Featured Colleague: Laura Browning, Library Services Supervisor, Shares Life Lessons She Learned at Valencia

By Dani Moritz-Long

Two years ago when Laura Browning, library services supervisor, began her Valencia journey, she found herself becoming reflective after crossing the finish line of her first 5K last in her age bracket at Valencia’s Annual Run/Walk for Heroes at Osceola Campus. She was thrilled to have walked alongside her coworkers to support the funding of scholarships for emergency responders but was less than thrilled with her last-place finish.

Fortunately, however, her experience gave way to advice that would ultimately shape her personal life and professional career.

“After finishing the walk last in my age bracket,” she said, “I asked my boss how to improve for my next 5K, and he gave me wise advice. He said to jog in increments, take time for rest and that you don’t have to run the whole way to finish strong. I took his advice and seven months later I finished third place in my age group in Valencia’s Run, Walk & Roll 5K. I continue to apply this lesson to other areas of my life. In the face of challenges, I seek support and advice, take time for rest and get back out there and give it my absolute best.”

With this advice in mind, Laura, who has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in library and information studies, has led a successful career at Valencia. Charged with ensuring our students have the library resources they need to find success, Laura is proud of her work collaborating with Student Development and finding innovative ways to support Valencia students.

“It has been a pleasure watching Laura grow in her position,” said Michael Blackburn, manager, learning support services. “She has collaborated with several departments and made a huge impact on our students. Not only does Laura hold several events within the library to connect with our students, she also makes a point to meet them in the hallways and in the classroom. For Laura, it’s all about connecting to each individual student and finding what they need to be successful. I look forward to seeing what’s next for Laura.”

Specifically, beyond connecting with individual students, Laura has enjoyed creating experiences like Open Mic Nights, student workshops and library displays. She also says she’s enjoyed finding ways the library can contribute to sustainability efforts by donating recycled magazines to Lake Nona High School for student art projects and connecting students to volunteer opportunities, like donating to a food pantry.

“I love that Valencia’s goals and missions are student-centered and that we provide opportunities to students of all backgrounds,” she said. “Valencia helps students overcome challenges and obstacles to pursue their educational goals and dreams.”

In addition, Laura says, she enjoys working for an organization that symbolizes opportunity and acceptance to the Central Florida community.

In her free time, you can find Laura taking time to relax and refresh. Yoga, museums, libraries (of course), church and community hot spots all feature in Laura’s favorite leisure activities.

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.

2 Comments

  • Mike Bosley said:

    We are so proud to have Laura serving our students at the Lake Nona Campus!

    PMWed, 05 Jul 2017 17:28:04 +0000Wed, 05 Jul 2017 17:28:04 +0000pm17,5:28 pm

  • Laura Browning said:

    Thank you Mike!

    PMThu, 06 Jul 2017 12:33:31 +0000Thu, 06 Jul 2017 12:33:31 +0000pm17,12:33 pm

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