Featured Colleague: Noelia Maldonado Rodriguez’s Valencia Journey

By Dani Moritz-Long

After graduating from high school, Noelia Maldonado Rodriguez, coordinator, institutional advancement, didn’t think college was an option.

“I went into the workforce immediately after graduating high school and, given my responsibilities at work and home, I didn’t think college was for me,” she explained.

Then, a few years later, she — quite literally — saw a sign that changed the course of her life.

Wanting a degree but not knowing where to begin, she says, she drove past a Valencia billboard with the words, “a better place to start.”

The rest, as they say, is history, as today Noelia is not only a college graduate with an associate degree from Valencia and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida, but she’s a valued member of the Valencia staff.

“My experiences as a student had such an a positive impact that I promised myself I’d return in a different capacity,” she said. “Valencia went from being the place I loved to study at to the place I love to work at.”

She happily returned to the College in 2008 as an executive assistant. She was promoted to a planning support specialist in 2013, and, today, she serves as a coordinator of institutional advancement, where she supports projects within the Office of Curriculum and Assessment. Her greatest accomplishments include supporting the College during the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Decennial Review and helping implement Xitracs, the College’s reporting system.

“What I like best about Valencia is the opportunity the College offers for genuine engagement with our students and colleagues,” she said. “In the time since joining the College, I’ve been able to support our governance councils, participate in employee development opportunities, such as Pivot and Prototype, and serve as part of committees and associations, such as the staff association, grievance committee and, just recently, the Pulse Remembrance planning team.”

Karen Borglum, assistant vice president, curriculum and assessment, says her quality work and collaborative nature doesn’t go unnoticed.

“I feel very fortunate to work with such a talented woman,” Karen said. “The strategic planning process and the Xitracs implementation would not have gone as well without Noelia’s attention to detail and communication skills, and, as a bonus to the College, she really enjoys her work with the SACSCOC! What more could I ask for?”

Through Noelia’s projects and her engagement with her colleagues and Valencia’s students, Noelia has found an ample supply of inspiration.

“I’m most inspired by Valencia’s commitment to our community, inside and outside of the classroom,” she said. “We make a concerted effort to have a positive, long-term impact on our students, ensuring they are prepared to help our community flourish.”

Ultimately, she explains, Valencia signifies hope — and, especially as a graduate who once benefited from the beacon of hope, she’s honored to play her part.

In her free time, you can find Noelia enjoying her experience as a new mom with her 1- and 3-year-old daughters.

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.

8 Comments

  • Nichole Segarra said:

    Congrats on the recognition, Noelia! You are awesome 🙂

    PMTue, 06 Jun 2017 17:02:01 +0000Tue, 06 Jun 2017 17:02:01 +0000pm17,5:02 pm

    • Noelia said:

      Thank you, Nichole! Glad I got to know you during this year's Prototype.

      AMWed, 07 Jun 2017 09:47:58 +0000Wed, 07 Jun 2017 09:47:58 +0000am17,9:47 am

  • Robyn Brighton said:

    It's always a pleasure working with you, Noelia!

    PMTue, 06 Jun 2017 19:02:55 +0000Tue, 06 Jun 2017 19:02:55 +0000pm17,7:02 pm

    • Noelia said:

      Thank you Robyn! We do have a great team, and I'm happy to be a part of it.

      AMWed, 07 Jun 2017 09:48:35 +0000Wed, 07 Jun 2017 09:48:35 +0000am17,9:48 am

  • Mike Bosley said:

    So proud to work with you!

    PMWed, 07 Jun 2017 14:36:54 +0000Wed, 07 Jun 2017 14:36:54 +0000pm17,2:36 pm

    • Noelia said:

      Thank you, Mike! The feeling is mutual.

      PMWed, 07 Jun 2017 15:20:47 +0000Wed, 07 Jun 2017 15:20:47 +0000pm17,3:20 pm

  • Samanta Matadin said:

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! You are a true role model.

    PMWed, 07 Jun 2017 18:28:37 +0000Wed, 07 Jun 2017 18:28:37 +0000pm17,6:28 pm

    • Noelia said:

      Thank you, Samanta! That means a lot to me. It's folks like you who have been the inspiration 🙂

      PMThu, 08 Jun 2017 12:38:09 +0000Thu, 08 Jun 2017 12:38:09 +0000pm17,12:38 pm

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