August 2015 Kudos

Week of August 23 – 29, 2015

Valencia’s DirectConnect Commended on PBS NewsHour

Congratulations to the strategic communications team on Valencia’s recent segment that aired nationwide on PBS NewsHour on Thursday, August 20, 2015, featuring the College’s efforts to help low-income students finish college.

pbs-newshour-vidfake-r-grove“Exposure like this gives a national audience insight on the College’s innovations and raises our profile,” said Linda Beaty, senior news writer.

According to Carol Traynor, director of public relations, they were approached in December 2014 about being one of five colleges and universities featured that are trying to close the “graduation gap.”

“It highlights the fact that DirectConnect has become a national model for transferring students from associate to bachelor’s degrees,” said Carol.

Carol and Linda worked closely with PBS producers over the course of six to eight months providing data and background information, researching student stories and setting up interviews, as well as providing logistical support for classroom visits.

“There were faculty and staff who were instrumental in helping me to identify DirectConnect students who’ve transferred in the past six months, and the people who responded gave us great stories,” said Linda. We are grateful for everyone’s support who helped.”

Both Carol and Linda stressed that it is by being same-day responsive to media requests that they are able to secure media placement and have positive coverage of stories which showcase Valencia’s Big Ideas like this — so much so that that when they were close to wrapping, they received an email from the producer stating that the public relations team’s facilitation made their jobs much easier.

“It’s all part of shaping the story,” said Carol, adding that “if you [Valencia employees] receive a media request from Linda or me, the more timely you are in your response, the better chance we have of getting media coverage for your program or event.”

Leslie Golden Now Associate General Counsel 

leslie-golden-groveA message from Bill Mullowney, Vice President, Policy/General Counsel

Congratulations to Leslie Golden on her recent promotion from assistant general counsel to associate general counsel.

This promotion and title change signals the additional responsibilities that Leslie has assumed since joining Valencia College in August 2010, the increase in complexity of her duties and her outstanding service to the college community in support of learning during this five-year period. This change aligns her position to the duties, tasks and responsibilities of an associate general counsel at similar academic institutions. Please join me in applauding Leslie’s significant contributions to our work.

Week of August 16 – 22, 2015

Valencia’s Dominic Polverino Receives Award of Merit in National Fine Arts Festival 

By Cindy Oakley, Coordinator, Career Development Services

From Monday, August 3 – Friday, August 7, 2015, Valencia student Dominic Polverino participated in the National Fine Arts Festival, a series of competitions with high school and college-age participants from across the country. Dominic is currently pursuing an Associate in Arts degree at Valencia and plans to transfer and earn his bachelor’s degree in music and theology.

“I was excited because this year the contest was in beautiful and sunny Orlando. The daily competitions had over 100 categories, ranging from visual arts and graphic art design, to spoken word poetry, vocal ensembles, instrumental solos and even choir. Many different avenues were available for students to ‘discover, develop and deploy’ their talents and gifts,” said Dominic.

More than 3,000 participants assembled at the Orange County Convention Center, which is a record for a competition that is only a little over 50 years old. Founded by the General Council of the Assemblies of God, a Christian, nonprofit fellowship of churches, competitors have the opportunity to develop positive mentorships and network with the judges who are overseeing their specific competition. Students also have the opportunity to be scouted by different liberal arts institutions and receive scholarships ranging from $1,000 – $20,000.

“As I finish my seventh year of participating in the National Fine Arts Festival, I am not only gaining experience in front of a crowd on a stage, but I have the opportunity to be given a platform to spread a message of hope to those who need it most,” said Dominic. “The song that I sang, titled ‘Keep Me,’ was written by my friend, Steller Award winner and gospel recording-artist Patrick Dopson. The song gives an inspiring message of faith, hope and love and touches hearts. I am always excited to take any opportunity that I can to share what I’ve found.”

Dominic received the National Award of Merit with only one point away from a nearly perfect score. See a video of his performance below.

Week of August 9 – 15, 2015

Professor Allan Maxwell’s Photography Featured at the Louvre

allan-maxwell-photo-groveCongratulations are in order for Valencia College Adjunct Professor of Art Allan Maxwell. Allan’s photography was chosen for display as part of Musee du Louvre’s Fifth Annual Exposure Photography Award. Allan’s image titled “Ann with Palms” was included in the Art Photography Collection and was presented at a private reception at the world-famous gallery.

allan-maxwell-270w“As technology makes our world more interconnected, the act of creation has become a universal language and a vital conversation. Your photography, represented at the Fifth Annual Exposure Award reception is a thrilling contribution to that dialogue,” the official letter of recognition from SeeMe Exhibitions read.

The July 13, 2015, event featured the work from photographers representing more than 191 different countries displayed together.

“It’s always exciting to receive recognition for one’s work. I’ve been a photographer my entire life,” said Allan. “My work appears in other museum collections, and I’ve had grants and fellowships from New York to California, but it certainly has a certain degree of prestige given the venue.”

“Ann with Palms” is part of a previous body of work that Allan completed blending photographic optical images juxtaposed with hand-drawn images.

A hard-cover book featuring select Exposure Award Collections will be published with sales benefiting Pencils of Promise, a charity that works to build schools in developing nations.


  • Eva said:


    AMWed, 12 Aug 2015 09:30:24 +0000Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:30:24 +0000am15,9:30 am

  • Noelia said:

    Congrats, Leslie!

    PMTue, 25 Aug 2015 17:49:29 +0000Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:49:29 +0000pm15,5:49 pm

  • Michelle said:

    Congratulations Leslie!

    AMWed, 26 Aug 2015 09:04:29 +0000Wed, 26 Aug 2015 09:04:29 +0000am15,9:04 am

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