Featured Colleague – Lisa Potchen

Lisa Potchen -grove (570)

By Stephanie McMillen

Lisa Potchen, professor of mathematics on East Campus, likes to help others, and loves teaching at Valencia because that is exactly what she gets to do every day.

“I feel most proud when I know I truly helped a student improve their understanding of a math skill or concept,” Lisa shared. “It’s also exciting to hear the students talk about their dreams for their future. I like being around the hopeful, positive energy that comes from our students and it feels good to know I’m helping them get started on their academic path.”

Affirming Lisa’s dedication to student learning, Ronald Rivera, East Campus security officer and one of her former students, said, “Lisa goes above and beyond to make sure her students do well in class. [She] comes in on weekends and many times on her own time to meet with students on campus to tutor them.”

As a native to Orlando, Lisa graduated from Boone High School and went on to attend both Valencia and the University of Central Florida (UCF). “I actually met my husband in a math class at Valencia the summer after graduating from high school,” Lisa shared.

At UCF, Lisa obtained a bachelor’s degree in statistics and a master’s degree in mathematics. She then worked at Lockheed Martin for 10 years as a systems analyst and a systems engineer until her oldest child was born. Lisa spent the next 14 years as a stay-at-home parent and volunteered at her kids’ schools – an experience that she found both fun and rewarding.

Once her children became teenagers, Lisa decided to rejoin the workforce in 2009. “I really liked teaching,” she said, recollecting her experience teaching as a graduate student, “so I decided to apply for a position in the math department on East Campus.”

Although her career began at Valencia as an adjunct instructor, today, Lisa is on tenure-track and is scheduled to complete the Teaching and Learning Academy in 2014.

“Lisa is a dedicated educator, who cares deeply about her students and their success,” said Maryke Lee, dean of mathematics on East Campus and Lisa’s supervisor. “She is equally effective in teaching developmental and college-ready students.”

Since she has been with Valencia, Lisa has been motivated by her colleagues and her students.

“The drive to become better at what we do is evident all over Valencia and I find that very inspiring,” she said. “In particular, in my department, there are always new ideas being discussed and developed to improve our students’ experiences here. From finding better ways to engage and instruct students to saving them money on textbooks, we are always looking out for the best for our students.”

In her free time Lisa enjoys reading, as well as spending time with friends and family.

Know of someone doing great work at the college? Send their name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu so they can be one of our featured colleagues!


  • Deborah Xavier said:

    I took a math class with Ms. Potchen years ago and she is really amazing!
    She cares about the well being of hers students.

    Ms. Potchen YOU ROCK!

    PMTue, 07 May 2013 16:42:11 +0000Tue, 07 May 2013 16:42:11 +0000pm13,4:42 pm

  • Alison said:

    Yay Lisa! I admire you!
    Great picture!

    PMTue, 07 May 2013 17:06:55 +0000Tue, 07 May 2013 17:06:55 +0000pm13,5:06 pm

  • C Penfold Navarro said:

    Just as students inspire you, great teachers like you inspire us!

    AMWed, 08 May 2013 08:37:34 +0000Wed, 08 May 2013 08:37:34 +0000am13,8:37 am

  • Steve Tullo said:

    Lisa Potchen does ROCK!

    AMWed, 08 May 2013 08:44:36 +0000Wed, 08 May 2013 08:44:36 +0000am13,8:44 am

  • shalini said:

    Congratulations. Lisa. You are the best

    PMWed, 08 May 2013 12:27:48 +0000Wed, 08 May 2013 12:27:48 +0000pm13,12:27 pm

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