By Chara Young
Whether you’ve attended a course offered through Valencia EDGE or worked with Jenny Charriez on instructional design, one thing may have resonated with you – her heart for teaching.
Adjunct faculty, instructional designer, these are just a few of the many roles Jenny has had throughout her career with the College. Beginning as a work study student in the computer lab on the Osceola Campus, Jenny quickly felt “at home,” knowing that Valencia was a place where she hoped to have a long career.
Graduating from Valencia in 1998 with an associate’s degree in accounting – yes accounting – Jenny went on to the University of Central Florida (UCF) where she earned a bachelor’s degree in the same field. After completing her degree at UCF, Jenny worked at Valencia as an instructional assistant in the academic computer labs. In this role, she supported math, English and accounting students and made sure that the 50 computers were operational and ready for use.
Never one to remain idle, in 2000, after graduating from UCF, Jenny served as the first co-chair of the Osceola campus’ Career Staff Association, and took on her first teaching role as an adjunct faculty member, facilitating face-to-face and web enhanced sections of basic accounting, independent tax and pre-algebra for CROP, the College Reach-Out Program.
In 2003, Jenny transitioned into positions that required a focus on information technology (IT), such as coordinator of reference information systems and technology learning center manager, where she collaborated with campus faculty members on the acquisition of learning resources and instructional technology. She also trained faculty, staff and students on the proper use of the resources and various IT initiatives.
Over the next few years, Jenny continued her extracurricular work and was recognized in 2004 and 2005 with the Outstanding Public Service award for coordinating the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program at Osceola campus. During this time, she was also very active in Leadership Valencia, the college’s professional development program at the time, where she facilitated over 160 technology workshops.
Before moving into her current position as the Director of Employee Development, Jenny was an instructional design specialist from 2006-2011. In this role she was well known as a “go-to” person for both faculty and staff alike who appreciated her willingness to help and her gift for teaching. As a result, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) presented her with two recognition awards; one for outstanding leadership in the use of instructional technologies (2009) and the other for being a “weekend warrior” (2010).
In 2011, Jenny earned a master of arts in education with a specialization in adult education and training, and shortly thereafter, transitioned into her current role. Since arriving in the Office for Organizational Communication and Development (OOCD), Jenny has led the implementation of a new employee development system , customized and facilitated department training and most recently co-lead the Academy of Learning Leaders.
Of her many accomplishments at Valencia, Jenny accredits several people who inspired and helped her along the way during many phases of her career, including Dale Husbands, dean of business, information technology and social sciences, and Denise Ross, director of certificate programs in information technology, who taught her that “there is nothing that [she] cannot achieve.” As a young Valencia student, Jenny shares, “this advice was invaluable.”
As for her educational philosophy, she thanks Tim Grogan, biology professor, who she says “helped shape the educator [she] would become,” and shares that he is the first one who introduced her to the big idea that “anyone can learn anything given the right conditions.”
When asked what Valencia means to her, Jenny quickly responds, “Growth. Valencia, to me, is a place where you grow, where you find yourself, and where you find others on a similar path, who can enhance that journey.”
She expresses that her heart still belongs to Osceola campus, where she first began as a student and was so warmly welcomed and embraced. It’s no surprise that Osceola is also the place where she met her husband, Javier Charriez, instructional support supervisor for the Osceola Campus learning center. Together they have a six-year-old son, named Ilan.
Know someone doing great work at the college? Send your recommendation to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu and he or she may be one of our featured colleagues!