July 2017 Kudos

Week of July 16 – 22, 2017

Vice President of Policy and General Counsel Bill Mullowney Earns NACUA Distinguished Service Award

Congratulations to Bill Mullowney, vice president, policy and general counsel, for being awarded the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) Distinguished Service Award during the 2017 NACUA Annual Conference, which was held in Chicago Sunday, June 25 through Wednesday, June 28.

A member of NACUA since 1985, the award recognizes Bill’s longtime commitment to the association.

Bill previously served as an at-large member on the NACUA Board of Directors from 2001 to 2005, its secretary from 2007 to 2010, and as its chair from 2013 to 2014. He has also served as chair of the Annual Program Committee, the Committee on Membership and Member Services, the Committee on Board Operations, the Committee on Nominations and Elections and the the Task Force on Eligibility of For-Profit Institutions as Members. He’s also served as vice chair of the Committees on Strategic Planning and as chair and vice chair of the Committee on Honors and Awards. He’s also known for actively engaging in NACUA meetings and helping new members to feel welcome and included in the association’s activities.

Crediting NACUA for much of his development, Bill said, “NACUA was my lifeline as I gained experience as a young higher education attorney. Its member attorneys are knowledgeable, gracious, collegial and very generous in sharing their time and expertise with colleagues. As a sole practitioner for most of my career, this association instantly expanded my professional network and enhanced my legal practice – like having friendly partners from coast to coast.”

He also credits NACUA for his deepened appreciation of Valencia’s encouraging culture.

“My involvement on the state and national levels has served to deepen my appreciation of and affection for Valencia College and its students, faculty and staff,” he said. “I have come to learn that not every college or university enjoys the kind of focused, caring and authentic commitment to students and to learning as we experience here at Valencia. I am always very proud of having the opportunity to represent Valencia and to serve alongside some of the best higher education professionals in the whole country.”

Join us in congratulating Bill on his Distinguished Service Award in the comments below.

Graduate Angel Sanchez Named News 6 Getting Results Award Winner

Angel Sanchez, Valencia’s 2014 Mary Smedley Collier Distinguished Graduate and Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship winner, has been named a News 6 Getting Results award winner. This award recognizes people making a difference and getting results in Central Florida.

Angel, who grew up in inner-city Miami and became involved with gangs at only 12 years old, was convicted of attempted murder at age 16. During his 12 years in prison, he earned his GED so he could attend Valencia — where he earned his degree while living in a homeless shelter. Since then, he graduated from the University of Central Florida and is currently preparing for law school.

To watch the News 6 video about Angel, visit News 6.

Week of July 9 – 15, 2017

John DiDonna Directs and Acts in Musical Playing at New York Musical Festival

There’s a star among us! Congratulations to John DiDonna, professor and artistic director, theater, who is not only directing, but also acting in “My Dear Watson,” a local musical that is playing at the New York Musical Festival at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in New York City. The musical follows the legendary friendship of Sherlock Holmes, played by DiDonna, and Dr. John Watson.

The festival, held  Monday, July 10 – Sunday, August 6, 2017, nurtures the creation, production and public presentation of stylistically, thematically and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater.

For more information on the musical and the New York Musical Festival, click here. Or, read about the musical in the Orlando Sentinel.

Week of July 2 – 8, 2017

East Campus Students Named to All-Florida Academic Team

Left to right: Yasmeen Labead, Jennifer Taylor and Michael Onuchovsky

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

Each year, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), which is the International Honors Society for two-year colleges, recognizes the most outstanding students in the Florida College System. This recognition, which is based on academic achievement, leadership and service to the community, is awarded to deserving students by naming them to the All-Florida Academic Team. Students are nominated by their respective colleges to the All-USA Academic Team competition, which is sponsored by the PTK Honor Society.

This year, East Campus students Yasmeen Labead and Michael Onuchovsky were selected as All-Florida First Team winners.

Yasmeen and Michael were presented their awards by Jennifer Taylor, professor, humanities and PTK advisor, as they were unable to attend the awards presentation due to their attendance at the PTK convention.

For a full list of award winners, including other Valencia students, click here.

East and Winter Park Campus President Inducted into CoSIDA Hall of Fame

One of the most decorated fencers in United States collegiate and national history, East and Winter Park Campus President Stacey Johnson was officially inducted to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Hall of Fame on Sunday, June 11, 2017, at the Orlando World Center.

In an interview with ESPN anchor Rece Davis during the event, he told Stacey, “You were not only a pioneer at San Jose State, but you are also a pioneer here this evening as the first fencer inducted into the Fall of Fame.”

Stacey was grateful for the recognition, but even more grateful for the opportunities that led to her recent recognition. Stacey shared that she is extremely proud to be among the very first women in the state of California to receive a Title IX scholarship, which was pivotal to her success.

“I could not have attended college if it was not for those very important dollars,” she said. “Title IX definitely changed my life and many other women’s lives across the country.”

Also during the ceremony, Stacey commented on one life-lesson that continues to shape her work today: the importance of teamwork.

“The power of a great team, of course, informs my work today as a campus president,” she said. “To be the best team, you have to come to know and trust each other very deeply and profoundly. My fencing teammates today are still my very closest friends; they are really like my sisters. And I’m proud to say my Valencia family is here with me tonight.”

To read more about Stacey’s fencing career and her hall of fame designation, click here.

New Student Government Association President Welcomed for 2017-18

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in management information systems with a minor in economics, Success Ekpenyong is the new East Campus Student Government Association (SGA) president for 2017-18. Born in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, Success grew up in a large family with supportive parents.

Success notes, “As a child, my dad would take me to various organizations to meet with leaders and professions. This inspired me to become a responsible leader, and I want to make an impact in the lives of other students.”

He added, “As the SGA president, I represent Valencia students on campus and in the community. My goal is to provide them with leadership development opportunities and community service engagement.”

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