As the seasons of leadership at Valencia College change, East and Winter Park Campuses are embracing new leadership with the appointment of Wendy Givoglu as the interim campus president.
With 21 years of experience at Valencia College, a proven commitment to advancing Valencia’s mission, deep connections to the Central Florida community and an educational background that includes a doctorate degree in texts and technology, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in humanities, Wendy embodies new opportunity and renewed leadership. She also, however, plans to continue the legacy of former East and Winter Park Campus President Stacey Johnson’s leadership, sustaining and building on a foundation rooted in empowerment, strategic planning, interdisciplinary development and the perfect blend of compassion and tenacity Dr. Johnson will be remembered for.
“In her memorable speech that closed out her retirement celebration, Dr. Johnson said, ‘Wendy, steady as she goes,'” Wendy shared. “It made me smile because, throughout our years of working together, Dr. Johnson has taught me how to move forward and achieve goals while staying steady and calm. I’m not sure if she was reminding me in that moment to sail steadily along or if she was telling me ‘you got this,’ but either way she gifted me a mantra that will bolster me through this transition.”
Wendy will also call upon her diverse experiences at Valencia, which have included serving as a faculty member and dean, her long-held passion for mission-centered work and her experience championing complex projects during her tenure, such as the development of Valencia’s world-class School of Arts and Entertainment. This project in particular highlights Wendy’s ability to lead a project from the visioning stages through execution, and it represents her ability to successfully collaborate across disciplines and campuses to expand programming, increase enrollment, develop academic and career pathways and, most important, serve our students.
Much like her predecessor, Wendy’s leadership is also rooted in community involvement.
“Having lived in Orlando now for 20 years, I can say that I am all in when it comes to knowing and supporting our city, community, arts community and neighborhoods,” Wendy said. “My community work on boards, in the arts, through networking and through my work at Valencia will also serve me well as I continue to make new community connections and leverage existing partnerships.”
To date, Wendy has already collaborated with a multitude of key Central Florida organizations, including the Garden Theatre, Central Florida Community Arts, The Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts, United Arts of Central Florida, Disney, Orange County Public Schools and Universal Orlando, just to name a few.
“I am inspired by the outstanding people that I have met through my work in the community,” she said. “As citizens of Central Florida, we are blessed to have champions on the front lines working alongside us to build the best cities for our children and future.”
Finally, Wendy added, she feels motherhood — and her soon-to-be kindergartner — has undoubtedly prepared her this transition.
“I have a newfound sense of gratitude, patience, worry, joy, playfulness and love — all things that are really relevant to college leadership,” she reflected.
Looking ahead, Wendy looks forward to a harmonious transition as the campuses work continues and she deepens her relationships with other campus and college leaders.
As Wendy takes the helm as the Interim Campus President, Rob McCaffrey, professor and program chair, digital media, will support the continued and accelerated growth of the School of Arts and Entertainment as the school’s interim dean. Specifically, he will sustain Wendy’s work cross-collaborating with various disciplines and college leaders to assess student needs and develop appropriate programming, implement strategic initiatives, scale the program to offer more robust collegewide Arts and Entertainment offerings and develop and sustain the community partnerships that are vital to building pathways for prospective and current students.
Calling upon his 15 years of Valencia experience, work as an independent filmmaker and educational background, which includes a master’s degree in motion pictures, television and recording arts, Rob says he looks forward to continuing to partner with Wendy in this new capacity.
“I’m hoping to build on the good work started by Wendy and continue to build connections to the local arts community,” Rob said. “Wendy has been a great mentor to all of the program chairs. I’m going to rely on her training as well as the collegewide experiences I had during the year I served as faculty council president.”