Monthly Archives: February 2022

College Update: Student Affairs Redesign

Monday, February 28, 2022

A Special Message From Kathleen Plinske, Valencia College President

I hope this message finds you well and that you are looking forward to a restful and relaxing Spring Break.

As I shared last fall, it had become apparent to me that a different organizational structure was needed for our Student Affairs team. After hosting six Student Affairs Town Halls and meeting individually with dozens of Student Affairs employees who requested to do so, I heard our team consistently describe a number of challenges related to our Student Affairs processes, technology, and organizational structure and culture.

These challenges have led to results for our students that are not commensurate with the level of effort that our Student Affairs team has been putting forth. As an example, in December 2021, 600 would-be, first-time-in-college students submitted their application to Valencia. Of those, only 126 (26%) were able to make it all the way through our steps to enrollment to register for classes this spring. Moreover, our Black and Hispanic applicants were disproportionately impacted by these challenges. While I know that our Student Affairs team puts forth extraordinary efforts to serve our students, our processes, technology, and structure haven’t allowed us to serve students at the level our mission requires.

Please understand that my concern is not about enrollment for enrollment’s sake; rather, I know the difference a Valencia education makes for students who are able to enroll. As I shared during my presentation at last week’s District Board of Trustees meeting, it is possible that many students who don’t enroll at Valencia will instead choose a for-profit, proprietary institution where the steps to enrollment are much simpler, but their likelihood of success is lower and their odds of being saddled with a lifetime of student debt are much higher.

First, to address the process and technology challenges, I recommended to our District Board of Trustees that they approve a partnership with CampusWorks to help us both with business process reimagination as well as technology support. As the CEO of CampusWorks, Liz Murphy, described to our board, the results of this partnership will free our teams from much of the “brute force” effort that has been required, both in Student Affairs and the Office for Information Technology, to make our systems operate. We will work together to simplify enrollment processes as well as begin to leverage more of the native functionality of Banner so that our teams aren’t required to put forth such a Herculean effort during each period of peak registration.

Second, though my original plan to address our structural challenges included dividing the Division of Student Affairs into two parts, with leadership by both Joe Richardson (for the student experience) and Joe Battista (for outreach and enrollment), Dr. Richardson has recently shared with me that his plans have changed and that he will return to Georgia at the end of June. When he first joined Valencia in 2019, his son was a high school senior; he and his family planned to live apart until his son graduated from high school and went away to college. As has happened to so many of us, the pandemic disrupted those plans, and he has unselfishly continued to serve Valencia apart from his family. However, upon much reflection, he has decided to return home, and I fully understand and support his decision. He aspires to be a college president and will be looking at opportunities in Georgia. Dr. Richardson will continue with us at Valencia until Thursday, June 30, 2022, unless another opportunity presents itself sooner.

With Dr. Richardson’s change of plans, and after reflecting on all of our conversations and your feedback, I determined that the team would not be well-served by another period of ambiguity and uncertainty in leadership. As such, I immediately began developing options of how to best provide stability in senior leadership for the team.

You may recall that during our provost search process, we had the opportunity to meet and learn about Lesley Frederick. Her extraordinary commitment to the community college mission, authentic passion for our students, and more than 25 years of direct experience within student affairs, including more than 11 years as the Vice President of Student Services at Lincoln Land Community College, stood out to our search committee and made her an excellent candidate for one of our provost positions. Indeed, she accepted the invitation to serve as the Provost of Career and Professional Programs. Dr. Frederick was excited for this new challenge, and we were looking forward to her leadership in this area.

After Dr. Richardson shared his plans with me, I invited her to consider the possibility of joining Valencia as the Vice President of Student Affairs. After careful consideration and a number of conversations with members of our Senior Team, Dr. Frederick has accepted this new call. She will begin as Valencia’s Vice President of Student Affairs on Friday, July 1, 2022. We will examine options for leadership for our career and professional programs in the coming weeks.

Additionally, I recognized that some additional changes in our leadership structure were necessary to position our Student Affairs teams to best serve our students. First, our Transitions department will join our Outreach and Recruiting department in Continuing Education, so that we have a single, collegewide team providing outreach and recruitment for credit and continuing education programs alike. Second, our Testing and Assessment teams will join together within our Learning Support division. Third, I have invited Sonya Joseph, Amy Parker, and Edwin Sanchez to serve in different roles at the College outside of Student Affairs. I am confident that they will excel in these new roles.

And finally, as we expect many of our students will continue to prefer to access our services virtually, I have invited our Deans of Students to reimagine their work organized by service, rather than by campus. Accordingly, I have asked:

  • Andel Fils Aime to serve as Dean of Counseling, Advising, and Holistic Student Support, providing collegewide leadership for counseling, advising, new student orientation, conduct, and providing support for students with disabilities;
  • Edna Jones Miller to serve as Dean of Student Engagement and Partnerships, providing leadership for Student Affairs at the Downtown Campus as well as for student development and career centers;
  • Joe Sarrubbo to serve as Dean of Student Services, providing leadership for our Directors and Managers of Student Services, Answer Centers, and our Enrollment Services teams;
  • Jill Szentmiklosi to serve as Dean of Student Enrollment and Records, providing collegewide leadership for admissions, records, and graduation; and
  • Daniel Barkowitz to continue serving as Assistant Vice President of Financial Aid and Veteran Services.

You can learn more about the new organizational structure here, which will go into effect when we return from Spring Break. This structure represents our best thinking today and will serve us well through the fall registration process; we may expect some additional adjustments to this structure after the fall registration period as a result of our business process reviews.

While I recognize this represents a significant amount of change, I am excited that we are moving forward with clarity and strong leadership in our Student Affairs team. To provide space for you to ask questions about these changes, or anything else, I’ll host a special edition of Ask Kathleen Anything on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 1 p.m. via Zoom. As always, you are also welcome to communicate with me via email at kplinske@valenciacollege.edu.

After Spring Break, you will see opportunities to continue our conversations with CampusWorks about reimagining our Student Affairs processes and technology to provide the best student experience possible. We will also begin planning immediately for how best to welcome potential students at our front door, who have taken the courageous step of indicating an interest in continuing their education at Valencia College this fall. I’m looking forward to engaging in this important work together.

Monthly Archives: February 2022

Celebrate Women During Women’s History Month

Monday, February 28, 2022

March is Women’s History Month — a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society. This month, Student Development will host a series of events to honor the occasion.

EAST CAMPUS

East Campus Student Development will provide on-campus informational tabling throughout the month and will post on social media outlets.

LAKE NONA CAMPUS

Women’s History Month Book Nook
Tentative Dates: Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Location: Lake Nona Campus, Library

In collaboration with the Lake Nona Library, Student Development will create a temporary Book Nook in the main hallway. Featuring books by both well-loved and up-and-coming women authors, the nook will be a comfy, cozy place for students to relax and enjoy a book.

Treats from Women-owned Business
Tentative Dates: Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Location: TBD 

Join Student Development in supporting and spreading awareness about our local and online women-founded/owned companies. We’ll be highlighting the following businesses: Just Pies, Tea Drops and Chamberlain Coffee.

Women’s History Month Tabling and Giveaways
Date and Location: TBD

Student Development will be tabling and giving out tumblers, key chains, women empowerment stickers and affirmation cards.

WINTER PARK CAMPUS

Winter Park Campus will be utilizing the glass boards on the first and second floors to highlight poetry and art by women throughout March. In addition, student leaders will highlight womens’ art, poetry and accomplishments through social media.

Every Tuesday in March, Student Development will highlight influential women, events and celebrate Women’s History Month via the Student Development Instagram account.

This post will be updated as additional events are announced.

Monthly Archives: February 2022

Rally Mission of the Month: Track What You Eat

Monday, February 28, 2022

A Message from Jessica Johnson, UnitedHealthcare Nurse Liaison

With our launch of Rally last month, I hope you’re enjoying this interactive, digital experience and that you’re on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

On the first Tuesday of every month, I will share a Rally Mission and Recipe of the Month — a fun and healthy suggestion on an activity and recipe that we can all enjoy and participate in together. They will change each month, so keep reading The Juice and The Grove for a new mission and recipe to try.

This month’s Rally Mission of the Month is: Track What You Eat. 

If you’ve tried to lose weight but haven’t had much luck, consider keeping a daily food diary. It’s a great way to see how much you’re really eating and drinking every day. In one study, people who tracked their food consistently over a year lost the most weight, about 10 pounds, on average. Research shows that tracking food intake, combined with tracking exercise and body weight, also helps you keep weight off long-term.

Want to participate in this mission to track what you eat and earn more than 235 coins to register for prizes?

  • If this is your first Rally visit, go to myuhc.com and select “See if you have Rally.” Then sign in with your UnitedHealthcare username and password. You will be directed to create a separate Rally username and password as well.
  • Following your initial registration, you can go directly to this mission here. Then click join.
  • The mission will provide you with tips on keeping a food diary.

To earn coins, log your progress tracking what you eat two times a week for four weeks (they don’t need to be in a row). You’ll earn 10 coins for completing a day, 30 for completing a week and 105 for completing the entire mission.

This month’s Recipe of the Month is: Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps

Check out this Asian-inspired dish that ditches the high-calorie tortillas and uses lettuce leaves for the wraps.

For UnitedHealthcare or Rally questions, contact me at jessica_r_johnson@uhc.com or 407-866-8134.

Monthly Archives: February 2022

Celebrating Educational Advancements — Spring 2022

Monday, February 28, 2022

Valencia College’s recognition program is robust — spanning from career anniversary awards to appreciation badges to the Educational Advancement program.

In the Educational Advancement program, which celebrates non-instructional employees who have been employed in a full-time position for a minimum of six months and who have earned a degree from a regionally accredited institution, the College awards employees a one-time, lump-sum payment, barring any degree that is a required qualification of the employee’s current position. Please note that employees are compensated for only one award per first academic degree earned.

Through this program, the College recognized the following employees for achieving a post-secondary degree:

  • Boris Alemnka, international admissions specialist, Bachelor’s Degree
  • Wilmore Fowler, film production coordinator, Bachelor’s Degree
  • Fernando Guitierrez, technical support specialist, Master’s Degree
  • Sal Navarro, manager, campus operations, Master’s Degree
  • Samantha Pabon, admin assistant, academic affairs, Bachelor’s Degree
  • Britney Pierce, implementation coordinator, peace and justice institute, Master’s Degree
  • Karissa Rodriguez, assistant director, alumni engagement/annual giving, Master’s Degree
  • Marie Vasquez-Brooks, dean, school of allied health, Doctorate Degree (Juris Doctorate)
  • Ashley Whitehead, library services supervisor, Bachelor’s Degree

Tenure-track and tenured faculty who complete the advanced degree process will be placed at the salary commensurate with the advanced degree earned at their current step upon successful completion of their degree. In order to be considered for the salary change, faculty must make sure their course of study is approved in advance by their supervisor and submit evidence of degree completion.

Annually appointed faculty members also receive a salary adjustment commensurate with the advanced degree upon completion of the advanced degree process.

Through this program, the following faculty completed a post-secondary education recently:

  • Karen Owens, professor, humanities, Master’s Degree
  • Trymain Rivero, professor, mathematics, Master’s Degree

Congratulations to these employees for their fantastic achievements. Please congratulate them in the comment section below.

For more information on the educational advancement policy, please refer to College Policy 6Hx28-3C-04 Total Rewards: Recognition of Full-Time Employees for Educational Advancement. For questions, email HR4U@valenciacollege.edu or call the HR4U helpline at 407-582-HR4U (4748).

Monthly Archives: February 2022

Join PJI for the Fourth Annual Creating a Resilient Community: From Trauma to Healing Conference

Monday, February 28, 2022

Date: Thursday, April 21 ― Friday, April 22, 2022
Time: 9 a.m – 4 p.m.
Location: Online. Register here.

The Peace and Justice Institute and the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County are hosting the Fourth Creating a Resilient Community: From Trauma to Healing Conference.

This annual conference hosts cutting-edge keynote speakers and convenes participants to explore community wellness, Positive & Adverse Childhood Experiences (PACEs), and trauma-informed practices that can transform our region into one of prevention, hope, healing and resilience for all. 

Keynote speaker Asim Jani, a local epidemiologist, will outline the paradigm shift for creating community resilience and well-being.

Building a resilient, trauma-informed community involves responding to the challenges inherent in all three realms of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) — household, community and environment. By definition, these realms respectively include the broad range of individual, social and climatic determinants of overall health. Looking at existing and emerging problems, regardless of which realm they relate to, involves a paradigm shift on an individual and collective level.

The first interactive day of the conference will introduce three key concepts, especially related to ACEs and the countervailing set of PACEs — salutogenesis, syndemics and systems thinking. These three components are part of the paradigm shift that will enable us to engage in more effective individual and collective level actions for change.

Day two of the conference will be an opportunity to more deeply connect as a community, understand what’s happening in each individual sector, and showcase workshops and best practices to support our community in becoming a resilient, trauma-informed Central Florida.

Participants will have the opportunity to attend sector-specific breakout groups to learn about the goals and work happening in their specific sector of interest (i.e. Health/Wellness, Business, Education, Government, Nonprofit, Faith, Criminal Justice, Public Safety, Child Welfare). Then, conference participants have the opportunity to select from a menu of workshops hosted by community members that will further our community knowledge, skills, and awareness of best practices around the topics of PACEs, Trauma-Informed Care and Resilience.

Employees may use Employee Development Funds (EDF) to cover the conference cost. To use EDF funds, complete the EDF and Travel Authorization forms. To access the forms:

  • Log in to Atlas.
  • Click on the Employees tab.
  • Select Tools.
  • Click on Valencia Forms.
  • Search for the forms, Request for Employee Development Funds and Travel – Authorization for Travel or Absence From Campus.
  • Complete both forms and email to HR4U@valenciacollege.edu.

2022 Conference Scholarships Available
PJI will offer limited scholarships for students and anyone with financial hardship who is interested in attending the conference. Applicants have the option to apply for a 75% discount (for students) or a 50% discount. To apply, please complete the 2022 Conference Scholarship Application by Monday, March 21, 2022.

For more information about this conference, including Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and sponsorship opportunities, click here.

If you have any questions, please email resilience@valenciacollege.edu.

Monthly Archives: February 2022

Want To Be a PJI Facilitator? Join the Training Program


Monday, February 28, 2022

Interested in working as a Peace and Justice Institute (PJI) facilitator or simply enhancing your facilitation skills for your career? If so, PJI invites you to apply for Level 1 of the PJI Facilitator Training Program.

This virtual program is a four-session cohort experience over six weeks. During this time, you will be immersed in PJI philosophy and methodology, learning the basic principles and practices that make PJI workshops inclusive and engaging. You will also be supported in bringing your authentic self to the work of community building.

Dates: Saturdays, April 2, April 16, April 30 and May 14, 2022
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
Location: Online via Zoom 

Program Fees: $650. Employee Development Funds may be used for registration costs.

Those interested in becoming a PJI facilitator will have co-requisites that are explained in the application. After completing this training and the co-requisites, these applicants will be eligible to teach two PJI courses: Conversations in Inclusiveness and The Principles for How We Treat Each Other, two of PJI’s foundational and highly requested courses.

Click the button below to apply by Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

For more information, contact Celine Kavalec, professor, English, at ckavalec@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-2345

Monthly Archives: February 2022

Spring Break Payroll Update: Overtime and Banked Hours


Monday, February 28, 2022

A Message from Bettie Cooper, Director, Payroll Services 

As we approach Spring Break and you enjoy your time off, please take a moment to review the overtime and banked holiday processes.

Overtime

Overtime is earned when a non-exempt employee works more than 40.0 hours in a week (Sunday through Saturday). Hours worked include:

  • Coming in early to get a “head start” on the day
  • Staying late to “wrap things up”
  • Working at home before or after work commute
  • Interrupted lunch time
  • Checking emails on the weekend

Overtime must be discussed with your supervisor.

  • The overtime calculation is based only on hours worked. It does not include paid time off (holiday, sick, vacation, personal, summer hours, etc.).
  • A week cannot total more than 40.0 hours if paid time off is included (vacation, sick, holiday, etc.). Paid time off hours would need to be reduced and the corresponding Certificate of Absence (COA) would need to be reversed and resubmitted as necessary.
  • Overtime will be automatically processed from the timesheet as a payment on the next available payroll once the timesheet is in a “Completed” status.

Banked Holiday

Banked holiday is earned if a full-time, non-exempt employee works more than the required number of hours in a week and cannot record the full number of hours granted for holiday.

  • For example, if an employee works 8.0 hours during the week of Spring Break, only 32.0 hours can be recorded for the holiday break instead of 40.0.
  • In this scenario, the employee would have 8.0 hours of “banked holiday.”
  • This time is manually entered into the leave system after a timesheet analysis is done based on a spreadsheet report. This is a time consuming, manual process, so please be patient.
  • Banked Holiday hours are not granted until the timesheet is in a “Completed” status.
  • When it’s used, it’s recorded on the timesheet as Banked Holiday and a corresponding COA must be submitted.

If you have questions, please contact me at BCooper11@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-8100.

Monthly Archives: February 2022

Commencement and Grad Finale: Reserve Your Spot and Order Regalia


Thursday, February 24, 2022

We look forward to celebrating our graduates later this spring in our first in-person commencement ceremony since 2019 and by continuing the popular Grad Finale events on campus. We are anticipating a larger than normal turnout as we deliver on our promise to invite 2020 and 2021 registered Graduates to our in-person ceremony.

Our in-person ceremonies will be held on Sunday, May 8, 2022, at the Addition Financial Arena at the University of Central Florida Orlando Campus. The two confirmed ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with a possible 6 p.m. ceremony to be added if needed.

Reserve Your Spot and Order Regalia

To plan for special seating, we request that you reserve your spot and order regalia (if needed) using this link no later than Friday, March 18, 2022.

We will also host indoor Grad Finale celebrations on the East, Osceola and West campuses on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23, 2022. Volunteers are needed for all three locations, so if you are interested in helping graduates celebrate, click here.

Since this is the first time we’ve hosted both the regular commencement and Grad Finale celebrations, we are offering an option for full-time faculty who are expected to participate in the commencement activities to choose how you would like to celebrate our graduates. You may select either the in-person commencement ceremony or you may choose the on-campus Grad Finale celebration. Of course, if you would like to participate in both the in-person commencement ceremony AND the on-campus Grad Finale, we welcome you to do so.

All other faculty (including annually appointed, temporary, visiting professors and part-time faculty) are invited, but not required, to attend commencement activities.

We look forward to celebrating our graduates together!

If you have any questions, contact Shauna Anstey, director, conferencing and college events, at sanstey@valenciacollege.edu.

Monthly Archives: February 2022

Faculty Governance Update — February 2022


Thursday, February 24, 2022

A Message from Michael Robbins, President, Collegewide Faculty Association

It’s time for us to begin to consider our next leaders for the Valencia College Faculty Association. In the coming weeks, the Faculty Council will send out requests for nominations for our new leadership. This will include our next vice president for the Faculty Association and nominations for leaders at our Faculty Assemblies.

For the Faculty Association vice president, it is a three-year term of service, available to any faculty member who has a continuing contract with the College. In the first year, our elected representative will serve as the vice president of the Faculty Association. That time is spent learning about leadership at Valencia College. The newly elected vice president will have the opportunity to serve on the Faculty Council and engage as a fellow leader across all levels of governance. In the second year, the elected representative becomes our president, my current role. That position serves as the chair of the Faculty Council and as a spokesperson and representative for the Faculty Association. In the third and final year, the elected representative serves as the past president, providing counsel and expertise to the Faculty Council and continuing to give their wisdom and leadership to the College’s shared governance.

All this comes from our Faculty Association Constitution.

For our Faculty Assemblies, they will be seeking vice presidents, and potentially representatives-at-large. These are individual positions built at each campus, and you can find out more details by contacting your leaders at each Campus Assembly. These representatives serve as leaders for their campuses and as representatives on our Faculty Council. As campus leaders, they serve as both a voice for their campus at the Faculty Council and as leaders at their individual campuses.

It’s a bit dry put out that way. This work is more than just what’s outlined in the Faculty Association Constitution. Having participated in this work since August 2020 as part of the Valencia College Faculty Association Leadership Team, and as having served as a leader at Faculty Assemblies since 2014, I can tell you all that this work matters. It matters in allowing faculty a voice in conversations at the College; it matters in engaging in the decision-making process; it matters in planning the future of Valencia. We engage in difficult conversations, ones that promote both the needs of faculty, the needs of our students and the needs of our community.

I have to acknowledge that it can also be frustrating. These are conversations with no easy solutions — sometimes with no solutions available at all. This is why it’s important to engage in the discussion and to consider leaders who are prepared to not only criticize, but to seek to build new structures that will help us achieve our goals. Having faculty voice enriches those conversations.

I hope that you all will think of your peers and of your own capacity to serve, and provide us with recommendations for leaders who are ready to continue these conversations. Please keep an eye open for future messages calling for nominations.

If you have any questions, please contact me via email at mrobbins9@valenciacollege.edu.

Monthly Archives: February 2022

Faculty Highlight: Laura D’Alessio Helps Students Grow Through Communication and Experiences

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

By Jennifer Keefe

Laura D’Alessio, professor, biology, sees her role in the classroom as less of an instructor and more as a curator, leading her students from wherever they are when they first come into the classroom toward advanced knowledge in scientific literacy, research methods, and even race and gender inequities in the sciences.

“Teaching is curating an academic experience,” Laura explains. “I design the work, trying to determine what to cover and how deep to cover it.”

She takes the skill level of her audience into consideration as well, she says, “Taking all the variables and weaving them together into tapestry of the semester.”

Laura is in year five of her tenure process.

She believes that, as she teaches, creating a system of order and transparency helps lead students to the next logical step in understanding biology.

Laura considers her teaching style to be more coaching and facilitating, rather than just lecturing.

She also believes communication is key when it comes to student success. She uses an app called Discord, instead of relying on Canvas and email to

communicate with students.

“It creates a very nice community a lot of students are familiar with,” Laura explains.

The idea to use Discord actually came from her students, one of whom had already set up a channel for the class.

After watching and learning herself, Laura set up a channel for her classes the following semester. Today, she sees it as, “A really effortless communication platform where students can bring their authentic selves to the virtual classroom.”

Once the semester ends, students have the option to stay in the class channel as new students come in and to become mentors for the new students.

Laura also uses some other tools to communicate with students. She uses the Microsoft Bookings app to allow students to make appointments online. In addition to appointments for office hours, she requires each student to meet with her over Zoom for 15 minutes within the first two weeks of class.

She is also able to give immediate feedback to students on her pre-lab quizzes using the app ZipGrade.

Instead of using HonorLock, which is available through Canvas, Laura also self-proctors exams for online students by having them sign up for a time to take the exam over Zoom. Proctoring 16 students at a time, she has them complete room scans, just like HonorLock, but she’s able to talk with the students before they start the test and after they finish it. Using this time, she also provides immediate, individualized feedback.

Laura’s action research project focused on student skills in scientific literacy, scientific reasoning and research, all areas she had identified as problem points for past students.

“Scientific literacy, scientific reasoning and research are skills-based, and they need to be practiced for students to improve,” Laura says.

She describes her project as being “very meta” in that it was an action research project about scientific research, meaning the project was “wrapped up in itself,” and she was “doing to her students what she was teaching them to do.”

What she did was assess each student’s skill level when starting her level-one biology classes through a specific module she built in Canvas. As students mastered each of the five parts of the module, the next one opened. By the end, the students were ready to perform in a face-to-face lab.

Laura deemed her action research project a success, but she says she will be scaling it back and streamlining it for future classes.

“It was big. It was just a really big intervention,” Laura explains. “Hindsight it (the individualized student assessment along with teaching 24 contact hours) was too much.”

Laura also incorporated some other projects into her three-part tenure portfolio. One was about embedding sensitive topics into the biology curriculum, such as current events like race and gender issues and inequities in the context of science.

Laura started implementing this project in spring 2020, just before classes moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She had her students write names of scientists they knew on the classroom white board. The students recognized some similarities, such as the fact that most were pre-1900 European men or post-1900 American men and all were white.

Most students didn’t even know what the scientists had contributed and some thought at least one female scientist was a man.

This exercise led to a reflective writing assignment and a conversation about the lack of diversity in the sciences and how they, as students, can help change the racial and gender makeup of the scientific community.

Laura also inadvertently had a hand in changing how future tenure class members will submit their portfolios.

When she started having trouble writing her own portfolio in a Word document or OneNote, the two previous methods for portfolio submission, she created her own Canvas sandbox and dedicated individual pages in Canvas to the sections of her portfolio.

This method meant a lot less scrolling back and forth to look for information and allowed her to “write in an unrestricted kind of way,” she explains.

When she finished, she showed the Canvas page to West Campus Dean of Science Bob Gessner, her tenure facilitator, and Faculty Director of the Teaching/Learning Academy Claudine Bentham.

It turns out, they had been looking for a better way for tenure candidates to submit their portfolios.

Laura worked with Professor of Speech Karen Borglum to create the five-year template for the tenure portfolio in Canvas.

Do you know a faculty member doing great work? Or, perhaps you’d like to share the work you’re doing? Send the colleague’s (or your) name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu and include Faculty Highlight Nomination in the subject line of your email. We might just feature your colleague (or you) as an upcoming Faculty Highlight.