A message from Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Campus President, Osceola and Lake Nona
The Advising Center is currently located in Building 2, Room 140. Advising staff and counselors provide developmental advising including life, career and educational planning, interpretation of assessments, strategies to address academic difficulties, programs to develop student success skills, preparation for university transfer, and workforce preparedness. Services are available on a walk-in basis.
The Osceola Campus is blessed with an amazing Advising Center team, whose members boast diverse backgrounds, robust skillsets, and a unique sense of humor. Please take a moment to learn more about them!
Eva Alipieva, career advisor, was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and moved to the United States when she was 19. She finished her associate degree at Valencia while working at the Atlas Lab as a student leader, and later obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida (UCF). Eva is currently pursuing her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Stetson University, anticipating graduation in fall of 2014. In her spare time, she enjoys watching soccer, going to the movies and talking to her family in Bulgaria.
Remy Ansiello, counselor, has been working for the college since 2000. He started as a work-study student and part-time employee before becoming full-time in 2003. He earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities and master’s degree in liberal studies from Rollins College. He is completing his second year of the tenure-track process at Valencia, and will begin courses at UCF for the educational leadership doctorate program in higher education this fall. Remy is obsessed with antiques and old paintings and prints. If you visit his office you may think you have stepped into an art history museum!
John Britt, academic advisor, was born and raised in Winter Garden, Florida. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida State University, his master’s degree in sport leadership and coaching from UCF, and is currently pursuing his doctorate in higher education leadership at UCF. In his spare time he enjoys playing golf and spending time with his wife Kaley and dog Frankie.
Natasha Dorman, academic advisor, was raised in Houston, Texas. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Tampa and is currently seeking a master’s degree in educational leadership at UCF. When she is not practicing her novice comedic talents on strangers, she collects vintage clothing in her free time. She also has a fondness for baby pigs and all forms of beings of the zombie persuasion.
Celeste Henry, counselor, hails from Wisconsin – yes a Badger and cheese-head. She received a bachelor’s degree in art education and a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Wisconsin. Her doctorate of education is from Nova Southeastern University. Prior to coming to Valencia in 2006, Celeste worked in the field of education as a counselor, program coordinator, instructor and administrator. Her commitment to education is evident by her purpose statement, “to live a life of EDventure and serve others in their discovery.” Read more about Celeste in Featured Colleague – Celeste Henry.
Maria Leon, support specialist, was born in Puerto Rico. She acquired her bachelor’s degree in office systems from Inter American University of Puerto Rico, and, after getting married, moved to Florida. She has two children, both of whom are in college at the moment. During her free time she enjoys attending flower and arts festivals with her family. Maria loves working with students every day.
Eileen Lowe, administrative assistant, was born in Port Huron, Michigan but she grew up on the Naval Base in San Diego, California. She moved to Florida when she was 18 years old. Eileen started her career with Valencia as a work-study student, on the West Campus. She has been a proud member of the student services team since 2003. Be forewarned, her favorite pastime is being grandmother “Neen” to four boys. She has many adorable stories about each one and is not afraid to share them… approach this topic and her desk at your own risk.
Teshia Mincey, academic advisor, was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She received an associate degree from Valencia, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCF, and is a currently seeking a master’s degree in sociology at UCF. Prior to her academic advisor position, she served as an Answer Center advisor and Atlas Lab support specialist. She currently serves as an Elite Bridges mentor. Helping students find their purpose in life is what Teshia strives for every day. When she’s not mentoring students she likes to participate in poetry readings and was once featured in Valencia’s “Alchemist.”
Michele Morrell, staff assistant, is new to student services. She is originally from Tampa, Florida, but just relocated after a 16-year stay in Denver, Colorado. Her favorite pastime is hanging out with her brilliant children, Teriana and Ashaye. In addition to spending time with her children, she likes to challenge her mind with number and word games like Sudoku and Scrabble. She has taken on a one-year challenge to become fluent in Spanish and welcomes any Spanish speaking supporters to help whip her into shape. She will begin working on her MBA at UCF next spring and looks forward to continuing her education in hopes of becoming a huge advocate of higher learning.
Magdamar Hernandez-Otero, support specialist, was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She moved to Orlando in 2007 when she was 14 years old. She is a Valencia honor’s student and will finish her associate degree this summer. She then plans to transfer to UCF to seek bachelor’s degree in anthropology. She enjoys traveling and most recently visited Italy with the Honors Program. She is fluent in Spanish and is also learning to speak French. She appreciates fine arts and enjoys studying different cultures.
Kirk S. Robinson, career advisor, was born in White Plains, New York and arrived in Florida in 1997. After graduating from Vero Beach High School in 2003, he attended Indian River State College and earned his associate degree. From there, he transferred to UCF and completed a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in social science education. Kirk taught 7th grade social studies before becoming a career advisor at Valencia. In his spare time he enjoys jogging and watching the New York Mets lose.
Melanie Rodriguez, academic advisor, was born in Passaic, New Jersey where she spent her first five years before moving to Kissimmee. She first attended Valencia as a dual enrollment student before transferring to Rollins College to obtain her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where she completed her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Bethel University. However, due to the frigid cold weather, she soon returned home to Florida, and in June 2011, she and her husband welcomed their first baby boy. Melanie is fluent in Spanish and has a passion for helping students succeed.