Featured Colleague: Mark Logas Sparks Student Interest in Political Involvement

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

By Wendy Jo Moyer

“Professor Logas has required students to attend our city council meetings … and almost every meeting, we have several of his students that are here,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said as he introduced Professor of Political Science Mark Logas to deliver the invocation at a March 2019 Orlando City Council meeting. In fact, for more than 18 years, Mark has required his students to attend city and county government meetings and court proceedings in local courthouses to spark their interest in political involvement.

To provide learning opportunities and further encourage students to serve the community, Mark also developed and led for six years Valencia College’s Civic Leadership Internship Program, a planned work-based experience that provides students with supervised career exploration activities and/or practical experience related to their career objectives.

I believe that my role at Valencia is to encourage students to develop college-level research and critical thinking skills, so that they may create their own fact-based opinions about issues they face,” Mark explained, adding that he feels it’s important for students to have experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.

“Style is the culmination of intelligence, passion and specific intent,” Dean of Social Sciences and Physical Education Mark Collins said about Mark Logas’ teaching. “If you get to see Mark teach, you will see what style can be in the classroom. Mark does not just teach; he antagonizes mediocrity with tenacious ferocity. He challenges the miseducation of our populace by educating them on what American politics is and has been. He creates an environment where debate, research and exploration of ignorance are central to the creation of learning. He is intelligent, passionate and intends to eradicate his students’ miseducation about the American political landscape. He, like his peers in political science, deserve attention and recognition for making a topic we all think we know, more clear.”

In addition to his work developing the Civic Leadership Internship Program, he is proud to have served as coordinator of the East Campus Veterans Group and of his work asking one of the last remaining Tuskegee Airman — the first group of Black airmen in the military — Richard Hall to serve as the keynote speaker for an East Campus Veterans Day event in 2018.

“Sadly, Airman Hall passed away in February of this year,” Mark shared.

Mark, a Central Florida native who earned an associate degree from Lake-Sumter State College — where he was the Student Government president — and a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida, has many accolades to his name. He received the Lake-Sumter State College Distinguished Alumni Award, Valencia College’s Professor of the Semester and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Award. He’s also been credited by elected officials and academic leaders for working with state legislators to help pass the Civics Literacy Requirement. Additionally, he served as the president of the Florida Political Science Association.

And the accolades began prior to his work at Valencia, when he spent 25 years in broadcast radio and television covering state and local government and coordinating election coverage. He’s worked at Channels 2, 6 and 9 in Orlando and was nominated for an Emmy Award for “Best TV Newscast,” while earning the “Best TV Newscast Award” in 1997 and the “Associated Press Best TV News Story Award” in 2000. Since 2014, he anchors election coverage for WFLA FM93.1/AM540 in Orlando.

During his time in his broadcast career, he was practicing for his future role as a professor of political science.

I covered my first election in 1978 for broadcast radio and have covered elections every two years since that time for broadcast radio and television.”

Mark, who is inspired by our students, staff, professors and administrators, likes how Valencia leads in providing the best and diverse learning experiences for our students. For example, he said, “When the COVID pandemic happened, administrators asked professors to consider teaching Real-time Virtual classes (RTV) so that our students would have as close to an in-classroom learning experience as possible. I volunteered to teach RTV classes, and the extensive training and execution of the pilot program in such a short amount of time was impressive.”

When not encouraging students to serve the community or to become politically involved, Mark, who’s married with two children, enjoys watching old television shows and listening to Golden Oldies records.

Know of someone doing great work at the College, 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.

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