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.