March 2014 Kudos

East Campus Answer Center Wins 2014 Spring Break Energy Shutdown Contest

energy-shutdown-winner-groveCongratulations to the East Campus Answer Center, this year’s winner of the 2014 Spring Break Energy Shutdown Contest to turn on the energy savings by shutting down Valencia refrigerators during the break.

Also putting their hats in the ring were the West Campus Department of Engineering, Computer Programming and Technology and the Osceola Campus Learning Support Services, Math Depot (math and science departments). East Campus Answer Center was selected by random drawing to win $50 cash.

“I’d like to extend a big ‘thank you’ to the other two departments for taking time to switch off for savings as well as to other individuals and departments who prepared for the shutdown by turning off and unplugging equipment for spring break,” said Patti Riva, operations manager, energy education.

Symphonic Band’s 2014 Spoons for Haiti Collection a Success

spoons-for-haiti-collage-groveMusic wasn’t the only thing on the minds of concertgoers who attended the Tuesday, February 25, 2014, symphonic band and percussion ensemble performance. As part of its community outreach, the musicians appealed for donations of spoons to be given to the Spoons for Haiti initiative of New Missions, a local nonprofit.

“The spoon drive was a success!” said Jon Territo, professor of music. “Students and faculty on the East and Winter Park Campuses gave generous donations of 365 spoons.”

Children who are part of the mission’s feeding program receive the spoons so that they have sanitary eating utensils.

West Campus President Falecia Williams Named Among City of Orlando’s “Women of Distinction”


Congratulations to Falecia Williams, president, West Campus, who was recognized at the Third Annual BLUEPRINT Women of Distinction Awards on Friday, March 7, 2014. Dr. Williams was named a “Woman of Distinction” for outstanding achievements in career, community leadership and exemplary personal character at the ceremony held in the rotunda of Orlando’s City Hall.

The event, sponsored by the City of Orlando, Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Xi Beta Chapter and Barton Manlow, was also a scholarship fundraiser for the Orlando Medical Careers Partnership (OMCP) to help eligible students with tuition, books and lab fees to attend Valencia College and Orlando Tech.

Valencia Brain Bowl Team Claims 2014 National Quiz Bowl Championship

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


Valencia students claimed the top prize in the National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC (NAQT) Quiz Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. Three student teams represented Valencia in this national community college championship tournament, Friday, February 28 through Saturday, March 1, 2014. All three Valencia teams were successful at the Florida Sectional Tournament — our third-best team was better than the top team of most Florida community colleges.

Valencia’s Red Team won the tournament, claiming the NAQT championship, making this Valencia’s sixth national tournament title in Quiz Bowl. Valencia’s Black Team finished fourth overall out of 24 teams from around the country. Now, the Red and Black teams will move on to participate in the NAQT Intercollegiate Tournament in Chicago at the end of March, where they will compete with quiz teams from four-year institutions like the University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Stanford and Yale University.

The Valencia Gold Team, our third team, lost a player due to a late emergency but still claimed victory by winning a game in the tournament. We’re expecting the Gold Team to return again next year after a summer of hard work.

Quiz Bowl is an academic competition in which teams race to answer questions in all academic fields, focusing mostly on science, literature, history, fine arts, philosophy, math, religion, geography and current events. Students participating in Quiz Bowl dedicate six to seven hours per week to practice from September through February and hundreds of personal hours of their own work to become champions.

The Valencia Quiz Bowl Team is led by faculty coaches, Chris Borglum, professor, English; Damion Hammock, professor, mathematics; and Boris Nguyen, professor, mathematics.

Red Team — National Champs:

Julio Gonzalez-Zuluaga (top-ten scorer, All-Star) (West Campus)
Cassandra Logan (top-ten scorer, All-Star) (West Campus)
Levar Burton (West/Winter Park Campus)
Lincoln Warner (West Campus)

Black Team — Fourth Place:

Jen Smith (West/East Campus)
Diorcy Ortiz (West Campus)
Barry Logan (West Campus)
Will Ober (top-ten scorer, All-Star) (East Campus)
Nam Nguyen (West Campus)

Gold Team — Qualified for Nationals:

Conan Wilson (West Campus)
Guens Delius (West Campus)
Audrey Thompson (West/Winter Park Campus)

Valencia Foundation’s Donna Marino Elected President of Area Association of Fundraising Professionals

donna-marino-r1-groveCongratulations to Donna Marino, who was sworn in as president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Central Florida Chapter in January 2014. AFP advances philanthropy through ethical and effective fundraising.

A member of AFP since 2007, Donna, who was awarded the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation in 2009, is now in her third term of service on the executive board and will serve a two-year term in the role.

“The more I learn about the latest methods in fundraising, the better equipped I am to further Valencia Foundation’s mission to support learning at Valencia College through scholarships, endowed faculty chairs, program enhancement funds and development of capital dollars,” she said.

Donna presently serves as the manager, donor stewardship, for the Valencia Foundation. Now in her 14th year at Valencia, she has held positions as a staff assistant, professional development specialist and professional development coordinator.

She has a Master’s of Business Administration from Belhaven University, a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Central Florida and an Associate in Arts from Valencia College, the latter she credits with being her “foundation for excellence.”

Valencia’s Take Stock in Children Executive Director Elisha Gonzalez Named to List of “25 Most Influential Hispanics”

elisha-gonzalez-bonnewitz-award-groveShown from left:  Keith Raymond, retail market manager, Popular Community Bank; Elisha González, executive director, Orange County Take Stock in Children; Diana Bolivar, president, Metro Orlando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Maritza Martinez, associate vice president, University of Central Florida

Elisha Gonzalez, executive director, Take Stock in Children, one of Valencia’s signature programs, was named one of Central Florida’s “25 Most Influential Hispanics” in the January-February-March 2014 issue of Vision, a quarterly publication of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO), the largest business-related organization representing the Hispanic community in Central Florida.

Elisha joins the list that includes both the Mexican and Columbian Consulates of Orlando and other influencers from all fields of endeavor.

In the article, Elisha shares that she is inspired by “change, collaboration and continuous learning.”

Her collaboration with local organizations like the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) helps students participating in the Take Stock in Children program get a hand up. OMYF selected the organization as one of four to receive a $35,000 grant on Thursday, February 6, 2014.



  • Donna Deitrick said:

    Congrats Elisha! You are most deserving!!!

    AMWed, 12 Mar 2014 08:13:38 +0000Wed, 12 Mar 2014 08:13:38 +0000am14,8:13 am

  • Ayanna Collins said:

    Congrats Elisha! You are a wonderful asset to our community!!

    AMWed, 12 Mar 2014 09:47:25 +0000Wed, 12 Mar 2014 09:47:25 +0000am14,9:47 am

  • Robert McCaffrey said:

    Awesome job, Brain Bowlers!

    And deepest congratulations to Donna and Elisha as well!

    AMTue, 18 Mar 2014 09:37:43 +0000Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:37:43 +0000am14,9:37 am

  • Donna Deitrick said:

    Congrats Dr. Williams!

    AMWed, 19 Mar 2014 08:05:44 +0000Wed, 19 Mar 2014 08:05:44 +0000am14,8:05 am

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