A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses
We’re welcoming a number of wildly talented new full-time faculty to the Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses this fall. Over the next several weeks, I’ll share their biographies as a preview of who will be joining our team. The biographies were authored by the faculty, so you’ll also get a sense of their personalities from what they shared.
Emilie Buckley – Librarian, Lake Nona
Emilie will join the Lake Nona Campus this fall as a librarian. She obtained her Master of Library Services from Clarion University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mass communication from South Dakota State University. Her academic interests are student engagement and information literacy instruction. Prior to working at the Lake Nona Campus, Emilie worked as a librarian at the University of Central Florida (UCF) Osceola Campus and Hillsborough Community College. In her free time, Emilie enjoys playing the saxophone, caring for her many pets and visiting theme parks with her family.
Maria Delis – English, Lake Nona
Maria will be a full-time professor of English at the Lake Nona Campus this fall. Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and a master’s degree in English literature from UCF, as well as a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Miami. She has been teaching English composition and humanities at Valencia since 2013. She has also taught at Rollins College, University of Miami and UCF.
Jenny hails from Trinidad & Tobago and has lived in Osceola County for over 17 years. She stepped onto a Valencia Campus in 2000 as an international student. She earned an associate degree in graphics from Valencia College, bachelor’s degree in business from University of South Florida and master’s degree in art education from Boston University. These experiences led to a career at Apple Inc., Microsoft and owning her own design studio.
Jenny has taught at Valencia for almost 10 years and has found a genuine purpose for mentoring future graphic/web designers through the Valencia Graphics program. In her spare time, Jenny loves animals and has three of her own: Teddy (pup) and Quincy and Phoebe (kitties). She also has recently started the 192 Tech Project, in partnership with the Hope Center, to teach homeless families technology.
Erin O’Brien Grogan – English, Osceola
Erin will join the Osceola Campus as professor of English for the fall 2017 semester. She has enjoyed teaching a variety of English classes at Valencia College for over 15 years. She has a master’s degree in English and earned a Doctorate in Education at UCF. Her dissertation focused on best practices for preparing online teachers. She also enjoys theater, gardening with her husband and cycling.
Denise Ross – Information Technology, Osceola
Denise will join the Osceola Campus as a professor of computer information technology (IT). Denise received her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and master’s degree in computer information systems from Nova Southeastern University.
Denise is originally from Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Florida in 1990. She started her professional career at Osceola Campus in 1993 as an Instructional computer lab supervisor while attending Valencia. After earning her master’s degree in 1998, she began teaching IT courses at the Osceola Campus. Denise has a long history of involvement in various capacities at Osceola Campus. She voluntarily coordinated the Reach/Bridges program at the Osceola Campus for many years. She has been very instrumental in developing IT-related programs on campus and STEM focused events and programs.
Ramon Velez Cruz – New Student Experience, Osceola
Native from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ramon has lived a large part of his life in Osceola County. He stepped foot on the Osceola Campus in 2008 as a dual enrollment student and never left. He earned his associate degree from Valencia College, bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degree in career and technical education from UCF. From being a student leader, academic advisor and career program advisor, Ramon finds a genuine purpose in guiding students through their educational pathway at Valencia.
In addition to his experience in advising A.A. and A.S. degree seeking students, Ramon also brings teaching experience from UCF, where he has taught as an adjunct for the College of Education and Human Performance. Ramon loves the chance to transform lives and help students prepare for the next steps of their education or career. He is excited to start his new role as an NSE faculty member, which brings two of his talents of advising and teaching together.