April 2016 Kudos

Week of April 24 – 30, 2016

Valencia Faculty and Staff Awarded for Developing Innovative Courses


Congratulations to faculty and staff who were involved in creating the courses, Freshmen Composition 1 and Computer Maintenance Essentials, for their award-winning work.

Faculty and staff involved in developing these courses have been named Blackboard Exemplary Course Award winners, which recognizes faculty and course designers from schools, colleges and universities around the world, who develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.


Julia Carpenter, adjunct professor of English, developed, Freshmen Composition 1. The Computer faculty-insight-news-idMaintenance Essentials development team included Jerry Hensel, professor, computer programming and analysis; Heith Hennel, professor, information technology; Migdalio Otero Olan, faculty developer/instructional designer; and Page Jerzak, associate director, online teaching and learning.

The teams will receive a certificate, and the awards will be mentioned on Blackboard’s website. In addition, a demo of the courses, along with what makes them exemplary, will be available to other members of the Blackboard community.

Julia has also been selected to receive a 2016 Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching – Bronze Award from the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)  for the Freshmen Composition 1 course. She has been invited to the USDLA Annual International Awards Ceremony that will be held at the USDLA 2016 Annual National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, to accept the award.

Lake Nona Campus Celebrates Four Faculty Members with Works Published


Congratulations to the following Lake Nona Campus faculty members who recently had a paper or essay published: faculty-insight-news-id

April Raneri, professor, speech, published a paper, “Leading the Maricopa Millions,” in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. This paper focuses on alternative sources of teaching materials. Click here to read her paper.

Michael Wheaton,  professor, English, published a baseball-focused essay in Burrow Press titled, “In defense of spring training.” Click here to read his essay. 

Susan Ingersoll, professor, biology, published a research paper in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. This paper focused on cellular therapy to improve xenografts treatments of ovarian cancer. Click here to read her paper.

Andrew Piercy, professor, biology, published a research paper in the Journal of Fish Biology, which focused on reproduction in Sandbar sharks. Click here to read his research paper.

To celebrate, the Lake Nona Campus has begun a new tradition, “Publication Cake.” When a campus faculty member is published, we celebrate with cake.

“I could not be more proud of our Lake Nona Campus faculty, shared Mike Bosley, executive dean, Lake Nona Campus. “While publishing is not a requirement of our faculty, it supports the competency of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and inspires our students to do more.”

Congratulations to Lashon Henderson on Earning National Credential

Kudos to Lashon Henderson, manager, grant administration and development, who has earned a national credential, lashon-henderson-270wCertified Grants Management Specialist (CGMS), from the National Grants Management Association (NGMA) on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

The CGMS was developed by the NGMA to provide an industry credential, elevating professional standards, enhancing individual performance and designating professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of grants management. Having the credential confers formal recognition of professional competency in the full lifecycle of grants management. An individual must work in the field for at least three years to be eligible for CGMS.

Credentialed professionals receive a certificate; gain the authority to use the CGMS credential; are included in the council’s online Directory of Certified Grants Management Specialists; and receive special recognition at the annual NGMA conference.

“Studying for this exam was intense.” shared Lashon. I studied with a friend, Rikitra Stewart, who I met through the NGMA. My supervisor, Kris Christian [assistant vice president, resource development] encouraged me to attend one of the three-day trainings offered through NGMA, GMBoK (Grants Management Body of Knowledge). I had to read and understand “2 CFR 200-Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.” Also, I provided trainings to Resource Development Office staff, which helped reinforce my learning. It has all paid off as now, I’m one of only two people in the Florida College System to hold the CGMS. I’m applying my new skills daily at Valencia.”

Week of April 10 – 16, 2016

Liz Earle Presents at AACC Conference


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

I had the privilege of attending the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Convention earlier this week in Chicago. While I was pleased to have the opportunity to present about the leadership styles of Generation X Presidents with William Serrata, President of El Paso College, and Steven Gonzales, President of GateWay Community College, I was even more pleased to see Liz Earle’s name in the conference program!

Liz Earle, professor, reading, along with Claudine Bentham, professor, reading, and Daeri Tenery, professor, chemistry, did a marvelous job presenting about the CARE Early Alert System at Valencia. Kudos, Professor Earle, for a great presentation and for sharing your good work! If you’d like to learn more about CARE and how it can help you support your students, I encourage you to contact Professor Earle at eearle@valenciacollege.edu.

Week of April 3 – 9, 2016

James May and Rob McCaffrey Named Finalists for Clear Concept Award

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

James May, professor of English for Academic Purposes, and Rob McCaffrey, professor of graphic design, were recently identified as finalists in the Clear Concepts Awards competition. This first-ever design competition, focused on organic light-emitting diode transparent display (OLED) technology, was sponsored by the Society for Experiential Graphic Design, Digital Signage Expo and Planar.

The competition encouraged applicants to design concepts for transparent installations, representing the next wave of digital signage. They were required to submit a sketch or rendering that demonstrated a specific use of an OLED transparent display, which is both technically feasible and illustrates creative innovation, a sketch or samples of the on-screen content and user experience.

James’ design consisted of using a transparent display to communicate campus events or to push curated instruction. He stated, “It’s nice to know that two professors doing research and development work on the side of their regular jobs can compete with firms who actually allocate manpower to things like this. This was a challenge that pushed my creativity.”


Rob submitted a design to use an interactive transparent display to draw over an object in real time. Rob added, “We had a lot of fun walking around campus and seeing all of the areas where clear surfaces already exist and imagining what sort of media overlays we could put in those spaces.”


Click here to view all the Clear Concept Award finalists.


  • Bev Andrews said:

    Congratulations Rob and James! Bev

    AMFri, 08 Apr 2016 07:59:07 +0000Fri, 08 Apr 2016 07:59:07 +0000am16,7:59 am

    • Robert McCaffrey said:

      Thanks, Bev!

      PMFri, 08 Apr 2016 16:00:55 +0000Fri, 08 Apr 2016 16:00:55 +0000pm16,4:00 pm

  • Jennifer Keefe said:

    Congratulations, Lashon!!!

    PMTue, 26 Apr 2016 15:09:17 +0000Tue, 26 Apr 2016 15:09:17 +0000pm16,3:09 pm

  • Chanda Postell said:

    Congratulations Lashon! What a great accomplishment!!

    PMTue, 26 Apr 2016 15:20:45 +0000Tue, 26 Apr 2016 15:20:45 +0000pm16,3:20 pm

  • professorjosh said:

    Congrats Rob and James! Always fun to experiment and try new things with you guys. Glad we can learn and share all the new gadgets, apps, and educational toys to innovate education.

    PMTue, 26 Apr 2016 15:44:13 +0000Tue, 26 Apr 2016 15:44:13 +0000pm16,3:44 pm

  • Karen Cowden said:

    Well done all colleagues – Rob and James, Liz Earle, and Lashon. We have amazing professionals.

    PMTue, 26 Apr 2016 19:18:05 +0000Tue, 26 Apr 2016 19:18:05 +0000pm16,7:18 pm

  • Falecia D. Williams said:

    Congratulations, Lashon! This is a notable achievement.

    PMTue, 26 Apr 2016 21:24:30 +0000Tue, 26 Apr 2016 21:24:30 +0000pm16,9:24 pm

  • Brenda Townsend said:

    Congratulations Lashon!

    AMWed, 27 Apr 2016 07:47:10 +0000Wed, 27 Apr 2016 07:47:10 +0000am16,7:47 am

  • Jeff Nardo said:

    Congrats, Lashon!

    AMWed, 27 Apr 2016 08:20:41 +0000Wed, 27 Apr 2016 08:20:41 +0000am16,8:20 am

  • Rhonda Ulmer said:

    Congratulations, Lashon! Awesome accomplishment and to be only the second one in the Florida College System!

    AMWed, 27 Apr 2016 08:40:45 +0000Wed, 27 Apr 2016 08:40:45 +0000am16,8:40 am

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