By Dani Moritz-Long
It feels like just yesterday the Poinciana Campus opened its doors to students, but an entire academic year has gone by and there’s so much to celebrate. This is especially true for Poinciana Campus faculty and staff, like Executive Assistant Brenda Baralt, who have been an integral part of creating access to education in the Poinciana community.
Speaking about Brenda’s efforts in particular, Poinciana Campus Executive Dean Jennifer Robertson said, “Opening a new campus is no small endeavor. Brenda immediately jumped in and embraced the constantly changing priorities and enormous workload while trying to learn the job and navigate the College. We were lucky to find someone so perfect for the position, and she continues to exceed expectations.”
Brenda, a Valencia alumna who began her professional role in January 2017, says her commitment to serving Poinciana has come naturally, as she’s deeply enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people and play a role in changing lives for the better.
“It is truly a remarkable feat to be part of the new Poinciana Campus opening team,” Brenda said. “I have enjoyed my endeavors in meeting people across all campuses, learning about higher education and celebrating Valencia’s recent 50th anniversary. I feel I joined the Valencia family at a very magical and significant moment in time. When I go into the community to purchase items or help with an event and I sport my Valencia shirt, I’m usually stopped and asked about the new campus. Valencia’s 50 years of success has solidified it deep within the roots of the community. People recognize the name and want to be a part of it.”
In her role, Brenda says there’s “never a dull moment” as she supports the promotion of the new campus, attends job fairs, assists with event planning and offers generalized support to faculty, staff and students.
As a passionate community volunteer herself (Brenda’s joined several missionary trips through her church), she also enjoys getting involved in Valencia’s many community service efforts.
“Valencia’s community service extends beyond the classroom walls,” she said. “From my short time with Valencia, I have witnessed the people’s compassion and willingness to help the community. The recent tremendous out-pour from students and staff toward the Hurricane Irma relief was truly amazing and made me proud to be part of the Valencia family. I’ve also witnessed this same gracious spirit of Valencia’s people on a daily basis in the work that I do.”
In her free time, you can find Brenda playing video games, reading and writing (she aspires to one day publish a novel). And something you might not know about Brenda is that she also has a knack for film. She was a production assistant for the documentary “Borinqueneers,” which has a home in the White House library and earned many acknowledgements under President Barrack Obama’s administration.
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.