Tuesday, August 31, 2021
By Jennifer Keefe
As a performer, Scott Hood is used to having all eyes on him and his work. Not only does he play 35 different instruments, but Scott is also a member of the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band & Color Guard, is an accomplished dancer of ballet, tap, contemporary and jazz, and was once a competitive gymnast. But his love for education and his desire to help others are what brought him to Valencia College in 2014.
Scott sees his role as a web developer for the Web Services Team as being a lot like a parent. He serves as the team’s project manager, keeping the work of building and maintaining the many pages on the College’s website on track from individual project inception to completion. “Inside the department, it’s like a family,” Scott said, recalling how members of his team work together on projects and how they are helping one another get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The support he has received from Assistant Vice President of Marketing Traci Bjella and Vice President of Public Affairs and Marketing Jay Galbraith has also helped him to get through this difficult time. Scott notes “they worry about you.” Meanwhile, he sees his role as one in which he keeps everyone settled and on task. One thing he’s proud of about the College is how “the pandemic really showed how resilient we are as a school.” He’s proud to have been part of the efforts to bring many formerly face-to-face services online for students.
One of Scott’s favorite memories of working with his team is going to a conference that was held at a Walt Disney World hotel a few years ago. He recalls, “The conference was a real bonding experience for the team” that solidified for Scott that working at Valencia College was right for him.
“One of my favorite things about Scott is his calm and confident approach — sprinkled with a bit of his `style’,” said Craig Blazejewski, director of interactive marketing and Scott’s supervisor. “Scott is an integral member of the web services team and the true definition of a life-long learner.”
Scott’s love of learning stems from his own experiences as both a teacher and a student. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, New Jersey, a master’s degree in computer technology education from Thomas College in Waterville, Maine, a couple other degrees and several remote sensing certifications from Del Mar College in Corpus Christie Texas. Some of his certificate courses were taught by experts from NASA.
He served as program director and professor of computer information systems for Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) in Maine for about 17 years and was also the music director at KVCC for over three years. He also wrote and secured several grants, including one from the National Science Foundation for geographic information systems in remote sensing. He considers himself a “lifer in education” because coming to Valencia seven years ago has kept him in a role that allows him to serve students and potential students by making sure they have access to good information about Valencia College. Scott was also the director and treasurer of a community food bank in Maine for nine years.
When Scott isn’t working with his Valencia team, he still dances and practices gymnastics, although a series of injuries and the pandemic have kept him from gymnastics for a while. He also teaches private voice and piano lessons, has done work directing for the Orlando Gay Chorus’ Men’s cabaret ensemble and makes jewelry, which he sells through an online store. He also paints acrylic and has a collection of about 100 instruments from around the world, many of them are antiques. He has served as a church choir director, pianist, organist, bell choir director, composer, music arranger and twirls batons, flags, rifles and airblades. He also regularly performs piano, flute or trumpet “whatever the conductor needs,” he says.
Scott has two adopted sons, one of whom is a scholarship student at Northern Kentucky University. The other lives at home with him in Central Florida.
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for at least one year? 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.