prior to college and provides them with mentors coupled with financial support throughout their academic careers.

Valencia operates six campuses and centers in Orange and Osceola counties offering credit and continuing education programs. In 2012 it will open a new campus in Lake Nona. The college was founded in 1967 as Valencia Junior College and renamed in 1972 as Valencia Community College.

The college conducted a year-long consultation with students, faculty, and business leaders inviting them to share their thoughts on Valencia’s mission. Many attended campus forums and weighed in on the issue. “We were very open, thoughtful and deliberate about this step,” said Shugart. “Valencia holds a unique position in this community but also in many hearts and minds. This move comes at the right time and for the right reasons.”

The name change will take effect July 1, 2011. Officials say the college will incur only minimal costs to implement the name, leaving unchanged its well-recognized Valencia logo, adopted in the mid 1990s. The official college seal, used since 1967, will see slight modifications.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

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.

CONGRATULATIONS KEITH!

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Carol Traynor, 407.582.1015, ctraynor@valenciacc.edu

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 http://www.VALENCIA.org 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 www.VALENCIA.org 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; http://news.valenciacc.edu

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 dmarino@valenciacc.edu.

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.

2010 professor of the year

Professor May, FACC 2010 Professor of the Year

Valencia professor James May has been honored by the Florida Association of Community Colleges as their 2010 Professor of the Year. The FACC award recognizes the top community and state college professors for teaching effectiveness and style, innovative methods and ideas, and professional development.

Professor May, who teaches English as a second language at Valencia’s East Campus, was one of three state finalists who gave oral presentations at the FACC’s annual convention in Jacksonville last Thursday. May’s winning presentation titled, “Agreeing to Disagree: The Scarier Side of Subject Verb Agreement,” humorously illustrated the challenges of helping non-native speakers grasp the conflicting rules governing subject-verb agreement (he lives, but you live, for example).

“Dr. May proved to be the top choice for each judge,” said Heidi Marshall, vice chair for the FACC Faculty Commission and organizer of the competition. “His engaging presentation offered a fresh approach to teaching subject/verb agreement and demonstrated his expertise in his field.”

Rather than relying on students’ passive viewing of lectures and other materials, May has excelled at facilitating interactive information sharing and collaboration in his classrooms using everything from webcam and You Tube videos, to Google Docs, to content specifically formatted for cell phones and iPods.

Professor May even created a website (http://teachertricks.org) where he teaches other instructors how to incorporate new technologies into their classrooms.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications
Carol Traynor, Assistant Director
407.582.1015, ctraynor@valenciacc.edu

building named for paul mears sr.

At a ceremony held last week, Valencia celebrated a $1 million gift from the Mears Transportation Group in memory of Paul Mears Sr. to support educational opportunities through the Orange County Take Stock in Children program. In honor of Mears, the college renamed its West Campus Student Services Building the Paul Mears Sr. Student Services Building.

“My father always believed that a good education and hard work were the great equalizers in our society,” said Paul Mears Jr. “In today’s world, that’s still true, but sometimes it helps if the pathway ahead is a little clearer. We are pleased to help clear that path for those students participating in this program.”

Paul Mears Jr. and his wife, Deb, Valencia Foundation board member, believe the Take Stock program reflects the values his father engendered by offering a mentoring relationship, a hand-up and a guaranteed college education based on academic and personal successes through junior high and high school.

Among the dignitaries attending today’s ceremony at the West Campus were Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Mayor-Elect Teresa Jacobs, Orlando commissioners Daisy Lynum and Samuel Ings, and Orange County Commissioner Bill Segal.

Take Stock in Children’s local effort is administered by Valencia in collaboration with Orange County Public Schools. The statewide initiative helps underserved children succeed by providing early intervention, volunteer mentors, long-term support and college scholarships. High standards, parental involvement and community support are crucial.

As part of the program, each student receives an individual timeline and success plan that span from seventh grade through high school graduation. Students and parents sign a covenant to maintain solid grades and remain drug and crime free. Mentor meetings help children to focus on their schoolwork and their educational dreams.

Take Stock seeks to transform the futures of individual students – and our greater community –by providing low-income children with a 2+2 Florida Prepaid college scholarship and a mentor in the effort to help them stay in school, earn a high school diploma, graduate from college and enter the workforce.

Since 1995, Take Stock has impacted the lives of more than 17,600 Florida youngsters, providing 9,000 high school graduates with full college scholarships. This year, 20 local seventh-graders will be inducted into the Orange County program, bringing the total number to 106. The first class of Valencia participants will graduate from high school in 2013.

In addition to the gift, Mears employees have volunteered to meet with a student at his or her school once a week. Mentors work with one student for an entire school year and may opt to stay with the student through graduation. Every new volunteer receives orientation and support before being matched with a student.

“The most important advantage an employer can have in today’s marketplace is the availability of an educated workforce,” Paul Mears Jr. explains. “That’s why I believe, and my father believed, that our business community in Central Florida has such high stake in the education of our young people.”

Valencia president, Sanford C. Shugart, said in his comments today that “there is nothing that works like a real opportunity,” referring both to the Take Stock program and to Mears Transportation, a company that has provided employment opportunities to many in the community for 71 years.

“This generous gift from Mears will provide meaningful support to financially-disadvantaged children who dream of attending college,” Shugart said.

The partnership and philanthropy offered by organizations like Mears Transportation Group has helped ensure that Valencia is able to meet urgent needs for scholarships.

“We are so fortunate to have Valencia Community College in our backyard and the talented and dedicated staff of teachers and administrators leading the way,” Paul Mears Jr. adds. “But most of all, we are proud of the students who work hard every day, many in the face of adversity, who know and are committed that the pathway to a brighter future is education.”

For information on the Take Stock program, contact Elisha Gonzalez-Bonnewitz, director of Take Stock in Children for Orange County, at ebonnewitz@valenciacc.edu or (407) 582-3336. To learn more about Mears Transportation Group, please visit www.mearstransportation.com.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

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:
meetingplanning@valenciacc.edu
407-582-8234

local transportation pioneer offers college access to local children

The Mears Transportation Group pledged $1 million to Valencia Community College in memory of Paul Mears Sr. to support educational opportunities through the Orange County Take Stock in Children program.

Valencia will celebrate and rename its West Campus Student Services Building in honor of Mears on Nov. 16. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will be among the speakers at a dedication ceremony that morning.

“My father always believed that a good education and hard work were the great equalizers in our society,” says Paul Mears Jr. “In today’s world, that’s still true, but sometimes it helps if the pathway ahead is a little clearer. We are pleased to help clear that path for those students participating in this program.”

Paul Mears Jr. and his wife, Deb, Valencia Foundation board member, believe the Take Stock program reflects the values his father engendered by offering a mentoring relationship, a hand-up and a guaranteed college education based on academic and personal successes through junior high and high school.

Take Stock in Children’s local effort is administered by Valencia in collaboration with Orange County Public Schools. The statewide initiative helps underserved children succeed by providing early intervention, volunteer mentors, long-term support and college scholarships. High standards, parental involvement and community support are crucial.

As part of the program, each student receives an individual timeline and success plan that span from seventh grade through high school graduation. Students and parents sign a covenant to maintain solid grades and remain drug and crime free. Mentor meetings help children to focus on their schoolwork and their educational dreams.

Take Stock seeks to transform the futures of individual students – and our greater community –by providing low-income children with a 2+2 Florida Prepaid college scholarship and a mentor in the effort to help them stay in school, earn a high school diploma, graduate from college and enter the workforce.

Since 1995, Take Stock has impacted the lives of more than 17,600 Florida youngsters, providing 9,000 high school graduates with full college scholarships. This year, 20 local seventh-graders will be inducted into the Orange County program, bringing the total number to 86. The first class of Valencia participants will graduate from high school in 2013.

In addition to the gift, Mears employees have volunteered to meet with a student at his or her school once a week. Mentors work with one student for an entire school year and may opt to stay with the student through graduation. Every new volunteer receives orientation and support before being matched with a student.

Local unemployment rates signal challenging times, and economic uncertainties loom large. The increasing costs of tuition and books can conspire to make college unaffordable for individuals looking to build better lives for their families.

“The most important advantage an employer can have in today’s marketplace is the availability of an educated workforce,” Paul Mears Jr. explains. “That’s why I believe, and my father believed, that our business community in Central Florida has such high stake in the education of our young people.”

Valencia president, Dr. Sanford C. Shugart, points out that college enrollment increased by more than 11 percent this fall, significant growth not supported by state funding. Valencia sought resources to help close the affordability gap. Financial aid awards more than doubled in the past three years, growing from less than $40 million in 2006-07 to an estimated $109 million in 2009. Foundation disbursements have tripled within five years.

“This generous gift from Mears will provide meaningful support to financially-disadvantaged children who dream of attending college,” Shugart explains.

The partnership and philanthropy offered by organizations like Mears Transportation Group has helped ensure that Valencia is able to meet urgent needs for scholarships.

“We are so fortunate to have Valencia Community College in our backyard and the talented and dedicated staff of teachers and administrators leading the way,” Paul Mears Jr. adds. “But most of all, we are proud of the students who work hard every day, many in the face of adversity, who know and are committed that the pathway to a brighter future is education.”

For information on the recognition ceremony, contact Elisha Gonzalez-Bonnewitz, director of Take Stock in Children for Orange County, at ebonnewitz@valenciacc.edu or (407) 582-3336. To learn more about Mears Transportation Group, please visit www.mearstransportation.com.

The West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Rd. in Orlando.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

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!

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 www.valencia.org/taste 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.

reminder: carousel at valencia (last weekend!)

CAROUSEL
October 28-31, 2010

Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers
Based on Ferenc Molinar’s play “Lilion” as adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer
Performing Arts Center on Valencia’s East Campus

(The Saturday, Oct. 30 performance will be American Sign Language interpreted.)

Regular ticket prices are $10 for students, seniors, Valencia faculty and staff and $12 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 407-582-2900, or at www.redchairproject.com.  Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 28, 29, and 2 PM Oct. 31, at the Performing Arts Center on East Campus.

See the full schedule of Arts and Entertainment events at www.valenciacc.edu/arts.

degree choice: AA or AS

Want to understand the difference between Valencia’s degree acronyms?  Continue reading or check out the video below for highlights of our AA, AS and AAS academic degree abbreviations.

The A.A. / general studies degree prepares you to transfer to a Florida public university as a junior. As an A.A. student, there are ways to focus in on your intended major. You can follow a transfer plan or choose a pre-major which will help you meet most upper division pre-reqs.

The A.S. degree prepares you to enter a specialized career field. It also transfers to the B.A.S. (Bachelor of Applied Science) program offered at some universities. If the program is “articulated,” it will also transfer to a B.A. or B.S. degree program at a designated university.

The A.A.S. degree prepares you to enter a specialized career field. This degree does not transfer to a university.

 

To receive more information about Valencia, please choose the category that best describes you from the list below. If you would like to complete an application for admission, please click here.

First Time in College
International Student
Transfer Student

congratulations

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!

author richard bausch to speak at valencia west campus

Richard Bausch, prize-winning novelist and short story writer, will read from his works on October 14 from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by a book signing, in the West Campus Library at Valencia Community College.

The event is free and open to the public.

Bausch currently serves as the Moss Chair of Excellence in the writing program at The University of Memphis. He is the author of 11 novels and eight collections of stories. His novels include “Rebel Powers,” “In the Night Season,” “Hello to the Cannibals,” “Thanksgiving Night” and “Peace;” and the story collections “Spirits,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “The Stories of Richard Bausch,” “Wives & Lovers: 3 Short Novels,” and most recently, “Something is Out There.” His novel, “The Last Good Time,” was made into a feature-length motion picture that was directed by Bob Balaban starring Armin Meuhler-Stahl, Maureen Stapleton and Lionel Stander, and released in April 1995.

An acknowledged master of the short story form, Bausch’s work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker, Playboy, The Southern Review, The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize Stories. He has won two National Magazine Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund Writer’s Award, the Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2004 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and for “Peace,” the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

For information, contact Nichole McPherson at 407-582-3121 or nmcpherson@valenciacc.edu. Bausch’s appearance is part of Visions and Voices, the college’s distinguished artist series.

The West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Rd. in Orlando.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

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 http://www.redchairproject.com. 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

Valencia?


WHY VALENCIA??

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!

two valencia students selected to NASA’s aerospace scholars program

Valencia Community College sophomores Denise Rudy and Delores Petropulos, who attend the college’s East Campus, have been selected to travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston October 20-22, 2010, to participate in a three-day on-site event.

They were selected as two of 89 community and junior college students from across the nation to be part of the National Community College Aerospace Scholars program. Students completed four Web-based assignments during the school year, maintaining a 93 average to qualify for the experience.  They will apply what they have learned during the year to work with NASA engineers.

Thrilled to learn of her selection to the NASA program, Rudy, a 4.0 grade point average student who took a ten-year detour through the workforce, proves it’s never too late to pursue a dream. “I’m starting to really believe that the sky is nowhere near the limit and that anything is possible,” she said. Rudy now has her sights set on applying to Cal Tech and Stanford as well as UCF. She plans to pursue her academic interests in geophysics and aeronautical engineering.

Petropulos, another non-traditional student, also has dyslexia. “I have to work harder than a lot of the students, but it has made me cherish these accomplishments a lot more,” she said. A computer programming student at Valencia, Petropulos has been inspired by the NASA program to pursue a career in robotics programming, perhaps in aerospace or within the medical field.

The program is a three-day on-site event at Johnson and offers students from across the nation the opportunity to interact with each other as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. While at Johnson, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each company is responsible for developing a prototype rover, designing a line drawing of the rover, and forming the company infrastructure including budget, communications, and presentations. The experience at Johnson includes a tour of facilities and briefings by noted NASA employees—including astronauts.

National Community College Aerospace Scholars is a program based on Texas Aerospace Scholars, originally created by the state of Texas in partnership with NASA and the Texas educational community. Both programs are designed to encourage community and junior college students to enter careers in science and engineering and ultimately join the nation’s highly technical workforce.

With this program, NASA continues the agency’s investment in educational programs that attract and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, disciplines critical to NASA’s future missions.

For additional information, please contact Deborah Hutchings, National Community College Aerospace Scholars program manager at 281-483-8623 or deborah.hutchings-1@nasa.gov. For more information, please visit their website.

Source: Lucy Boudet, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

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 www.valenciacc.edu/arts.

We are excited to share a backstage pass to everything happening in Arts & Entertainment through our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/valenciaartsandentertainment. 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 www.eventusher.com 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!!!

valencia around town

Wherever you happen to live, Valencia is easy to get to. The college has four main campuses and two centers throughout Orange and Osceola counties, with plans underway for the fifth campus in southeast Orlando!

Feel free to take a quick virtual tour through the video below or check out the new Valencia Future Student  tab to explore all that Valencia offers our community.

visions and voices – patricia smith

Valencia’s Visions and Voices series kicks off this season with poet and author Patricia Smith. Patricia will be at the Winter Park Campus – Student Lounge on Thursday, September 16. There will be a reading from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., immediately followed by a book signing until 2:30 p.m.  

Recognized as one of the world’s most formidable performers and a 2008 National Book Award Finalist, Patricia has read at venues around the world, including the Poets Stage in Stockholm, Rotterdam’s Poetry International Festival, the Aran Islands International Poetry and Prose Festival and on tour in Germany, Austria and Holland. In the U.S., she’s performed at Carnegie Hall, Bumbershoot, the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, the Folger Shakespeare Library and St. Mark’s Poetry Project.

Patricia is a four-time national individual champion of the notorious and wildly popular Poetry Slam, the most successful competitor in slam history. She was featured in the nationally-released film “Slamnation,” and appeared on the award-winning HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.”

Patricia’s fifth book of poetry, Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press) chronicles the human, physical and emotional toll exacted by Hurricane Katrina, a catastrophic natural event with lasting spiritual and political impact. This much-anticipated volume is also the focal point of a new dance/theater collaboration between Patricia and dancer Paloma McGregor of Urban Bush Women.

Valencia’s Winter Park Campus is located at 850 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32789.

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 www.valenciacc.edu/transitions/collegenight or contact 407-582-2330 or enrollment1@valenciacc.edu.

Source: Marketing & Strategic Communications

good artwork comes in small packages at valencia’s anita s. wooten gallery

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery on Valencia Community College’s East Campus will hold an opening reception for its newest exhibition, ‘Curator’s Choice: Small Works by Central Florida Artists,’ on Friday, Sept. 10 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The exhibition began on Aug. 13 and will continue through Oct. 1. It features small-scale paintings, sculpture and mixed media pieces by 24 local artists. The Gallery Director, Jackie Otto Miller, selected the works.

The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. The Anita S. Wooten Gallery is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail on Valencia’s East Campus. Call 407-582-2298 or 407-582-2268 for more information. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

 Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

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 jjones2@atlas.valenciacc.edu.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778; mtchen@valenciacc.edu

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.

source: http://valenciacc-news.com/

valencia welcomes disney institute professional development program

Disney Institute is bringing its renowned professional development program, “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service,” to Valencia Community College, West Campus Special Events Center (Building 8), on Thursday, September 16, 2010. The full-day event will give area professionals an opportunity to “experience the business behind the magic.” The program will give participants new ideas for creating a service-driven organization that delivers excellence.

“Delivering great service is critical for companies looking to survive and prosper in these turbulent economic times,” said Jeff James, vice president for Disney Institute.  “This program is a rare opportunity for business professionals to go inside the Disney organization and learn innovative, easy-to-implement best practices that can give them the competitive edge.”

The full-day “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service” program will give participants an ‘insider’s look’ at business practices that have helped Disney consistently rank as one of the world’s most admired companies and brands.  Participants will learn how to exceed customer expectations using a well-defined service infrastructure, ongoing research, and service standards.

“In an era where everyone is competing for business and market share, excellent customer service isn’t a luxury, it is mission critical,” James said.  “This program is made for organizations – large and small – that are looking to create a service experience that exceeds customer expectations and drives repeat business.”

Program registration is $399 per person and includes all course materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and parking. Early-bird registration is $359 per person, before September 1. For more information or to register, call 407-582-6688 or www.valenciaenterprises.org/disney.

Source: Carolyn McMorran – Valencia Community College, Valencia News, Wednesday, August 18, 2010, http://news.valenciacc.edu

 

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; mtchen@valenciacc.edu

east campus greenhouse a living science lab

Valencia's East Campus Greenhouse

East Campus Greenhouse Serves as a Living Science Lab

Thanks to a new greenhouse on the East Campus, students enrolled in science courses including Biology I & II, Neotropical Biology, Ethnobotany, Environmental Science and Biological Science are now able to view physical examples of the plants they learn about in the classroom. Not only has this allowed for students to learn visually but in some cases by touch, smell and even taste.

The 30′ x 48′ x 15′ greenhouse is home to a worldwide collection of plants, representing more than 300 species from 83 families. By showcasing as many plant families as possible, the greenhouse helps students to see first-hand the great diversity that exists among plants.

There are many rare and unusual plants in the greenhouse, including carnivorous plants, orchids, tropical fruit trees, native plants and a large collection of ethno-botanicals. Ethnobotany is the study of how indigenous people use plants for food, shelter, medicine and material things like textiles, poisons and fuel.

“Students learn that there are many secrets to discover from shamanic wisdom and the powerful plants used,” said biology professor Steve Myers. “Perhaps the cure for cancer, AIDS, and other diseases lies within plants from rainforests and other wild places. Perhaps there will be plants out there we will use as a new fuel source or perhaps a new food source.”

The greenhouse also teaches lessons in environmentalism. To keep from expending unnecessary energy, the greenhouse uses an environmental control program that can automatically adjust heating and watering settings to keep them at the desired levels. Plans are also in the works to start composting the waste material from the greenhouse.

Some of the interesting plants within the greenhouse include:

Welwitschia mirabilis of the Namib Desert in southwest Africa
This gymnosperm starts with only two strap-like leaves and never acquires any more. Carbon-14 tests show that Welwitschia can attain an age of 2,000 years old.

Titan Arum, Amorphophallus titanium
Has the largest un-branched inflorescence (cluster of flowers arranged on a stem) in the world.

Jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus
Originating in the Western Ghats of India, this is the largest tree borne fruit in the world, attaining a maximum weight of 110 pounds.

Stylidium or the “Trigger Plant”
Has a ‘trigger” that is composed of male and female reproductive organs that snaps forward when touched by an insect, covering the insect in pollen.

Hoodia gordonii
Used by the San Bushmen in Kalahari Desert of southern Africa to suppress appetite when they are making long hunting trips.

Nepenthes, or tropical pitcher plants of Asia
Carnivorous plants that trap insects and sometimes even small mammals in their pitcher, a deep cavity filled with liquid that dissolves the prey.

Miracle Fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum
This African plant produces berries that when eaten will cause sour foods to taste sweet.

The Thunderstorm Orchid, Dendrobium crumenatum
A unique orchid found in Malaysia that blooms shortly after a thunderstorm. The sudden drop in temperature and sudden inundation of water triggers dormant flower buds to bloom.

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778; mtchen@valenciacc.edu

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, mtchen@valenciacc.edu

with new location, valencia expands to southeast orange county

On Tuesday, Aug.10, Valencia Community College will host an open house at its newest location, Valencia at Lake Nona High School. The event will take place from 4-6 p.m. at 12500 Narcoossee Road in Orlando.

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the facility, register for fall classes and meet with faculty, staff and Valencia’s president, Sandy Shugart.

For the past year, Valencia at Lake Nona High School has already been home to the Collegiate Academy at Lake Nona High School. This unique dual-enrollment program, created in partnership with Orange County Public Schools, enables enrollees to complete anywhere from one or two college-level courses to a full Associate in Arts degree while in high school.

This fall, the Lake Nona High School location will open its doors to all Valencia students, with courses beginning Aug. 30. Twelve different courses will be offered, including biology, chemistry, math, speech, English, humanities, student success and psychology. A full listing of available courses can be found at: http://net5.valenciacc.edu/schedule/.

Occupying its own building on the Lake Nona High School campus, Valencia will now be able to save many students who live in southeast Orange County and northern Osceola County from having to make a long drive, since the new location is about halfway between Valencia’s East and Osceola Campuses.

Students who attend classes here will have access to Valencia’s services, with advising, tutoring and a student lounge available on-site.

For more information about Valencia at Lake Nona High School or the Collegiate Academy at Lake Nona High School, please visit http://valenciacc.edu/lakenonahs/. For Open House information, call 407-956-8300 ext. 2401.

SOURCE:  Valencia News, Marketing and 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:  TeachTricks.org
Valencia Community College
jmay@valenciacc.edu

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 jgagne@valenciacc.edu .

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

Source:  Marketing and Strategic Communications, 407-299-5000, ext. 1015; ctraynor@valenciacc.edu

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, mtchen@valenciacc.edu

faculty member asks: what’s a HOSA?

Valencia faculty Jamy Chulak shares how students pay it forward at HOSA event

I have to admit, “What’s a HOSA?” was among the first questions that came to mind after discussing the possibility of partnering with the AARC at Disney’s Coronado Springs for the 2010 HOSA Conference. It didn’t take long to find HOSA online and discover this national leadership conference is 100% healthcare oriented. What a great venue to discuss the profession of Respiratory Care to prospective candidates and who better to discuss their own stories about choosing our field then students from Valencia Community College’s 2010 graduating class.

It became apparent that caliber of high school student, dedicated to the healthcare career choice in front of them, was exactly who we should be speaking to regarding the future of our profession. This national conference brought students to Orlando from all areas of the country. The curiosity, compassion, and possibility of a profession in healthcare lingered on the hopes and dreams of each student who passed the AARC booth. Most discussions began with questions from our Valencia students such as, “Have you heard of Respiratory Care?” This was usually followed by a positive acknowledgment and recital of the respiratory system, which then required some clarification, “Have you heard of the Respiratory Care Profession?” Many of these high school students demonstrated resolve in their understanding in our profession and yet a commitment to other health science professions such as Nursing, EMT/Paramedic, and Dental Hygiene. WHAT?

This highlights the challenge we have in our profession. The brightest and most dedicated student, interested in healthcare, still has reservations, already made a choice or a lack of understanding of what we do. It is not all lost. The AARC booth was among the busiest and most interactive booths at the conference. Our primary competition came from the U.S. Army military tent (HUGE), which housed a Laerdal Simman, push-up/pull-up challenge, and recruiters in uniform. We countered with our own transport ventilator delightfully attached to an actual pig lung demonstrating the “power of positive pressure”. I do not know if this mystified the career minded students but it certainly grossed them out a bit, but in a good way. They all loved it! This attracted counselors, instructors, students and other vendors whose curiosity eventually won them over.

Beyond the lung lay informational material provided for each participant but they suddenly found themselves being assessed by our students. Breath sounds were hard to come by but everybody wanted to have their oxygen saturation checked out with eager anticipation to explain away any fatigue rendered by the excitement of the days in conference. We used a portable SpO2 monitor, which traveled throughout the vendor hall with a pair of Valencia students and a bedside monitor at our booth. Needless to say, many of these students were at or near 100%.

The crowds gathered as student, instructor, and counselors alike tested themselves by attempting to place an advanced airway at our intubation station. The students were eager and excited to have the opportunity to intubate. Instructors were revisiting their days in the community when they had to call out “RESPIRATORY!” when an airway emergency arose. The advisors were simply stunned that we, Respiratory Care, do this sort of thing. We reminded them all, for comfort, “You cannot hurt this manikin—take a stab at it.” Each Valencia student provided a little instruction, support, and feedback and the participants were intrigued. Many intubated well, some right main stem, and a few esophageal placements but that did not deter the participants. It was common to have participants dragged to our booth by a previous visitor. It was an exciting day for all of us.

We had a wonderful time at this leadership conference. This HOSA conference was an excellent display of where our future healthcare workers can be reminded of the Respiratory Care profession as a critical and significant option to meet the future challenges within our healthcare population.

Source: AARC.org

nursing students sponsor bone marrow drive

Valencia Student Nursing Association (VNSA) organized a bone marrow registry drive in partnership with Kids Beating Cancer, an associate of the National Marrow Donor Program.

Striving to be more than a social group, the Valencia Student Nursing Association (VNSA) organized a bone marrow registry drive, in hopes that even one match could save a life. Partnering with Kids Beating Cancer, an associate of the National Marrow Donor Program, the drive took place July 1, on Valencia’s West Campus.

With four quick swabs of the cheek, genetic material is collected, analyzed and entered into a nation- wide database that runs searches 6,000 times a day, in hopes of making a match.

John Kennedy, vice president of the VSNA was inspired to run a bone marrow drive after attending a national student nursing conference. Kennedy heard of a bone marrow drive at Villanova University which, resulted in three donors being matched including an 18-month old child.

“People associate bone marrow with 12 inch needles and lots of pain,” said Kennedy. “It’s just not like that anymore. All it takes is a couple seconds to save someone’s life.”

The bone marrow drive at Valencia registered 116 people to be potential donors.  Their information will stay in the registry until the age of 61. Anytime there is a match, the potential donor is contacted and screened to determine if they are a good match for the patient.

Bone marrow transplants are a common treatment for leukemia and other cancers that manifest in the marrow. 75 percent of those who will need a transplant will not find a donor in their family. Some never make it off the transplant list succumbing to their illness before finding a donor.

The Valencia Student Nursing Association plans on running more bone marrow drives in the upcoming semesters, and hopefully extending the drive to all Valencia campuses.

Source: Valencia Marketing & Strategic Communications 407-582-1017

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)

gifts of stock for students

If you're considering a major gift to the Valencia Foundation or planning your end-of-year gift, a gift of public company stock to charity provides two major benefits. First, there is a charitable deduction for the value of the stock. Second, the charity does not pay tax on the sale of the stock and you, therefore, bypass the capital gain.

What will the market do this year? Perhaps the best answer is, “It will go up and down.” Stock returns vary to a significant degree each year. However, long-term stock returns have been reasonably substantial.

Between 1990 and 2010, the average stock return was about 6%. While there was a very substantial increase during 1990-2000 and decreases during 2002 and 2008, the total return over two decades was approximately 6%.

Longer holding periods have generally resulted in higher total returns. The total stock return for seven decades between 1940 and 2010 was in excess of 10%. Returns for long periods of time have paralleled this amount.

You can select to support education in our community! Because many stocks have increased in value over time, you may hold stocks with substantial appreciation.  If you’re considering a major gift or end-of-year gift, a gift of public company stock to support education through the Valencia Foundation provides two major benefits. First, there is a charitable deduction for the value of the stock. Second, the charity does not pay tax on the sale of the stock and you, therefore, bypass the capital gain. 

Click here for a video and example of this process.

Two fairly common reasons for making a substantial gift of stock are that you may have sold an appreciated asset with a large capital gain or you have good income. If you have a large gain or substantial income, you may want to offset that gain or income with a charitable deduction through a gift of stock. Because you receive both the charitable deduction and a bypass of capital gains tax, there is a double benefit for your gift of stock.

How to Make a Stock Gift

If you would like to make a gift of stock to support students through the Valencia Foundation, please call 407/582-3150 for assistance or to have your questions answered about this process.

Most stock is held in an account at a brokerage firm. Relatively few people now wish to hold the actual certificates in their safety deposit box. If you hold actual certificates, you may mail the certificate and a signed stock power in separate envelopes to the charity. Because most stock is held by the brokerage firm, the stock is transferred directly from the account at the brokerage firm to an account for the charity.

Source: © Copyright 1999-2010 Crescendo Interactive, Inc.

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 dmarino@valenciacc.edu.

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.  

source: http://kroc.nd.edu/newsevents/news/summer-institute-focuses-teaching-peace-707

valencia is top producer of associate degrees in nation

A report just published by Community College Week shows that Valencia Community College awards more associate degrees than any other two-year school in the nation. Valencia also leads the way in the number of associate degrees awarded to minorities, an 18 percent increase from the year before.

The report, published in June 2010, was compiled using data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and focused on degrees conferred during the 2008-2009 academic year. In that year, Valencia awarded 5,128 associate degrees, including 1,956 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.”

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, 10th in nursing and 15th 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. Valencia also offers more than 100 A.S., A.A.S. and certificate programs, which lead to immediate entry into the workforce.

Today there are approximately 1,200 community colleges in the United States.

SOURCE:  Valencia News, June 18, 2010, Marketing and Strategic Communications, 407-582-1015

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 karen@aiaorlando.com or Anissa Alvarez with Valencia Foundation at 407.582.3153 or aalvarez35@valenciacc.edu.

2010-2011 endowed chair professors and scholars

Valencia educators are encouraged to remain current and continually improve discipline knowledge. With these endowed chairs, our faculty are given the opportunity to examine the effectiveness of their teaching, counseling, librarianship and assessment techniques as they influence student learning.

Congratulations to the following Distinguished Professors and Scholars, who have been awarded a 2010-11 Valencia Foundation Endowed Chair for Learning Leadership. 

Distinguished Professors

Fitzroy Farquharson:  Lockheed Martin Chair in Mathematics
Richard Gair:  Abe and Tess Wise Endowed Chair in the Study of the Shoah
Deymond Hoyte: 
Bank of America Chair in Business Management
Ilyse Kusnetz:  Sue Luzadder Chair in Communications
Yasmeen Qadri:  Patricia Havill Whalen Chair in Social Sciences
Richard Sansone:  Howard L. Palmer Chair in Foreign Languages
Russell Takashima:  Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Chair in Mathematics   
Rachel Waite:  University Club of Orlando Chair in Humanities 

Distinguished Scholars

Colin Archibald:  SunGard Endowed Teaching Chair in Computer Science
Ralph Clemente:  Walt Disney World Chair in Film Technology
Debbie Garrison / Susan Dauer:  Maguire Family Teacher Endowed Chair
Carin Gordon:  Cliff and Daisy Whitehill Chair in Legal Studies
Deidre Holmes DuBois:  Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Endowed Chair in Communications
Jim Inglis:  Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Chair in Hospitality Management
Lisa Macon:  Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Chair in Education in Free Enterprise
James May:  Jessie and Eugene Drey Endowment of the English-Speaking Union/Central Florida Branch Chair in English and Humanities
Robert McCaffrey:  University Club of Orlando Chair in Advanced Computer Technology  
Pierre Pilloud:  Central Florida Restaurant Association Chair in Restaurant and Food Management
Suzanne Salapa:  Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment

Many thanks to the dedicated individual and corporate partners who have created and supported the endowed chair program. Valencia Community College and our students benefit from the kindness of philanthropic individuals, corporations and organizations that are deeply rooted in our community.

recycled, wrapped and sewn

Big Fan, 2008, 40 in X 40 in, wire, string, cotton fabric

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery at Valencia Community College East Campus will host Recycled, Wrapped and Sewn, works by Courtney Puckett, an emerging artist from New York.

An opening reception will be held on June 18, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., with an artist lecture at 7:30 p.m. This exhibit will run until July 30. The opening reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are: Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The gallery is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, FL 32825.

 For more information, please call 407-582-2268 or 407-582-2298, or visit http://www.valenciacc.edu/artsandentertainment/gallery/.

you only have two more weeks…

…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 karen@aiaorlando.com or Anissa Alvarez with Valencia Foundation at 407.582.3153 or aalvarez35@valenciacc.edu.

Don’t miss out on the fun!!!

donor spotlight: Jess Bailes

Special thanks to Jess Bails for his continued philanthropy to Valencia and our community as a whole!

When Jess Bailes speaks, people listen – and emulate his philanthropy. A Valencia alumnus and active board member of the foundation since 1996, his family’s contributions to Valencia include endowments of more than $350,000 cash and $400,000 in in-kind donations to Valencia Foundation.

Jess is executive vice president of ABC Fine Wine and Spirits and through his lead, ABC provides support for Valencia’s annual golf tournaments, fundraisers, The President’s Circle receptions, donor recognition galas and A Taste for Learning.

Currently, Jess serves as secretary for Valencia Foundation’s board of directors. Jess was a charter donor for The President’s Circle and he has served as treasurer and executive committee member for the foundation’s board of directors. In 2004, he was named board member of the year. And for service to Valencia and Valencia Foundation, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits was named “2005 Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

At the helm of A Taste for Learning since the inception in 2005, Bailes and his team at ABC continue to make the event an unprecedented success. His idea of sponsorship is definitely a welcome extravagance – bringing together vintners and hundreds of bottles of wine, as well as donating silent auction items. Through his charge, ABC also supplies signage, promotional advertising and on-hand event support – all are given generously and in true commitment to the mission of the foundation.

Jess also leverages his corporate credibility and relationships to ensure that one hundred percent of every dollar given for tickets, auction items and sponsorships goes directly to scholarships. Through his leadership, more than $1.65 million has been generated for scholarships at all Taste events. More importantly, these events have brought the foundation new publicity, new partnerships, an expanded donor base and the opportunity for a college education for students in need.

Jess Bailes and the ABC staff are humble and matter-of-fact about their commitment to service and philanthropy. His servant leadership has earned him the respect of Valencia and our community.

Source:  Valencia Foundation Biennial Report Online

valencia builds “community” online with facebook

Visit the Valencia Foundation page online at: http://www.facebook.com/MyValenciaFoundation

It may be awhile before Valencia Community College’s Facebook page has a following like that of Texas A&M, the largest among universities with 169,857 people. But as everyone knows communication has moved into Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. Valencia has joined the stream in a big way. More than 16 official Facebook pages have recently launched, encouraging students and faculty to interact by interest areas such as academic majors or the college’s main Facebook page www.facebook.com/myvalencia.
 
Valencia has more than 60,000 students among five locations and will soon add a sixth near Lake Nona. With annual enrollment growing at approximately 10 percent, communication is an increasing challenge. Student Affairs provides an Answer Center on each campus and sends frequent e-mails and notices through the college’s Intranet portal, called Atlas, to keep students informed about key dates and information they must know. 

Valencia professors have adopted Facebook, Twitter and other social media as a natural extension of communication with students. Research shows that engagement with professors is a strong indicator of success in college—especially during the first year. Lisa Macon, President of the College-wide Faculty Association and Chair of the Faculty Council, is very active in social media. 

Dr. Macon maintains four Facebook pages, including a new one where she posts tips on current topics in information technology, a subject she teaches at Valencia. “Providing students with an open forum for asking questions will allow for a quicker response time by just the right person at Valencia, without the student’s email being forwarded through various offices,” she said. “We know that students prefer to learn about upcoming activities and events on campus via social media.”

Some of Valencia’s Facebook pages include:

www.facebook.com/myvalencia
www.facebook.com/MyValenciaFoundation
www.facebook.com/ValenciaArchitectureandEngineering
www.facebook.com/valenciaartsandentertainment
www.facebook.com/ValenciaBusiness
www.facebook.com/ValenciaCriminalJustice
www.facebook.com/ValenciaHealthSciences
www.facebook.com/ValenciaHorticultureandLandscape
www.facebook.com/ValenciaHospitalityandCulinary
www.facebook.com/ValenciaInformationTechnology
www.facebook.com/ValenciaHonors
www.facebook.com/ValenciaContinuingEducation
www.facebook.com/ValenciaAlumniAssociation

Source: Lucy Boudet, Marketing & Strategic Communications

How To Reverse Higher Ed Dropout Crisis?

Thought leaders from government, academia and business–including Valencia President Sandy Shugart– called for an improvement in college completion rates. At stake, they said, is Americans’ ability to remain competitive in a global economy.

conversation on higher education dropout crisis

Educators, officials and others discuss this worrisome trend.

Source:  NationalJournal.com; 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:  NationalJournal.com; by Eliza Krigman; Wednesday, June 2, 2010 ekrigman@nationaljournal.com

 

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 www.redchairproject.com

Source: Valencia Marketing & Strategic Communications

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.

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 http://www.takeamericatocollege.com/.

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 http://creworlando.org/golf.html.

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.

valencia to graduate 2,800 on may 8

On Saturday, May 8, a total of 2,800 graduates will receive their associate degrees as Valencia Community College celebrates its 41st spring commencement at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. 

Congratulations Kim Do Valencia 2009-2010 Distinguished Graduate as selected by the Alumni Association

These students join the more than 80,000 graduates who have received degrees since Valencia was established in 1967. Among two-year schools, Valencia awards the second largest number of associate degrees in the nation.

This year’s commencement speaker is 20-year-old Kim Do, who was named the 2009-2010 Distinguished Graduate by the Valencia Alumni Association. Born in Vietnam, Do moved to the United States when she was nine years old. She overcame culture shock and learned 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 the president of the Alpha Phi Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society on the Osceola Campus. Do plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and ultimately become a plastic surgeon so that she can help children with birth defects. She currently resides in Kissimmee.

Commencement exercises will take place at 10 a.m. at Silver Spurs Arena, Osceola Heritage Park, on U.S. Hwy. 192 in Kissimmee. 

Source: News and Information, April 30, 2010, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College, 407-582-1778

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 wgivoglu@valenciacc.edu.

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
 

$100,000

Valencia Receives $100,000 Walmart Minority Student Success Award

 Valencia Community College has been selected by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) to receive a Walmart Minority Student Success Award—a $100,000 grant to help build on Valencia’s demonstrated successes in enrolling, retaining and graduating first-generation, minority college students. The $100,000 grant is being made possible by a $4.2 million grant to IHEP from the Walmart Foundation.

Valencia was selected as one of only 30 minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to help first-generation students get into and stay in college.

“Valencia is honored to be selected as one of several outstanding higher education institutions nationwide to receive the Walmart Minority Student Success Award,” said Valencia President Sanford C. Shugart. “Thanks in part to this award, we will be able to enhance and expand our work with first-generation students.”

IHEP President Michelle Asha Cooper said, “The institutions in our 2010 Minority Student Success cohort broaden and deepen the pool of MSIs committed to ensuring the success of first-generation students both at their campuses and beyond. We are pleased to be working with them on programs that are sure to serve as models to all of higher education.”

“At Walmart, we understand that education is critical to the lives and well-being of all Americans. We’re proud to support giving that enables the success of first-generation college students,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation.

The other 2010 winners include: Adams State College (Colo.), Bloomfield College (N.J.), Bowie State University (Md.), Coppin State University (Md.), Delaware State University (Del.), El Camino College (Calif,), Fort Belknap College (Mont.), Hampton University (Va.), Leech Lake Tribal College (Minn.), New Jersey City University (N.J.), United Tribes Technical College (N.D.), University of Houston- Downtown (Texas), University of New Mexico (N.M.), and Winston-Salem State University (N.C.).

For more information about the initiative and grantees, visit the IHEP Web site at http://www.ihep.org/walmartminoritystudents.cfm .

About The Institute for Higher Education Policy

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is an independent, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to increasing access and success in postsecondary education around the world. Established in 1993, the Washington, D.C.-based organization uses unique research and innovative programs to inform key decision makers who shape public policy and support economic and social development. IHEP’s Web site, http://www.Ihep.org, features an expansive collection of higher education information available free of charge and provides access to some of the most respected professionals in the fields of public policy and research.

About Philanthropy at Walmart Stores, Inc.

Walmart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international Foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.

Source: News and Information, April 21, 2010, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College, 407-582-1015

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.”

The President’s Circle

Click here for a list of current President's Circle members

Valencia Foundation’s board of directors created The President’s Circle to promote learning as the center of Valencia Community College’s work. The President’s Circle allows members to play a pivotal role in helping the college president and foundation provide scholarships for students with urgent financial need.

A minimum unrestricted gift of $1,000 entitles the donor to The President’s Circle membership. Membership allows participation in a wide array of exciting opportunities and a special partnership with college president Sandy Shugart and fellow advocates of learning. Members receive invitations to the president’s home for private receptions with artists, authors and other notable individuals, passes to Valencia arts events, an opportunity to attend our special-topic forums and invitations to the foundation’s annual donor gala.

One hundred percent of contributions to The President’s Circle support scholarships for students in need. For more information on this dynamic circle of the Valencia family, contact the foundation at 407-582-3150 or visit www.VALENCIA.org.

donor spotlight: Mary Collier

Mary Collier with Valencia President Sandy Shugart

A 1982 Valencia graduate, Mary was named the college’s first Distinguished Graduate. The owner of Collier Jaguar in Orlando, she serves as a foundation board member, capital campaign captain, leadership team member, and is among the largest individual donors through cash donations, in-kind contributions and a legacy gift.

Her scholarship donation in 2006 represents a $200,000 endowed scholarship. In addition, her family is represented through the David F. Collier Scholarship, honoring her late husband, and the Mary Smedley Collier and Family Scholarship.

Mary served two terms as president of the Valencia Alumni Association board and continues to support their work and fundraising efforts. She is a consistent supporter of foundation and college events, including American Institute of Architects (AIA) Orlando and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando golf tournaments, Valencia Foundation’s signature fundraising event, A Taste for Learning, and the alumni association’s Run, Walk and Roll event.

As a “non-traditional” student returning to college as an adult, Mary was well-versed in thinking outside of the box, especially as it relates to the success of students in need. Her foresight and willingness to make that first gift for transfer scholarships led to a major gift from Mayor Richard Crotty and a brand-new partnership with UCF to engage in joint philanthropy to support Valencia/UCF students. Without Mary’s leadership through the alumni association and the foundation, this type of scholarship assistance may never have taken route at Valencia. Consequently, we send hundreds of Valencia graduates to UCF, UF, USF, FSU and countless other institutions nationwide.

Mary’s story continues to inspire those who may at first be tentative at the prospect of going back to school. After her children had grown, she realized, “I was David’s wife, the kids’ mother and the dog’s owner. But I wasn’t Mary.” After some initial apprehension, she “dove in – it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. It changed my whole life.” Her endeavors and unwavering support of Valencia are focused on the successful futures of learners of all ages. She truly exemplifies her own quote: “Anything you can imagine…you can do.”

 Reprinted from: Valencia Foundation Biennial Report