Dean Carin Gordon Retires; Dave Brunick Will Act as Interim Dean

Thursday, August 4, 2020

Carin Gordon Retires and Reflects on Her Years at Valencia College

Carin Gordon, dean of business, information technology and public services, is closing a chapter in her career, as she is announcing her retirement from Valencia College. Her last day will be Tuesday, August 18, 2020, and a Zoom retirement party has been planned for her on:

Date: Monday, August, 17, 2020
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Carin began her career at Valencia in 2003 as program chair and professor for the Paralegal Studies program. She became dean of business, information technology and public services (BITPS) at East Campus in August 2011; the first year as interim dean.

Of the past 17 years, Carin said interacting with her students has been the most gratifying.

“The students — they are motivated and committed and energizing,” she said. “Being able to be one small piece of helping students get to the next step in their lives is incredible — particularly being on the A.S. (Associate in Science) side of the house where we help students start a career.”

But also meaningful, has been working with her colleagues; the faculty and staff “who all have the same vision — to help make a difference for students.” She has also valued the support she has received from the College “to do our jobs and do the right thing.”

And she reciprocated this as well.

“I had the pleasure of working first with Carin as a fellow dean, shared Wendy Givoglu, interim president, East and Winter Park Campuses. “I quickly memorized her office extension x2556, as not only would she always pick up the phone or quickly return my call when she was available, she always had a thoughtful answer to my question or sage advice to lend. And, we could always share a laugh when needed. Further, the trust and exemplar leadership that she demonstrated with faculty, staff and all of her dean colleagues, was truly a gift to us all. Carin has amazed me with her ability to balance her heart and her head to always put our students and their success first. It has been a joy to know Carin as a colleague and friend, and we will continue forward her legacy in the BITPS division.”

Carin, said her most rewarding moments here have included helping students progress toward their degrees, attending commencement ceremonies and hearing from graduates she has taught tell her about their success in the workplace or about graduating from law school.

She’s particularly proud of seeing the Bachelor of Applied Science in computing technology and software development “go from a spark to its first group of graduates” as well as being part of the East and Winter Park Campus’ Dean Team.

She also found rewarding hiring 10 incredible tenure-track faculty members and seeing them through tenure (three of them are still completing it), a process she described as meaningful and one which “benefits the faculty member and the students.”

She was also proud to be part of Valencia’s team in helping to develop a community college for women at Princess Noura University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In addition, Carin commended the work of faculty and staff of the BITPS division, the lab staff and administrative assistants who keep “so many of all the moving parts moving forward. Their work is crucial.”

She also acknowledged her division’s faculty for outstanding work over the years.

“When I conducted my first classroom observations of the faculty in BITPS, I was inspired in each class — how much they care, how knowledgeable they are and how much I learned from each of them,” she said.”

Dean Gordon said she hopes she is remembered as a caring member of the Valencia College family.

“I hope my legacy is what every Valencia employee’s legacy is — that I cared about and helped our students, faculty and staff.”

She added that working at Valencia College “was the best job I have ever been honored to have. I cannot start listing all who have meant so much, as I will inevitably leave someone off. I have never collaborated so much, laughed so hard, and pondered and processed together, as with those with whom I have worked at Valencia. I wish all of them health and success as they continue to do the incredible work they do each day for our students.”

For the next division dean, she said, she wishes “he focuses on the ‘dean’ part of his title and not the ‘interim’ part of the title.” She also hopes the incoming dean has the opportunity to help students, faculty and staff move forward and be part of planning decisions for the future.

David Brunick Assumes the Role of Interim Dean

David Brunick, professor, computer programming and analysis, was selected as interim dean to lead the Business, Information Technology and Public Services division. He assumed his new role Monday, August 3, 2020.

Dave, as he is better known across the College, began his career at Valencia in 2002 as an adjunct instructor, moving into a four-month position in 2006, which he held until 2013 when he was selected for tenure.

Prior to Valencia, Dave served in the U.S. Navy for 22 years and later worked in the telecommunications industry in several capacities.

“Teaching is my third and by far most rewarding career,” he said, sharing that what he loves most about working at Valencia is “without a doubt, interacting with students. The current circumstances are really hard on teachers like me — I miss the kids!”

During his time at Valencia College, Dave has served on the Faculty Senate and the Curriculum Committee. He was also an inaugural member of the Learning Assessment Committee and has served as Information Technology program chair at East Campus. He said these roles helped prepare him for the interim dean position by teaching him how Valencia works but also in other ways.

“Involvement in those entities allowed me to make connections,” he said. “I can now leverage those connections as interim dean.”

Dave has been instrumental in creating a series of flex-paced courses as part of a technical certificate embedded in the Associate in Science in computer information technology.

He is also known for purchasing — and sharing — Kevin the Robot. Kevin is a telepresence robot that Dave has encouraged other departments to use to teach other subjects.

He is particularly proud of his role in helping create curriculum for the Bachelor of Applied Science in computer technology and software development and said he truly hopes to “see a bachelor’s in computer information technology at Valencia someday.”

“I am so grateful that Dave Brunick has agreed to serve the BITPS division as dean for the upcoming year, Wendy said. “Dave has always impressed me with his intellect, professionalism, ingenuity and deep care for his students and for the IT program. During the past year, I had the opportunity to see Dave’s work through the launch of the Bachelor of Applied Science in software development. He is a strong, compassionate, future-thinking leader, who will serve the division and our leadership team well. I really look forward to working with him in this new capacity.”

Dave said he wants to keep “innovation and collaboration going” as the new interim dean. He also mentioned he would like to expand Real-time Virtual course offerings for students in the not-so-distant future. These courses are held in a virtual environment but students meet online at set times.

He added that he will also focus on keeping a steady hand as he and the campus navigates uncharted COVID-19 territory.

“I’d call it keeping it between the ditches,” he said.

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