Monthly Archives: March 2021

Join Caffeine Buzz and Celebrate Earth Day

Monday, March 29, 2021

Date: Friday, April 2, 2021
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Zoom

Celebrate mother earth with a cup of coffee during the next Caffeine Buzz on Friday, April 2, 2021. With an Earth Day theme, come learn about environmental innovations and education.

The Buzz is an opportunity to become immersed in a divergent-thinking environment to explore innovative ideas around the world while also networking with colleagues.

To view resources shared during the March Buzz, click here.

Watch the March 2021 Buzz below:

Monthly Archives: March 2021

Valencia Dance Theatre to Present its Spring Dance Concert

Monday, March 29, 2021

Date: Friday, April 9 and and Saturday, April 10, 2021
Time: Viewing available from 6 p.m. – 11:59 p.m
Location: Online

Support Valencia Dance Theatre students by enjoying works by national and faculty choreographers during the Spring Dance Concert on Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10, 2021. The concert, which will be pre-recorded in Valencia’s Black Box Theater and broadcast online, highlights the work of guest choreographers and features student dancers and guest artists.

This year’s concert will feature, “Solstice,” a modern dance piece created by returning guest choreographer Jon Lehrer, of the Jon Lehrer Dance Company, that he set on students during a virtual residency held in January 2021. To read about the residency, click here.

Additionally, students will perform, “Dark Facets,” an original modern dance choreographed by international choreographer Alberto Del Saz. To watch a rehearsal of this performance (recorded prior to the pandemic) and an interview with Del Saz, click on the video below.

The concert will close with “Bachanale,” a modern work by Professor of Dance and Artistic Director for Valencia Dance Leslie Brasseux Rodgers.

A link to the performance will be available 30 minutes prior to showtime on the Valencia Arts webpage.

Admission is free, but donations to the Valencia College Department of Dance will be accepted on the School of Arts and Entertainment Performance Fund webpage.

For questions, contact the Theater Box Office at 407-582-2900.

Monthly Archives: March 2021

Osceola Campus Science Lab Staff Haven’t Missed a Beat

Friday, March 26 2021

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

Last fall, you read about the amazing work being done by faculty and staff who are teaching and working with students on our campuses. We continue to have faculty and staff on campus this spring, including the Osceola Campus Laboratory staff, which is working with dedication to maintain our laboratory equipment and ensure our students continue to learn in the sciences. In fact, that staff has been working since March 2020 to ensure continuity of learning.

After learning about the pandemic situation during the final weekend of Spring Break 2020, Marta Schmucke, manager, laboratories, biological science, reached out to the lab team:

  • Ravinder Rooprai, lab supervisor, biology
  • Andreuly Rodriguez, lab supervisor, chemistry
  • Patricia Hernandez, learning assistant II
  • Eric Burns, learning assistant II, physical science
  • Sara Olsen, learning assistant II, chemistry
  • Francisco Guaranda, laboratory assistant II, biological science
  • Shannelly Perez, laboratory assistant I, biological science
  • Adrian Hernandez, laboratory assistant II, biological science
  • Jessica Fria, labroatory assistant II, chemistry
  • Candy Juarez, laboratory assistant II, biological science

Everyone quickly volunteered to assist in different areas: tutoring in the science disciplines; running science experiments that could not be finished onsite and sending pictures or videos to faculty so they could share that data with their students; lending models, microscopes and other lab materials to faculty to make their teaching more interactive with their students; working on-site uninterruptedly to make sure sensitive lab equipment continued to be maintained and hazardous waste collection and emergency stations were checked weekly to avoid unexpected chemical reactions; assisting science lab departments on other campuses with advice about what was learned through this new experience; assisting our Nursing and EMS departments with their collection of biomedical hazardous waste; assisting University of Central Florida so its labs could run smoothly and as safely as possible; assisting our community through many phone calls received in the lab by giving accurate information, and treating everyone with utmost respect and compassion.

Marta says, “We are blessed with every member of the Science team on Osceola Campus. I find trust, loyalty, teamwork, honesty, spirit of service, knowledge and much more in our team. With confidence I can tell you that we have grown stronger and learned quickly to navigate in this ‘new normal’ while working and living in general. We have had so much support from College President Sandy Shugart, the Organizational Development and Human Resources team, Interim Executive Dean Melissa Pedone, Dean of Secience Anitza San Miguel and all our fellow coworkers in the Maintenance, Office of Information Technology, Custodial and Security departments.”

In addition to all of that work, in February, the science laboratory personnel of Osceola Campus served as judges in the Dr. Nelson Ying Orange County Science Exposition. These staff members have participated in judging Orange County students’ work in this exposition every February for the past 16 years, and via Google Classroom for the first time this year. Over approximately one week, they reviewed project submissions and watched middle and high school students’ videos of their science project presentations. They judged the projects and also used an interview phase to speak to students directly and ask questions. After the interviews, the judges selected winners in each science discipline; those winners will continue to a state level competition.

This year’s projects included topics such as making bioplastics, vitamin C decay during cooking, making batteries and testing charcoal water filter effectiveness.

Marta said, “The challenging part is deciding which projects to pick as winners among such great ones being presented. At the same time, this is a gratifying learning and sharing experience while serving our community.”

Thanks as well to Andreuly, Ravinder and Eric, who assisted with choosing winning projects through third place.

Monthly Archives: March 2021

Join the Osceola Humanities Department for ‘Tearing Hatred from the Sky’

Friday, March 26, 2021

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

Dates: Thursday, April 1, 2021
Time: 1 p.m
Location: Zoom

Please encourage your students to join the Osceola Humanities department for “Tearing Hatred from the Sky,” an address by Bree Newsome Bass, on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at 1 p.m.

Following the massacre of Black parishioners at Emanuel AME Zion Church in Charleston, South Carolina, America’s complicated history with the confederate flag came sharply into focus. By taking action to remove the symbol from the South Carolina Statehouse in 2015, Bree Newsome Bass became an icon for a new wave of activism. Working as a community organizer, Bass emphasizes the importance of leadership development in building and sustaining movements. In this powerful address, she recalls the events that led to her ascent onto a national stage and issues a call to continue the path towards justice.

Monthly Archives: March 2021

Vaccination Site Update; Paid Leave Offered for COVID Vaccination

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A Message from Paul Rooney, Assistant Vice President, Operations, and Amy Bosley, Vice President, Organizational Development and Human Resources

We are excited to announce that the West Campus state/FEMA COVID vaccination site will offer vaccines for persons 40 years and older starting Monday, March 29, 2021, and for persons 18 years and older starting Monday, April 5, 2021, for a limited time through Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Additionally, we are pleased to share that College President Sandy Shugart has authorized paid leave for vaccinations.

West Campus Vaccination Site Update

The West Campus state/FEMA COVID vaccination site will offer vaccinations for persons 40 years and older starting Monday, March 29, 2021, and for persons 18 and older starting Monday, April 5, 2021, for a limited time through Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

The site will administer 1,000 first doses per day of the Pfizer vaccine through Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in addition to the previously scheduled second doses. The first-dose vaccines will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis.

We anticipate that the site will only offer the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine from Wednesday, April 7 through Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

If you’re scheduled for your second dose, please do your best to keep your appointment. Also, please bring your vaccination card to your appointment.

Through Tuesday, April 6, 2021, the state/FEMA COVID vaccination site at West Campus is open to:

  • Local college and university employees regardless of age. This does not include dependents. You will need your Valencia ID or paystub (either on your cell phone or a printed copy) and your driver’s license;
  • Federal and Institutional Work Study Students/Employees. You will need to show your paystub (either on your cell phone or a printed copy) and your driver’s license;
  • Persons 50 years and older;
  • New: Starting Monday, March 29, 2021, persons 40 years and older;
  • New: Starting Monday, April 5, 2021, persons 18 years and older for a limited time through Tuesday, April 6, 2021 (as the site will only offer second doses from Wednesday, April 7 through Wednesday, April 14, 2021). We anticipate that the site will begin offering first doses again starting Thursday, April 15, 2021.
  • Long-term care facility residents and staff;
  • Health care personnel with direct patient contact;
  • K-12 school employees; and
  • Individuals deemed extremely vulnerable for COVID-19. An individual in this category must bring the COVID-19 Determination of Extreme Vulnerability form, which must be completed and signed by the physician who determined the individual to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

Vaccines are being distributed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or as long as supplies are available each day. Individuals are served on a first-come, first-served, walk-up basis. When coming to the West Campus for the vaccine, please remember to use the North entrance (the entrance nearest Wawa).

Although pre-registration is not necessary, the state has a preregistration system for COVID-19 vaccinations. To preregister in Florida, individuals can either call the designated phone number for their county or visit myvaccine.fl.gov.

As we receive updates, we will keep you posted.

If you have any questions or concerns related to this event, please contact your West Campus Security team at 407-299-5000, extension 1000, or reach out to Paul Rooney, assistant vice president, operations, at prooney@valenciacollege.edu or 321-689-7077.

Paid Leave Offered for COVID Vaccination

As we prepare to enter Phase 3 for the Summer 2021 term and with the COVID-19 vaccination becoming more widely available, College President Sandy Shugart has authorized paid leave for vaccinations.

For a limited time, Valencia College will provide a maximum of 12 hours of paid time off for employees (on an as-needed basis) to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and/or recover from the side effects. Though we encourage scheduling vaccinations during non-work hours, we know that this is not always possible and want to ensure that a potential loss in pay is not a barrier to being vaccinated. Please note that this leave is available beginning on Thursday, March 25, 2021, and is not retroactive.

The availability of this special leave will expire on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. At that time, we will reevaluate and could renew it if needed based on vaccine availability.

As a part of the leave approval, please show your vaccination card (this will not be kept on record) to your supervisor upon returning to work, either in person, if you’re working on site, or via a Zoom or Teams meeting, if you’re working remotely. After receiving approval from your supervisor, submit a Certificate of Absence in the Request and Manage My Leave system for “Leave with Pay” and indicate “Vaccine Leave” in the notes section of the request.

For full-time, non-exempt employees, enter “Leave with Pay” on your Web Time Entry timesheet. For part-time employees, do not enter any leave hours on your Web Time Entry timesheet for vaccine leave, as you will be paid from your Certificate of Absence submitted in the Request and Manage My Leave system.

For questions regarding leave submission or recording leave with pay in the Web Time Entry system, please contact Bettie Cooper, director, payroll services, at bcooper@valenciacollege.edu or 407-299-5000 extension 8100.

We strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated and hope this resource helps as you navigate through the pandemic. If you have any questions about leave, our Organizational Development and Human Resources team stands ready to support you. Please reach out to HR4U@valenciacollege.edu, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-299-5000, extension HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: March 2021

Call for Sustainable Development Artistic Creations for UCF Competition

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity (GEEO) of the University of Central Florida (UCF) is holding a competition for artistic creations by students on the theme of sustainable development in three categories: poetry, music and digital media. Please alert students to this opportunity.

The competition is designed as part of a celebration for the launch of the Central Florida Higher Education Partnership for Sustainable Development. This new partnership will advance in Central Florida the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that comprise the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations.

The competition is open to any currently enrolled higher education student in any college or university in Central Florida. The artistic creations for the competition may focus on any one or more of the 17 SDGs.

Submissions of up to three minutes in length are sought in each of these three categories. Submissions in each category must be original and must not have been created before January 2020. The deadline for submissions in each category is 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, 2021. The winners will be notified beforehand and will be invited to present their winning entries virtually during the virtual celebration, which will take place on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

The winners in each category will receive a prize of $500.

Judging of the entries in each category will be by faculty from the institutions participating in the partnership. The names and schools of those who make submissions will not be known to the judges.

Guidelines
All students must show proof of current enrollment with a copy of current class schedule. Please include name, university/college and contact information in the body of the email. Do not include name nor university in the entry submission.

Please submit all entries and questions to geeo@ucf.edu.

Poetry
In the poetry category, the poem may be in any poetic form and must be capable of oral recitation in three minutes or less. Poems must be original and not copyrighted by someone else.

Music
In the musical category, the musical score must be presented along with any musical recording. The submission can be of any instrumentation so long as the composer can provide a musical performance or rendition. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) renditions will be accepted. Scores are not necessary. Songs must be original and not copyrighted by someone else. Must be three minutes or less.

Digital Media
In the digital media competition, the video must be three minutes or less. Videos must be original and not copyrighted by someone else.

For questions, please contact geeo@ucf.edu.

Monthly Archives: March 2021

Paid Leave Offered for COVID Vaccination

Thursday, March 25, 2021

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

As we prepare to enter Phase 3 for the Summer 2021 term and with the COVID-19 vaccination becoming more widely available, I am pleased to share that College President Sandy Shugart has authorized paid leave for vaccinations. You are receiving this information first, as a supervisor, so you can be prepared to support your team members who may use this leave. Our new paid vaccine leave information will be shared collegewide with all employees in The Juice on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

Paid Leave to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19

For a limited time, Valencia College will provide a maximum of 12 hours of paid time off for employees (on an as-needed basis) to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and/or recover from the side effects. Though we encourage scheduling vaccinations during non-work hours, we know that this is not always possible and want to ensure that a potential loss in pay is not a barrier to being vaccinated. Please note that this leave is available beginning on on Thursday, March 25, 2021, and is not retroactive.

The availability of this special leave will expire on Friday, December 31, 2021.

As a part of the leave approval, your direct reports will need to show you their vaccination card (this is not to be kept in any record) so you can verify the dates. It is sufficient for employees working remotely to schedule a video call via Zoom or Microsoft Teams to show their card. If you and your employees are working on campus, please ask them to show you their card upon returning to work. Please do not require a scanned copy or photo of the card. Organizational Development and Human Resources will keep records of leave usage to determine if the expenses are eligible for reimbursement through Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds.

After receiving approval from their supervisor, employees would need to submit a Certificate of Absence in the Request and Manage My Leave system for “Leave with Pay” and indicate “Vaccine Leave” in the notes section of the request.

For full-time, non-exempt employees, “Leave with Pay” should be entered on their Web Time Entry timesheet. Part-time employees will not enter any leave hours on their Web Time Entry timesheet for vaccine leave, as they will be paid from their Certificate of Absence submitted in the Request and Manage My Leave system.

For questions regarding leave submission or recording leave with pay in the Web Time Entry system, please contact Bettie Cooper, director, payroll services, at bcooper@valenciacollege.edu or 407-299-5000 extension 8100.

We strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated, and hope this resource helps as you and your teams navigate through the pandemic. If you have any questions, our Organizational Development and Human Resources team stands ready to support you. Please reach out if we can be of assistance at HR4U@valenciacollege.edu, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-299-5000, extension HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: March 2021

Canvas Update — Previewing Files, Resubmission of Assignments and Viewing Ungraded Assignments

Thursday, March 25, 2021

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

This month there will be some changes in Canvas including new options for previewing files, requiring resubmission of assignments and viewing ungraded assignments.

New Options for Previewing Files

Files linked in the Rich Content Editor can be previewed in an overlay or inline format. This change allows faculty to choose how files are displayed to students in Canvas. The following preview types will now be available.

  • Preview in overlay will display the file as a pop-up on the page when clicked on.
  • Preview inline will display a link to the file that students can expand within the page by clicking on the link (similar to the existing auto-open inline preview functionality). If the option to expand the preview by default is also selected as an option, the file will automatically expand on the page and students do not need to click the file to view it. Instead, students can close the preview by clicking the Minimize Preview link.

Watch this Canvas Release video for a demonstration of the difference between these two options.

New Option to Require Resubmission of Assignments

In SpeedGrader, faculty can now require a student to resubmit an assignment in Canvas. This change allows instructors to provide feedback using the comment box and then reassign an assignment to an individual student, which places the assignment back in the student’s To Do list as an assignment for the student to complete.

Notes about the Reassign Assignment Feature:

  • This feature only works on assignments that have due dates.
  • Once the assignment has been reassigned to the student, it does not change the original due date for the assignment.
  • If the assignment has availability dates set, then the student must re-submit the assignment within the availability window.
  • If there are no availability dates and times set and the student re-submits the assignment after the due date, then there will be a note in SpeedGrader indicating that the assignment is late.
  • The Reassign Assignment button is only available when the assignment submission type is online. It is not available for external tools, on paper, and no submission assignments.
  • If the assignment’s settings do not allow students to make an additional attempt, the Reassign Assignment shows that the assignment is not able to be reassigned. (The default setting in Canvas is set so that students have unlimited attempts to submit an assignment.)

Watch the Canvas Release video for a demonstration of the Reassign Assignment tool in action.

View Ungraded as 0 

A feature is now available in Canvas that faculty members may turn on optionally in their course through the Settings and Feature Options tab. The “View Ungraded as 0” option implies a score of 0 for ungraded assignments in the gradebook.

When using this feature, the immediate impact would be that student total grades may appear lower at the start of the semester. As students submit work throughout the semester and that work is graded by the instructor, then students would accumulate points in the course and bring their total score up.

Note that this feature is only available in the instructor’s view of the gradebook. This feature does not affect the students’ view of their grades. Faculty are still required to input zeroes for any missing assignments or for assignments in which students receive a score of zero.

To learn more about this change, please view this tutorial on the “View Ungraded as 0” feature.

To enable this feature in your course, follow the steps below:

  1. Enter your course in Canvas.
  2. Click on “Settings” from the course menu.
  3. Select the “Feature Options” tab at the top of the page.
  4. Next to “View Ungraded as 0” change the state from disabled (x) to enabled (check mark).

If you have any questions about using these features in your course, please reach out to a member of the Faculty Development team.

Monthly Archives: March 2021

Faculty Governance Update — March 2021

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A Message from Patrick Bartee, President, Collegewide Faculty Association

Hello, my Valencia family.

First, I am so excited to see another day, week and month. Wow! As I look how well we are moving along as a college family, it warms my heart. Valencia has really learned to adapt to the present climate, and we continue being the great institution that we are.

A great deal of our success is in part to our powerful women who make up the Valencia College family. Since 1987, Congress and the U.S. presidents have designated March as Women’s History Month. In this month, we are celebrating the accomplishments and vital contributions of women in history with documentaries and stories that focus on women’s experiences in history.

Well, why not start with history being made right here at Valencia College with our first woman president Kathleen Plinske? Having the wonderful opportunity to work with her has been an honor. I have learned so much from her just in general conversation. If you ever have the opportunity to chat with her, get ready for a warm heart, a wealth of knowledge and love for our beloved Valencia College. Congratulations Kathleen on breaking that glass ceiling and being a role model to not only young women, but men as well.

So many fantastic women make up the fabric of Valencia College. I wish that I could personally name each one of you. Nonetheless, as the president of the Faculty Council, I want every woman who makes up our community to know that I appreciate you and all that you do to make sure the Valencia is the best college around. I believe that all positions are important. Before COVID, I would walk around the campus and not only speak to everyone I passed, but express my gratitude for all that they do.

I have had the opportunity to follow phenomenal women who have served as my supervisors. Deans Della PaulLinda NealBeth Renn and Ana Caldero Figueroa, and former Campus Presidents Stacey Johnson and Falecia Williams. These fantastic women have not only served as my deans and campus presidents, but also have been phenomenal role models and helped mold me and prepare me for the position I now hold as Faculty Council president. If I spent time honoring each of them, this passage would turn into a novel because they are all worthy. However, understand that the way they have influenced my life, they have also done so for some of you.

So, in honor of this month of celebrating phenomenal women, take a moment to express your gratitude to those dynamic women who have played a part in your Valencia success. Therefore, my challenge to you is to email, text, call, send smoke signals or whatever means of communication you choose. Simply say THANK YOU and I appreciate all that you have done to help me be successful in my career. Watch what happens. My mother always told me, “It’s just nice to be nice.”

Again, I am a different type of president, and I believe that in this time of social distancing, we have to show kindness more than ever before. As I close this March message, I would like to share just a few inspirational words by a phenomenal woman, Maya Angelou. To the women of Valencia College family, we celebrate and honor you.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me via text at 407-529-6595 or email at pbartee@valenciacollege.edu.

Monthly Archives: March 2021

The Creating a Resilient Community Conference; Time For Self-care and Wellness

Thursday, March 25, 2021

By Rachel Allen, Director, Peace and Justice Institute, and Wendi Dew, Assistant Vice President, Teaching and Learning

Dates: Tuesday, April 20 ― Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Time: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Online. Register here.

It has been a trying year for all of us. Understanding the impact of toxic stress on our bodies and our brains will help us understand the impact on our students and their learning.

We have a unique opportunity to learn about ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and resilience at the upcoming Creating a Resilient Community Conference, with award-winning science journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa, who discusses the science of adversity, resilience and healing techniques that we can employ to address our own trauma, past and present, and, in turn, support students to do the same. Additionally, workshops and presentations on community-based emerging and best practices focus the lens on how we are becoming a trauma-informed, resilient community at Valencia College and in Central Florida.

As educators, it is essential that we pay attention to our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our students. Self-care continues to be of critical importance during these trying days. We encourage you to take the time to attend the Creating a Resilient Community Conference on Tuesday, April 20 and Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Donna Jackson Nakazawa is an award-winning journalist and internationally-recognized speaker whose work explores the intersection of neuroscience, immunology and human emotion. Her book, Childhood Disrupted, was a finalist for the 2016 Books for a Better Life Award. She is the author of six books, including her newest, The Angel and The Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine (Random House/Ballantine, 2020), which illuminates recent groundbreaking discoveries that elucidate the biological link between our physical and mental health. In addition to her work as a science journalist, Donna has appeared on The Today Show, National Public Radio, NBC News and ABC News.

Employee Development Funds (EDF), which grants full-time employees an annual stipend to use toward professional development, may be used for registration. Partial and full scholarships are also available.

To learn more about the Creating a Resilient Community Conference, click here. You may register for the conference here.