Monthly Archives: April 2019

Michelle Foster Honored During Valencia College Horizon Scholars Breakfast of Champions

A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses

When Dean of Academic Affairs Michelle Foster attended the Valencia College Horizon Scholars (VHS) program’s Breakfast of Champions recruitment event on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, she had no idea that she would be given an award for her dedication to the VHS program. Nonetheless, the honor was well-deserved. A champion of education within and outside of Valencia College campuses, Michelle has served the VHS program for six years and, in that time, she has been a mentor to three students. She’s helped each of them navigate the trials of high school and pursue their personal, academic and professional goals.

You, too, could join Michelle in her work to change high school students’ lives as a mentor in the VHS program. Click here for more information about how to become a mentor.

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Valencia Voice Student Selected for Journalism Training Program

A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Valencia Voice reporter and current student Nelly Ontiveros Cervantes was selected as one of the seven Central Florida mentees for the Next Generation Pop-Up Digital Journalism training program at WMFE from Monday, April 29 through Friday, May 3, 2019.

NextGenRadio is a week-long “pop-up” digital journalism training designed to give competitively selected participants interested in podcasting, audio storytelling, radio reporting and visual journalism the skills and opportunity to find and produce their own multimedia story. Each selected participant is paired with a professional journalist and together they find, report and produce a non-narrated story as well as use stills and video to fill out their story.

In addition, Speech Professor Claudine Tomlinson-Burney’s former radio/podcasting student Ellis Munoz was selected as a WMFE audio-engineer apprentice, and former radio/podcasting student Jay Serrano was selected as a finalist for the Next Generation Pop-Up Digital training program but was not chosen.

Monthly Archives: April 2019

East Campus Welcomes High School Visitors From New York State

A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses

On Monday, April 1, 2019, East Campus hosted the Pine Valley Central School Senior Class for a campus visit and tour during a senior trip to Universal Orlando. While this might not appear to be anything out of the ordinary — it was! Pine Valley, located in a small, western New York town called South Dayton, is the high school where East Campus Dean of Academic Affairs Michelle Foster graduated from.

In June, Michelle will deliver their commencement address and honor the graduates for their many successes.

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Chemistry Convention Brews Up Innovation and Creativity

A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses

On Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30, 2019, there was something brewing on the West Campus as Valencia College hosted the 222nd Two-Year College Chemistry Consortium. The theme of the conference was Potion Masters of the 21st Century, which set the stage for innovation and creativity in teaching presentations.

Kim Hilton, a chemistry professor at Florida Southwestern State College who is also known as Chemical Kim, kicked it off with a dynamic keynote address inspiring faculty to captivate students with the magic of science and engage them in the learning process through fun demonstrations and simple advice such as, “It isn’t science until you write it down.”

The program was filled with rich pedagogies that promoted student engagement and student learning in science, technology, engineering and math fields in this age of innovation and technology. Active learning strategies, evidence-based teaching workshops and a panel on embedded undergraduate research were just some of the highlights of the convention.

Additionally, Valencia College students had the opportunity to present their undergraduate research posters to the chemistry educators.

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Harps … Performances … and Masterclasses … Oh My

A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses

From Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7, 2019, the East Campus Music department hosted Harptacular. Presented by Lyon & Healy, harp makers and music publishers based in Chicago, Illinois, this spectacular event featured master classes, lectures and concerts by world-class performers and local professionals. In addition, there was an exhibition of beautiful harps of all styles and sizes.

The featured artist was French Harpist Agnes Clement, who performed a concert of virtuoso classical music with great stylistic flair and musical perfection. Local professional harpists Jan Jennings, Elizabeth Louise Leblanc, Christine Macphail and Victoria Schultz also performed in a concert featuring the music of several genres from Celtic and classical to jazz and improvisational.

All of the artists performed on new harps provided from the Lyon & Healy exhibition. The event included a lecture class on utilizing the iPad and music writing software and a workshop on harp maintenance. There was even a children’s table in the exhibition room where attendees could make and decorate mini harps to take home with them. Student artists of all ages performed in a masterclass with Agnes Clement.

The culmination of this event was a recital presented by the student artists. Kudos to Manager of the Performing Arts Center Ann LaPietra and our Performing Arts Center staff for providing a smooth and seamless event. Also, many thanks to the wonderful Lyon & Healy staff who brought this spectacular event to Central Florida.

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Students Celebrated During Spring 2019 Nurse Pinning Ceremony

According to the Florida Center for Nursing, forecasts show that Florida will face a shortage of registered nurses by 2025 that is capable of crippling our healthcare system and reducing access to care for Floridians. With this shortage, Valencia College plays a critical role in meeting Central Florida’s healthcare needs by training future nurses.

On Wednesday, April 24, 2019, Valencia College celebrated 76 nursing students who completed the Nursing Associate in Science — 57 in the traditional track and 19 in the accelerated track — during a Pinning Ceremony at Olympia High School.

Historically, nurse pinning ceremonies are a symbolic way of recognizing new graduates and welcoming them into the nursing profession. Upon receipt of their pins, graduates recite the Nightingale Pledge, named in honor of Florence Nightingale, which is a modified version of the Hippocratic Oath.

Valencia College is proud of our graduates and the role they will play in addressing our community’s healthcare needs.

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Now Hiring: Assistant Director, Conferencing and College Events

Valencia is seeking an internal candidate to fill the role of assistant director, conferencing and college events.

The individual hired for the role will collaborate with the director of the Conferencing and College Events team and college leadership to design, develop and manage programs, events and conferences that strengthen relationships between and among the College’s internal and external stakeholders in a manner consistent with the vision, values and mission of the College; and provide operational leadership, including budgetary, hospitality and technical elements, for all programs, events and conferences.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution [required]; master’s degree preferred
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and managing public events and meetings
  • The ability to perform all of the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion

For a complete job description of this position, click here.

Apply by Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at 7 p.m. by following these directions:

  1. Log in to Atlas.
  2. Click on the Employees tab.
  3. Click on the Access Valencia EDGE graphic in the My Development channel. A new window will open.
  4. Access the My Career channel, which will be in the first line of buttons.
  5. In the Apply section at the bottom of the page, click on Search.
  6. Click on Explore Open Jobs. 
  7. Enter the keyword Assistant Director, Conferencing & College Events and click Search.
  8. Click on the Assistant Director, Conferencing & College Events Job Ad for more information or Apply Now to submit your application.

If you have questions about applying, contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at or call the HR4U helpline at 407-299-5000, extension HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Mary Beth Clifton Named Board Chair of Health Coalition

Congratulations to Mary Beth Clifton, assistant vice president, talent acquisition and total rewards, who has been appointed to serve as the board chair on the 2019-2020 Florida Alliance for Healthcare (formerly known as the Florida Health Care Coalition) executive committee.

The alliance represents major employers across the state, addressing one common goal: to improve the quality of health care for all Floridians. Through educational programs and quality improvement initiatives developed by the member organizations, coalition staff, board members, partners, affiliates and sponsors, the alliance organizes events that inform and contribute to health care quality improvement across Florida.

“The Florida Health Care Coalition [now the Florida Alliance for Healthcare] is a committed community partnership established in 1984 to help make Florida the best and safest place to receive health care,” Mary Beth shared. “My continued involvement places Valencia College at the table to discuss and drive change to Central Florida’s healthcare system relative to value to patients and the community, as well as topics such as chronic disease management, patient safety, access for the uninsured and the transparency of costs and quality of the care purchased. We have recently changed our name to Florida Alliance for Healthcare Value to more clearly communicate our stated Bill of Rights. Employers have the right to ensure that our employees and their families receive the highest quality patient care, free from harm.”

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Featured Colleague: Paz Palacios Rodriguez, a Welcoming Face at the Poinciana Campus

By Dani Moritz-Long

A timid high school senior considering becoming the first in his family to attend college. A young woman interested in an Accelerated Skills Training (AST) program — determined to create a better life for herself and her family. No matter their reason for walking through the front doors of the Poinciana Campus, Paz Palacios Rodriguez, student services representative, is often the first face they see.

“I have the great joy and responsibility of being the first person people are greeted by when they walk into the Poinciana Campus or leave,” Paz explained. “I greet everyone that enters and leaves the main lobby.”

Listing the types of people she encounters, Paz said, “I sign in students who need services from our Answer Center, our Continuing Education program, financial aid coordinator, Career Advising team or Office of Students with Disabilities. Future students stop at my desk, and I can give them information about steps to enroll, information about Dual Enrollment and other programs Valencia offers. Community leaders, visitors, faculty and staff all stop at my desk to receive information about the campus, Valencia or guidance to class locations.”

It’s a role Paz — a name that can be translated from Spanish to English as peace — is ideally suited to.

A perfect reflection of her name, Paz is a sincerely friendly face, who can easily make people feel comfortable and feel at home. She’s also deeply committed to Valencia’s values and enjoys finding ways to foster inclusion.

“I am inspired that Valencia offers something for everyone,” she said. “Be it that a person is looking for a degree, a certification, looking to learn English or needing to enter the workforce immediately by completing our AST programs, Valencia has something to offer everyone.”

She’s also an ideal person for the role as she’s able to leverage her skills as a bilingual communicator to make people in the Poinciana community feel welcome whether they speak English or Spanish — which is particularly important in Poinciana, as approximately 20 percent of its residents were born in a country other than the U.S and more than 50 percent of its residents speak a language other than English at home.

“The majority of the people that walk through the doors of the Poinciana Campus speak languages other than English,” Paz said. “I am bilingual, and I get to see the relief of someone who doesn’t speak English when I can quickly change from English greetings to Spanish ones. Valencia has truly impacted the community in a positive way.”

But while greeting people and creating a positive initial experience is an essential part of her role, Paz also supports the Poinciana Campus in a variety of other ways. This includes collecting and analyzing data, supporting outreach efforts to area K-12 schools, scanning and indexing admissions documents and even supporting the campus’ First Alert program, which is an outreach effort designed to connect struggling students to the appropriate resources as soon as possible.

Mary McGowan, director of student services at the Poinciana Campus, says Paz’s can-do attitude makes her a vital part of the Poinciana team.

“Paz’s warmth and cheerful demeanor provide a great welcome to students and visitors at the Poinciana Campus Check-in Station,” Mary said. “Paz has a great rapport with students, staff and faculty. Additionally, Paz provides vital support services to the Answer Center and cheerfully participates in many of the ongoing projects related to helping us understand and better serve our student population.”

That can-do attitude and cheerful demeanor earned Paz a Best Spirit Award from the Poinciana Student Development team during its Thursday, April 11, 2019, Student Leaders Appreciation Day. The award recognizes an individual that truly embodies the definition of Poinciana Pride and brings great spirit to the students and staff of Valencia.

“It was an amazing honor and wonderful evening celebrating our student leaders,” Paz shared.

Outside of Valencia, you’ll find Paz dedicating time to her family — of whom Paz says drives all of her goals. Specifically, she says, you’ll often find her preparing meals based on her mom’s recipes for her entire extended family (24+ people).

Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for at least one year? Send the colleague’s name to us at He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Support Valencia: Promote Upcoming Valencia College Job Fairs

If you love working at Valencia College and you know other people who you think would love our community and culture, now is your chance to help them find their ideal role at the College. Valencia College is hosting two job fairs in the coming days and weeks, and you’re encouraged to share the good news.

Valencia College ESOL Instructor Job Fair
First up, we’re inviting people to join us as part-time ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) instructors by hosting a job fair on Thursday, May 2, 2019, in Building 10 on the West Campus from 3 – 8 p.m. Participants are encouraged to complete an application prior to the event, so that interviews may be conducted on-site. You can find more information about this job fair, including an option to RSVP, on the Valencia College ESOL Instructor Job Fair Facebook event page by clicking here.

Valencia College Poinciana Campus Part-time Faculty Job Fair
Next week, we’re inviting the community to join us for a Valencia College Poinciana Campus Part-time Faculty Job Fair. Hosted on Friday, May 10, 2019, at the Poinciana Campus in room 125, this job fair welcomes those with a master’s degree or higher to learn about available part-time faculty positions. Similar to the Valencia College ESOL Instructor Job Fair, applicants are encouraged to apply for the position(s) they’re interested in prior to the event. You can find more information about this job fair, including an option to RSVP, on the Valencia College Poinciana Campus Part-time Faculty Job Fair Facebook event page by clicking here.

Share the News
Want to share the news and help us promote these hiring events? Just visit the event page you’re interested in (Valencia College ESOL Instructor Job Fair or Valencia College Poinciana Campus Part-time Faculty Job Fair), find the section of the event page that references how many people are attending and how many people are interested, and click share. This button will enable you to invite your Facebook friends to RSVP to the event. You can also directly share the Facebook event links referenced above.

If you have questions about the job fairs or employment opportunities at Valencia College, contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at or 407-299-5000, extension HR4U (4748).