New Year, New Skillshops

Friday, January 21, 2022

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

Skillshops are free workshops, or mini courses, that provide real-life solutions to common student issues. They are coordinated by the collegewide Counseling team and funded by Student Development.

This semester, all Skillshops will continue to be virtual via Zoom and pre-registration will be required to participate in each session. You can view the Skillshop offerings on Valencia’s calendar of events or on the Skillshops webpage.

In addition, students who participate will have an opportunity to win a $300 scholarship at the end of the semester, as well as $25 gift cards to the Campus Store after every Skillshop.

Student Profile: Stephanie Hurtado

Friday, January 21, 2022

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

This spring, we will profile an Osceola Region student in each Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campus Concentrate. Through these profiles, we hope our faculty and staff have the opportunity to learn more about the students we serve and see the individual impact we have during their time on our campuses.

Stephanie Hurtado is a Valencia student who enjoys helping others. When she’s not taking classes for her psychology major, you can find her volunteering at a therapeutic riding center for special needs kids.

Stephanie, who has lived in Kissimmee since she was 5 years old, said she chose to attend Valencia at the suggestion of her high school teachers.  A psychology major earning an A.A. in general studies, Stephanie is part of the Bridges to Success program.

The Bridges to Success program is committed to recruiting students with factors that could prove challenging for his or her transition to and completion of college. Other factors considered include participation in pre-collegiate programs such as AVID, Elevate and McKnight Achievers; community service and extra-curricular activities; as well as personal characteristics such as perseverance, communication skills, self-motivation and a commitment to educational success.

“My favorite classes at Valencia were Intro to Humanities, Ethics and Critical Thinking, and International Relations,” said Stephanie, who plans to go to the University of Central Florida after Valencia to get a master’s degree in psychology. “I love these courses because they push me to think critically and listen to many perspectives.”

During her free time, Stephanie, who is originally from Passaic, New Jersey, said she likes to watch crime shows and work out.

“What inspires me is seeing my name on an office door with my title in psychology,” she said of her motivation to succeed. “My experience at Valencia was amazing from the staff to the students. It’s a great experience I’ll take with me.”

Do you have an exceptional student you’d like to see highlighted in the Campus Concentrate? Suggestions are welcome. Please email Meredith Morris, professor, speech, at

Faculty Development Opportunities

Friday, January 21, 2022

Expand your knowledge of the Essential Competencies of a Valencia Educator by participating in one of the upcoming Faculty Development courses. To view a list of courses available, click the button below.

For additional information about Faculty Development courses, certifications, instructional design and more, contact a member of the Faculty and Instructional Development team.

Announcing Our New Provosts and an Invitation to Provide Input on Placement

Thursday, January 20, 2022

A Message from Isis Artze-Vega, Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs

It brings me great joy to share that after a multi-phased, five-month long search process, we have selected five candidates to serve as our new provosts.

On Friday, January 14, 2022, the search committee met to identify the finalists for whom we saw strong alignment with the needs of the new roles — informed by all of the evidence and feedback collected throughout the process. Notably, themes from the 664 total responses received through the collegewide survey were discussed during this last search committee meeting. Thanks to each of you who took the time to complete the survey!

After considerable discussion, we have identified our five new provosts, each of whom has enthusiastically agreed to join our Valencia community:

  • Lesley Frederick, vice president, student services, Lincoln Land Community College
  • Wendy Givoglu, interim campus president, East and Winter Park Campuses, Valencia College
  • Lancelot Gooden, dean, building, engineering, and skilled trades, Durham Technical Community College
  • Danny Hoey, dean, student learning, equity and success for arts, humanities and social sciences, Gavilan College
  • Sobia Khan, dean for academic success, San Antonio College

To learn more about our new provosts, click here. We look forward to sharing additional information about their talents, experiences, and hopes in the coming months.

Invitation to Conversations on Placement
As President Plinske described in her College Update, we would like your input to help inform the decision about the placement of each individual into one of the five provost roles. I invite you to join me in a feedback session relevant to your campus and/or career and professional program on Thursday, January 27 and Friday, January 28, 2022.

During these sessions, I will seek your feedback on the knowledge, skills, and abilities most important to success for the provost who leads your campus and/or area.

Here are the dates, times and Zoom links for the feedback sessions:

Thursday, January 27, 2022

  • West Campus
    Time: 2 – 2:40 p.m.
    Location: Zoom
  • Osceola Campus
    Time: 2:45 – 3:25 p.m.

    Location: Zoom 
  • Career and Professional Programs
    Time: 3:30 – 4:10 p.m.

    Location: Zoom

Friday, January 28, 2022

  • Downtown Campus
    Time: 9 – 9:30 a.m.
    Location: Zoom
  • Winter Park Campus
    Time: 9:45 – 10:15 a.m.
    Location: Zoom
  • Poinciana Campus
    Time: 10:30 – 11 a.m.
    Location: Zoom
  • Lake Nona Campus
    Time: 11:15 – 11:45 a.m.
    Location: Zoom
  • East Campus
    Time: 12:30 – 1:10 p.m.
    Location: Zoom

If you are unable to attend, we welcome your input via this brief survey, which will remain open until Friday, January 28, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

During the next week, we will also connect with our new provosts to learn more about their interest in specific campuses and/or the career and professional programs position.

We will finalize our placement decisions during the first week of February and share these determinations in a collegewide update, together with a projected start date for our new leaders, tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 2, 2022.

This has been an enormous, unprecedented undertaking, and it was carried out with intentionality, thoroughness, thoughtfulness, and care by all who organized and participated. Heartfelt thanks to each member of the search committee and of the five advisory teams, as well as the entire Organizational Development and Human Resources and Organizational Communication teams.

Additional Hiring Updates
We have also partnered with academic deans and college leaders during the last few months to identify our full-time faculty hiring priorities. Determinations will be made within the next two weeks, and we look forward to the faculty recruitment and selection process.

Reminder: As President Plinske shared, we will begin the process for our search for a vice president for equity strategy and partnerships after the provost search process concludes. If you are interested in serving on the search committee for this important role, please remember to submit your interest online (if you have not already done so) by tomorrow, Friday, January 21, 2022.

Information for Supervisors About Learning Day 2022

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Learning Day 2022 is less than a month away on Friday, February 11. Supervisors, please review the details provided below. As Learning Day is a special part of Valencia College’s culture and community, we would love your help communicating these important details to your team.

– This year, Learning Day will be held via Zoom. It will be necessary for employees to use their Valencia College credentials (username/login) to access the Zoom sessions.

– All campus locations will be closed for Learning Day, and no classes will be held. Please make sure to post appropriate notices and reminders online to alert students.

– Programming will be provided between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Employees are encouraged and expected to use the afternoon for independent learning, such as reading, reflecting and participating in on-demand courses through LinkedIn Learning.

– Learning Day is a regular work day for faculty and staff. Full-time employees are required to attend or submit a Certificate of Absence (COA) for vacation or personal time (Staff – eight hours of leave; Faculty – seven hours of leave). Full-time employees will be paid for a full day’s worth of work, even if scheduled events end early. Non-exempt employees should adjust their work schedules, so they can attend the full day. If a non-exempt employee works any hours over 40, the employee must be paid overtime.

– Part-time colleagues are invited and encouraged to attend Learning Day, although participation is voluntary. Part-time staff will be compensated for attendance at their regular rate of pay and should work with their supervisor to have their normal schedule adjusted if they plan to attend. Part-time faculty members who choose to attend would do so as a part of their current part-time faculty contract. Since attendance is voluntary for part-time employees, a COA is not required for non-attendance.

– Please encourage your team members to:

  • Get their favorite breakfast and lunch ready.
  • Review the session schedule, and know their top sessions (Sessions will be posted on the Learning Day website by Tuesday, February 8, 2022).
  • Make sure their version of Zoom is up to date.
  • Wear their favorite Valencia T-shirt.
  • Schedule a Zoom lunch with work friends.
  • Engage with colleagues in learning sessions.
  • Share their Learning Day experiences and photos by posting to social media using the hashtag, #LearningDay2022.

For questions or additional information, contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-582-HR4U (4748).

We look forward to seeing you and your team on Friday, February 11, 2022.

Employment Corner

Thursday, January 20, 2022

At this time, there is one internal position:

Position: Academic Advisor
Downtown Campus
Closing Date:
 Monday, January 28, 2022

Be sure to check out positions open to all:

Position: Coord, Testing & Assessment
Osceola Campus
Closing Date:
 Monday, January 24, 2022

Position: Coord, New Student Orientation
Location: Osceola Campus
Closing Date: 
Monday, January 24, 2022

Position: Business Office Specialist
Location: West Campus
Closing Date: Sunday, January 30, 2022

To view all job postings and obtain the full job description, location and salary for the positions above, as well as apply, log into our employment portal.

To access internal job postings:

  • Navigate to our new Employment Portal.
  • Click on the Login tab.
  • Click on the Search Internal Jobs tab. A new window will open.
  • Use the filters provided to search for positions, view postings, and apply for a job.

To view jobs posted for external applications, click here.

If you have questions during the application process, contact or 407-582-HR4U (4748).

In addition to viewing The Grove for current job postings, we also encourage you to follow Valencia’s recruitment-oriented social media accounts. These accounts feature information about Valencia as an employer and promote current job openings. Below are links to Valencia’s three recruitment-oriented social media pages:

LinkedIn (@ValenciaCollege)
Facebook (@ValenciaCollegeJobs)
Twitter (@ValenciaJobs)

As current employees, we also encourage you to use these social media sites to share your stories about employment at Valencia. And remember, use the hashtag, #OurValencia, when sharing your stories.

Spring Employee Development Offerings

Thursday, January 20, 2022 

With many changes, come many exciting new opportunities at Valencia. Join us this spring for a variety of ways to meet your development needs, from virtual sessions to on-demand learning options, as well as one-on-one consultations with your Employee Development team to discover exactly what you and your team need.

New Supervisor Development Program
In the Spring 2022 term, we will begin a new cohort of Valencia’s New Supervisor Development program. This program is designed for employees who have been hired into supervisor positions at Valencia in the past year (either new to the College and/or new to a supervisory role). This development is important to your success as a supervisor and to the success of the team that reports to you. If you know of any new supervisors who are interested in being a part of this invitation-only program, please feel free to reach out to the Employee Development team at

Supervisor Spring Series: Managing Performance
Join the Equal Opportunity and Employee Relations team as it partners with Employee Development in the delivery of the Supervisor Spring Series: Managing Performance. This three-part series will update you on the latest documentation practices at the College and will give you resources to address performance concerns as well as keep track of all the good work your team is doing throughout the year. For more information, click here.

Compliance Training in the Valencia EDGE 
Register for ongoing compliance sessions, like P-Card Training and Response to an Active Threat. Additionally, you can find on-demand training on Banner Finance and Cybersecurity. For more information on this and other ongoing sessions, visit the Valencia EDGE.

MyDevelopment Plan
MyDevelopment Plan is intended to help Valencia College employees identify and outline their knowledge, skills, abilities and short- and long-term professional goals. It is an intentional plan of action, acting as a roadmap for employees to support their career and professional development. MyDevelopment Plan aids in aligning professional development efforts with the College’s mission, vision and objectives. Through MyDevelopment Plan, employees are offered a structured path to self-reflect, identify professional strengths and opportunities for development, develop goals and create a plan of action to achieve those goals.

Employee Development Consultations
Do you or your team want to develop but are not sure where to start? Reach out to the Employee Development team at to get in touch with one of our Employee Development coordinators. Discuss what the goals and objectives are for your team, and get customized resources in areas like:

  • Teambuilding
  • Performance Management
  • Coaching Conversations
  • Time Management
  • Supervising Others

LinkedIn Learning On-Demand Sessions
Did you know that  LinkedIn Learning releases new content weekly? The Employee Development Team has gathered a few collections of suggested learnings:

For questions or additional development opportunities, contact Deanne Abrams, director, employee development, at or 407-582-5151 or Samuel Dunham, assistant director, employee development, at or 407-582-5140.

Policy Update: Student Code of Conduct

Thursday, January 20, 2022 

A Message from Andel Fils Aime, Dean of Students, West Region

Valencia College’s student conduct team performed a careful review of College Policy 6Hx28: 8-03: Student Code of Conduct and made updates that better reflect Valencia’s current practices. In addition, with the recent passing of House Bill 233 (HB233), there were several pertinent updates and additions that had to be made to the code. All of the recent modifications provide our students with clarity about the conduct process and what they can expect as it relates to their due process if they are referred to the conduct process for an alleged violation of our code. These updates include the following:

  • Students can now have an advisor assist/accompany them throughout the process, and that advisor can actively participate in the conduct process.
  • The term “Business Day” was added in order to account for actual business days as opposed to calendar days.
  • The “Conflict of Interest” term definition was also included and is in alignment with the discrimination, harassment and related misconduct policy.
  • A section on “Grounds for Discipline” was added in order to define and account for behavior that violates the College’s code in an online learning/virtual environment.
  • A section was added to account for students and registered student organizations having access to conduct records.
  • In order to ensure that the conduct process is administered/facilitated in a fair and equitable manner, additional language was also added to establish a new practice of reviewing the outcomes of the conduct process at least every other year.
  • Although HB233 sets a minimum of five business days’ notice of students receiving a list of witnesses and information that will be presented and reviewed at a formal proceeding, Valencia students will now be given at least seven business days’ notice prior to that proceeding.
  • Students who are referred to the conduct process are initially presumed “not responsible” until the process has been fully resolved.

While these have been the most substantive changes to College Policy 6Hx28: 8-03: Student Code of Conduct in over 10 years, the vice president of student affairs, deans of students and assistant directors of student conduct will move toward a consistent practice of reviewing and/or updating the Code of Conduct on an annual basis to ensure that our policies and procedures are in alignment with best practices. The next revision of College Policy 6Hx28: 8-03: Code of Conduct will begin as early as this Spring 2022 semester where we will be working with faculty, students and staff to design an institutional honor code, clarify and align our policies as it relates to academic integrity and modify our policies so that we are using language that is palatable for all of the members of our campus community.

Supervisor Guidance for Stalking, Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Assault

Thursday, January 20, 2022 

A Message from Trisha Whitmire, Assistant Director, Equal Opportunity 

January is National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM). Stalking is a prevalent crime that often co-occurs with — and increases the risks of — domestic and dating violence. According to the Stalking Prevention, Awareness and Resource Center (SPARC), millions of people are stalked every year in the United States, and more than half of stalkers are current or former intimate partners.

Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that causes fear or emotional distress. Many abusers stalk their partners both during the relationship and after the relationship has ended as an extension of coercive control. Stalking is a terrifying and psychologically harmful crime in its own right as well as a predictor of lethality. On average, intimate partner stalkers are the most threatening and dangerous type of stalker, and stalking increases the risk of intimate partner homicide by three times according to SPARC.

At Valencia College, our goal is to establish a safe environment for all members of our community. As a supervisor, you may learn that an employee has experienced trauma from an intimate partner, including interpersonal violence (otherwise known as domestic violence), sexual assault or stalking. Employees may confide in you about their experience or disclose in conversations regarding requests for time off or changes in their work performance. In the event that an employee discloses this information to you, there are ways you can offer support or seek support if you are experiencing this yourself.

As a supervisor, you have been designated by the College as a Responsible Employee. As a Responsible Employee, you are required to report instances of interpersonal violence, sexual assault or stalking to a member of the Equal Opportunity team. If employees disclose something of this nature to you, you should inform them of your obligation to share this information with Equal Opportunity, so they can expect outreach from a member of the team. This outreach is done usually by email as not to overwhelm employees; however, it is up to employees to decide if and how they would like to request support from the office. Connecting employees with Equal Opportunity is one type of support you can provide.

In addition, employees who have been employed for more than three months and who have documentation indicating they have experienced domestic violence are eligible for leave under the College’s Domestic Violence Leave policy. In this policy, “domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

This policy allows employees to take up to three days of paid leave during a 12-month period in order for them to seek an injunction for protection, obtain medical care or mental health counseling, obtain services from a victim services organization, make their home secure, seek new housing, seek legal assistance or attend and prepare for court-related proceedings. Any eligible employee who would like to take time off under this policy should reach out to a member of the Equal Opportunity team for assistance or you as the supervisor can contact Equal Opportunity if you believe this resource may be applicable to the employee.

If you or a member of your team has experienced or are currently experiencing interpersonal violence, sexual assault, stalking, or sexual harassment, please reach out to a member of the Equal Opportunity team for support, or in cases of immediate safety concerns, call 911.

To learn more about these topics, please register for the Peace and Justice Institute’s Conversation on Justice (COJ), taking place the week of January 24, 2022, which includes multiple sessions related to these topicsClick here for the full Conversation on Justice schedule and to register.

Notably, Rachel Louise Snyder, author of “No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us” and this year’s COJ keynote speaker, will host a session on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, in the morning. The keynote presentation will be replayed at the Evening Keynote Recap and Community Panel. For more information about these events, click here.

To learn more about stalking, please see the Stalking Infographic or Stalking Fact Sheet created by the Stalking Prevention, Awareness and Resource Center (SPARC).

Featured Development Opportunities

Thursday, January 20, 2022 

A Message from Natasha McIlmurray, Coordinator, Employee Development

This spring, don’t miss these opportunities to develop yourself as a supervisor.


As a leader, your success depends on your team’s success. Managing your team’s performance can seem like a daunting task; however, when equipped with the right tools, you can feel confident in optimizing your team’s performance to support your goals and the mission of the College.

In this three-part series, Supervisors can expect to get up to date on the latest documentation practices at the College, learn how to address performance concerns, as well as keep track of all the good work your teams are doing throughout the year. The Employee Development team is excited to partner with our Equal Opportunity and Employee Relations experts to offer insights, practical tips and resources to ensure you have the tools to develop high-performing and engaged teams.

Session 1: Addressing Employee Performance or Behavioral Concerns for the First Time
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Time: 2 – 3:30 p.m. 
Location: Zoom. Register here

Session 2: Addressing On-going Employee Performance or Behavioral Concerns
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Time: 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom. Register here

Session 3: Documenting Employee Achievements and Performance or Behavioral Concerns
Date: Thursday, March 31, 2022

Time: 10 – 11:30 a.m. 
Location: Zoom. Register here


Foundations of Performance Management
In this course, you will learn how to set up your team for success by ensuring that employees have clear, measurable and achievable goals. You will get tips for delivering feedback to employees, as well as how to determine when 360° feedback is needed. In addition, you will learn how to define your team’s learning needs, craft an individual — and team — training and development plan; manage both poor- and high-performing individuals; and maintain a working environment that encourages, acknowledges and rewards exceptional performance.

Click here to access.

Building High-performing Teams
High-performing teams are critical to maintaining an organization’s competitive advantage. These teams consistently show high levels of collaboration and innovation and outperform their peers. In this course, you will learn about the seven elements of a high-performance team and the techniques necessary to set direction, gather and deploy the right resources, prioritize work, motivate employees and help team members develop their strengths.

Click here to access.