Monthly Archives: June 2020

Resources to Help You With Valencia’s Roadmap for Reopening

Thursday, June 18, 2020 

A Message from Amy Bosley, Vice President, Organizational Development and Human Resources

Supervisors, if you missed College President Sandy Shugart’s message on Monday regarding an update on our plans to reopen our campuses and our upcoming transition to Phase 2 of reopening, I strongly encourage you to read the College Update — Roadmap for Reopening: Plans for Fall 2020 message so you are familiar with the details for your team. In the message, a video about the transition to Phase 2 is included with Dr. Shugart and our partner, Orlando Health’s Dr. Donald Plumley.

Several resources are available with information on Valencia’s plans for reopening. You can now access the following:

  • Roadmap for Reopening Website – As all of our plans are living documents, meaning that they will be updated in response to new guidance as we continue to monitor the coronavirus and consult with Orlando Health, we will keep you informed of the most up-to-date plans on this website. As additional resources are developed, they will be included on this site.
  • Roadmap for Reopening Phases Document – The Roadmap for Reopening framework explains the four phases of our reopening plan and considerations for each phase.
  • Courses Returning to Campus Document – This document provides a list of programs that will have some courses returning to our campuses during the Fall 2020 term, as well as a summary of facilities that will be used for Phase 2 operations and who is expected to be on campus.
  • Roadmap for Reopening FAQs – Have questions? Check out the Roadmap for Reopening FAQs. We’ll add to this document as new questions are asked and our Roadmap for Reopening evolves.

Additionally, please encourage any employees returning in Phase 2, or any employee who has questions and wants to learn more, to participate in a Roadmap for Reopening Phase 2 Town Hall taking place on multiple dates and times through Thursday, June 23, 2020. Click here for details.

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

Monthly Archives: June 2020

It’s Time to Complete End-of-year Check-Ins

Thursday, June 18, 2020

It’s time to complete your 2019-2020 End-of-year Check-Ins for staff members. Meeting one-on-one with your staff members can be uniquely challenging in a remote environment, and as we shared in an article last month, there are some things you may want to consider as you plan for your Check-In conversations.

To access the Check-In, sign in to Atlas and go to the “Employees” tab. Click on “Access Valencia EDGE,” hover over “Home” and then click on “Scheduled Tasks.” There, employees will find a link to their pending Check-In steps.

Step One – Employee Updates on Goals: Employee enters accomplishments and progress on goals into the Valencia EDGE.

Step Two – Supervisor Annual Review: As supervisor, meet with your employee to discuss his or her progress. If some goals need to carry over to the 2020-2021 Check-In cycle, that is okay. After the meeting, enter comments and feedback into the Valencia EDGE based on the conversation during your meeting.

Step Three – Employee Acknowledgement: Employee can acknowledge your comments and feedback in the Valencia EDGE.

Please be sure to have all 2019-2020 Check-Ins completed by Friday, July 31, 2020.

During the meeting with your employee, discuss his or her goals for the 2020-2021 Check-In as it opened on Monday, June 15, 2020.

The deadline for the 2019-2020 Faculty Evaluations has been extended through Thursday, October 15, 2020.

For more details, training or resource documents on the required steps for this annual review, log in to Atlas, and on the Employees tab, go to the Valencia EDGE, then click on My Performance channel.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Register for Supervisor Summer Series: Supervising in a Remote Environment

Thursday, June 18, 2020

By Samuel Dunham, Assistant Director, Employee Development, and Jaclyn Taylor, Coordinator, Employee Development

Registration is now open for the certificate-eligible Supervisor Summer Series: Supervising in a Remote Environment. The curriculum is designed to address daily supervisory responsibilities and challenges, and to provide supervisors with a set of resources essential both in a remote and in-person work environment.

The development series includes session topics that will be hosted virtually via Zoom and will include time for conversations surrounding real, current employee challenges. Pre-work will be encouraged before each session. Post-session emails will include links to relevant resources, as well as a brief reflective survey about the topic and your experience with it.

Session topics Include:

  • The Psychology of COVID-19 Stress and Impact on Employee Motivation
  • Navigating Change
  • Setting Expectations
  • Performance Management: Addressing Performance Issues and Celebrating Accomplishments
  • Navigating Team Conflict

A certificate will be available for supervisors who complete:

  • Three of the five topic sessions
  • A personal reflection for each topic attended

To register and receive the Zoom link, visit the Valencia EDGE.

If you have questions about the Supervisor Summer Series, contact Deanne Abrams, director, employee development at or 407-299-5000, extension 5151.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Managing Smart: How to Coach in a Virtual Setting

Thursday, June 18, 2020

By Liz Suarez, Senior Director, Organizational Development and Human Resources, and Certified Professional Coach

In the past few months, our role as supervisors has changed from in-person to virtual due to COVID-19. Our responsibility to develop, engage and retain talent has not changed; however, the way to lead employees in this remote setting has forced us to rapidly evolve with events outside of our control. The leader’s coaching skills in a virtual setting somewhat differ from the skills previously relied on.

In January, we offered tips for managing performance. While these tips are still relevant, today we’ll focus on coaching for performance development in a virtual setting.

The term “development” has to do with providing opportunities, closing the skills gap and nurturing individuals’ strengths required to perform the job effectively. Coaching for development is not disciplinary in nature. It is a partnership between the supervisor and the individual.

Whether you are a seasoned supervisor or new in your role at Valencia, the fact is that coaching for development in a virtual setting feels different than face-to-face, but is it really that different?

Coaching for Performance Development

As a coach, the leader is a facilitator of growth who partners with individuals to help them reach peak performance. Coaching is an informal process in which the coach presents facts, asks questions and engages in open conversations geared to learn how to assist the employee in developing his or her performance.

The facts presented could be clear examples based on direct observations or relevant feedback received from other parties in the course of daily work interactions. Coaching may include conversations about job-related performance or potential career-derailing behaviors at the early onset.

During the conversation, the coach’s main goal is to come into the conversation fully centered and with a clear mind and willful intention to truly partner with the individual in developing the performance or to redirect a behavior.

So what changes in a virtual setting? It does not seem to be different, right? And yet, virtual presence is critical for the desired outcome.

As stated very eloquently by Erica Dhawan, founder and CEO of Cotential, a global organization that helps companies leaders, and managers leverage 21st-century collaboration skills and behaviors to improve performance, it is important to note that virtual presence causes us to create impressions. Thus, awareness of our virtual presence is critical to connect with individuals during a coaching conversation.

Below are some things to consider prior to the coaching session:

What are the facts to be presented?

  • Choice of words – A general script may help with choosing the most appropriate words to convey the developmental message.
  • Mode of delivery – In a virtual setting, there are more options for delivery. However, the preferred option is the one that connects the individuals “face to face.”
  • Time of day – Strategically choose a time without distractions. As employees work from home with families around often, this is a must to consider.
  • The written messages before and after the session – Ensure the employee knows the purpose of the session.

How do you build trust and collaboration during the coaching session?

  • Be generous with information – Under normal circumstances limited information causes confusion. In a virtual setting, clarity is a gift.
  • State your frame of mind – Where are you coming from? What are your emotions around the topic? What is being impacted that requires the conversation?
  • Slow down – Rushing to it creates more anxiety to you and the individual receiving the coaching.
  • Assume the best – Confirm that your interpretation is correct. If not, state so and communicate how this impacts the conversation clearly.
  • Say what you mean – What are you proud of? What is a challenge for you? How can you support the individual?

In conclusion, digital presence is of paramount importance in the unprecedented times we are experiencing nowadays and the main difference between in-person and virtual coaching. Therefore, be visibly present. Communicate directly and clearly. Be authentic and confident in your approach. And trust fully.


As always, members of the Organizational Development and Human Resources team (ODHR) are here to assist you as you work and lead the way in developing, engaging and retaining talent using different methodologies for such purposes. Contact us at or call the HR4U helpline at 407-299-5000, extension HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: June 2020

You’re Invited: Roadmap for Reopening Phase 2 Town Hall

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

With yesterday’s announcement from College President Sandy Shugart that Valencia will enter Phase 2 of our Roadmap for Reopening on Saturday, August 1, 2020, we’re sure you have a lot of questions. You’re invited to join Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources Amy Bosley for a Roadmap for Reopening Phase 2 Town Hall.

Date: Thursday, June 18, 2020
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
Location: Zoom

Date: Friday, June 19, 2020
Time: 9 – 10 a.m. 
Location: Zoom

Date: Monday, June 22, 2020
Time: 1 – 2 p.m. 
Location: Zoom

Date: Monday, June 22, 2020
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 
Location: Zoom

Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Time: 3 – 4 p.m. 
Location: Zoom


Although you are welcome to ask questions during the town halls, if you know what you’d like to ask now, send your questions to Amy anonymously via this survey, and she’ll include them as part of her presentation. The survey allows you to submit your name and contact information or remain anonymous if you wish.

For questions about the town halls, contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-299-5000, extension HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Congratulations on a Successful Call Campaign

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Valencia College’s unprecedented “We’re in this Together” campaign concluded Friday, May 1, 2020, with employees making an impressive 35,882 calls to students in a little more than one month.

“The campaign was an extremely effective way for us to connect with our amazing students during this challenging time,” said Joe Sarrubbo, dean of students, East Region, who, along with Amy Parker, assistant vice president, recruitment, enrollment and retention, provided day-to-day leadership to the effort.

“It gave us a unique opportunity to provide personal and intentional outreach, while demonstrating that we genuinely care for them, want them to succeed, and will provide the necessary support to make that happen,” he added.

Over the course of 37 days, a total of 279 callers from multiple departments reached out to Valencia’s students to offer guidance and encouragement in the wake of the College’s decision to move most of its classes online after Spring Break, when it became clear the coronavirus was spreading in the United States. An additional 19 captains assisted as well.

The effort was conceptualized, developed and implemented by Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development Amy Bosley and Vice President of Academic Affairs Isis Artze-Vega as a way to provide a human and personal connection to students. Its goal was also to reaffirm key College messages, share resources, particularly those developed to connect students to someone who can help them, if necessary, and to encourage students to maintain academic continuity.

Callers logged a total of 75,456 minutes on the phone, urged students to check their Atlas email for updates and provided details ranging from how to access tutors to sharing a new Keep Learning webpage — designed to provide helpful resources for online learning. They also alerted students on opportunities to decide whether to remain in a course or not.

Overall, student response to the campaign was overwhelmingly positive.

“I appreciated that someone called to follow up and make sure that I was transitioning without any issues, and I also appreciated the resources that were offered to make online classes easier,” said one student in a survey conducted shortly after the campaign concluded.

Another student wrote, “I got a call from someone at Valencia saying that if I needed any help that they would do their best to help me. It wasn’t an automated call, it was an actual person which was nice to hear. That just reassured me that Valencia cares and just wants us to succeed.”

Staff engaged in the campaign expressed similar views.

Darla Brown, staff assistant II, said she found the experience rewarding and comforting. “[It was] rewarding because of the appreciation the students expressed that Valencia was taking the time to check in with them to see how they were doing and help answer any questions they might have, and somewhat comforting, because I had the opportunity to let students know they weren’t in our situation alone, meaning that I wasn’t in it alone either.”

College President Sandy Shugart sent each of the employees who made calls a Call Campaign Hero congratulatory badge in the Valencia EDGE to thank them for their effort.

Additionally, thank you gifts were sent to key leaders, and senior leaders made personal phone calls to top callers — or those who made between 100 and 999 calls. Callers who made more than 1,000 calls received a personal call from Dr. Shugart.

The top five callers included:

  • 1,812 calls – Betty Blackburn, testing center specialist, Testing Center, East Campus
  • 1,322 calls – Shirley Pereira, staff assistant II, Advising Center, East Campus
  • 1,202 calls – Darla Brown, staff assistant II, Print and Design, East Campus
  • 1,146 calls – Whitly Charles Hamilton, graphics processing specialist, Print and Design, East Campus
  • 1,062 calls – Solange Fernandez Del Pino, executive assistant, Policy and General Counsel, District Office

For a list of all callers, click the button below:

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Operations Team Completes Nearly 930 Training Sessions Since Spring Break

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Congratulations to the 112 Operations team members who completed nearly 930 training sessions since Spring Break. Due to our campus closure as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the team took advantage of extra time in their workdays to continue to grow in their careers and to improve their service to the Valencia community.

“I’m very proud of the Operations team members for their dedication to ongoing professional development,” said Paul Rooney, assistant vice president, operations. “They used their downtime to improve their skills in areas ranging from hard skills like electrical safety, hazardous waste handling, basic first aid and warehouse safety, to soft skills such as team and customer relations and effective team communication.”

For a full list of Security team members who participated and the training sessions they completed, click the button below.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Join VAHC Friday Night for a Tribute to Gospel, Blues and Rock

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Date: Friday, June 19, 2020
Time: 7 – 7:45 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Get ready for another night of quarantine-style fun as the Valencia African Heritage Committee hosts the Black Music Month and Juneteenth Music Series this Friday, June 19, 2020. The third event in the four-week, Friday-night series is a tribute to gospel, blues and rock, along with a celebration of the 155th year of Juneteenth, the oldest celebration of all enslaved people being informed of their freedom in the United States two years after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

Join our live host Monica May, radio and media personality and chief information officer of Monica May Communications, for an exciting lineup of online performers and speakers including:

National Event Host, Businesswoman, Media Personality and Vocalist Tyesha Williams
Since 2014, Tyesha founded and hosts the biggest weekly open mic music showcase in Central Florida, Thursday Live Vibe. Tyesha will speak on the history and contributions of gospel, blues and rock music genres.

Singer, Songwriter, Producer and Alumnus Palmer Reed
Palmer Reed is a Valencia Music and Sound Technology program alumnus, as well as a professional singer, songwriter and producer. Since graduating, Palmer has worked with Evan Ross, Ashley Simpson, Adam Lambert and Earth, Wind and Fire. His blues performance will be a tribute to the song “Stand By Me.”

Alumnus and UCF Student Juan Aviles
Juan Aviles has led diversity and mentorship initiatives at several Central Florida companies including the Walt Disney World Resort where he served as the vice president of HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Leadership Advancement). He is currently pursuing degrees in human communication and leadership studies at the University of Central Florida. As a passionate advocate for the study of black history, he will be sharing an essay on the significance and the modern-day lessons drawn from the events of Juneteenth — June 19, 1865.

Singer, Songwriter and Alumna Cece Teneal
Cece Teneal is an award-winning, international performing artist whose voice has been called “The Voice of the Century.” Ms. Teneal is noted for opening the live music component at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Orlando and currently tours globally singing soul music. She is a proud Valencia graduate and board member at Pace Center for Girls. Her performance will include a tribute to Aretha Franklin.

Singer and Songwriter Shakina Glory
Shakina Glory is a local gospel artist in Jacksonville. She will sing a tribute to the Queen of Contemporary Gospel, Yolanda Adams.

Employee, Singer, Songwriter and Guitarist April Montallana
April Montallana, administrative assistant, is a 10-year employee of Valencia College. Also known as April Rose — the singer, songwriter and guitarist has been performing music for 12 years. April Rose will pay a tribute to the rock genre and perform a song by Jimi Hendrix, considered to be one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time.  

There will also be some special tributes from additional Valencia College employees.

For the Zoom link to participate, click here.

For additional information on the Black Music Month and Juneteenth Music Series, click here.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

Featured Colleague: For Betty Blackburn, Valencia is Family

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

By Claudia Zequeira

For Betty Blackburn, testing center specialist, Valencia feels like family.

In a literal sense, it is, as her husband, son and daughter-in-law all work at the College. But in another sense, that family is something she’s built for herself in her years here.

After taking a humanities class at Valencia, Betty left a full-time position at Orange County Public Schools to work part-time as a testing center specialist at the East Campus in 2010. Five years, ago, she became a full-time employee.

“I just loved the atmosphere. I felt I wanted to work here,” she said.

Today, she’s the calming voice students hear when they enter the testing center, where she is responsible for directing them to their exam rooms, assisting with technical needs and monitoring them as needed. The most rewarding part of the job for her is being able to reassure students who experience test anxiety and provide encouragement.

“I just talk to them, calm them down, tell them to take a breath, get a little tutoring first,” she said. “And when they’re excited because they did well, I give them a high five.”

Betty also loves that every day on the job is different. And, as a self-described extrovert, she does not miss an opportunity to interact with students.

“If I could sum up what I like best about working at Valencia into one word, it would be connection,” she said. “I love being able to get to know our students and staff, participating [and volunteering] in the Student Development events to encourage student engagement, and working with a tight-knit team,” said Betty, adding that she has bungee jumped on campus and rode a mechanical bull as well.

More recently, Betty participated in the We’re in This Together Call Campaign, an effort she’s most proud. The campaign was kick started by the College to reach students after many campuses closed due to the pandemic. Its goal was to reassure them, share resources, and encourage academic continuity. In a period of 37 days, Betty made over 1,812 phone calls, becoming Valencia’s top caller.

“This call campaign, it made me feel so connected,” said Betty. “Just being able to interact with students … I talked to some of the parents and they would say ‘thank you so much. This College really cares,” she said. “Being able to reach out to our students in their time of need and letting them know that we care about them really gave me a sense of fulfillment.”

Her supervisor, Alison Langevin, lab supervisor, learning support center, said Betty’s performance was stellar during the campaign.

“We spoke daily about the needs and gratitude of the students she contacted,” said Alison. “Betty excelled in careful and considerate conversations with hundreds of students and spent much of her time ensuring their needs were met. I am very proud of Betty and her sincere desire to encourage and assist our students. Her follow through exceeded my expectations and simply proved just how important it is to remind others how valued they are.”

That sense of belonging the College provides to its employees and students is what inspires her the most about working here. At Valencia, she said, we not only give students a “chance to grow,” but also a shot at a better life and at making an impact on the world.

“While some colleges do well at getting students into their school, we do well at getting students access to resources and services that give them a better chance at being successful and a place which they can call home,” she said. Similarly, employees here are given “an opportunity to use our strengths to make a meaningful impact on our students and truly inspire them to succeed.”

Prior to working at Valencia, Betty worked as a classroom paraprofessional and, later, as a discipline clerk, for Orange County Public Schools. In a previous chapter of her career, she was in the Air Force, where, among other things, she learned and used Morse code to aid in certain missions.

In her free time, she loves to spend time with her husband Mike, to whom she’s been married for 37 years. She also loves watching movies, spending time with her grandchildren and using FaceTime to connect with family.

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.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

We Want to Know; What’s Positive About Your Quarantine?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

As we head into summer, have you found that isolation in your home in recent months has led to some positive outcomes, like exploring new hobbies or activities? Are you exercising more? Did you discover a new interest or deepen your knowledge of an old one? Are you finding yourself on Zoom more than ever either to connect with relatives, attend church services or play games with friends? If so, we’d love to hear from you about the good things that have come out of your isolation at home.

Please share a photo, along with a brief description, of your newfound activities, so we can feature them in an upcoming photo montage. We’d like to showcase the creative, positive ways in which our Valencia College family is making use of quarantine time.

Send all your items to by Wednesday, June 24, 2020.