Monthly Archives: October 2020Share
By Claudia Zequeira
Francisco Quintero personifies the quintessential American Dream story. Needless to say, it all took hard work and dedication. Today, Francisco, emerging technologies library specialist, is glad of the choices he made and of choosing Valencia as a place to study and build his career, for the College was key in making that dream possible.
“I see people with many backgrounds here, with many stories, but they all have a common goal: they want to succeed,” said Francisco. “For some, perhaps there was a situation in their lives and they couldn’t fulfill a dream … but when they return to pursue it, Valencia represents that opportunity to succeed and accomplish your dreams.”
After moving to the Orlando area from his native Colombia in 2004, Francisco completed his Associate in Science in computer engineering technology (Networking) at Valencia. While he pursued his degree, Francisco also worked at Valencia as a federal work study student and then as a part-time audio visual specialist.
He was later promoted to the role of instructional technology computer support technician as he also went on to pursue — and earn — a Bachelor of Applied Science in software development from the University of Central Florida.
Today, Francisco’s role consists of managing a team of four at the East Campus while bringing emerging technologies to the College that might help the library and learning support areas.
More recently, and as a result of changes due to COVID-19, he and his team moved to an online platform to assist students who are in need of technology support via Zoom and troubleshooting issues with Canvas, Microsoft Office products, software compatibility and many others. He was also instrumental in creating a Canvas course to train a much larger, collegewide team in its new duties.
“I am so thankful for my team. That’s another accomplishment I’m proud of,” he said. “And of how we moved from face-to-face support for students to an online platform.”
Among the many things he has accomplished while at Valencia College, Francisco helped create a collegewide online platform to assist students with technology questions and helped equip the literacy collaborative classroom with a voice-activated device to control other devices within it.
He also created an application that allows students to complete the agreement form to check out equipment and resources (this was also eventually adopted by several campuses) as well as another web application for the library’s circulation department to help it track reserves inventory.
“I am the type of person who is always researching, and since I have a background in software development, I always see what else I can do to enhance a procedure to make things better for staff and students,” he said.
His supervisor, Leonard Bass, dean, learning support, referred to him as a “technology mastermind.”
“Francisco is an avid student of emerging technology and an incredible problem-solver … He is an incredible asset to our department, and I have enjoyed learning from and with him over the last eight years.”
“In his role as emerging technology library specialist, he is always innovating around the student learning experience in the library,” added Leonard.
Incidentally, it is our students that most inspire Francisco.
“When you make technology work for a student, it’s such a beautiful thing,” said Francisco. “That little help that you give to that student, it can make a big difference.”
By way of example, Francisco shared the story of how, due to software issues, a student came to him in distress and was about to drop his class because he was unable to complete his online course on a Macintosh computer.
“I referred him to a software that allowed him to do the work on his Mac, and he was able to participate in his class,” he said. “He stopped by later to thank me. That’s something that really inspires me to work at Valencia College.”
He also appreciates the comradery he has found here.
“What I like best is you feel you’re working with your family,” he said. “It’s a good environment. You get to establish a friendship and relationship with your co-workers. That is something you appreciate.”
In his free time Francisco, who was both in a rock and a salsa band in Cali, Colombia, loves playing the guitar and rollerblading.
He also enjoys spending time with his wife, and especially his two daughters, who are 9 and 14.
“I love spending time with my family,” he said. “Computers are awesome, but they can really take up your time if you don’t watch the clock.”
Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.