February 2017 Kudos

Week of February 26 – March 4, 2017

Standing Ovation for Opera Theatre Workshop Students at Valencia Foundation Board Retreat Dinner

East Campus Opera Theatre Workshop students performed a variety of songs from Hamilton, an American Musical, at the Valencia Foundation Board Retreat dinner on Thursday, February 2, 2017, at the Reunion Resort in Kissimmee.

After the retreat, Kathleen Plinske, president, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses, contacted Stacey Johnson, president, East and Winter Park Campuses, and stated, “Just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that we were completely blown away by a group of East Campus students who performed songs from Hamilton at last night’s Foundation Board Retreat dinner. They were completely amazing, and the board was thrilled by their performance — a standing ovation! Kudos to you and your team!”

Steven Kaczmarczyk Saves Woman Trapped Under Pick-Up Truck

It was no ordinary commute home on Thursday, February 16, 2017, for Steven Kaczmarczyk, assistant director, conferencing and college events, and one of the organizers for Learning Day 2017.

During his commute after the Minnijean Brown Trickey event, he spotted a Ford-F150 turning a corner in College Park and heading straight toward a family crossing the street. Unfortunately, the mother was hit by the truck and was trapped underneath. Steven quickly identified what had happened and used his car to block the street to prevent further injury; then, he and several other good Samaritans united to lift the truck and pull the woman out.

Click here to watch a WFTV video segment about the rescue, which includes an interview with Steven.

Way to go, Steven!

Michael Hristakopoulos Selected for the Orlando Sentinel’s Editorial Advisory Board

Congratulations to Michael Hristakopoulos, adjunct professor, political science, for being named to the Orlando Sentinel’s Editorial Advisory Board.

On the editorial board, Michael will leverage his experience and education in political science, Spanish language and instructional design to voice his perspective and offer feedback on the Sentinel’s editorial and op-ed pages.

Michael has been writing for the Sentinel for several years. For a list of his published articles in the newspaper, click here. To view Michael’s biography as an advisory board member, click here.


Week of February 19 – 25, 2017

Valencia Foundation Receives $50,000 Orlando Magic Grant Along with a Jumbotron Appearance

Congratulations to the Valencia Foundation, which was awarded $50,000 from the Orlando Magic Youth Fund and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation at a ceremony at the Amway Center on Thursday, February 9, 2017. The Valencia Foundation was one of 17 Central Florida nonprofit organizations that received a grant, along with a specialty basketball. The Valencia Foundation even made it on the Amway Center’s jumbotron.

Valencia Foundation President and CEO Geraldine Gallagher and Kelly Astro, director, Valencia Promise/Take Stock in Children, were happily on hand to accept the award, which will greatly benefit students in Orange County.

The funds will be used for student and mentor programming and the establishment of two-year scholarships for students participating in Valencia Promise/Take Stock in Children program.

Week of February 12 – 18, 2017

Valencia’s Registered Nurse Program Ranked Among Top Programs in Florida

In light of the nursing shortage facing Florida, Valencia has risen to meet the challenges of educating more nurses and, in effect, meeting our community’s need. The College’s work has recently been recognized by RegisteredNursing.com, which ranked Valencia’s Registered Nursing (RN) Program as the ninth best RN program in the state. The ranking explanation commended the College for its “interdisciplinary approach to the field” and the “ethical and practical collaboration” graduates exhibit.

For more information about the rankings, click here.

Week of January 29 – February 4, 2017

Valencia Deepens the Connection to the Winter Park Community

Terri Daniels, executive dean, Winter Park, and Mike Lergier, operations manager, Winter Park, with gifts.

A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Anyone who has ever visited the Winter Park Campus knows that the campus has a deep connection with the community.

That is why, in December, deans, faculty and staff from the Winter Park Campus exemplified Valencia’s vision of “serving and supporting the community” by partnering with the Winter Park Community Center. This partnership provided wrapped toys and gift cards for children who attend the after-school program at the Community Center. This generosity provided 50 children with a brighter holiday.

For the past two years, faculty and staff from East Campus have also supported this effort.

Thank you to the wonderful faculty and staff members who contributed to this effort — your contribution is deeply appreciated.

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