By Dani Moritz-Long
State funding may be dwindling, but our students’ needs are not. That’s why Chemistry Professor Daeri Tenery became interested in the Resource Development Office (RDO) and its Valencia College Resource Development Fellows Certification Program.
“I wanted to enroll in the program because I wanted to become more familiar with the grants development process,” said Daeri. “With budget cuts happening in academia, I wanted to learn this process to increase funding in our department and for the students.”
The program is a certification opportunity designed to increase awareness and advocacy for grant work across the College. The fellows work in tandem with an RDO mentor for a year. It is the intention of the RDO fellows program to develop understanding of the entire grant development process allowing the campuses and departments to have an advocate who understands the elements of a grant proposal and can assist campus/department personnel as they seek outside funding. Daeri was the perfect candidate because she came in with an identified need and was quickly matched with a funding source.
Nominated by East and Winter Park Campus President Stacey Johnson for the program, Daeri’s completion of the certification resulted in her securing a National Science Foundation Grant coined the Valencia College Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) Project. The project, which was awarded $650,000, will support high-achieving, low-income STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students.
Specifically, the project aims to increase the enrollment and diversity of these students in STEM degree pathways; create a sustainable student support model; increase student success rates in enrollment and degree attainment; and increase student transfer rates to four-year STEM degree programs.
Daeri credits the securing of the grant to the RDO program and Manager of Grant Development and Special Projects Allie Yadav, who served as Daeri’s program mentor.
“Allie walked me through the process from the beginning to the end,” Daeri explained. “RDO provided me with modules, resources and a mentor to guide me through the whole process.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the certification program, contact Kristeen Christian, assistant vice president, resource development, at email@example.com or 407-299-5000, extension 2909.
Do you know a faculty member doing great work? Or, perhaps you’d like to share the work you’re doing? Send the colleague’s (or your) name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu and include Faculty Highlight Nomination in the subject line of your email. We might just feature your colleague (or you) as an upcoming Faculty Highlight.