By Joy S. Jones
“My position as an instructional assistant, senior, affords me the opportunity to work directly with students and faculty every day, and this is what I like best about working at Valencia,” beams Ian O’Toole. “We are engaged directly with helping our students learn how to become IT professionals and computer programmers, and helping them to understand challenging concepts is the best part of my job. As a plus, we also have an excellent team of lab assistants and tutors who are invaluable in this endeavor.”
Ian was a computer programming tutor at the College from 2007 – 2008 and earned an Associate in Science degree in computer programming and analysis from Valencia in 2008. Since graduating, he’s been “making the donuts” in his current role in the division of engineering, computer programming and technology (ECPT).
In the summer of 2011, he worked with the facilities department on the renovation of the information technology labs. It is a project for which, even today, he is proud to share credit, which resulted in a much more modern and functional area that is a better use of space. Earlier in 2014, in partnership with the OIT Web team, he assisted with an ECPT website re-design project.
“I understand that it is now being used as a model for other divisions,” Ian said, sharing also that he is looking forward to exploring the possibility of teaching for IT in an adjunct capacity within the next year or so.
Influenced and encouraged by his supervisor, Lisa Macon, dean, architecture, engineering and technology, he says that Lisa has always been his greatest source of inspiration.
“Lisa is a true leader. Rather than dictating what she’d like to see from her team, she models the way and sets an example through her behavior and work ethic,” Ian extolled. “Invariably, she makes sure that we have the resources and support that we need to succeed.”
At the same time, Lisa believes that Ian also exhibits traits worthy of emulation.
“Ian is a quiet leader who inspires others by his example,” she said. “No job is too big or too small. He just wants to help others and further the mission of the division and the College. I feel truly privileged to work with him every day.”
On the home front, Ian is a newlywed. Just last month he wed his wife, Michele. The two have “an awesome sixth grader, Mackenzie” and Ella, an English bulldog.
As for the institution, Ian believes that Valencia represents an invaluable resource for everyone in the Central Florida community who wants to grow personally, professionally and academically.
A member of the current PIVOT 180 leadership development cohort, he concluded that “anyone who wants to build a better life is afforded that opportunity here. The College welcomes everyone.”
Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu so he or he can be one of our featured colleagues.