November 2016 Kudos

Week of November 27 – December 3, 2016

Sharon Skoloski Receives 2017 Teacher of the Year Award

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


Join me in congratulating Adjunct Professor of Education Sharon Skoloski, who was recently awarded the 2017 Teacher of the Year Award at Lawton Chiles Elementary School in Orange County. This award recognizes and honors the contributions of classroom teachers who have demonstrated a capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. 

A farmer’s daughter who grew up in rural West Virginia, Sharon realized the importance of having an education early on and dedicated herself to becoming a teacher so she could teach her father to read. This quest for educating her father eventually transpired into her lifelong passion of helping students make a better life for themselves and their families through education — no matter where they come from.

“Knowledge must be passed on to our future generations along with compassion for others,” Sharon shared. “A teacher instills confidence into their students first and foremost, no matter what the level of education. With confidence, students can reach those goals and become independent learners. This self-confidence is an essential part of the process of independent thought. Our children should expect nothing less.”

In addition to passionately serving her community, Sharon’s accolades also include spearheading the development of the Valencia College Volunteer Program; contributing to efforts that lead to Lawton Chiles Elementary being named the first Partner in Education by Valencia; helping implement Valencia’s associate degree in early childhood development; establishing the Saturday Education Program; and being named an honorary member of Phi Theta Kappa in honor of the charitable work she has done in the name of her late son, Justin Harvey.

Adrienne Trier-Bieniek Explores the Beyoncé Effect in Anthology of Edited Essays


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

Adrienne Trier-Bieniek, professor, sociology, recently published her sixth book, “The Beyoncé Effect: Essays on Sexuality, Race and Feminism.” The book is a collection of work by sociology, gender studies, race, communication and performance scholars. As a music scholar, Adrienne has published several works exploring the implications music can have on women’s lives, particularly after they experience trauma. Using this information — and after reading several articles and blogs that debated the role of women of color in American society — Adrienne decided to publish a book about Beyoncé.

Adrienne notes that Beyoncé’s music, particularly in recent years, has served as a platform for discussions about African-American women, and has become a catalyst for healing. Topics in the book include the body politics of respectability, feminism, empowerment, sex and gender in song lyrics, motherhood, media’s treatment of women of color and the marketing of women in music.

Click here to visit Adrienne’s website for additional information on her published work.

Week of November 6 – 12, 2016

Portuguese Professor Richard Sansone Honored for Contributions to Brazilian Community


A Message from Falecia Williams, President, West and Downtown Campuses

Portuguese Professor Richard Sansone was recently honored as a recipient of a Brazil Focus Award.

These awards celebrate the Brazilian presence in Central Florida and honor individuals whose achievements and contributions have added to the positive image of Brazil and Brazilian culture in Florida over the past 30 years. Recipients were nominated by leaders throughout the Brazilian professional community and selected based on the strength of the nominations.

Richard was recognized for his many Brazilian cultural contributions over the past 25 years and was honored at a dinner ceremony on Thursday, October 20, 2016, in Orlando.

Week of October 30 – November 5, 2016

Congratulations to Allan Maxwell for Earning an Award at a National Art Competition

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


Click the painting above for a full-size version.

Please join me in congratulating Allan Maxwell, adjunct professor, art, for his most recent artistic accolade.

One of Allan’s images was accepted for The 29th Annual Northern National Art Competition at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The competition features artists from across the country, all vying for awards in the national competition.

His artwork also earned a $350 award.

Honors Student Receives Award at NanoFlorida 2016 Conference


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

Zon Thwin, an East Campus honors student, was recognized for her exceptional educational experiences this past summer. In June, she was accepted into a summer research program, Research Experience for Undergraduate Students (REU), at the University of Central Florida (UCF) NanoTechnology Department. She was recommended to the program, which focuses on applying nanotechnology in the medical field, by Laura Sessions, professor, chemistry.

As an REU participant, Zon worked on a quantum dots project under the guidance of Tyler Maxwell, a chemistry tutor on East Campus and a graduate research assistant in the UCF Nanotechnology Department. Zon decided to present her Quantum Dots Surface Modification with N-Acetyl Cysteine, Lysine and Glucosamine project at the student-led NanoFlorida 2016 Conference, held at UCF from Sunday, September 25 – Monday, September 26, 2016. Zon won second prize for her project.


  • Karen Murray said:

    Congratulations, Richard Sansone, on being honored for your worthy work!

    PMThu, 10 Nov 2016 16:44:15 +0000Thu, 10 Nov 2016 16:44:15 +0000pm16,4:44 pm

  • Luz Rodriguez said:

    Congratulations Richard!

    PMThu, 10 Nov 2016 22:04:36 +0000Thu, 10 Nov 2016 22:04:36 +0000pm16,10:04 pm

  • Julia Ribley said:

    Richard, your award is so well deserved for your many years of facilitating cultural and academic exchange with Brazil in extraordinary ways!! CONGRATULATIONS!

    AMMon, 14 Nov 2016 11:20:31 +0000Mon, 14 Nov 2016 11:20:31 +0000am16,11:20 am

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