Featured Colleague: Melanie Olivier’s Educational Journey Led Her to a Valencia Role She Loves

By Dani Moritz-Long

Administrative Assistant Melanie Olivier considers Valencia a well-oiled machine — one she’s happy to be a part of as both an employee and a student.

Her journey began in 2015, when she started pursuing her associate degree in computer programming and analysis. Like many before her, she quickly found herself feeling right at home at the College.

“I fell in love with the environment,” she said. “Everyone I talked to was very helpful and friendly; it seemed like a great place to work. When I saw an opening for which I was a good match, I did not hesitate and applied. I was blessed to be chosen for the position and boy was I right! It is a great place to work.”

Now, while Melanie continues to pursue her degree, she says she’s in no rush to switch careers or, in-particular, leave Valencia.

“I started pursuing an A.S. degree because I wanted to open a window for better job opportunities, and then I got a job in a place that I absolutely love,” she said. “So, even though I am in no rush to switch careers right now, it’s always been my dream since I was a little girl to be an engineer. I’d love to continue my studies and complete a bachelor’s degree when I finish at Valencia. I’m seven classes away from completing the requirements, but I’m only taking one or two classes at a time, so hopefully I’ll graduate by 2020 and I can keep my GPA at 4.0.”

In her professional role, Melanie enjoys being a part of the warm, welcoming environment that initially attracted her to the College.

Specifically, she supports the Mathematics department on Osceola Campus by assisting with textbooks, scheduling, faculty contracts, budget management, travel and anything else that’s needed.

“In other words,” she said, “I am a part of an engine that makes sure it provides students and our faculty everything they need for a successful semester.”

She also enjoys interacting with students and using her talents as a bilingual speaker (she’s actually an immigrant from Venezuela, where she earned a degree in information technology) to help Spanish-speaking students and parents.

“Often times, students that walk in the office feel much more comfortable speaking in Spanish,” she said. “Other times, they come with their parents who don’t speak English and, even if the student feels comfortable speaking English, they want to include their parents in their conversation and we use Spanish instead.”

Inspired by Valencia’s inclusive atmosphere, she added, “I believe Valencia is an open door for students of all backgrounds and ages to pursue and achieve their dreams by providing accessible opportunities, tools and resources.”

Melanie’s supervisor, Dean of Mathematics Melissa Pedone, says Melanie is a vital part of sustaining Valencia’s positive, transformational and inclusive environment.

“Melanie is a true professional,” Melissa said. “It is clear in everything that she does that she is committed to supporting the success of students and staff in our division.”

In her free time, you can find Melanie visiting the beach where, she says, she finds peace among the sand, sun and ocean, traveling the world and cooking up some delicious treats.

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.

13 Comments

  • Maritza said:

    Congrats on the recognition, Melanie!!!

    AMWed, 04 Apr 2018 08:44:13 +0000Wed, 04 Apr 2018 08:44:13 +0000am18,8:44 am

    • menganie24 said:

      Thank you! 🙂

      AMThu, 05 Apr 2018 10:33:39 +0000Thu, 05 Apr 2018 10:33:39 +0000am18,10:33 am

  • Melissa said:

    What a great story about a great individual!!

    AMWed, 04 Apr 2018 08:53:29 +0000Wed, 04 Apr 2018 08:53:29 +0000am18,8:53 am

    • menganie24 said:

      Thank you, Melissa. It means a lot 🙂

      AMThu, 05 Apr 2018 10:33:59 +0000Thu, 05 Apr 2018 10:33:59 +0000am18,10:33 am

  • Anitza said:

    Thank you for all you do Melanie! You are an amazing person. Always willing to help everyone with a big smile.

    AMWed, 04 Apr 2018 09:43:26 +0000Wed, 04 Apr 2018 09:43:26 +0000am18,9:43 am

    • menganie24 said:

      Thanks, Anitza! 🙂

      AMThu, 05 Apr 2018 10:34:11 +0000Thu, 05 Apr 2018 10:34:11 +0000am18,10:34 am

  • Nelson said:

    Always wonderful to work with. You have a big heart! You help inspire staff and students alike with your story.

    AMWed, 04 Apr 2018 10:54:02 +0000Wed, 04 Apr 2018 10:54:02 +0000am18,10:54 am

    • menganie24 said:

      Thank you, Nelson. 🙂

      AMThu, 05 Apr 2018 10:34:32 +0000Thu, 05 Apr 2018 10:34:32 +0000am18,10:34 am

  • Mary Jane Young said:

    Congratulations to you, and it is such a pleasure working with you, and thank you for all your help, and support to the students, faculty, and staff.

    AMWed, 04 Apr 2018 11:03:08 +0000Wed, 04 Apr 2018 11:03:08 +0000am18,11:03 am

    • menganie24 said:

      Thanks, Mary Jane. Always a pleasure!! 🙂

      AMThu, 05 Apr 2018 10:34:52 +0000Thu, 05 Apr 2018 10:34:52 +0000am18,10:34 am

  • Daisy said:

    Congrats Melanie, you go girl!! You've always been awesome!

    PMWed, 04 Apr 2018 13:17:12 +0000Wed, 04 Apr 2018 13:17:12 +0000pm18,1:17 pm

    • menganie24 said:

      Thanks, Daisy!!! 🙂

      AMThu, 05 Apr 2018 10:35:27 +0000Thu, 05 Apr 2018 10:35:27 +0000am18,10:35 am

  • Andi said:

    Melanie, this is an awesome article, congratulations!! You really do keep everything together and running smoothly. I don't know what we would do with out you. You really are the best. Thank you for all you do for all of us and always with a smile and a great laugh!

    AMMon, 09 Apr 2018 06:55:38 +0000Mon, 09 Apr 2018 06:55:38 +0000am18,6:55 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

    Featured Colleague: Valencia College Empowered Anna...

    Tuesday, August 10, 2021 By Wendy Jo Moyer If it weren’t for a friend who led her to Valencia College, Anna Castillo may not be the same person she is today. When she was in high school, that friend encouraged her to join him at a Valencia College presentation. And now, seven years later, she owes her […]

    Featured Colleague: Daryl Davis Carved a Path from Hoops...

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 By Claudia Zequeira As assistant vice president of analytics and reporting, Daryl Davis is responsible for the development and implementation of Valencia College’s data and analytics strategy. But who could guess that Daryl’s path to the College would begin with basketball? “My first career was to play professional basketball,” said Daryl, […]