Monthly Archives: June 2020

Reminder: Initial Associate Faculty Certification Application Deadline Extended

Thursday, June 25, 2020 

The deadline for application for initial Associate Faculty Certification is fast approaching, with Friday, July 17, 2020, set as the new application deadline.

Initial Certification Requirements

The deadline to complete these hours and to submit an application has been extended from Monday, June 15 to Friday, July 17, 2020. Qualification in this program is not automatic.

  1. Required Course: 30 Hours – LCTS1110: Teaching in Our Learning College (Previously LCTS 1111)
  2. Electives: Successfully complete 20 Hours of Valencia College Faculty Development courses (reduced from 30 hours for the 2020-2021 year ONLY).

The Associate Faculty Certification is Valencia College’s way of annually recognizing and rewarding part-time faculty members who take advantage of Valencia’s professional development activities. The certification supports faculty members in their ongoing commitment to the enhancement of their knowledge, skills and abilities that lead to student learning and academic success.

For questions, please contact the campus directors of faculty and instructional development:

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Faculty Governance Update — June 2020

Thursday, June 25, 2020 

A Message from Stanton Reed, President, Collegewide Faculty Association

Greetings, faculty. A lot has happened in our country and the Valencia community since my last message to you. We find ourselves in the midst of COVID-19 and deep discovery of the continuing challenges of racial inequality and police brutality. At the moment, this is our space in history. What will we do to heal, reconcile and revolutionize systemic systems of injustice and inequity? I suggest we start at home. Right here, right now at our Valencia College.

Faculty, I challenge us to reject the notion of living in spaces of comfort and self-denial. Instead, let us be courageous and reflective in our practices to seek understanding and acknowledge that racial inequality exists in our Valencia culture. Let us continue to lean into the rich stories and experiences that are being shared by our colleagues revealing their pain, sadness and discontentment. Let us own the implicit and explicit biases that perpetuate this in our Valencia culture. Awareness, understanding and acceptance are one of the first steps to healing. The next steps require education, communication, transparency and vulnerability. The foundational step is the most challenging and one of the hardest. Yes, TRUST. We must trust one another to be forgiving of our missteps and good intentions, which often have adverse impact.

On a much lighter note, I have several business updates as well from our Thursday June 11, 2020, Faculty Council meeting to share:

Valencia College Academic Continuity Plan for Course Reassignment
Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources Amy Bosley presented a plan to us designed to provide guidance for circumstances that require reassigning a course from a primary faculty member to a substituting faculty member for the remainder of the academic term. To read the plan, click here. If you have feedback on the plan, please send it to Amy at by Tuesday, June 30, 2020. A revised draft will be brought to the Faculty Council in July for endorsement.

2020-2021 Faculty Pay
Great news! The District Board of Trustees approved a pay raise for faculty and staff in its Wednesday, June 24, 2020, meeting.

For full-time faculty, pay raises are as follows:

Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty

  • Step + 1% adjustment of the baseline
  • For faculty members over step 30, they would receive the same dollar amount as someone moving from step 29 – 30, paid as a lump sum

Annually-appointed Faculty

  • 2.5% increase (no adjustment of starting salaries)

Temporary Full-time Faculty

  • No change

For part-time faculty, pay raises are as follows:

Per Contact-hour Rates

  • 2.5% adjustment, plus an additional 2.5% for expanded contract dates
  • Part-time faculty contracts will now begin the day that faculty report for the term and end one day after grades are due

Clock-hour Faculty Rates (paid based on degree attainment)

  • 5% adjustment with further analysis to be conducted

Substitution Rates

  • 5% adjustment

Before I sign off for this month, I want to remind you not to forget the opportunities that COVID-19 has afforded us. A colleague shared this epiphany with me.

They asked me are you familiar with the tree called a Lagerstroemia. Okay, I might be dramatizing the story a little bit. Many of us know the tree to be called a Crape Myrtle. They noticed at the start of COVID-19 that the tree had been pruned and the branches were bare. But, over time they noticed growth and eventually the tree blossomed and now offers a beautiful picture to view outside their office window.

Like the Crape Myrtle, let us allow ourselves to be pruned of old notions. Let us mutually choose to create spaces for discomfort, respect and empathy. Let us reject dehumanizing others because of the color of their skin, gender or any other attributes that incite the insidiousness of marginalization. Ultimately, let us learn to embrace an active love that will lead our Valencia community to healing and restoring humanity to all. So, I urge you: participate in reading circles, conversations and commit to making an impact in the locations where you find yourselves. We continue to thrive in this, together.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, or you just need someone to listen during this time, please contact me at or 407-299-5000, extension 4224.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Encourage Students to Learn About Undergraduate Research During Summer Series

Thursday, June 25, 2020 

A Message from Melonie Sexton, Professor, Psychology and Undergraduate Research Coordinator 

Registration for the Undergraduate Research Summer Workshop Series for students is now open.

Over the course of four weeks in July, students will have an opportunity to hear from eight different speakers, all experts in their fields, about how they can get the most out of their undergraduate research experience. This is an excellent opportunity for your students to learn about undergraduate research, so please encourage them to register.

The program, which will be held virtually, was created with input from more than 80 students, and the series is open to students from all disciplines and levels. Session discussions are varied, ranging from how to be a good research mentee, preparing a good resume, presenting on research and learning how undergraduate research can help students push their career forward, among others.

Students can register for as many events as they choose, but they are asked to attend all sessions they register for, as presenters will plan interactive exercises based on the number of registrants.

For session details and registration links, click the button below:

If you have questions about the talks, please contact me at or 407-299-5000, extension 5632.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Faculty Highlight: Two Math Instructors Adopt Technology to Help Students Remotely

Thursday, June 25, 2020

By Claudia Zequeira

When Leonardo Vasquez, part-time faculty, mathematics, learned he had to switch his face-to-face classes online in March when our campuses closed, he spent a significant amount of time trying to figure out how to deliver content effectively.

One method proved especially helpful, however: physically showing students how do math in real time. To that end, he grabbed his laptop, propped it on a shelf organizer from Ikea, and began using it as a document camera where he would work problems out with a Sharpie marker.

“I tried to replicate with my laptop what a document camera does,” he said. “I used an organizer from Ikea I borrowed from my wife … and I used that to elevate the camera and project it onto my monitor through Zoom.”

Leonardo, who teaches developmental math, intermediate algebra and college algebra, said he learned last spring that teaching online is “totally different” from teaching in person.

One thing that surprised him, he said, was that many students chose not to be on camera during lessons. This, he speculated, was for privacy reasons and the fact many share spaces with relatives and children.

Another surprise for him was learning that although students had scheduled meeting times, many were not physically showing up at that time. When he noticed that, Leonardo began recording his lessons and emailing those recordings to students so that they could watch at their convenience. In addition, Leonardo said he replied to students’ emails as quickly as possible in order to maximize learning.

“When a student has a question, they need an answer right away,” he said. “And waiting a few days to provide it is not very effective.”

This semester, Leonardo is completing his Digital Professor Certification in order to learn more about how best to reach students remotely. He said he highly recommends other faculty members complete the training in order to improve their practice.

“It really opens your eyes to the many things you have to keep in mind when you teach online,” said Leonardo. “What we learned is that we have to create rapport, use different materials, and be clear in deliberate in the instruction.”

Brian Macon, professor, mathematics, similarly sought to find a way to teach effectively when the pandemic changed our way of life.

To reach his students, he began using Zoom for engagement hours and utilized an iPad as a kind of whiteboard and projected the image onto Zoom using AirPlay, a software that allows wireless streaming between devices. He recommends its use to instructors who may teach math, engineering, chemistry, biology or “any subject that uses symbols not found on a keyboard.”

“With a math class, it is so important to write,” said Brian. “And you have symbols that are not easily typed. If I did not have the ability to write for them, I think it would be really difficult.”

In addition to using his iPad, Brian also has a YouTube channel where he houses many of his lessons, which his students can then reference as needed. He also uses OneNote on his iPad as his “digital paper” and then exports class notes as a PDF file that he then shares with students. OneNote is free to all faculty through Office365 that is accessible via Atlas.

Additionally, Brian is hosting more virtual office hours, which are used as tutoring lessons. Hours can be used for one-on-one help, group activities and test reviews.

“Not all students want courses delivered online and prefer face-to-face interaction,” said Brian, who teaches college algebra, statistics and calculus with analytic geometry. “I’m doing more [virtual] office hours and making myself available that way. I schedule them at different times on different days to offer flexibility.”

Brian advised that instructors who find the cost of an iPad prohibitive can consider using a less expensive product, such as a Wacom tablet. He also suggested screencasting software as a teaching tool.

Screencasting allows professors to record everything that happens on their computer screen and save the recording, which then becomes a kind of instructional video that can also be shared. He records his screen while simultaneously narrating and writing notes in OneNote. He also displays a calculator emulator or other helpful web-based resources. Brian said he is partial to Camtasia because of its extensive capabilities, but also recommended free online options such as Screencastify and TechSmith Capture (formerly Jing).

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.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Town Halls Provide 2020-2021 Budget Details

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Did you miss the 2020-2021 budget town hall meetings with Vice President of Business Operations and Finance Loren Bender held earlier this month?

Loren kicked off each meeting reviewing the values set to develop the 2020-2021 budget, which include:

  • Serving expected growth in enrollment;
  • Supporting long-term initiatives;
  • Making all facilities available and usable;
  • Applying coronavirus learnings into budget;
  • Securing wage increases for full- and part-time employees;
  • Enhancing sanitation and cyber security;
  • Growing technologies service, support and innovation; and
  • Utilizing Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, which is still evolving.

He explained our expectations for 2020-2021 revenue, including that:

  • We estimate enrollment to grow by 5% due to COVID-19;
  • There will be no tuition rate changes;
  • Our state funding adjustments are currently uncertain;
  • Our international and out-of-state enrollment remains uncertain due to the pandemic;
  • We expect Continuing Education participation to grow;
  • We will manage short- and long-term distance learning revenue; and
  • We will use our fund balance as a risk mitigation tool;

Additionally, our expenses for 2020-2021 will include:

  • Increasing wages for both full- and part-time employees;
  • Basing expenses off of our 2019-2020 fiscal year;
  • Supporting short-term enrollment growth;
  • Supporting initiatives; and
  • Generating expense savings if volume is not achieved.

Loren also discussed block tuition and fee rates structure; recurring and non-recurring state support; in-state and out-of-state revenues and fee rates; our revenue perspective on the course modality shift to online; revenue from Continuing Education and Language programs; our operating revenue budget; and expenditures.

For the full presentation, click here.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Join VAHC Friday Night for the Valencia’s Got Talent! Show

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Date: Friday, June 26, 2020
Time: 7 – 8 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Get ready for the final evening of quarantine-style fun as the Valencia African Heritage Committee closes the celebration of Black Music Month with a talent showcase of Valencia students. The Valencia’s Got Talent! Show, with co-hosts Professor of Criminal Justice Technology Lauren Sykes and student Teylor Taylor, will feature the talent of 10 student finalists from across our campuses.

The winners of the show will be selected through People’s Choice, so be sure to tune in and submit your vote live.

The student finalists selected for this event through an online application process will receive a trophy. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and a spot in a local open mic showcase.

For additional information on the Talent Show, click here.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Online Campus Store to Close for Annual Inventory

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Message from Mona Liza Colon, Director, Auxiliary Services

The Online Campus Store will close on Friday, June 26, 2020, at 12 a.m. for our annual inventory and audit process. It will reopen on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at 12 a.m.

The Customer Service Team will remain available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. to assist with any questions or concerns regarding the Campus Stores. Call the Customer Service Team at 407-299-5000, extension 5310.

To ensure the safety and health of students, employees and visitors, all physical Campus Stores remain closed until further notice.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Roadmap for Reopening: Cleaning and Sanitization

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Following our phased Roadmap for Reopening plan, Valencia College is moving to Phase 2 beginning Saturday, August 1, 2020, and will remain in Phase 2 for at least the rest of the calendar year. Though the majority of College operations, teaching, learning, student affairs and learning support will continue online in Phase 2, around 200 programs and courses will be offered on campus at least part of the time.

Minimizing health risks to the Valencia community remains the College’s top priority. Protecting our community from the coronavirus requires we follow rigorous, extensive cleaning and sanitizing protocols that at least meet, if not exceed, standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four interdisciplinary task forces composed of experts from across the College were formed to recommend protocols, processes and practices for each phase of the Roadmap for Reopening. Their reports are being reviewed by Orlando Health’s Business Ready Task Force to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our on-campus experience safe.

“The Facilities Team (Custodial, Grounds and Maintenance) is committed to providing a safe environment for all current and future on-site faculty, staff and students,” shared Shaun Andrews, assistant vice president, facilities and maintenance operations. We are focused on training, procedure changes, PPE (personal protective equipment), supplies and any staffing changes that may be needed.”

Preparations are well underway for our phased return to our campuses in August, and teams are already on-site getting our facilities ready to reopen.



  • All custodians are completing an eight-hour COVID-specific A.C.E. (Accredited Cleaning Expert) Infection Expert certification from GEM Supply Company before Phase 2 begins.
  • Custodians are also taking an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Workplace Hygiene and Illness Prevention course, which covers how to properly clean to prevent many types of potential viral and bacterial infections.
  • All our of facilities’ leaders are taking the OSHA Preparing the Workplace for COVID-19 course.


  • The College is sourcing the following to meet the anticipated needs of facilities operating in Phase 2 for four months: hand sanitizer and supplies to support frequent hand washing and disinfecting products and equipment, including, but not limited to disinfectant, disinfectant wipes and paper towels.
  • Supplies will be securely stored and accessible to custodians and facility employees.

Preparing our Spaces

  • Each activated building is being assigned a single point of contact for immediate resupply needs.
  • Additional trash receptacles will be available to handle paper waste that is produced because electronic hand dryers will be unavailable.
  • Signage with common colors, icons and instructions are being developed for hand washing, sanitizing, physical distancing, PPE use, entry and exit, hallway flow and other needs.
  • Measures will be put in place to prevent cross contamination of multiple users of a space or surface.
  • A facility and equipment sanitizing plan is being developed and implemented for all spaces to be activated in Phase 2.


Cleaning and Sanitation

  • All activated spaces will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized daily in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned in between each class meeting by trained custodial staff. Classes will be separated by at least 45 minutes to provide sufficient time for our custodians to prepare the room for the next meeting.
  • Restrooms and high-touch surfaces in all activated buildings will be cleaned multiple times each day.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in each activated classroom, office and laboratory as well as in common spaces and all high-traffic areas with clear and noticeable signage.
  • Disinfectant in spray bottles and on paper towels will be available in all occupied classrooms, break rooms and shared spaces. Disinfectant wipes will be available in specified areas where the disinfectant spray cannot be used.

Safety in Our Buildings

  • To the extent possible to maintain security and follow fire regulations, doors will be propped open to limit the need to touch doorknobs.
  • Signs will specify exterior doors as entry or exit only, and signs will direct foot traffic to avoid congregating. Some hallways will be one-way.
  • Faculty should feel empowered to enforce cloth face coverings and physical distancing in their classrooms, just as they would any other classroom behavior.
  • Additional supplies of cleaning and sanitizing products will be available in each activated building.
  • Paper towels will be available in restrooms, break rooms and classrooms.

Personal Care

In addition to the preventative measures listed above, you can take steps to keep your work spaces clean and sanitized.

  • Wear a face mask that meets CDC guidelines when on campus.
  • Disinfect your workspace daily with College-supplied cleaning and sanitizing products. Please do not bring your own cleaning or disinfecting supplies to the campus as the College has supplies that meet CDC guidelines and are appropriate for the various surfaces in our facilities.
  • Avoid any physical touch with colleagues.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often, and avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid sharing food and drinks with others.
  • Keep hand sanitizer at your desk, and use it frequently.
  • Use gloves, cloth, a tissue or paper towel to touch surfaces such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, drawer handles and other commonly touched items.

For additional information on our reopening plans, visit the Roadmap For Reopening website.

If you have any questions about the steps Valencia College is taking to protect your health and safety, please contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-299-5000, extension HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: June 2020

In Memory of Raquel Morales

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Raquel Morales, coordinator, program advisor, passed away on Monday, June 15, 2020.

Raquel had a long history with Valencia, beginning as a student in 1994. Although she was offered admission to Rollins College, she was drawn to Valencia after witnessing a peer advisor presentation on date rape during her senior year. She was so intrigued by the presentation that she applied for and was selected for a peer advisor position at Valencia, becoming the youngest peer advisor ever hired without any previous college experience.

Raquel completed her bachelor’s degree in organizational communication at Rollins College. Upon graduation, she still yearned for the work that she’d done with Valencia. And in July 1998, she found work in the East Campus Advising Center, first as a part-time academic advisor (called an educational advisor at the time), which became a full-time role in March 2001. In her role as an academic advisor, she assisted with the Peer Educator program, helped international students with immigration and served as the interim international advisor after Lori Sunday — who originally hired Raquel — retired from the role.

“I served in this position for 16 years and enjoyed every minute of it, as it gave me a chance to assist students in their pursuit of education both inside and outside of the classroom,” she recounted when interviewed in April 2015 for a featured colleague article. “I was able to optimize students’ accomplishments and learning experiences by giving them the LifeMap tools that help empower them to be productive, successful and independent learners. I feel accomplished and successful when my students are successful.”

In October 2013, Raquel transitioned into a role as coordinator, career program advisor for pre-nursing students on West Campus, followed by her most-current role as coordinator, program advisor on East Campus. She was also a mentor for the Valencia Horizon Scholars program (formerly, Take Stock in Children).

Many years ago, Raquel shared a special recipe for Tres Leches (three-milk cake) with Martie Berrios, academic advisor.

“It is a simple recipe, and every time she brought this to any potluck in the office, it was the first dessert to go,” Martie explained, adding that traditional Tres Leches recipes require heavy whipping cream, but Raquel’s includes half and half.

Enjoy her recipe below:


GoFundMe account has been set up by Rachel’s family. The family asks that in place of flowers or other gifts that are customary in mourning loved ones, contributions be made to the account. All contributions will be used to assist Rachel’s son —Mason— to cover needs he will have during this challenging phase of his life.

A celebration of life for Raquel Morales will be held at her home on Saturday, July 11, 2020. Please drop by briefly between 2 – 6 p.m. at 3084 Harbor Lake Court, Oviedo. RSVP (407) 491-2143. All are welcome.


Monthly Archives: June 2020

Featured Colleague: Carlos Rivera Delivers Packages and Acts of Kindness

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

By Claudia Zequeira

Carlos Rivera, delivery courier, spends his days delivering and shipping parcels and other items, a role he describes as “crucially discreet.”

Over the years, Carlos has assisted delivering mail and items for graduation. He has also picked up books donated by law offices to grow and enhance Valencia’s legal library. And, he also made sure that items for Taste of Learning — a wine and food fundraising event that raises funds for student scholarships — were delivered quickly and safely, among other tasks.

But it’s his recent effort to deliver laptops to students as a result of COVID-19 that he’s most proud of.

“Our work is usually supporting faculty and staff in their role to help the students, but this more direct involvement has been satisfying to my coworkers and myself,” said Carlos. “In the future, I do not know what face-to-face will mean with the current standing of things in our nation and the world abroad, but I know that Valencia will continue to show a new and authentic way of showing that we support our students and coworkers in all endeavors.”

A culture of helping others is something that meshes well with his own beliefs. Besides loving working at Valencia because of “all the interesting people you get to meet,” Carlos feels this is a place where it’s possible to do good deeds on a frequent basis.

“I get to pay forward good work, he said. “Holding the door for someone, directing a lost student in the right direction or helping visitors to appropriate parking areas or buildings. I can share a bit of generosity in hopes that someone else’s day may go better than it was. That is good enough for me.”

Carlos also said he draws inspiration from being able to make “an authentic difference” in the lives of those he interacts with.

“In today’s life, authenticity of self has diminishing returns; we hide behind profiles and social media, like a mask. I find that living boldly, we cannot cut corners with being ourselves wherever we are,” said Carlos. “When I tell someone to have a great day, I look them in the eye and show that they have my attention and that I am reciprocating that same attention back to them.”

His, supervisor, Larry Fox, manager, courier services, said Carlos embraces Valencia’s values and mission.

“He always realizes the bigger goal of helping make our student experience a success,” said Larry. “He is a strong, steady team member, and we appreciate his contributions to help make our Courier Services department a success.”

Carlos, who has worked at Valencia since 2009, believes the College stands for “hope,” and he says he’s living proof of it.

“That probably sounds cliché but I believe it, and you read it in the stories of the Distinguished Graduates. You see it in the articles in The Juice and Campus Concentrate,” he said.

He added he was able to complete his Associate in Arts degree in 2013 while working at Valencia and show his son, who he spent years raising prior to rejoining the workforce, that “with dedication and purpose we can rise to the occasion and transform ourselves to greater things.”

Prior to joining Valencia, Carlos managed an ophthalmic lab for Vision Works and worked as a lead laboratory technician.

In his free time, Carlos loves to play video games and work on modifying cars. He also donates his hair to Maggie’s Wigs4Kids, a nonprofit organization that makes wigs for children with cancer and other medical conditions.

“A small act can go a long way for a stranger,” he said.

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