Attend The ‘Meet Your Mascot’ Student Art Show

Friday, May 27, 2022

A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Outgoing Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses

Date: Mondays and Wednesdays from Wednesday, June 1 – Friday, July 15, 2022 
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
Location: Osceola Art Gallery, Build A

The “Meet Your Mascot” Student Art Show will begin Wednesday, June 1 and run through Friday, July 15, 2022, in the Osceola Art Gallery, Building A. The exhibit will be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The show will feature student drawings of Valencia College’s new mascot, the puma. All drawings are from Karen Owens’ Drawing 1 class.

For more information, please contact Karen Owens, professor, humanities, at

Let’s Be a Beacon of Light

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Message from Stanton Reed, Outgoing Interim President, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campus

With tragic events taking place once again over the past several weeks, please allow others in our space to know that we see them, appreciate them and value them. Please show care, kindness and thoughtfulness. As we can see in the latest tragedies, human life isn’t always valued.

I ask that we hold a space in our hearts for the Taiwanese American community in Southern California that experienced a church shooting, the Black American community in Buffalo, New York, that experienced a supermarket shooting, and the latest tragedy in the Uvalde, Texas, with a school shooting.

Let’s be beacons of light and let our presence be felt.

You’re Invited to Tour Art Museums

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Outgoing Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses

Join the Osceola Humanities Department for the opportunity to view two fantastic exhibits at two Central Florida museums.

Orlando Museum of Art
“Heroes and Monsters” presents a rare group of paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat from a private collection that are being shown for the first time at the Orlando Museum of Art. The 25 works were created in 1982 while the artist was living temporarily in Los Angeles. This is considered by many to be Basquiat’s best period in his short career.

Maitland Art Center
We will provide lunch and transportation on a field trip to another special exhibit at the Maitland Art Center. “Corpus Delicti” is the first solo museum exhibition by Jessica Caldas, a Florida-based Puerto Rican American artist and advocate. Her artistic practice incorporates drawings, collage, sculpture and performance into expansive mixed media works and immersive installations. In this exhibition, the viewer navigates the physical gallery space in an experience that mirrors the complexities of the stories and issues being explored — stories and issues that focus on the generational experiences of women (their struggles and triumphs) and the complicated spaces (both personal and public) that these women must negotiate.

This trip will take place on Thursday, June 2, 2022. Lunch and transportation are both provided. We will depart from Osceola Campus at 9 a.m. and should return to campus around 4 p.m. Those attending should meet by the flagpole in front of Building 2 (Denn John Lane side).

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Osceola Business Office (Building 2, Room 110) for the cost of $5 until Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Please note that when you make your purchase, you will not be given a ticket, but rather will meet us on campus Thursday morning to board the bus and enjoy the ride.

For more information, contact Professors of Humanities Adriene Tribble at or Kathryn Cairns at


A Message of Thanks from Interim Campus President Stanton Reed

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Message from Stanton Reed, Outgoing Interim President, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campus

Thank you all for receiving me in my role as interim campus president. You have been supportive, gracious and thoughtful. We could not have made it through the opportunities and challenges of the last year without you. Your commitment, hard work, patience and trust have seen us through this season. You all are game changers.

I will finish my role on Monday, June 6, 2022, and return to the classroom in the fall to instruct and create space for curiosity, learning and growing.

I challenge us to continue to understand our “why” and purpose. I’m excited for the atmosphere that our new provosts Lancelot Gooden and Sobia Khan will create and how they will contribute to our continued service to our diverse community. Join me in welcoming our new provosts!

Welcoming Our New Provosts: Lancelot Gooden and Sobia Khan

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Outgoing Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses

Please join us in welcoming our Osceola and Poinciana Campuses Provost Lancelot Gooden and our Lake Nona Campus Provost Sobia Khan.

Lancelot Gooden served as the dean of building, engineering and skilled trades at Durham Technical Community College. He believes that community colleges by design uncover the unrealized potential of learners, providing avenues for upward economic mobility, and are well-positioned to foster a diverse and inclusive ecosystem. As an asset-based practitioner and researcher, Lancelot facilitates discussions among campus leaders, faculty and staff on becoming a student-ready college, challenging deficit-minded thinking about students. He enjoys cooking creative dishes with his family and has a deep love for track and field and soccer — his favorite event is the long jump, and he is an avid supporter of the Reggae Boyz.

Sobia Khan served as the dean for academic success at San Antonio College in Texas, where she had experience overseeing academic and workforce programs alongside academic support service areas. Previously, she served as associate dean, grant director, faculty senate vice president and English professor at Richland Campus, Dallas College. Khan’s co-edited book Beyond Equity at Community Colleges: Bringing Theory into Practice for Justice and  Liberation is forthcoming by Routledge in 2022. Khan’s educational and career choices are driven by service to the community and being an advocate for marginalized students.

Please welcome both Lancelot and Sobia to their new roles by leaving a comment below.

Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campus Concentrate to Sunset

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Message from Isis Artze-Vega, College Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs and Amy Bosley, Vice President, Institutional Planning and Development, and Chief of Staff

As we welcome our new provosts and implement our new academic leadership structure that couples our Osceola and Poinciana Campuses and our Lake Nona and East Campuses, we are sunsetting the Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campus Concentrate with the final issue on Friday, May 27, 2022.

Thank you for your readership, engagement and partnership on the Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campus Concentrate newsletter over the years. This summer, we look forward to engaging our new provosts and campus leadership in discussions about how best to share important updates, progress on strategic work and campus-based news in the future. Our goal is to have a new version of our campus newsletters ready for the fall term. Stay tuned for updates later this summer.

In the meantime, please be sure to read The Juice, sent Tuesday of each week, to keep up with the latest Valencia College news, stories and campus events. If you have campus news or events that you’d like to share, please email our Organizational Communication team at


A Message of Thanks from Interim Campus President Melissa Pedone

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Message from Melissa Pedone, Outgoing Interim President, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campus

It seems appropriate that the last issue of the Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campus Concentrate, formally known as Week in Review, coincides with the end of an extended period of leadership transition for the Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses.

Sobia Kahn, provost for the East and Lake Nona Campuses, has already started in her leadership role, and Lancelot Gooden, provost for Osceola and Poinciana Campuses, will be with us in early June. I will be supporting the transition to our new organizational structure for a short time and then returning to my faculty position in the Math department.

I am happy that my sendoff to the Campus Concentrate newsletter provides me the opportunity to share a heartfelt message of gratitude, respect and admiration for each and every one of you and how you lift up the lives of our students and each other.

I have many wonderful memories with you, and one that stands out is our first Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Region virtual town hall after we went fully remote in response to the pandemic. The genuine excitement and joy that you expressed as you saw each other for the first time in weeks was inspirational to witness.

You are a truly caring group of people that I am honored to call my colleagues and friends. We have accomplished so much together and have many new, exciting opportunities in front of us. I have no doubt in our collective abilities to succeed at anything we wish to accomplish. All we have to do for inspiration is look back at what we have already be able to do together!

Faculty Governance Update — May 2022

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Message from Michael Robbins, President, Collegewide Faculty Association

I’m afraid I don’t have any deep philosophical messages for you all this month — this is more of an informational announcement and update. I have two announcements that I’d like to bring to your attention:

An Open Forum on Legislation

I know many of you have been actively watching the Florida Legislative Session for 2022. It has been a tempestuous year, and I’ve heard your concerns over new legislation.

With that in mind, the Faculty Association will be hosting three special events with College President Kathleen Plinske, Vice President of Policy and General Counsel Bill Mullowney, Vice President of Public Affairs and Advancement Jay Galbraith and the provosts. These events will be an opportunity to meet with them in person and discuss recent Florida legislation. I encourage you all to mark your calendars and plan to attend one of the following sessions:

West Campus
Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
Location: Special Events Center

Osceola Campus
Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Location: Building 1, Room 123   

East Campus
Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Time: 3 – 4 p.m.
Location: Building 3, Room 113

These will be open forums; I believe Valencia thrives when we have open discussions, and I encourage our faculty to attend these events with questions they may have and an open-mindedness toward conversation and understanding.

To help the team prepare, please send me any questions you’d like to ask in advance. I’ll be more than happy to ask the question on your behalf. You can email those questions directly to me at

Reminder: Update Academic Calendar, Summer 2022

There’s an update in the Faculty Insight and The Grove related to the academic calendar. I wanted to take a moment to remind you all about some changes you’ll want to make to your academic calendars for the Summer 2022 term:

For the Student View:

  • In June 2022: The start date for TWK was moved from June 6 to June 7
  • In August 2022: The end of Summer 2022 for Full Term, H2 and TWK is August 1, not August 2

For the Faculty/Staff View:

  • The end of Summer 2022 Full Term, H2 and TWK have been adjusted to August 1
  • June 17, June 20, June 21, August 2 and August 3 are now correctly listed as Preparation Days

I hope you all are having a productive start to your summer semester. As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, concerns, fears, doubts, anxieties … I also take good news too!

If you have any questions, please contact me via email at

Academic Calendar Updated to Align With Summer 2022 Schedule

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Message from Michael Robbins, President, Collegewide Faculty Association

Hello Valencia faculty!

The Academic Calendar has been updated to address a few inconsistencies that did not align with the Summer 2022 term schedule. While several recommendations were given to adjust and improve the calendar, I wanted to highlight key recommendations that you should provide to your students, as well as a few adjustments you may want to make to your own calendar:

For the Student View:

  • In June 2022: The start date for TWK was moved from June 6 to June 7
  • In August 2022: The end of Summer 2022 for Full Term, H2 and TWK is August 1, not August 2

For the Faculty/Staff View:

  • The end of Summer 2022 Full Term, H2 and TWK have been adjusted to August 1
  • June 17, June 20, June 21, August 2 and August 3 are now correctly listed as Preparation Days

To view other adjustments, you can go to our updated academic calendar. View the student view of the academic calendar here. View a list of our important dates here. For the faculty and staff view, you can log in to your Atlas account and go to the “Faculty” tab. You’ll find the calendars listed under the “Faculty Calendars” heading.

I recommend reviewing the calendar and ensuring that it aligns with important dates listed on your syllabus. If you have any questions or comments about the academic calendar, please contact me at


Faculty Highlight: Kris Merceron Flips the Script to Help Students Build Better Speeches

Thursday, May 26, 2022

By Jennifer Keefe

Kris Merceron, discipline coordinator and professor of both speech and New Student Experience at the Poinciana Campus, wants his students to know he’s a regular person, just like them. He does this by creating an environment that is welcoming.

“Lots of students walk through the door frightened, anxious and afraid. I try to make them feel comfortable, that they belong and that they can have their own voice,” he explains.

“Our students are human. Our students are people,” Kris adds. “They walk through the door with bags full of experiences — good and bad — and circumstances we may never know about.”

Kris works to help his students overcome those experiences and circumstances to become the best public speakers they can be.

Kris just finished year four of the tenure process. He’s been teaching communications for about eight years and came to Valencia College in 2018. Before that, he taught at Hillsborough Community College, the University of Tampa and at Suffolk University in Boston.

Here at Valencia, his focus is on helping students succeed by building his classes on what he calls his three pillars of teaching: respect, transparency and trust. As part of those pillars, he shares a lot about who he is and how he has found his own success in public speaking and in life.

“I share my story. I give a little insight into my background, my journey. Once I do that, it humanizes the entire experience for my students,” Kris says.

For Kris, creating that open dialogue creates mutual trust.

For his action research project, he asked his students to trust him that they could learn to write better speech outlines by doing something a little different — analyzing existing speech outlines. That gave his students a lot to talk about.

Kris says the idea came to him when he noticed his students struggled with taking content they wanted to speak about and putting it on paper in an outline form. In summer 2020, he used his action research to gauge the knowledge of his SPC 1608 students on how to write a speech and asked what they knew about how an outline becomes a speech. He realized there were gaps in what students knew and what they needed to know.

“I used those gaps to build new lessons with an outline template for them to fill out and a rubric to score the outlines,” he explains.

The lessons involved groups of students analyzing existing speech outlines, discussing them, and then using the connection between an outline and a speech to write new speech outlines of their own.

Kris heard the outcomes of his work loud and clear.

“One of the great things was that the grades drastically improved,” he says.

His students’ understanding of the connection between an outline and a speech did, too. Kris also found he got more students to submit their required outlines than ever before.

Ultimately, Kris’ goal is to get his students to try new things and to develop their own style of public speaking. He also wants them to be more comfortable speaking in front of others. Something he does to make them more comfortable with speaking is to talk about what makes them nervous about talking in front of groups. He also does a lesson on meditation.

“The goal of that lesson,” he explains, “is to help students control their minds and their breathing as they speak.”

Part of that meditation also involves envisioning what a successful speaking engagement would look like for them. Students tell Kris they enjoy the meditation lesson because it gives them a chance to focus and relax.

One best practice Kris has for other instructors is to focus just as much on the assignment as you do on the students’ opportunity to reflect on what they have learned after a lesson is completed. When his students give their speeches, he encourages them to think deeply after the experience, especially about how their level of anxiety changed as the speech went on.

“Reflection is opportunity,” Kris says. “At first, many students are so annoyed to have to reflect. But when they do it, they think it is so wonderful because they are seeing their own progress. It’s enlightenment.”

Kris earned a doctorate in educational studies with a focus on adult learning and development from Lesley University as well as a master’s degree from Northeastern University in corporate and organizational communications. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of South Florida.

In addition to working toward his tenure here at Valencia, Kris also helped to create the faculty development course on developing a more inclusive syllabus.

Do you know a faculty member doing great work? Or, perhaps you’d like to share the work you’re doing? Send the colleague’s (or your) name to us at and include Faculty Highlight Nomination in the subject line of your email. We might just feature your colleague (or you) as an upcoming Faculty Highlight.