By Dani Moritz-Long
When Katie Pedone, coordinator, program advisor, calls Valencia home, it isn’t just because she has a metaphorical attachment to the College; it’s also because she grew up in the Osceola Campus community, and even attended Valencia as a dual enrollment and undergraduate student.
“Working here I feel as though I am doing a small part to give back to the place that raised me,” she said. “I interact with students who are graduates of schools that I attended and who share memories at the same local hangouts that I grew up at. I feel very connected to this campus, and I take pride in any opportunity to provide the best resources and support that we can for Osceola County.”
In her role as coordinator, program advisor, Katie offers support through proactive advising with her students, which means, she explains, she spends ample time addressing topics before they become issues, like transfer requirements at four-year institutions.
She also collaborates with colleagues on special projects like Skillshops, workshops and other events, like the recent Journey to the Top event — which served as an informative, interactive event for students to learn about the ins and outs of networking.
“Katie is an integral part of the Program Advising team at Osceola,” Katie’s supervisor, Assistant Director of Advising Christopher Garner-Quintero said. “She embodies a go-getter attitude and is always thinking creatively to make personal connections with her students. Beyond her role, she has taken leadership roles in spearheading the Journey to the Top signature event for the program advisors at the Osceola Campus. Katie’s vision, leadership and project management skills have elevated this event each semester that it is offered. Her ability to partner and plan is something to be admired. She is a true joy to work with and an inspiration to those around her. I am excited to have Katie part of the team and to see her continue to develop her talents.”
Keeping Katie motivated is Valencia’s community of students, faculty and staff, and the opportunity she has to help transform students’ lives.
“Our students, faculty and staff are some of the best in the world,” Katie said. “I get to come to work to laugh, smile and collaborate with amazing individuals. I also get to talk about really interesting careers with my students, which keeps my days exciting. I plan pathways for future artists, professors, lawyers, actors, journalists, film makers, composers and radio hosts — just to name a few! As a communications student myself, I love being able to bond with my students over shared interests and goals.”
She’s also inspired by Valencia’s broader impact on the community, like our ability to build pathways in high-demand fields or embrace those in need when disaster strikes.
“Valencia has a genuine care for the community it serves,” she said. “When the hurricanes hit last year, Valencia was quick to respond, offering resources to not only our current students but to prospective students from our global community. I am also motivated every day by working for an organization that is committed to diversity. We understand the value of shared ideas from various backgrounds.”
When not at work, you can find Katie spending time with loved ones (including her two cats, which, as she explains, “rule my world”). She also enjoys cheering on her favorite sports teams, exploring Florida and traveling the country (she hopes to one day visit all 50 states, and she’s open to suggestions for travel destinations).
Katie, who has a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, is also currently working hard toward achieving her master’s degree in communication and organizational leadership.
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.