By Claudia Zequeira
It’s likely you already know him. He’s the gentleman in the bowtie with a perennial smile on his face; the one who always has a few minutes to ask “How’s it going?” and has a few encouraging words to share. If you do not, meet Stanton Reed, professor, business and accounting, Osceola Campus.
Stanton, who has been a Valencia College faculty member since 2006, seems to be everywhere.
Besides serving as our current Faculty Association president, he works with the Peace and Justice Institute as a SEED facilitator. The program, which uses a cohort model, seeks to increase equity across race, culture and gender at the College.
He also serves as mentor for Molding Men for Tomorrow, a Bridges to Success program initiative seeking to lift and educate young males, particularly minority males, on a host of topics, ranging from etiquette to finances to how to treat the opposite sex. In addition, Stanton is a member of the Valencia African Heritage Committee, a group that collaborates and seeks to incorporate African-diaspora content into programming for Valencia. The group also celebrates and educates the College and community on African heritage, culture and diversity.
In the past, Stanton also led the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) in collaboration with Heart of Florida United Way. The program provides free income-tax preparation for low-income individuals and provides Valencia students an opportunity to gain work experience. And, he exposed Osceola students to two study abroad trips to China, an accomplishment he says he’s very proud of.
Despite his numerous responsibilities, Stanton still finds time to teach Sabbath School at his Seventh-day Adventist church.
He does it, he said, because he grew up around a family where service to others was the norm.
“I’m influenced by my family’s care and empathy for others,” he said.
Stanton recalled a time when, as a young child, his young parents took in an elderly lady in his native Chicago because she had no place to go.
“We called her momma Perry,” he said. “I didn’t even know she was not related to me for a long time … I found out later that she was a lady my parents were helping.”
And it’s that dedication to service that attracted him to Valencia and which keeps him here.
“I love communicating to students every day,” he said. “I like being on the leading edge of conversations with leaders regarding our expanding facilities and subsequent impact in the community. I like to continue to do the work of diversity and inclusion to bring us all together in an authentic and effective manner.”
His supervisor, James McDonald, dean of career and technical programs, can attest to Stanton’s skills as a communicator.
“What has impressed me most about Stanton is his directness and honesty,” James said.
“Stanton is a curious person and will frequently ask questions to better understand an issue. To those folks unfamiliar with Stanton, his directness can appear confrontational, maybe even off-putting, but it’s my view that Stanton genuinely wants to have a better understanding of the issue before making assumptions and drawing conclusions,” he added. “By being direct, Stanton challenges both parties in a conversation to question their assumptions, listen attentively and speak honestly. In doing this, Stanton encourages honest conversations, which is something I have appreciated about him.”
Besides honest talk, Stanton also loves what Valencia represents to the community. He sees the College as “a place of opportunity where all, regardless of their circumstances, have an opportunity to better themselves and actualize their goals through education.” He also appreciates what he says is a true institutional commitment of “truly advancing the experiences of student, staff and faculty alike.”
In a previous chapter of his career, Stanton, who holds a Florida Certified Public Accountant certificate, an MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from Oakwood University in Alabama, taught accounting and management courses at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and at the University of Central Florida. He also served as chief financial officer at Hospice of the Comforter, in Altamonte Springs, and at Southeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Mount Dora. In addition, he was a financial officer at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and was director of business development at Orlando Health, among others.
Some little-known facts about Stanton include his desire to create a graphic novel and his dream of opening up a haberdashery, a clothing and accessory store for gentlemen. In his free time, Stanton, who is married and has two daughters, one son-in-law and two godsons, loves shopping, spending time with family and traveling. But, he said “nothing beats a good movie with pizza in hand.”
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.