Congratulations to PIVOT 180 Graduates

pivot180-grad-collage-groveOn Tuesday, November 11, 2014, members of the fifth cohort of PIVOT 180, one of Valencia’s leadership development programs, received their certificates of completion at a celebration at the District Office. Program facilitators Erica Reese, director, standardized testing, and Andy Oguntola, director, admissions and registration, led the ceremony as 22 Valencia leaders were recognized for completing this year-long development program.

sliceThe PIVOT 180 program, founded by the American Association of Women in Community Colleges in 2009, is designed to develop strong leadership and self-management skills that focus on transferable leadership skills, rather than specific job responsibilities.

Participation in this program has been a remarkable experience for program graduate Jason Horton, assistant director, admissions and records.

“I’ve learned that leadership is about so much more than strengths. It is about tailoring your strengths to create engagement and to build on the strengths and passions of others.”

Jason explained that one of the best aspects of the program were the relationships he built.

“I got a chance to meet some truly amazing members of the Valencia community, and I nervously developed an amazing mentor relationship, which I now value beyond measure. Through PIVOT 180 I have developed a new network of colleagues that I have a shared experiences with, whom I truly would never have engaged prior to PIVOT 180.”

Andy, who is now Jason’s supervisor, explained that as Jason went through the program, he noticed Jason immediately implementing what he learned.

“Jason’s leadership has improved immensely in 11 months, as now he is a leader of the admissions and records team on the West Campus,” Andy said. “Jason strides for excellence each day, but at the same time realizes that as a leader sometimes the best move is to watch what is taking place around you in order to adapt effectively.”

Program graduate Jennifer Papoula, counselor, West Campus, explained that the PIVOT 180 program was a great professional development opportunity.

“The biggest takeaways for me were the workshops on trust and crucial conversations. I’d like to think that I am pretty self-aware, but I learned so much about myself and how my actions can be interpreted both positively and negatively.”

Jennifer stated that from one workshop, she learned how to better develop and foster trust in working and personal relationships.

“The workshop on crucial conversations also sticks with me, because I think generally people would prefer to avoid conflict, Jennifer shared. “This workshop taught me that when it comes to difficult conversations, we can avoid them, we can face them and handle them poorly or we can face them and handle them well. I used to try and avoid those difficult conversations, but now I would rather face them and handle them well, and I feel better equipped to accomplish this.”

Linda Herlocker, dean, student services, West Campus, who is also Jennifer’s supervisor,explained that Jennifer had great leadership talent even before starting the program.

“I do think PIVOT is a significant experience that helps participants to further develop and fine-tune their skills,” said Linda. “The fact that Jennifer received a rather significant promotion while in the program is a testament to that fact.”

Jennifer shared how much she loved learning about her classmates and learning with them.

“Erica and Andy were excellent facilitators who created a safe environment for us to be open and honest about our experiences,” she said. “Because of this, I feel like I got to know colleagues at a deeper level and walked away not as classmates but as friends.”

With excitement and the support of their classmates, supervisors, mentors and family, the PIVOT 180 graduates shared their experiences and personal leadership statements with the audience.

Congratulations to all 2014 PIVOT 180 Graduates:

  • Mustafa Aguenegou, Graphic Designer, Senior
  • Johnny Aplin, Coordinator, Atlas Access Lab
  • Tiffany Baggs, Instructional Assistant, Sr.
  • Lauren Bojalad, Interim Assistant Director, Employee Relations
  • Tanisha Castor, Coordinator, Career Program Advisor
  • Daniel Diehl, Assistant Director, Central Florida Fire Institute
  • Vicki Fine, Coordinator, Conferencing and College Events
  • Joanne Flores, Coordinator, Employee Records
  • Jason Horton, Assistant Director, Admissions and Records
  • Ozella Knox, Training Support Specialist
  • Shara Lee, Campus Director, Faculty and Instructional Development
  • Kari Makepeace, Coordinator, Academic Planning and Support
  • Ian O’Toole, Instructional Assistant, Sr.
  • Elaina Paige, Assistant Director, CE Operations
  • Jennifer Papoula, Counselor, Dean of Students
  • Tara Rains, Manager, Academic Success Center
  • Ruth Ridore, Campus Director, Organizational Development and Human Resources
  • Laura Shifflett, Property Records Specialist
  • Nelson Torres Arroyo, Instructional Assistant, Sr.
  • Jorge Valladares, Coordinator, Disability Support Services
  • Janet Vivian, Purchasing Card Administrative Coordinator
  • Allie Yadav, Manager, Grants Development and Special Projects


  • Erin Tuttle said:

    Congratulations PIVOT 180 graduates…woo-hoo!!

    PMThu, 11 Dec 2014 17:06:55 +0000Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:06:55 +0000pm14,5:06 pm

  • Rhonda Ulmer said:

    Congratulations, hats go off to you, graduates!

    AMFri, 12 Dec 2014 09:53:04 +0000Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:53:04 +0000am14,9:53 am

  • Sherri Dixon said:

    Congratulations to Sue Fagan, April McGuire and Annmarie Wise! You ladies ROCK!

    PMTue, 08 Dec 2015 15:16:39 +0000Tue, 08 Dec 2015 15:16:39 +0000pm15,3:16 pm

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