By Dani Moritz-Long
Navigating college can be overwhelming. Between balancing coursework, extra-curricular activities and personal obligations, it can be quite the undertaking to “just keep swimming.”
Then, as we ascend the graduation stage with a peculiar mixture of excitement and anxiety, we find ourselves facing an onslaught of new uncertainties, new challenges and new opportunities.
That’s where Ramon Velez-Cruz, coordinator, career program advisor, comes in — to ensure our graduates feel more excitement than panic as they reach their educational milestones.
Whether through discussing internships, transferring or life in general, Ramon loves the opportunity to change lives and help students to prepare for the next steps of their education or career.
“Among the projects, initiatives and pilot programs I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in, I would say I am most proud of building strong community relations for our students,” he said. “In my current role, I am able to meet and engage with industry experts and leaders to discuss career trends for our associate degree programs. Of late, I have been involved with camps for high school students interested in possible associate degrees at Valencia. Being able to do connect with students at this level and to assist them in their goal of achieving an education is one of the accomplishments I am proud of.”
“Transformation through service,” he explained, is one of his favorite parts of working at the College.
Through these transformations, Ramon finds inspiration.
“I’m inspired by our students — every type, whether non-traditional or traditional,” he said. “I am constantly inspired by the work and sacrifice that they do in order to receive their degree from us.”
A Valencia alumni himself who subsequently earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Central Florida and who is currently working on his Doctor of Education, Ramon understands the value of an education and the hard work required to achieve a degree.
According to John Britt, campus director, advising, Ramon’s natural leadership also makes him the perfect fit for his role.
“I enjoy the positive energy that Ramon always seems to have no matter the situation,” John said. “He always sees the bright side of things and he is a great role model for students.”
Like his colleagues, he’s glad to play his part and give back to his alma mater, which gave so much to him.
“To me, Valencia College signifies a strong vision of growth and success for the community,” he said. “Our devotion to student success greatly impacts our community.”
In his free time, you can find Ramon practicing aerial yoga or enjoying Orlando’s attractions, like Walt Disney World. (As evidenced in the decor featured in his photo, Ramon is almost as passionate about the Mouse as he is education.)
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.