Featured Colleague — Amy Downs

amy-downs-fc-groveBy Joy S. Jones

Amy Downs is an instructional assistant, senior, in the Communications Center on the West Campus. In her office, you’ll find a tree of inspiration decal decorating one of the walls. When her students are kind enough to share their Valencia experiences, she asks them to sign and date a construction paper leaf, which she adds to the tree.

“My intent is for them to see a physical representation that education is a growth and team process. When they graduate, they can come back and take their leaf out into the world,” Amy shares.

Amy enjoys working at Valencia because of the organization’s single-minded commitment to excellence and student success. She counts it a privilege and a responsibility to foster and promote the best in learning, education and social action.

“It makes me proud to contribute to Valencia’s work with individual students and community organizations,” Amy boasts. “Our ability to set goals and achieve them together provides a daily sense of satisfaction in a job well done. Valencia’s core values inspire me to continually improve my pedagogical processes so that as a team, we maximize the lifelong learning and development of our students.”

She shares that on a daily basis, students comment that our staff and faculty make a positive impact on their learning and overall sense of personal achievement.

“That is Valencia, and I am proud to be a part of our team!”

Amy is heavily inspired by Elizabeth (Beth) Renn, dean of communications, West Campus.

“As my dean, she continually creates a working environment that is both supportive and conducive to collaboration. She supports us in striving to provide the best learning environments for both students and faculty.”

She notes that the joint effort of several of the department chairs, including Dawn Sedik, professor reading; Wendy Wish-Bogue, professor, English as a Second Language; and Marilyn Curall, professor, English; and their respective faculty members — too numerous to name — have helped to transform the Communications Center into a hub of student activity.

“It makes going to work every day both a challenging and rewarding experience in all of the best ways. And I appreciate the support from Charles Fox, assistant director, faculty and instructional development; Lee Lucia, manager, faculty and instructional development; and Josh Murdock, instructional designer, as part of our Office of Faculty Development. They provide the internal support to us that allows our team to better support students.”

Amy believes, Valencia is a place where each individual has limitless possibilities to develop and grow, personally and professionally. And she has come to trust that the College signifies a place of hope and innovation to our community.

“When we tell students, ‘Yes, you can!’ it is much more than a slogan. It takes on personal significance as we assist students along their journeys to become future community leaders, innovators and global citizens.”

Amy has worked at Valencia for four years and holds Valencia faculty certifications as a digital professor, associate professor and in LifeMap.

Know of someone doing great work at the College? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu so he or she can be one of our featured colleagues.


  • Karen Cowden said:

    You are a gem, a friend, a kind teacher, and most of all a joy to call a coworker at the college!

    PMTue, 15 Apr 2014 15:32:30 +0000Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:32:30 +0000pm14,3:32 pm

  • Debbi Hodges said:


    What a great article for a super educator, co-worker and friend! Congrats!

    PMTue, 15 Apr 2014 17:10:35 +0000Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:10:35 +0000pm14,5:10 pm

  • Peg Spellman said:

    Wonderful article, Amy! I appreciate your dedication and creativity!

    PMWed, 16 Apr 2014 12:49:59 +0000Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:49:59 +0000pm14,12:49 pm

  • Milena Zaleckaite said:

    I admire your energy, positive attitude, and creativity. You are an inspiring educator and a great friend.

    PMMon, 19 Jun 2017 21:56:04 +0000Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:56:04 +0000pm17,9:56 pm

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