Meet Your New Faculty Association President

On Thursday, May 17, Rob McCaffrey, professor of digital media technology, officially took over as the new Faculty Association president.

The Faculty Association serves as the official voice of the faculty in matters of college governance, faculty rights, privileges, responsibilities, curriculum, and teaching/learning matters.

Rob was elected to this position by you, his peers, and is on full reassignment from the classroom during this year, to allow him to focus on college governance without the added pressure of teaching.

When he is teaching, he does so through the digital media technology program, which is an A.S. program that educates students in the basics of storytelling, design, camera and lighting controls, image editing, and animation.

“I came to this position by way of independent filmmaking,” Rob said. “I co-wrote and produced the feature ‘Vampire Rock,’ a low-budget picture about a vampire hiding out in a goth band, [and] worked on several other television shows and commercials.”

Rob began his career in education teaching an evening screenwriting class at Valencia 10 years ago, and says he “really enjoyed the experience—at first simply because it forced me to hone my own craft, but ultimately, because of the cycle of interacting with students.”

In 2008, Rob began the tenure track process and, as part of doing service to the college, he became one of the campus senators for the newly formed division of arts and entertainment.

“I dreaded it at first, because I was worried about the TLA workload,” Rob admitted. “Eventually, I came to enjoy the monthly meetings because they gave me a perspective into many of the practices I was experiencing at the college.”

One of the greatest advantages to participating in governance at Valencia, Rob believes, is the access to information. “We try to do a good job communicating at Valencia,” he said, “but nothing beats regular meetings with people looking at raw data and discussing issues while there is still the ability to effect change. We need faculty, especially tenured faculty, to be involved in issues at [the] design stage.”

In the year ahead, Rob will be working alongside the Faculty Association vice president, Deidre Holmes DuBois, professor of speech, and “a group of impressive campus faculty officers.”

These officers include: Sean Jennings, professor of psychology, and Diane Orsini, professor of English, on West Campus; Olga Vazquez, professor of biology, and Carl Creasman, professor of history, on East Campus; Jackie Starren, humanities instructor, and John McFarland, professor of English as a second language, on Osceola Campus; and Ilyse Kusnetz, professor of English, and Damion Hammock, professor of math, on Winter Park Campus.

“All of these folks are strong advocates and have a ton of good ideas that I think will make Valencia even more of a role model than it already is,” Rob said.

“We face a lot of challenges right now with negative public perception of faculty,” Rob said. But, he looks forward to working with Valencia faculty to continue doing and showcasing excellent work in order to change that perception.

Check the Faculty Insight, your monthly e-newsletter from The Grove, each month to read Rob’s Faculty Association updates.

If you are interested in learning more about the Faculty Association, meetings rotate between campuses and are held on the third Thursday of each month.

Rob may be reached via email at rmccaffrey@valenciacollege.edu or at extension 2784, if you have questions or wish to congratulate him on this new endeavor.

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