Featured Colleague: Empathy and Experience Fuel Success for Kenyatta Joseph

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

By Jennifer Keefe

When it comes to working with students, Coordinator of Career Development Services Kenyatta Joseph has all of the same passion as the leader of a winning sports team. In fact, she says, “I kind of see myself as the students’ coach from entry point to graduation.”

In her role, she has to know a little about everything, from enrollment processes and advising to career trends and graduation. And Kenyatta knows a lot about all of that and more when it comes to working at the College.

That’s because she started her Valencia journey as a student, earning her associate degree before pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida.

The way Kenyatta puts it, she’s “been here (at the College) forever” and it’s one of the things she is most proud of.

Since 2002 (that’s before some of our current students were even born!), she’s taken on a number of roles at Valencia. Those roles include being an assessment specialist, a career program advisor to students in the nursing program and an academic advisor to students in the Seneff Honors College.

In her current role, Kenyatta supervises the College’s career planning services and helps students discover, define and achieve their career and life goals.

Aside from her enthusiasm for working with students, Kenyatta enjoys the people and the camaraderie of the College and how her roles have allowed her to establish relationships and collaborate with others.

“I collaborate well,” she says. “It’s a big part of my work, building relationships, helping students, getting things done.”

Kenyatta’s ability to work well with others has not gone unnoticed. Osceola Campus Interim Director of Advising Daniel Smith says Kenyatta is knowledgeable and good at her job. But that’s not all she brings to her position.

“In all my interactions with her, I have found Kenyatta to be gracious and warm,” Daniel says. “She brings an empathetic spirit to her service of both students and staff and is deeply committed to student success.”

Kenyatta finds herself most inspired by the College’s ability to consider the needs of the student.

“I think our student-centered approach is wonderful,” she says. “That’s not the case at many other institutions.”

To her, Valencia represents a pathway for members of our community to pursue their dreams.

“People can make things happen from here,” she explains.

When Kenyatta’s not working, she’s spending time with her family, which includes three children.

“They are my world,” she says. She also says she admires them because they all do things to help in their community, adding that she also is a mentor for the Horizon Scholars program.

Something you might not know about Kenyatta is that she has a growing collection of spoon rests.

“I can’t cook without a spoon rest,” she explains.

She buys them for herself and receives them as gifts and now has a collection of over a dozen spoon rests.

After years of advising and coaching students to be their best versions of themselves, Kenyatta has also cooked up her own recipe for personal growth. In fact, this past summer, she finished two technical certificates, Business Specialist and Operations Support and Services.

Kenyatta says she took the classes so she could help her daughter pursue her entrepreneurial goals and because she loves to learn and is always searching for ways to grow. She also took all of the classes online just so she could experience learning through Canvas as a student. That’s just one more experience that can help Kenyatta to help students make the right choices for the modality of classes they choose.

Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for at least one year? 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.

 

7 Comments

  • Melissa Pedone said:

    It is such a pleasure to see Kenyatta recognized and to get to know her better through this article. Way to go Kenyatta!

    PMTue, 07 Dec 2021 16:51:31 +0000Tue, 07 Dec 2021 16:51:31 +0000pm21,4:51 pm

  • Sonya Joseph said:

    An amazing colleague, student advocate and professional. Beautiful piece on my sister! 😉

    PMTue, 07 Dec 2021 17:11:57 +0000Tue, 07 Dec 2021 17:11:57 +0000pm21,5:11 pm

  • Ashley Whitehead said:

    I was so happy to see this face in my email. Very well deserved! You are such a gem Kenyatta Joseph, keep shining bright!

    AMWed, 08 Dec 2021 10:35:42 +0000Wed, 08 Dec 2021 10:35:42 +0000am21,10:35 am

  • Nicholle Trapp said:

    Congratulations Kenyatta, such well deserved recognition. Thank you for all you do!!

    PMWed, 08 Dec 2021 13:40:59 +0000Wed, 08 Dec 2021 13:40:59 +0000pm21,1:40 pm

  • Courtney Demings said:

    Congratulations Kenyatta! It is such a pleasure to work with a colleague who is so invested in the experiences of our students!

    PMWed, 08 Dec 2021 16:55:37 +0000Wed, 08 Dec 2021 16:55:37 +0000pm21,4:55 pm

  • Lateshia Martin said:

    Congratulations Kenyatta! Well deserved recognition. Keep impacting the world one student at a time!

    AMThu, 09 Dec 2021 08:28:49 +0000Thu, 09 Dec 2021 08:28:49 +0000am21,8:28 am

  • Sherrik Conover said:

    Congratulations Kenyatta! Very deserving! Keep up the good work Cousin!

    AMTue, 14 Dec 2021 10:48:27 +0000Tue, 14 Dec 2021 10:48:27 +0000am21,10:48 am

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