Monthly Archives: October 2021

October Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Secure Your Mobile Device

Monday, October 18, 2021

A Message from Patrick Criss, Director, Information Security Operations

Mobile devices — including smartphones, laptops and tablets — are always within reach everywhere you go. Whether for work, travel or entertainment, these devices that allow you to feel connected to the world around you, are constantly online sending and receiving signals and becoming a target for criminals. They store information about you, your friends and your family such as your contact list, passwords, photos, videos, location, health and financial data and so on. Information that needs to be protected from those that seek to access it without your knowing.

Here are some tips on how to avoid cybercrime on your mobile device.

Additional resources are available via the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Knowledge Base to help you understand cybersecurity risks and how to protect your information and data at work and at home. You may also take advantage of the following courses in the Valencia EDGE.

If you have any questions, please contact the OIT Service Desk at or by phone at 407-582-5555.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Behavior Assessment Team and Campus Safety — Fall 2021

Monday, October 18, 2021

Faculty, staff and student safety is always a priority at Valencia, and the College will continue to work hard to ensure a safe environment across all campuses and offices. One way the College is achieving this is with Valencia’s Behavior Assessment Team (BAT).

Formed in 2011-12 as part of the College’s Emergency Response Plan, the team follows protocols to review threatening behavior, assess potential issues and take action to reduce risk for Valencia community members — faculty, staff, students and visitors alike.

The team is co-chaired by East Region Dean of Students Joe Sarrubbo and Chief of Security Mike Favorit. Other team members include deans of students; managing directors and directors of the Security department; Faculty Association representatives; counselor representatives; and Organizational Development and Human Resources representatives.

Members of the BAT meet regularly to discuss reported behaviors, share information and receive continual training on what to look for and how to appropriately respond to threatening behavior.

The BAT has created two online reporting forms, both available on Valencia’s safety, security and risk management webpage.

  • The Incident Reporting Form is for incidents that have occurred and have been observed by a person who is willing to identify him/herself and provide the details of the incident.
  • The Anonymous Reporting Form is for incidents that have occurred and have been observed by a person who would like to remain anonymous and provide the level of detail that is available at the time.

Reports from both forms are reviewed and acted upon as appropriate.

It’s absolutely crucial that everyone be aware of their surroundings and report any threatening behavior in order to keep all of us safe. To help with this, please register for the Response to an Active Threat (Run-Hide-Fight) training. This is a required training for all Valencia faculty and staff. As sessions are offered, they will be posted in the Valencia EDGE.

And remember, if you see something, say something!

In the event of an imminently threatening situation, please call 911. You may also contact campus security by calling 407-582-1000, which connects you to the West Campus Security Office’s line that is now monitored and answered 24/7. Or, contact your campus security office:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Training Center: 407-582-4000
  • District Office: 407-582-3000
  • East Campus: 407-582-2000
  • Lake Nona Campus: 407-582-7000
  • Osceola Campus: 407-582-4000
  • Poinciana Campus: 407-582-6500
  • School of Public Safety: 407-582-8000
  • UCF Police Substation (Downtown Campus only): 407-823-5555
  • West Campus: 407-582-1000
  • Winter Park Campus: 407-582-6000

And remember, if you haven’t yet downloaded the Valencia College Safety mobile app, do it today. This app allows users to simultaneously call and send their location to security in case of an emergency on Valencia campuses.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Recognizing the People Who Have Supported Valencia on Its Sustainability Journey

Monday, October 18, 2021

A Message from Carrie Black, Director, Energy Conservation and Sustainability 

As we continue celebrating 10 years of the Office of Sustainability, we’re recognizing the people who have supported Valencia College on its sustainability journey.

Our journey actually commenced in 2005 when former Assistant Vice President of Facilities Helene Loiselle created the first Sustainability Committee. Early members of this committee included Larry Rosen, former institutional research analyst; Andy Ray, professor, building construction technology; Jerry Reed, professor, computer programming and analysis; Deb Hall, professor, electronic engineering technology; and Brenda Schumpert, former professor of biology.

Today, Deb Hall is the program chair for the Energy Management & Controls Technology Associate in Science program, teaching students about building automation to make our buildings better performing and more energy efficient.

This group began working on numerous areas within sustainability, from Lake Pamela’s restoration of vegetation and water quality improvement to creating a new campus construction standard that all new buildings be green building certified, and completing our first greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Their work led to the establishment of the Office of Sustainability with the hiring of Deborah Green, who was a professor of environmental science member and served as the director of sustainability from 2011 through 2014.

From the first Sustainability Committee creation to today, many have joined Valencia’s sustainability efforts, and as we reflect on these successful 10 years of the office and longer for overall sustainability efforts, we would like to especially thank these members of the Valencia community:

Thank you to each and every one who has joined us along our journey.

Our work continues as we work toward carbon neutrality by 2050. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn about upcoming events at Valencia and in the community, to stay up to date on what we’re doing and find ways to get involved.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Laptops Available for Students

Monday, October 18, 2021

For Valencia students who may not have access to a laptop, our Office of Information Technology (OIT) team has continued its laptop program throughout the fall.

Windows 10 laptops with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply, students may visit (webpage only accessible to enrolled students) or call Enrollment Services at 407-582-1507. Once the application is received and the student’s eligibility is confirmed, the laptop will be mailed, unless the student indicates alternative delivery is necessary. Students can expect to receive their laptops in five to seven business days after shipping.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Valencians March in Come Out With Pride Parade

Monday, October 18, 2021

Thirty-three Valencia College employees and students from the LGBTQ+ and allies community came together for a day of celebration and fun at the Come Out With Pride Orlando parade at Lake Eola Park last Saturday, October 9, 2021.

The Valencia group — organized by the Gay-Straight Alliance in partnership with Student Development through its Culture and Diversity programming team — marched with nearly 100 groups for about a one-mile route through Downtown Orlando.

“It was so inspiring to see our students proud to be there while hearing how happy parade attendees were to see Valencia present,” shared Julian Duque, student development program specialist. “The community felt our support, and I am glad that it was our very own students who were able to provide it.”

The 2021 Come Out With Pride festival returned to Lake Eola Park for its 17th edition after the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the day, guests enjoyed live entertainment, the Pride Marketplace with dozens of vendors, businesses and organizations committed to diversity in Central Florida, and a signature fireworks finale on the lake.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

You’re Invited to International Education Week

Monday, October 18, 2021

A Message from Lindi Kourtellis, Manager, Study Abroad Programs

The Study Abroad and Global Experiences (SAGE) office is pleased to announce that this year’s virtual International Education Week (IEW) will feature a weeklong program of highly interactive and engaging events. Join SAGE, V.I.S.A. Club, International Student Services, MAP Club, Study Abroad Association, Woyago and WorldStrides as we recognize and celebrate international education from Monday, November 15 through Friday, November 19, 2021.

Highlighted events include live tours of Paris, Barcelona, Oxford, Venice, Rome, Cusco, Rio de Janeiro and Athens. Also featured will be international cooking classes and global guest speakers from Costa Rica, Israel, France, Colombia and Spain.

Faculty and staff members are invited to participate in all events, which can be viewed here. The SAGE Office asks all faculty and staff members to encourage student participation throughout the week. We look forward to celebrating with you and our students.

If you have questions, please contact me at 407-582-1344.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Students May Now Apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

Monday, October 18, 2021

Now is the time to encourage your students to apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The scholarship provides generous awards to high-performing community college students who transfer to four-year institutions for bachelor’s degrees. Each award is intended to cover a significant share of the student’s educational expenses — including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees — for the final two to three years necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree.

Awards vary by individual, based on the cost of tuition as well as other grants or scholarships they may receive. This highly competitive scholarship includes up to $55,000 per year to attend a four-year accredited undergraduate school, the ability to pursue any area of study, personal advising about selecting a college and navigating financial aid and multifaceted advising about how to transition to a four-year college and maximize the student experience.

Scholarship recipients are selected from a nationwide applicant pool each year. As minimum criteria, students must:

  • Be a current student at an accredited U.S. community college or two-year institution with sophomore status, or a recent graduate (within the last five years).
  • Intend to enroll full-time in an accredited four-year college or university in fall 2022.
  • Earn a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.5 in college.
  • Demonstrate financial need. Applicants with family income up to $95,000 will be considered.

Read about a 2020 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship winner here. 

Students may find additional information and apply here. The application closes Monday, January 10, 2022.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Share Your Pictures of Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos and Fall Activities

Monday, October 18, 2021

Fall is an enchanted time, marked by observances both solemn and fun. Some of us celebrate Halloween and dress up in costumes, decorate our houses or go trick-or-treating; some gather together to remember and honor our deceased loved ones; some enjoy fall activities with our families, friends and coworkers. Whatever your tradition, we’d love to see pictures of your Halloween costumes, Dia de Los Muertos decorations and fall activities.

Submit your pictures via email to by Friday, November 5, 2021. We will feature them in a photo slideshow on Tuesday, November 9, 2021.

Also, for a series of festive Zoom backgrounds, you may use as you enjoy autumn events, click here. Then click on the download button on the top right side of the page.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

2022 Benefits Open Enrollment Begins Today

A Message from Tom Keller, Director, Total Rewards

Valencia College’s Open Enrollment is here, and now’s the time for full-time employees to review your benefits selections and evaluate which options are right for you and your family as part of your Total Rewards package. Open Enrollment — which takes place from Monday, October 18 through Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at 5 p.m. — is your once-a-year opportunity to enroll, opt out or make changes to your health, dental and vision plans, flexible spending accounts and life and disability insurance.

Open Enrollment is your once-a-year opportunity to enroll, opt out or make changes to your health, dental and vision plans, flexible spending accounts and life and disability insurance.

Open Enrollment Process
Like last year, you may participate in passive enrollment, which means that most of your 2021 benefits selections will roll over to 2022, unless there is an active change made during Open Enrollment. To review your current 2021 benefits elections, open the Benefitfocus portal and click “Employee Summary Report” under My Documents on the left menu.

However, you should participate in active open enrollment in the Benefitfocus Portal if you want to:

  • Add, drop or change any of your benefits coverage
  • Add, drop or change any dependents’ benefits coverage
  • Participate in a Medical or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for 2022 (the 2021 enrollment amount does not roll over for 2022)
  • Enroll in, increase or maintain your Health Savings Account (HSA) employee contribution for 2022 (the 2021 employee HSA payroll deduction will not roll over as a payroll deduction amount for 2022)
  • Opt out of medical coverage in 2022
  • Decline medical coverage in 2022
  • Add medical coverage if you opted out of medical coverage or declined medical coverage in 2021

How to Enroll

To enroll in your 2022 benefits via the Benefitfocus Portal in Atlas:

  1. Visit the My Human Resources channel in Atlas.
  2. Select Benefits & Wellness.
  3. Click on the Benefitfocus Portal link.
  4. To review your current 2021 benefits elections, click “Employee Summary Report” under My Documents on the left menu.
  5. To start your 2022 enrollment, click the “Get Started” button. Then, you’ll be on your way to making the most of your Valencia Total Rewards.

Dependent Eligibility Verification and Re-verification Review
In January 2022, Consova will conduct a verification of new dependents and re-verification of select dependents enrolled in the medical, dental and vision plans for 2022. The review will be conducted on behalf of Valencia to ensure that only eligible dependents are enrolled in appropriate plans:

  • All newly enrolled dependents added to the plans for 2022 will go through an initial dependent eligibility verification review.
  • Spouses, domestic partners and some child relationships, except natural born or adopted children, that were previously verified prior to Thursday, July 1, 2021, will be re-verified.

Need help? There are resources available to assist you with making the best 2022 benefits decisions:

For questions, contact the Total Rewards team at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-582-HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: October 2021

October 2021 Hellos and Goodbyes

Alan Brodsky, administrative manager, CPE project/program/instructional, School of Public Safety
Ambar Negron Ocasio, staff assistant II, Osceola Campus
Amber Jones, coordinator, program advisor, Osceola Campus
Ashley Moncayo, enrollment services advisor, West Campus
Bryan Orlandi, security officer, Osceola Campus
Corey Pollack, security officer, Osceola Campus
Courtnee Vantull, implementation coordinator, School of Public Safety
Cynthia Cox, copywriter, West Campus
Daniela Velez, coordinator, college transition, Osceola Campus
David Negron Garcia, security officer, Osceola Campus
Devanand Nagessar, academic advisor, Osceola Campus
Dylan Edwards, instructional lab supervisor, Poinciana Campus
Eileen Reyes, master security officer, Osceola Campus
Elexsa Perello, coordinator, Valencia promise, West Campus
Eunice Cruz Zapiain, financial aid specialist, Osceola Campus
Hiruni Gunawardena, coordinator, program advisor, East Campus
Isaiah Stanley, coordinator, ATLAS access lab, West Campus
Jacqueline Gonzalez, coordinator, program advisor, East Campus
Jarred Sewell, security field supervisor, West Campus
Jerel Safford, instructor, AST, Osceola Campus
Jessenia Morales, admissions specialist, West Campus
Jose Berdecia, security officer, East Campus
Juan Pintado Ortega, custodian, West Campus
Justin Santiago, instructional lab assistant, West Campus
Keith Taylor, security officer, West Campus
Keren Sosa Aranda, administrative assistant, academic dean, West Campus
Koelle Seddio, administrative assistant, academic dean, West Campus
Lacima Pickering, financial aid specialist, West Campus
Latasha Gordon, assessment specialist, Winter Park Campus
Lizette Montalvo, implementation coordinator, School of Public Safety
Luis Santos, security officer, West Campus
Maged Daniel, instructor, AST, School of Public Safety
Malcom Alexander, coordinator, program advisor, Osceola Campus
Maria Guisandes Bohorquez, coordinator, college transition, Osceola Campus
Marisol Howard, CE client service consultant, Osceola Campus
Mark Chiodo, groundskeeper, West Campus
Miranda Scotti, emerging tech library specialist, Winter Park Campus
Natasha Morgan-Campbell, faculty developer /instructional designer, Osceola Campus
Nia Washington, student development program advisor, West Campus
Nilsen Medina Rojas, custodian, West Campus
Pamela Mundi, admissions specialist, West Campus
Rafael Camacho, director, recruiting/job placement, School of Public Safety
Renee Roberson, implementation coordinator, School of Public Safety
Robert Barnett, administrative manager, CPE construction projects, School of Public Safety
Ryan Lusk, security officer, West Campus
Sharon Pride, security officer, Osceola Campus
Terri Bauer, implementation coordinator, School of Public Safety
Tinesha McCrae, coordinator, Valencia promise, West Campus
Vicente Quinones, instructor, medical programs, School of Public Safety
Ximena Rincon, maintenance technician, West Campus

To view the 266 Visiting Professors click here.