Monthly Archives: November 2020

Board of Trustees Holds Special Meeting on Finalists for College President

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Valencia College’s District Board of Trustees named the finalists for the Valencia College presidency during its Wednesday, November 18, 2020, meeting.

Board Chair Tracey Stockwell started the meeting with a heartfelt thank you to the Presidential Search Committee for its dedication to reviewing application materials submitted by all candidates, identifying the candidates who met the minimum qualifications, considering how those qualified applicants met other desired qualifications and providing thoughtful feedback on the candidates. She continued to thank Valencia College employees for preparing the feedback summaries and packets in a short time frame. She also recognized the seven semi-finalist candidates for the significant amount of time they dedicated preparing their materials and meeting our Valencia College employees and students.

Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources Amy Bosley refreshed the board on the three-phased search process: Search Process Design, Active Recruitment and Discernment and Selection.

Amy reminded the board of the minimum and desired qualifications as stated in our presidential profile and the key themes from the feedback gathered from faculty, staff and students on the experience, qualifications, skills and characteristics they seek in the College’s next president: learning, leadership, equity, sustainability, funding and technology. She also recapped the semi-finalist interview process and the feedback collected from the approximately 600 employee and student surveys, and then reminded the board of Valencia College’s equity-minded hiring practices.

Next, the trustees discussed the feedback on each candidate and shared areas in which the Presidential Search Committee and the College would like to know more about each. The trustees approved the following four candidates as finalists: Shah Ardalan, president, Lone Star College-University Park, Houston, Texas; Lee Ann Nutt, president, Lone Star College, Tomball, Texas; Kathleen Plinske, executive vice president and provost, Valencia College; and Anton Reece, president and CEO, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Paducah. Since the approval, Shah Ardalan withdrew from the process.

As we continue in the Discernment and Selection phase of the search process, each finalist will participate in limited on-site interviews, several virtual interviews with our governing councils, Student Government Association leadership, and a panel of community leaders as well as virtual town hall meetings with employees and students. Visit the Finalist Interview Schedule webpage for details.

View a recording of the board of trustees meeting. 

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Time is Running Out to View the Faculty Fine Art Exhibition

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 

It’s your last chance to view the Anita S. Wooten Gallery’s 2020 Selected Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition. Through Friday, December 11, 2020, check out the works of our art department faculty, which represent a wide range of media, including photography, ceramics, paintings and mixed media.

Participating artists include: Part-time Faculty of Art Allan Maxwell, Camillo Velasquez, Richard Munster and Kyle Hendley (known as KYLE).

“In varying ways, the works you are about to see look at the world and turn it on its head through manipulation, accretion and destruction,” shared Carlye Frank, professor, art and gallery curator. “Velasquez and Munster use fire to bring order from chaos. KYLE piles image on image on image in an endless stratification; Maxwell layers objects, photographs and text in surreal complexity.”

She added, “All of this is about forcing us not only to see an image or an object, but to see the world — to be aware of ourselves as we look, and to question not only what we see, but the way we see it.”

Due to our campus closure, the exhibit is online. To view the exhibit, click the button below.

The faculty exhibition has been held annually since 1975.

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Orlando Health Launches Preferred Education Program With Valencia College

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Orlando Health team members who want to pursue an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or certificate at Valencia College can do so without incurring any out-of-pocket costs.

Effective Tuesday, December 1, 2020, Orlando Health and Valencia College have partnered to launch the Preferred Education Program that allows Orlando Health team members to attend Valencia College and pay nothing upfront. Orlando Health will pay 100% of the cost of tuition and books directly to the College, up to the annual cap limit of $5,000 for full-time and $2,500 for part-time team members.

“Team members are the foundation of everything we do, so investing in their future is exceptionally important to us,” said Joy Sylvester, corporate director of human resources for Orlando Health. “Our new program removes what may be a financial barrier to individuals who want to pursue additional education; making it easier for them to reach career and life goals.”

Under the new Preferred Education Program, Orlando Health team members can pursue degrees or certificates in more than 120 Valencia College programs including nursing, diagnostic medical sonography, respiratory care, emergency medical technology, health services administration and food services management. Team members will also be able to receive one-on-one support from Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions academic coaches, who will help guide them through every step of their academic journey.

Valencia’s flexible online courses make it easy for team members to balance their careers, personal lives and learning whether they work at an Orlando Health facility in Orlando, St. Petersburg, Ocala Okeechobee or any of the organization’s more than 400 offices, hospitals and care centers.

Interested parties can contact their supervisor at Orlando Health for additional information. They may also contact Valencia’s Enrollment Services at 407-582-1507 or at

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Presidential Finalist Employee Town Halls, December 2 – 4, 2020

Friday, November 20, 2020

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

As shared earlier this week, on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, the Valencia College District Board of Trustees named the finalists for the Valencia College presidency.

Continuing the Search Discernment and Selection phase of our search process, each of the finalists will participate in limited on-site interviews, virtual interviews with our governing councils, Student Government Association leadership, and a panel of community leaders, as well as virtual town hall meetings with employees and students. For the full interview schedule, visit the Presidential Search Finalist Interview Schedule webpage.

We invite each of you to attend the following Employee Town Halls with our finalists. Please note that one of the four finalists, Shah Ardalan, has withdrawn from the search process.

Kathleen A. Plinske
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Time: 8 – 8:50 a.m. 
Location: Zoom

Anton R. Reece
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2020
Time: 8 – 8:50 a.m.

Lee Ann Nutt
Date: Friday, December 4, 2020
Time: 8 – 8:50 a.m. 
Location: Zoom

If you miss one of the town halls, recordings will be available on the Presidential Search Finalist Interview Schedule webpage.

Feedback from the College community is a critical component of a successful search process, and your insights are needed about our finalist candidates. Please share your feedback on each finalist via the following Qualtrics survey. The survey will open on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, and close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday December 8, 2020, so the raw data can be presented to the Board of Trustees. 

If you’d like to take notes on each candidate before you input your feedback into the survey, you may find this PDF version of the survey helpful. Please note, however, that only feedback submitted via the Qualtrics survey will be reviewed.

To review the recordings of any past presidential search meetings, visit the Presidential Search Committee Meeting Schedule webpage.

Throughout the search process, feel free to share any questions or comments via the “Contact Us” button on the Presidential Search webpage. And, as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly at

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Enjoy the Thanksgiving Break

Friday, November 20, 2020

A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses

Next week, the College will close for Thanksgiving Break from Wednesday, November 25 through Sunday, November 29, 2020. My sincere hope is that you will have an opportunity to unplug, rest, relax and recharge. Whether it’s reading a good book, enjoying the outdoors, connecting safely or virtually with friends and family, getting in a good workout, finding creative expression through music or art, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in a hobby, I also hope that you will find time to do something that brings you joy.

While the holiday season can yield the extremes of emotions under normal circumstances, the pandemic may make this year’s particularly difficult for some of us. If you are struggling or feeling overwhelmed, please don’t hesitate to reach out for confidential support through our Employee Assistance Program. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week — even during the College’s holiday break.

I am thankful for each of you and everything you do to help our students succeed. Please take good care and stay well.

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Learn About and Provide Feedback on Our New CRM During Upcoming Forum

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Time: 2:30 – 4 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Time: 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Date: Friday, December 4, 2020
Time: 9 – 10:30 a.m.

You’re invited to join Vice President of Academic Affairs Isis Artze-Vega, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Sonya Joseph, Assistant Vice President of Global and Continuing Education Lisa Eli and Dean of Students Joe Sarrubbo to find out what has been accomplished to date on Valencia College’s upcoming customer relationship management system (CRM) — TargetX — and to provide feedback on draft design principles for the advising, graduation and transfer implementation.

You may recall that in late February, Valencia chose TargetX as its customer relationship management vendor. This tool is intended to provide intentional interaction for enhanced communication throughout the student lifecycle with functionality such as mobile-enabled, text and email, multiple application types, early alert for advising, event scheduling and many other functions with advanced reporting, analytics and monitoring capabilities.

Three work teams have been working diligently: one focused on recruitment, admissions and enrollment; another on advising, graduation and transfer; and another on technical integration and security.

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Teaching for Equity: Course Learning Outcomes Review

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Message from Wendi Dew, Assistant Vice President, Teaching and Learning and Isis Artze-Vega, Vice President, Academic Affairs

This series has already highlighted the Learning Outcomes Assessment model given its explicit grounding in equity-mindedness. Now that our faculty have begun engaging more deeply in this work, we focus this edition on what they have experienced and learned, and on varied ways for others to connect to these efforts.

As Montenegro and Janowski (2020) have written, “at its core, equitable assessment calls for those who lead and participate in assessment activities to pay attention and be conscious of how assessment can either feed into cycles that perpetuate inequities or can serve to bring more equity into higher education” (p. 9). They add that a key principle of equitable assessment is that equity must be embedded in all things assessment. In the case of our learning outcomes model, the focus on course-level assessment necessitates that faculty begin by reviewing and looking critically at a foundational aspect of assessment, course learning outcomes within the collegewide course outlines.

While engaging in their review, many faculty and deans have enrolled in LOBP 4242 Equity-minded Assessment: Writing Equity-minded Learning Outcomes. Participants in the course like Dan Mullins, professor, mathematics, call attention to the value of collaboration in refining their course learning outcomes: “It is really good to bounce ideas off of colleagues and challenge each other to make it more clear.” Courtney Gegenheimer, professor, mathematics, also emphasized the collaborative approach saying, “I was surprised a lot on how much I didn’t immediately catch until people started breaking it down.”

Meanwhile, Kristin Abel, professor, theater technology, and faculty fellow for data and assessment, points out some of the ways course learning outcomes are already becoming more equitable: “Faculty who have taken the LOBP 4242 course immediately interrogate the outcome for measurability and challenge qualifier words (such as appropriate, effective, standard) for clear definition. They are less likely to let phrasing that implies the presence of hidden expectations to remain in the outcome.” Similarly, Marci Dial, professor, nursing, noticed “many times the influence of the instructors’ practice background can cause inequity within the discipline.”

Faculty are also expressing their appreciation for the built-in flexibility and support. In fact, the model is supported by eight faculty fellows for data and assessment, 10 faculty developers/instructional designers (FDs/IDs) and the campus directors of faculty and instructional development. Together with faculty leads in each discipline or program, they have formed Assessment Leadership Teams (ALTs). There are currently seven Gen Ed ALTs (collaborating within more than 30 course-specific subgroups) and 40 CTE ALTs. Another 10 ALTs are already forming to begin the assessment cycle this spring. Each team determines which of the assessment cycle timelines best fits their circumstances, and throughout the cycle, there are faculty development opportunities that align with the pacing.

In addition to the faculty fellows, FDs/IDs and the Faculty Development course offerings, the model is supported by the Assessment Coordinating Committee (ACC) with two faculty co-chairs, Chip Turner, faculty, New Student Experience, representing General Education and Lisa Macon, professor, software development, representing Career and Technical Education. Faculty who are looking for support and differentiated flexibility are encouraged to communicate within the ALT and adjust plans suited to the uniqueness of their degree or discipline.

About 150 other faculty and deans have completed the Writing Equity-minded Learning Outcomes course, and there will be more course offerings in the spring. In the meantime, the next course, PRFC 1151 Reading Circle: Equity-minded assessment introduction to “A New Decade” is available. Participants will reflect on equity-minded assessment practices through exploration of culturally responsive, socially just, and critical assessment concepts as described in the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment’s (NILOA) paper, “A new decade for assessment: Embedding equity into assessment praxis.” Also in the spring, as faculty partner to design assessment methods and criteria, there will be opportunities to enroll in Equity-minded Assessment: Transparent Assessment, another offering in the Equity-minded Practice Series.

Laura Magness, professor, psychology, who also serves as one of the faculty fellows for data and assessment, reminds us that equitable learning outcomes are integral to our ability to realize what is arguably the biggest of our big ideas: “The collaboration both within and across disciplines for learning outcomes assessment that I have seen since beginning this work is the exact reason I love Valencia. We keep student learning at the heart of everything we do and see our colleagues as resources to help us continue to improve. We may not know yet exactly how to create the optimal learning environment for all students, but I see this work as an opportunity to continually identify and remove barriers for our students to truly ensure ‘anyone can learn anything under the right conditions.’”

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Campaign Encourages Students to Register for Spring Term

Thursday, November 19, 2020

In an effort to encourage students to register for spring term and provide direct support, Valencia College has been proactively contacting new and returning students.

For example, our Student Affairs team is sending targeted emails to the following groups of students:

  • Those who were admitted in fall but did not complete New Student Orientation;
  • Individuals who completed New Student Orientation in fall, but did not register for fall;
  • Students who have completed New Student Orientation for spring, but have not yet registered;
  • Students who took classes in the fall 2020, summer 2020 or spring 2020 terms who have not yet registered; and
  • Those who have financial aid for spring but have not yet registered.

Additionally, volunteers from across the College will conduct a calling campaign to students who are eligible to register for spring classes who haven’t yet registered and to students who have been awarded financial aid for spring and have not yet registered.

Direct mail will also be sent to 2019-2020 high school graduates who have not enrolled at Valencia College or, to our knowledge, a different institution.

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Faculty Governance Update — November 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Message from Stanton Reed, Past President and Interim President, Collegewide Faculty Association

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” — Mother Teresa.

That quote was one of the mantras for entering into the year of clear vision 2020. No one could have predicted what we have experienced so far this year. In spite of our unfathomable year 2020, I can reflect in thankfulness and realize how fortunate we still are.

I am grateful to all of you who continue to stay encouraged and upbeat in this time and am appreciative of the patience and grace that you have had with each other.

Through the challenges, surprises and difficulties, for what are you unexpectedly grateful? I challenge you to think about three to five things you are grateful for and email them to me at Use “grateful” as the subject heading. I’ll share your responses as we launch the new year with our January Faculty Insight (we don’t have a December issue due to winter break). I can’t think of a better way to start the year than with positivity and thankfulness.

Presidential Finalist Town Halls
This week, our District Board of Trustees approved an unranked slate of finalists for college president. I encourage each of you to attend the employee virtual town hall meetings to get to know each of the finalists and to share your feedback on the candidates. Dates, times and a feedback survey will be shared with you via email.

Equity-minded Practice Series
Thank you to all faculty members who attended the Equity-minded Practice Series sessions “Reflection-informed Inclusive Pedagogy with Bryan Dewsbury, Gardner Institute fellow and assistant professor of biology at the University of Rhode Island, as well as the sessions, “Ours is Not a Caravan of Despair: Trauma-informed Education in Turbulent Times” with renowned neuroscientist Mays Imad. As part of our continued conversations on equity and diversity, as well as inclusive active learning and culturally responsive pedagogy, I applaud each of you for continuing to broaden your knowledge in these areas.

Classroom Observation Process
In our Thursday, November 12, 2020, Faculty Council meeting, Faculty Council President-elect and Professor of English Michael Robbins proposed creating a faculty council work team to collect data, conduct a literature review and draft a work proposal on the classroom observation process that will eventually be brought to Learning Council for consideration by the end of the spring 2021 term. The Faculty Council endorsed moving forward with this work. The following faculty members volunteered to serve on the work team:

Thank You Faculty Volunteers
In addition to the volunteers listed above for the Classroom Observation Work Team, thank you to the following faculty members for getting involved in our College’s work. During the Faculty Council’s November meeting the following nominations were made:

Instructional Materials Standing Committee 

  • Karene Best, librarian
  • Flora Chisholm, professor, biology
  • Coleen Cox, professor, nursing
  • Susan Dauer, professor, English
  • Yolanda Gonzalez, professor, Spanish
  • Joshua Guillemette, professor, mathematics
  • Benjamin Ohwovoriole, professor, English
  • Nelson Placa, professor, hospitality management
  • Angelica Vagle, professor, chemistry

Institutional Review Board 

Black Male Initiative Work Team

Equity Mindedness in the Employee Experience Steering Committee

  • Angela Blewitt, professor, English
  • Kimberly Lewis-Vogle, part-time faculty, biology
  • Danielle Strong-Robinson Smith, part-time faculty, English
  • Lauren Thomas, professor, mathematics
  • Niraj Wagh, professor, mathematics

Leadership of Equity and Opportunity Work Team

  • Douglas Kern, full-time faculty, English

Demographic Data Collection and Use Work Team

  • Lauren Thomas, professor, mathematics
  • Niraj Wagh, professor, mathematics

As we come to the end of the fall term, remember to be a a SAGE — that’s showing your students selflessness, accountability, grace and empathy along their learning journey.

Reflect, Refuel and Be Grateful
I have heard your feedback that you appreciate that everyone knows your resilient, but you yearn for relief and reprieve. As this will be my last Governance Update before the holidays and the new year, your reprieve is coming. During your Thanksgiving and winter breaks, take advantage of your time and pull aside, reflect, refuel and be grateful. Be sure to tell someone that they are valued as well as why you are grateful for them. Again, I am grateful to all of you who continue to inspire and uplift us on our journey and am appreciative of the patience and grace that you have had with each other.

If you have any questions or just need to talk, please contact me at or 407-299-5000, extension 4224. Or, you may contact President-elect Michael Robbins at or 407-299-5000, extension 6103.

Monthly Archives: November 2020

Canvas Update — The New Rich Content Editor

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Message from Geni Wright, Director, Online Teaching and Learning

Starting in January 2021, you will see a new layout for the rich content editor when designing course content in Canvas. With this new update comes a more intuitive toolbar and menu when adding content onto a page, discussion, assignment, quiz and announcement.

Review the New Rich Content Editor Tutorial for Faculty to learn about the difference between the current rich content editor and the new rich content editor. To read more about this change, review the tutorials posted to the Canvas Community website:

You may provide the following link to students to help them better understand the change:

Just-in-time Sessions

We will host several one-hour, just-in-time sessions to provide you with an overview of the new rich content editor and an opportunity to practice and ask questions regarding the new content editor. To join one of these sessions, register for the course in the Valencia EDGE:

Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Online

Date: Friday, December 4, 2020
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Online

Date: Friday, January 8, 2021
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Online

Practice With New Rich Content Editor Now

If you would like to begin using the new rich content editor, you may enable it in your course by going to Settings and then clicking on the Feature Options tab. Locate “RCE Enhancements” and “RCE Auto-Save” and click on the x button to the right to enable these two tools. Once enabled, a white checkmark will appear with a green background.