Monthly Archives: October 2021

School of Public Safety Offers Women’s Self-defense Class

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A Message from Mike Favorit, Managing Director, Safety and Security

In light of the tragic Miya Marcano case and to stress the importance of personal safety, our Security team has received numerous calls requesting a women’s self-defense training. As a result, our School of Public Safety team will be host a free Women’s Self-defense class that is open to all Valencia College employees, students and their family members, ages 13 and older.

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
Location: School of Public Safety, Room 164 (Main Gym)

Registration is required as space is limited. Register here.

If you have any questions regarding this invaluable training, please contact Rob Pigman, director, Criminal Justice Institute, at or by phone at 407-582-8212.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Who Must Participate in Active Open Enrollment?

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 

A Message from Tom Keller, Director, Total Rewards

Open Enrollment for full-time employees is less than a week away, Monday, October 18 through Wednesday, October 27, 2021. This is your opportunity to review your benefits selections and determine which selections are right for you and your family. Like previous years, you may choose to participate in passive enrollment or active enrollment. What does this mean?

Passive enrollment means that most of your 2021 benefits selections will roll over to 2022, unless you make a change during Open Enrollment. However, in certain situations, you should participate in active open enrollment in the Benefitfocus portal (located in Atlas or via the Benefitplace app, available via Google Play or the Apple Store). To determine if you need to participate in active open enrollment, view the graphic below:

Even if the above situations do not apply to you, we still encourage you to review your selections to confirm that they will still apply in 2022.

If you have questions about whether you should participate in active enrollment, attend a Benefits Tour session. Sessions and webinars are being offered through Thursday, October 14, 2021. If you are unable to attend one of the sessions, a pre-recorded session is available in the Benefitfocus portal on the 2022 Open Enrollment page under My Resources on the Benefitfocus main menu.

For questions that are not answered during the Benefits Tour, contact the Total Rewards team at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-582-HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: October 2021

You’re Invited to Voices of Diversity With Haben Girma

Monday, October 11, 2021

Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Time: 12:45 – 2:15 p.m.
Location: Online. Register here

The University of Central Florida (UCF), our educational partner, is celebrating Diversity Week with a virtual presentation from world-renowned Human Rights Lawyer Haben Girma. Haben is the first deafblind graduate from Harvard Law School, and President Barack Obama named her a White House Champion of Change. She received the Helen Keller Achievement Award, a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and has been featured in TIME100 Talks.

Attend this virtual event and learn about Haben’s life, experiences, thoughts on diversity and inclusion, and her belief in fostering access and inclusion through changes in the environment. All Valencia College employees and students are invited to attend.

Online raffles for the Zoom audience will be available, including Haben Girma’s memoir and other prizes.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Now Hiring: Director, Security

Monday, October 11, 2021

Valencia College’s Campus Security Services is currently seeking a candidate to fill the role of director, security, who manages a staff of security supervisors, officers, staff assistants and clerks on our East Campus. The director, security is primarily responsible for all security matters, including proactive patrolling and protecting Valencia College assets against crimes, fire, man-made and natural disasters to ensure the safety of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. Customer service is a priority to maintain professional relationships with all members within the scope of Valencia.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Criminal justice or a related field of study or related field.
  • Significant and progressively responsible command management experience in corrections, military, law enforcement or related field.
  • A valid driver’s license.
  • Security or related training certificate that meets or exceeds security requirements under Florida Statute 493-5203 (Class D).
  • Multi-site supervisory experience.
  • Experience with electronic security and surveillance systems to include CCTV, proximity readers, biometrics and industry trends.
  • Certificates in NIMS and ICS to include: 100, 200, 300, 400 and COOP 547, 548 and HSEEP are preferred.

To read a full description of the position and to apply, click here. Apply by Sunday, October 17, 2021.

If you have questions about applying, contact the Talent Acquisition team at or call the Talent Acquisition team at 407-582-8033.

To sign up for job alerts, to receive notifications when jobs become available in your field, follow these directions:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Fill out the Email, First and Last Name fields
  3. Review and select the job categories of interest

Monthly Archives: October 2021

October Is National Retirement Security Month: Register for AIG Workshops

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Message from Tom Keller, Director, Total Rewards

October is National Retirement Security Month, and it’s a great time to review your future plans to see if you’re on track to meet your financial goals. Improve your financial knowledge and retirement confidence through the following AIG Retirement Services resources to promote financial literacy and help you get your finances and retirement in order.

Financial Wellness

Financial wellness focuses on our ability to manage all aspects of our financial life. At times it can feel difficult and complicated to get our finances under control. By attending this presentation, you can learn how to gain control over your financial life and become more productive in other areas of your life, including your ability to focus on family, friends and work. Local AIG Financial Advisor Kelly Craft will present this interactive workshop for Valencia College employees.

Date: Friday, October 15, 2021
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Online. 
Click here to register.

Date: Thursday, October 21, 2021
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Online. 
Click here to register.

AIG FutureFit® Financial Wellness Webinar Series

In addition, AIG will offer educational workshops through its national FutureFit® Financial Wellness Webinar Series on interesting topics related to financial health, retirement and investments to help you through every stage of your career. Scroll down to view and register for available sessions.

Simple Steps to Improve Financial Health
Date: Thursday, October 14, 2021
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Online. Click here to register. 

If you’re feeling financially stressed, don’t miss this webinar. AIG will walk you through several simple, but important steps to improving your financial health. Learn about setting goals, budgeting, minimizing debt, saving for your future and more.

Principles to Prioritize Before Retirement
Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Online. Click here to register.

Retirement may be right around the corner, and this workshop focuses on what you need to do before taking that exit of your journey. Learn about the benefits of catch-up contributions, plans for income and how to address new risks that come with retirement.

Retirement Income Strategies
Date: Thursday, October 21, 2021
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Online. Click here to register.

Are your expectations for retirement realistic? Find out more about preparing for the potential challenges and risks you may face, identifying your retirement income needs and possible sources of income. All this information will help you to take the next steps in planning for the retirement you desire.

Managing Life in Retirement
Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Online. Click here to register.

Once you retire, it’s time to take advantage of everything you’ve worked so hard for. Learn more about life in retirement and how checking in on your financial planning can make life easier for you and those around you.

Your Life in Retirement
Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Online. Click here to register.

Your lifestyle in retirement could very well depend on how much you save now. Attend this workshop to learn retirement realities, how to maximize retirement income and how to prepare for a secure financial future so you can enjoy your life in retirement.

On-demand AIG Financial Services Webinars

AIG Financial Services also offers on-demand webinars that you can access at any time on topics such as investment planning, tax planning, planning for retirement, student debt solutions and more. Check them out here.

Financial Planning Advising Sessions

Finally, be sure to take advantage of these individual retirement counseling opportunities offered by AIG advisors to Valencia College employees.

Don’t forget that one of your Total Rewards — for both full- and part-time employees — is meeting with one of Valencia College’s dedicated AIG financial advisors. You can schedule a WebEx or phone consultation to discuss your financial planning, voluntary retirement plan options, review your retirement goals and/or enroll in your voluntary retirement plan. Your family members are also welcome to join you for the advising session. To register for sessions, click here. 

Meet Your Financial Advisors

John Hall is the advisor for East, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses, as well as the School of Public Safety and the Advanced Manufacturing Center. To read more about John, click here. Brendan Loflin is the advisor for Downtown, West and Winter Park Campuses, as well as the District Office. Read more about Brendan here.

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

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Scholarship Committee Seeks 35 Faculty and Staff Volunteers

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Message from Elvin Cruz, Director, Philanthropic Programs and Recognition 

We need your help on the Valencia Scholarship Committee to award scholarships to Valencia College students for the upcoming academic year, 2022-23. Each year, the Valencia Scholarship Committee makes award recommendations of more than $1.5 million annually to over 2,000 students.

If you have a few hours to spare each week, this is a great way to learn about our students’ journey, their hopes and dreams and the difference a scholarship will make in their lives. This committee is also a great way to connect and engage with colleagues across the College. You can gain leadership skills by serving as a team captain or simply as a committee member who will review students’ applications to make award recommendations.

Please take a moment to hear from Manager of Learning Support Services Charminta Brown, who has served on this committee previously.

If you would like to serve on this committee, contact Assistant Vice President of Partnerships for Educational Equity Eda Davis Lowe at by Friday, October 15, 2021.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

National Mammography Day Is October 15 — Five Questions to Ask to Help Prepare for a Mammogram

Monday, October 11, 2021

A Message from Jessica Johnson, UnitedHealthcare Nurse Liaison 

National Mammography Day is observed every year on the third Friday in October as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The purpose of this day is to increase awareness about the importance of breast cancer screenings.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts that checks for any unusual looking tissue or lumps. It can help find early signs of cancer that you or your doctor may not be able to see or feel at a regular checkup.

Whether you’re ready to schedule your first mammogram or you’re still a few years away, here are five questions that will help you prepare for a mammogram.

  1. When do I need a mammogram?
    Once you turn 40, you might choose to get yearly screening mammograms up until you’re 44. The American Cancer Society’s guidelines recommend women 45 to 54 get their yearly mammograms. Once you turn 55 (and you’ve had a clean bill of breast health), your doctor might let you know you can get one every other year. If you’re at greater risk for developing breast cancer, you may need to start earlier than 40.

Although it is rare, men can develop breast cancer. Mammograms are not routinely offered to men; however, a doctor may recommend screening mammography for men with a genetic mutation that increases the risk of developing the disease. Keep in mind that anyone who notices anything unusual about their breasts, whether male or female, should contact their physician immediately.

  1. Are mammograms safe?
    With any kind of screening or treatment, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. Mammograms may not be different. Some may worry about radiation exposure, but mammograms only involve a tiny amount of radiation, even less than an X-ray. The dose is low enough that the benefits of regular screenings may outweigh any potential radiation-related issues.
  2. Are mammograms accurate?
    It’s a good question to ask. You want to make sure these mammograms you’re getting are effective and worthwhile. Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that mammograms are the best kind of screening we’ve got — but they’re not perfect. It’s good to know what limitations exist, so you can ask the right questions along your health journey.
  • False-negative results: For example, cancerous tissue could be mistaken for normal dense breast tissue. Unfortunately, screening mammograms miss about one in five cancers.
  • False-positive results: Thinking you have cancer can cause anxiety and may often lead to additional testing that isn’t needed.
  • Overdiagnosis or overtreatment: Mammograms help spot cancer, whether it’s a type that warrants treatment or not. The problem is doctors may not always tell which cancers might become life-threatening, so the safest bet may be to treat whichever cancer is found. An overtreatment of cancer may expose you to treatment side effects when it’s found by medical professionals to not be needed.
  1. Will it be painful?
    Mammograms may not be the most pleasant tests in the world. But there may be comfort in knowing you’re braving discomfort for the good of your overall health. During the screening, your breasts take turns resting on a platform and having gentle pressure applied. It only lasts a few seconds so the X-ray machine can spread out your breast tissue to snap the best shot. This pressure helps minimize the dose of radiation needed. You may have some discomfort. If you’re in a lot of pain, you can certainly let the technician know so they may apply less pressure if possible.
  2. What kind of mammogram do I need?
    Depending on your personal health and health history, your doctor may recommend the mammogram that’s right for you.
  • Screening mammogram: This is your standard test if you’re at average risk for breast cancer with no obvious signs or symptoms of a breast condition. If you schedule routine mammograms as preventive screenings, this may be the type of mammogram you’ll have.
  • Diagnostic mammogram: If you’ve had an abnormal screening mammogram or have signs of a possible breast condition (like a lump, pain, discharge, thickening breast skin, or changes in breast shape or size) you may get a diagnostic mammogram. Your doctor might also order this for any special circumstance, like if you have breast implants. Many implants make it more challenging to see every part of breast tissue, so more images may be needed to get the full picture.
  • 3-D mammogram: This is an option that may provide a clearer image of breast tissue compared to a standard 2-D screening mammogram. This type of mammogram combines multiple X-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of your breasts. This may be the best option for dense breasts because both dense tissue and cancer tissue show up white on a standard mammogram. So, it might be hard to tell the difference between normal breast tissue and abnormal (possibly cancerous) tissue.

Valencia’s health insurance provider, UnitedHealthcare (UHC), recommends mammograms every one to two years for women 40 years old or older, as directed by your physician. Any preventive care mammogram screenings are covered at 100% under all UHC plans.

If you have any questions, contact me at or 407- 866-8134.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Recognizing Our Custodial Crews

Thursday, October 7, 2021

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

At the beginning of the pandemic, when the world came to an abrupt halt, not everyone began working from home. The East Region custodial staff continued working on campus. They received more than 30 hours of training related to COVID-19, infection prevention, virus propagation, workplace hygiene and disinfecting techniques. In addition, they also attended training on customer service, leadership and teamwork essentials.

The custodial staff’s goal is to always provide a healthy environment conducive to classes. These heroes show their commitment to the College and its students daily by being our frontline workers against COVID-19. Moreover, they follow a routine to disinfect every single room, hallway, doorknob and corner of our campus to make sure that our students, faculty and staff continue to feel safe and comfortable returning each day to campus. Please join us in recognizing our Valencia heroes.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

James Adamski Invites You to the Upcoming Sustainability Conference and Community Events

Thursday, October 7, 2021

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Professor of Earth Science James Adamski will present at Valencia College’s Sustainability Conference: People + Planet + Prosperity. The virtual conference will take place from Tuesday, October 12 through Thursday, October 14, 2021, and will offer exciting opportunities to learn about how you can help with local and global environmental issues.

Sessions and panel discussions will include representatives from our partners at the University of Central Florida, the City of Orlando, Orange County and several local environmental organizations. The conference is a great way to find your passion and connect with people and organizations throughout Central Florida. To learn more about the conference, click here. 

Climate change is arguably the biggest issue that our global society faces. The changing climate is already having far reaching impacts on everything from food production to human health to national security. Extreme weather events, such as the drought in the western United States and the catastrophic wind and rainfall of Hurricane Ida, continue to worsen as the world warms. As a social justice issue, climate change is having a disproportionate impact on low-income and marginalized people around the world. Sadly, these same people have contributed least to our climate crisis.

There is hope on the horizon. Sustainability is the idea that our society can live within our means while still providing opportunities for current and future generations. Many at Valencia are working hard to make our campuses and communities more sustainable.

Valencia’s Office of Sustainability and the Sustainability Leadership Team have worked to shrink our institution’s carbon footprint, reduce energy consumption, increase building and AC efficiency, plant trees and create wildlife habitat. The Office of Sustainability also provides learning and volunteer opportunities for students, staff and faculty.

James, who is president of Friends of the Wekiva River (FOWR), a local environmental organization celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, added, “The springs and rivers are ecological jewels of Central Florida. FOWR will be hosting numerous events to celebrate its anniversary. These events, which will include float trips, butterfly hikes and a mountain bike tour, are all open to the general public. Please consider joining us on one of these outings. Find out more how you can help the springs and river. We can stop climate change, protect our local environment and help alleviate suffering around the world. But it will take all of us to care and do our part, no matter how small. I hope you have a chance to attend the Sustainability Conference, participate in one of the events hosted by FOWR or find another way to take part to ensure that future generations have a healthy and sustainable world. Remember, ‘We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’”

One of the events hosted by FOWR will be a butterfly walk, scheduled for this Sunday, October 10, 2021, at 10 a.m. at Wekiva State Park. Reservations are required via email at, or by calling 407-788-2619.

Monthly Archives: October 2021

New Early Alert and Student Engagement Strategies Module Available

Thursday, October 7, 2021

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

The Early Alert and Student Engagement Strategies Module is now available to all faculty through Canvas. This resource contains information shared with attendees at the Visiting Professor Institute this past summer but is a resource that all faculty can utilize to deepen connection with their students.

This module can be accessed through the Canvas Commons area:

  • Select the Commons resource in the left-hand global menu.
  • Type “early alert and student engagement” in the search bar.
  • Click on the title.
  • Select the blue Import/Download button.
  • Choose an available (or empty) sandbox from your course list.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the list and select Import into Course.

“Finding the ‘magic’ in my classroom with each new group of students is a challenge that I welcome,” shared Ruthie Stewart, visiting professor, speech. “The early alert and engagement strategies from the Visiting Professor Institute have helped me to form personalized connections that are life-changing for me and my students. My students are more responsive and enthused, and I am excited to see them progress and learn more each week.”

“The institute provided me with many key strategies to help my students be successful,” added JaNise Standberry, visiting professor, New Student Experience.

The East Region employs 106 visiting professors for 2021-2022.