April 2014 Kudos

Keith Houck and Valencia’s Sustainability Successes Recognized by SACUBO


Congratulations to Keith Houck, vice president, operations and finance, who received the Distinguished Service Award  from the Southern Association for College and University Business Officers (SACUBO) at its annual meeting earlier this month in San Antonio, Texas.

SACUBO was founded in 1928 and represents the colleges and universities in 16 states in the southern region of the United States. The purpose of the association is to foster, develop and promote improved principles and efficient practices in the business and financial management of colleges and universities.  There were approximately 500 members in attendance at the event.

Valencia was also honored by being selected as having one of the Top Five Best Business Practices among SACUBO member colleges and universities. Specifically, the College was recognized for its sustainability efforts that have reduced energy consumption in kWh per square foot of space by nearly half in five years. The recognition included a plaque and a check for $750.

Maintenance Crew Saves the Day at CJI

On Thursday, April 17, 2014, the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) experienced a water main break resulting from road construction on Valencia College Lane. Thanks to the prompt action of the maintenance team, lines were quickly flushed, thereby permitting the campus’ operations to continue after receiving a shipment of bottled water from Orange County Emergency Management.

“I’m deeply grateful to Carlos Cuevas, trades/maintenance supervisor, who helped to educate me on the College’s water outage protocol and to the following members of the maintenance crew who supported us throughout the day: Kevin West, trades/maintenance assistant supervisor; Pablo Bohorquez, maintenance technician and Luis Martinez Rios, maintenance technician,” said David Heffernan, interim managing director, CJI.

Circles of Innovation Team Named Winner of the 2014 Innovation of the Year Competition

innovation-winners-groveCongratulations to the Circles of Innovation team on its selection as Valencia’s winner of the 2014 Innovation of the Year Awards competition. The team was comprised of (from left to right) Adriene Tribble, professor, humanities, Osceola Campus; Karen Cowden, professor, reading, West Campus; and James May, professor, ESL, East Campus.

Circles of Innovation is designed to create both digital and physical spaces where self-directed faculty, driven by a sense of mastery and common purpose, can come to mingle, contribute, collaborate, solve problems and create new forms for great teaching.

In addition to monthly face-to-face meetings, which offer a creative spin on professional development, circlesofinnovation.org is a socially ranked, topically tagged, open-source, shared space where teachers from across the country can come to learn and share.

The program was selected by a representative group of peers, and it has been submitted to the League for Innovation for national recognition. The three recipients will receive a League for Innovation certificate and will participate in and present at the Innovator Spotlight virtual conference, Wednesday, September 24, 2014, paid for by Valencia.

For more information about Circles of Innovation, visit the website or watch the video below.

For more information about the Innovation of the Year Competition, visit the League for Innovation website.

Josh Murdock Selected to Share Expertise on “Wearable Technology” for Public Tech Talk

josh-murdock-glass0414-groveKudos to Josh Murdock, OIT instructional designer, who will share his expertise in emerging technical trends when he partners with the community for a public Tech Talk at the new Orange County Library’s Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity, which offers access to hardware, equipment, software, support and programming to inspire and invigorate creativity and accomplishment.

Josh, who was one of only 8,000 “Google Glass Explorers” in the United States selected to test drive the new technology, will share information in a session titled, “Wearable Technology: Separating Fact from Science Fiction.”

For more information and event details, contact Josh at jmurdock3@valenciacollege.edu or extension 5423.

Adjunct Professor’s Son Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize


James Anaya photo (left) by Jean Marc Farré.

Tony Anaya, adjunct professor, Spanish, has much to be proud of these days. His only son, James Anaya, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in February 2014.

Tony was notified by his daughter in an email with the subject line, “Bragging Rights.”

“While I was surprised, I know his work and what he has been doing since graduating law school in 1985.”

The work about which the elder Anaya speaks, is monitoring and addressing the human rights conditions of indigenous people around the world. As The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples since 2008, James Anaya participated in drafting The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Tony says that he exposed his son in his formative years to “a lot of great people and many leaders were among my colleagues, who were part of an evangelical mission group. They were very committed — both professionally and morally — to their work. He saw around him people who made no excuse for things they may not have done.”

He shared that James exhibited leadership tendencies early on. “He never had any problem with academics, was always committed to us with his obedience, loyal to his friends and was quite athletic, participating in high school football.”

After attending Harvard Law School, James became involved in the National Indian Council, an organization committed to local indigenous rights in New Mexico. He crisscrossed the country being courted by several high-profile corporate law firms, but decided he didn’t want that lifestyle.

He shared that while his son still can’t wrap his mind around the nomination and knows that a win may be a long shot, he is grateful for the attention and the spotlight on what he is doing that remains unknown by a majority of people.

“I don’t take credit, I am just proud that I had something to do with his education while he was still at home.”

Since 1901, 126 Nobel Peace Prize winners have been named. Notables include Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein and Elie Wiesel.

Article on Flourishing in a Disruptive Environment Published in Leadership Journal

keith-houck-270wCongratulations to Keith Houck, vice president, operations and finance, whose article appeared in “Leadership: Journal for Post-Secondary Leaders” volume 19.3, Winter 2014.

The article, “Learning to Flourish in a Disruptive Environment,” examines the potential disruptive forces that may have an influence on higher education.

Using the example of the demise of Blockbuster, the once popular and lucrative video and game rental company — which failed because it did not adjust to new trends and consumer desires —  Keith makes the case that “there are potentially disruptive waves that may impact the way community colleges deliver education.”

As Valencia’s business officer, he looks at cost shifts, enrollment planning, resource allocation and performance, college readiness and no-cost instruction as major forces with which the community college system must contend.

Read the full article here.

Valencia’s Pivot Program Featured in League for Innovation in the Community College


Congratulations to Becky Gallup, campus director, organizational development and human resources, West Campus, whose article was published by the League for Innovation in the Community College in its March 2014 “Leadership Abstracts.”

The article, “PIVOT: Valencia College’s Leadership Development Series,” charts the development of PIVOT from an American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) chapter-based leadership academy to a scalable branded program designed to develop and strengthen leadership skills at all stages of a Valencia employee’s career.

The League is an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement and is the only major international organization specifically committed to improving community colleges through innovation, experimentation and institutional transformation.

Click here to read the full article.

For more information on the Pivot program, click here.

East Campus History Student Recognized for Academic Excellence 

A message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses 

lucas-lopez-collage-groveEast Campus student Lucas Lopez was awarded a certificate of academic excellence for exceptional work in producing a major research paper on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Lucas was enrolled in a history class studying late American history during the 2013 fall semester when he was offered the opportunity to write a single 10,000-word paper versus two 2,000-word papers because of his commitment and academic achievements while in the course.

Lucas was engaged with the material, fully applying himself and it was thought that he should be provided with an opportunity that would provide a greater challenge and allow him to fully express himself, shared Michael Savage, professor, history.

He was particularly interested in the period of rapid industrialization in America and selected a topic that allowed him to connect the social traumas of this event with the rise of street gangs and crime in New York.

At the presentation ceremony, attended by his peers and members of the faculty, Lucas highlighted key aspects of his research. More importantly, he described the personal effort required and challenges he encountered while researching and writing.

Lucas’ effort is particularly laudable as he, like most Valencia students, is required to balance academic effort with work and family commitments. Throughout the entire semester, he added considerable value to his class, and in completing this major piece of work, demonstrated to himself and to his peers what he and they are capable of achieving.

“Exceptional students are at times given alternate, more rigorous assignments in order to meet course requirements,” said Lee Thomas, dean of social sciences and physical education. “Not only did Lucas’ work demonstrate great depth and detail, the level of research he undertook was impressive, even by graduate-level standards.”

Dean Thomas and Michael Savage, professor, history, were both on hand to present Lucas with the prestigious certificate of academic excellence.

1 Comment

  • Eric Wallman said:

    That's pretty cool.

    PMThu, 03 Apr 2014 20:18:16 +0000Thu, 03 Apr 2014 20:18:16 +0000pm14,8:18 pm

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