Featured Colleague: Karen Borglum’s 20 Years of Impact

By Dani Moritz-Long

In her 20-year tenure at the College, Assistant Vice President of Curriculum and Assessment Karen Borglum has worn countless hats. From speech professor to the director of a Title III grant and dean of communications to her current role managing curriculum, assessment, accreditation and institutional effectiveness, she’s long taken an active interest in advancing the College and its students.

Today, although she enjoys less direct interaction with Valencia’s pupils than in previous roles, she’s just as inspired by their stories.

“I may not be teaching, but the work that I do impacts how students experience the College,” she said. “The College is what the students experience, so I am motivated to make that meaningful.”

Karen also finds inspiration within her team and Valencia’s collegewide and unwavering commitment to innovation, something Karen says has always made Valencia stand apart from the rest.

“It’s part of the reason for our inaugural win of the Aspen award,” she explained. “People at the College are constantly looking for ways to improve and to meet the needs of the community. We work from the premise that we can always do better!”

In Karen’s personal quest to “do better,” she’s enjoyed a robust and meaningful career in academia. She’s earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, master’s degree in communication and Doctorate of Education in curriculum and instruction, but her hard-earned degrees barely scratch the surface of her developmental pursuits.

Always someone to seek learning opportunities, Karen has also enhanced her education and experience through an array of professional development activities, such as her selection and participation in the Management Development Program at Harvard University, the 2002 Florida Community College System Chancellor’s Leadership Program, the Leadership Academy in Toronto and the Leadership Orlando series.

She has also presented across the country in conferences focused on curriculum, instructional enhancement and communities of practice, served on numerous committees and authored two articles: “Academic and Social Integration of Community College Students: A Case Study” and “What About Academic Standards?”

To date, however, she considers her greatest accomplishment something she’s experienced right here at Valencia.

“I am most proud,” she said, “of the work that has been done by the Collegewide Curriculum Committee (CCC). The CCC is one of the most dedicated groups of faculty, administrators and staff at Valencia. They make difficult, and sometimes unpopular, decisions. Their work impacts learning by providing seamless, sensible pathways for our students. It isn’t always easy for colleagues who are not on the committee to understand how or why decisions are made, but people should know that their colleagues don’t take their roles lightly, and the approval or rejection of a proposal is always thoroughly discussed.”

Commenting on Karen’s impressive and impactful career, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Planning Susan Ledlow said, “Karen’s contribution to the College is invaluable. She has both a deep understanding of curriculum and assessment, and a rare talent to lead collaborative processes effectively. I love working with her!”

In her free time, you can find Karen and her family enjoying documentaries and independent films and — quite literally — traveling the world. Already, Karen has stepped foot on six continents with only Antarctica to complete her list and this, she says, is something she will most certainly make happen.

You can read about the adventures Karen enjoyed on her sabbatical, when she traveled down under to find renewal in Australia and New Zealand, by clicking here.

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.



  • Erin O'Brien Grogan said:

    Karen was first my speech professor and later my dean. I thoroughly enjoyed her class during my first semester at Valencia. She is a superb leader and I consider myself lucky to have had her as a professor, dean, and colleague.

    PMTue, 25 Apr 2017 19:15:59 +0000Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:15:59 +0000pm17,7:15 pm

    • Karen Borglum said:

      Now I feel old! You were a great student and are a wonderful instructor. Glad you are back!

      AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 07:12:56 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:12:56 +0000am17,7:12 am

  • Joyce Romano said:

    You are the BEST, Karen! Thanks for all of your leadership and dedication!

    PMTue, 25 Apr 2017 19:16:13 +0000Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:16:13 +0000pm17,7:16 pm

    • Karen Borglum said:

      Honestly Joyce, YOU are the best! You are such a great role model.

      AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 07:11:26 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:11:26 +0000am17,7:11 am

  • Jane said:

    What a great write- up and I’m so happy that I have spent time working with you; you are a great person !

    PMTue, 25 Apr 2017 19:18:52 +0000Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:18:52 +0000pm17,7:18 pm

    • Karen Borglum said:

      Thanks for the comment. I have really enjoyed working with you in Honors and look forward to getting to know you this summer.

      AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 07:10:31 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:10:31 +0000am17,7:10 am

  • Karen Murray said:

    Thank you, Karen, for all you do for Valencia. You were a wonderful, very helpful, and supportive dean, which I appreciated very much as a new Valencia employee and will never forget.

    PMTue, 25 Apr 2017 20:58:05 +0000Tue, 25 Apr 2017 20:58:05 +0000pm17,8:58 pm

    • Karen Borglum said:

      Karen, Thank you for your kind words. I knew that you were a great hire for our students and for our department. I have really enjoyed working with you, and getting to know you personally.

      AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 07:09:24 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:09:24 +0000am17,7:09 am

  • Janice Callaway said:

    Thank you, Karen, for not only being a great role model for our students, but a wonderful role model for your colleagues. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness!

    AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 07:48:42 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:48:42 +0000am17,7:48 am

    • Karen said:

      You are so sweet. I really do look forward to seeing you in the mornings. It is a nice way to walk into work.

      AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 10:29:23 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:29:23 +0000am17,10:29 am

  • Jeff Nardo said:

    Impressive article on a great colleague!

    AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 08:16:06 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 08:16:06 +0000am17,8:16 am

    • Karen said:

      Thanks, Jeff. It has been a pleasure getting to know you.

      AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 10:28:04 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:28:04 +0000am17,10:28 am

  • Robyn Brighton said:

    I'm so grateful to have you as a leader and mentor!

    AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 08:19:30 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 08:19:30 +0000am17,8:19 am

    • Karen said:

      I learn from you every day Robyn. I am lucky you are on my team.

      AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 10:27:27 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:27:27 +0000am17,10:27 am

  • Samanta Matadin said:

    Karen, you are an inspiration and Valencia is so luck to have you!

    AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 09:05:11 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:05:11 +0000am17,9:05 am

    • Karen said:

      Thanks Samanta. I am so glad that we have had a chance to get to know each other.

      AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 10:26:56 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:26:56 +0000am17,10:26 am

  • Shauna Anstey said:

    Karen is such a great leader and I am grateful for the opportunities to work with her, especially on the Learning Assessment Conference. Well deserved recognition!

    AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 10:04:22 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:04:22 +0000am17,10:04 am

    • Karen said:

      Thank you Shauna. You and your team made it so easy.

      AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 10:26:04 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:26:04 +0000am17,10:26 am

  • Noelia M. said:

    Karen, what great article! Our team continues to thrive under your dedicated leadership, and you inspire us to be our very best.

    AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 10:13:41 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:13:41 +0000am17,10:13 am

  • Karen said:

    Thank you Noelia. I feel privileged to work with such a hard-working group of people.

    AMWed, 26 Apr 2017 10:25:24 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:25:24 +0000am17,10:25 am

  • Amy Bosley said:

    Thank you for being a wonderful role model, Karen. I have learned so much from you and appreciate all of the many ways our paths have crossed through the years.

    PMWed, 26 Apr 2017 13:26:33 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:26:33 +0000pm17,1:26 pm

    • Karen said:

      Thank you, Amy. I appreciate your kind words.

      AMThu, 27 Apr 2017 07:50:57 +0000Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:50:57 +0000am17,7:50 am

  • Mike Bosley said:

    What a pleasure it is to work with 🙂 Karen Borglum!

    PMWed, 26 Apr 2017 13:36:51 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:36:51 +0000pm17,1:36 pm

    • Karen said:

      The pleasure is mine, Mike. Rock the Casbah!

      AMThu, 27 Apr 2017 07:52:00 +0000Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:52:00 +0000am17,7:52 am

  • Karen Cowden said:

    Wow! What an amazing timeline of events. You have showed such professionalism, humor, collaboration, and easy-going nature since I have known you, and I appreciate your personal support of my dreams and goals.

    PMWed, 26 Apr 2017 20:46:34 +0000Wed, 26 Apr 2017 20:46:34 +0000pm17,8:46 pm

  • Karen said:

    Thank you, Karen. I appreciate your dedication to your students and colleagues.

    AMThu, 27 Apr 2017 07:52:41 +0000Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:52:41 +0000am17,7:52 am

  • Aaron Powell said:

    Well, no surprise… already 26 comments of mighty appreciation. Here's one more: Karen Borglum, International Rock Star!!! 😀

    AMThu, 27 Apr 2017 11:44:34 +0000Thu, 27 Apr 2017 11:44:34 +0000am17,11:44 am

    • Karen said:

      Another good hire on my part, Aaron Powell.

      PMFri, 28 Apr 2017 12:36:31 +0000Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:36:31 +0000pm17,12:36 pm

  • Linda Neal said:

    Having worked with Karen many times since she offered me my first 4-month contract position on West Campus, I continue to admire her ability to consistently lead with remarkable poise.

    PMThu, 27 Apr 2017 12:41:36 +0000Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:41:36 +0000pm17,12:41 pm

  • Jocelyn said:

    Excellent article. I admire your work and leadership. Well deserved recognition. Congratulations Karen!

    PMThu, 27 Apr 2017 16:02:30 +0000Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:02:30 +0000pm17,4:02 pm

  • Karen said:

    Thank you, Jocelyn. I appreciate your kind words.

    PMFri, 28 Apr 2017 12:34:57 +0000Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:34:57 +0000pm17,12:34 pm

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