August 2014 Kudos

Week of August 31 – September 6, 2014

Points of Pride — Debra Hollister Receives Service Recognition

A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola & Lake Nona Campuses


Debra Hollister (left) receives service recognition award from Barbara Frazier, director, workplace learning/placement (right).

Congratulations to Debra Hollister, professor of psychology at the Lake Nona Campus, who received a special award from the Internship Office to recognize her 18 years of service as an internship faculty supervisor. She has made amazing internships possible for our students, including experiences at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. Congratulations Debra!


Week of August 24 – 30, 2014

Adrienne Trier-Bieniek Shares Her Unexpected Friendship with WWE Wrestler in Online Magazine

adrienne-mickfoley-270wValencia’s Adrienne Trier-Bieniek, professor of sociology, has a very unlikely friendship with Mick Foley, the retired professional WWE wrestler, author, comedian and actor.

faculty-insight-news-idYes, that Mick Foley — “The Hardcore Legend” — who earned this name for his ability to absorb seemingly inhuman punishment in some of the most dramatic matches in sports-entertainment history. Think amputation of his right ear and finishing a match with one of his front teeth lodged in his nose!

How did Adrienne meet Mick? They met through a Twitter compliment that Mick posted about Adrienne’s research on the music and female fans of Tori Amos. Mick loves Tori’s music.


Adrienne recently wrote an article about her unexpected friendship and Mick’s work as a feminist for the online magazine, xoJane, “What My Unexpected Friendship With a WWE Star Has Taught Me.”

“I’m proud to know Mick,” she shares in the article. “And I know he won’t rest until he has used all his physical and mental strength to change the world for the better.”

Congratulations Adrienne on your article and on such an interesting friendship.

John DiDonna Named Readers’ Pick Best of Orlando for Best Local Actor

john-didonna-groveKudos to John DiDonna, professor of theater and program chair/artistic director of Valencia College Theater, who won Readers’ Pick Best of Orlando for best local actor by Orlando Weekly.faculty-insight-news-id

As part of the Best of Orlando awards, Orlando Weekly readers submitted more than 50,000 nominations for their favorite people, places, businesses and events as the best of their kind in the area. Orlando Weekly staff then picked the top nominees in each category for a runoff online poll. John won the actor category by popular vote.

As an award winner, John received a plaque and was named in the Orlando Weekly. Click here to see all the Best of Orlando award winners.

John, now in his second year as the theater program chair, spent a number of years as a full-time instructor and more than a decade as an adjunct professor. Prior to joining Valencia full time, he also taught at Rollins College, Seminole State College and Barry University.

He runs a number of theater groups including his own DiDonna Productions, Empty Spaces and Phantasmagoria. He regularly works as an actor, director, playwright and producer in Central Florida and in other states. Last year, he was named best director and best playwright in The Daily City “best of” awards.

Week of August 17 – 23, 2014

Carol Traynor Receives Accreditation in Public Relations


Congratulations to Carol Traynor, director of public relations, who recently received her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Universal Accreditation Board.

This credential recognizes public relations professionals who have mastered the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for the strategic and ethical practice of public relations. Achieving accreditation is a rigorous process, involving a portfolio review by a panel of accredited professionals and a competency-based exam. Only 4,300 PR professionals worldwide have successfully pursued this voluntary certification.

Week of August 3 – 9, 2014

New York Times Lauds Valencia’s Low Student Loan Default Rates


In the Friday, July 25, 2014, edition of The New York Times, the editorial board cited Valencia College as an example of a school whose quality of academic support and counseling yielded lower student loan default rates in their artiNew-York-Times-logo-230wcle titled, “How to Control Student Loan Defaults.” Valencia students default rates are — 19 percent compared to 26 percent — based on a study of nine community colleges conducted by the Association of Community College Trustees and The Institute for College Access and Success.

Read the full NY Times article here.

Janet Vivian Earns Certified Purchasing Card Professional Credential

janet-vivian-groveCongratulations to Janet Vivian, purchasing card administrative coordinator, who completed certification to become a Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP).

cpcp_logo-200wThe CPCP credential is a milestone for professionals, providing a basis for continued personal and professional growth. It establishes documented evidence that an individual has been examined by an independent certifying organization and found to possess a mastery of the body of knowledge in the specialized field of purchasing cards, known as P-Cards at Valencia.

Janet has demonstrated professionalism over the course of her two years in her role in the procurement office. Her attention to detail has kept the P-Card program compliant and audit worthy.


  • Dana said:

    Wohoo, way to go Janet!

    PMTue, 05 Aug 2014 16:40:47 +0000Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:40:47 +0000pm14,4:40 pm

  • Vicki Fine said:

    Congratulations, Janet!

    PMTue, 05 Aug 2014 16:53:13 +0000Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:53:13 +0000pm14,4:53 pm

  • Patti Riva said:

    Congratulations, Janet! I'll text you.

    PMTue, 05 Aug 2014 16:58:47 +0000Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:58:47 +0000pm14,4:58 pm

  • Shivani Persaud said:

    Congrats, Janet!!

    AMWed, 06 Aug 2014 07:15:19 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 07:15:19 +0000am14,7:15 am

  • Denise Ridener said:

    Congratulations Janet! Great job!

    AMWed, 06 Aug 2014 07:46:35 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 07:46:35 +0000am14,7:46 am

  • Teresa Aplin said:

    Well deserved, Janet! So happy you're on our Valencia Team!

    AMWed, 06 Aug 2014 07:57:13 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 07:57:13 +0000am14,7:57 am

  • Nicole said:

    Congrats! You rock Janet!

    AMWed, 06 Aug 2014 09:06:43 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 09:06:43 +0000am14,9:06 am

  • Sunni said:

    WooHoo!! Congrats Janet!

    AMWed, 06 Aug 2014 09:24:42 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 09:24:42 +0000am14,9:24 am

  • Pat Lee said:

    Awesome, Janet! Congratulations!

    AMWed, 06 Aug 2014 09:40:42 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 09:40:42 +0000am14,9:40 am

  • Vilma Miller Flores said:

    Congratulations Janet, I am so happy for you. Well deserved.

    AMWed, 06 Aug 2014 11:28:37 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:28:37 +0000am14,11:28 am

  • Vannia Ruiz said:

    Congratulations Janet!! You are the best.. 🙂

    PMWed, 06 Aug 2014 12:08:08 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:08:08 +0000pm14,12:08 pm

  • Melissa Sztelle said:

    Congratulations Janet!

    PMWed, 06 Aug 2014 14:54:02 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:54:02 +0000pm14,2:54 pm

  • Sue Fagan said:

    Congratulations Janet! You Rock!!!

    PMWed, 06 Aug 2014 16:00:37 +0000Wed, 06 Aug 2014 16:00:37 +0000pm14,4:00 pm

  • Edwin Sanchez said:


    PMFri, 08 Aug 2014 14:23:33 +0000Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:23:33 +0000pm14,2:23 pm

  • Venecia Green said:

    Congratulations Janet!

    AMWed, 20 Aug 2014 08:26:17 +0000Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:26:17 +0000am14,8:26 am

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