Featured Colleague — Erich Heintzelman


By Joy S. Jones

“Valencia is a foundational pillar of the Central Florida community,” says Erich Heintzelman, librarian, East Campus, “and people look to us as a place of opportunity, from first-year students to returning and non-traditional students.”

Opportunity is also found in the level of collaboration and teamwork at Valencia that Erich views as “unparalleled” and the freedom to build close partnerships with many faculty and staff members.

“I am fortunate to be a part of a collegial team of librarians and professionals, not just on East Campus but collegewide,” Erich shares. “Together, we all reflect the focus of Valencia as an institution by putting students first and striving to provide them with the tools and support they need to succeed.”

And working with colleagues who continue to inspire him is just about as good as it gets.

“My colleagues, East Campus librarians, Chris Wettstein, Diane Dalrymple and Courtney Moore, each have unique talents and ideas coupled with a flexible approach to each new day that makes my job rewarding. And our library director, Dennis Weeks, has a student-centered and forward thinking vision of the role of the library,” he says.

Erich’s contributions are equally valued by Dennis, his supervisor.

“Erich is always at the head of the line to try a new idea or innovative approach and is willing to try anything that involves technology,” Dennis shares. “No idea is too new or out of the box for him to entertain. And on many occasions I’ve watched him put down what he was doing to listen and help a student. Also, his skill and charm engage the students in his classes.”

Constantly investigating the value to students of emerging technologies and engaging in new projects is par for the course for this tech-savvy crew.

“Admittedly, this keeps us quite busy, but in a good way. Ultimately, everything we work toward is intended to benefit our students.”

That kind of focus has caused the East library’s reputation to spread among students as an inviting and technology-supportive resource as a result of Week’s vision and willingness to explore new ideas.

As a bonus, there are many meaningful accomplishments Erich draws upon when sharing high points of his tenure. Serving as the internship coordinator for the library is one.

“I was able to mentor and supervise the East Campus library’s first two inaugural interns, and it was rewarding to see them develop,” he shares. Both have since graduated, and are now employed as part-time librarians at Valencia.

He is also thrilled about the technology and outreach projects that are planned for the upcoming academic year. “We are developing a three-year library technology plan that will help direct our efforts and resources toward helping the library seamlessly integrate with students’ bustling lives.”

Yet another assignment, of which he is proud, is being part of a team that has applied for a grant to fund student ambassadors as a part of the library’s outreach program.

“We envision these students promoting and actively participating in the goals and decisions of the library and to help improve resources and library support for their student peers.”

Meanwhile, it is clear to him that Valencia’s commitment to professional development for its employees and academic success for its students, constitute why the College is nationally recognized.

“This promise is why so many people choose to begin or continue their educational journey at Valencia and why I find working at Valencia to be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.”

Erich began his career as a librarian at Valencia in 2004. He works closely with Seneff Honors students and serves as a faculty co-advisor for the Valencia Initiative for Microloans Club, which raises money to loan to individuals through Kiva, a nonprofit organization that connects people who are interested in helping others help themselves out of poverty.

He values service to the College and is currently serving his second term on the East Campus Faculty Senate and is a member of 12 committees during his 10-year tenure, serving on five currently. Erich also co-facilitates the LFMP 3345 LifeMap Certificate course and very recently, joined the Faculty and Staff Giving campaign as a faculty ambassador.

Erich completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in history at Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in library science at Florida State University.

Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name, along with what makes him or her standout, to The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu so he or she can be one of our featured colleagues.


  • Erin said:

    Go Erich! You are always so helpful to me and my students in our learning adventures. I appreciate your support!

    PMTue, 24 Jun 2014 21:07:42 +0000Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:07:42 +0000pm14,9:07 pm

  • Gary Heintzelman said:

    Great job, Erich! As a former middle and high school teacher and instructor at WorWich Community College, I can appreciate the resources and expertise a functional library and librarian can offer faculty and students!

    PMWed, 25 Jun 2014 17:15:57 +0000Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:15:57 +0000pm14,5:15 pm

  • Margaret said:

    ..not only that, but you are really just a decent, nice guy who is such a pleasure to work with.

    PMWed, 25 Jun 2014 20:35:34 +0000Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:35:34 +0000pm14,8:35 pm

  • Krystal Pherai said:

    Great to see Erich recognized! He has always been so kind and supportive of the Peace and Justice Initiative. Congrats, Erich!

    AMTue, 01 Jul 2014 11:16:59 +0000Tue, 01 Jul 2014 11:16:59 +0000am14,11:16 am

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