Supervisor Development Opportunities

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Implicit bias is inherent in all people, but how does awareness of this topic assist us in battling these biases? Join the Implicit Bias Supervisor Series for a look at implicit bias from the lens of the supervisor and reflect on how this impacts decision-making within your teams.

Course objectives include:

  • Discover the impact of bias on behaviors, decisions and performance.
  • Discuss the role of empathy and curiosity in uncovering bias in personal interactions and in supervision.
  • Explore ways to face bias with courage and create the space on your teams where everyone is respected, included and valued.
  • Explain ways to positively influence processes and decisions in the Talent Life Cycle with your team.

This will be a four-part series. You may attend individual sessions or all four.

If you were unable to attend Session 1 of the Implicit Bias Series, take a look at the Slide Deck and supplemental materials.

Session 2: Cultivate Connection 
Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021
Time: 2 – 3 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Session 3: Choose Courage 
Date: Friday, May 21, 2021
Time: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Location: Zoom

Session 4: Apply Across the Talent Lifecycle 
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Time: 2 – 3 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Register for all sessions here. Pre- and post-work will be encouraged.

If you have questions about the series, contact Employee Development at

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Message from Paul Rooney, Assistant Vice President, Operations

As you may have heard, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — out of an abundance of caution — as it investigates six reported U.S. cases of a rare type of blood clot in individuals who received the vaccine. For more information, including the possible side effects, visit the CDC website.

At this time, the West Campus state/FEMA COVID site is administering second doses of the Pfizer vaccine only. If you’re scheduled for your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, please do your best to keep your appointment, and please bring your vaccination card to your appointment.

I will keep you posted as updates are available.

Earn the Foundation in Creative Thinking Certificate

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Back by popular demand is the Foundation in Creative Thinking series.

Creativity, crucial in our ever-evolving world, is a skill that is both innate and one that needs to be exercised and developed. To explore your creative preferences and blind spots, tap into your curiosity to make unique connections and use deliberate process to develop more innovative solutions, you’re invited to join this four-part series that may be taken in the same term or spread out over multiple terms. Completion of the series will lead to a Foundations in Creative Thinking Certificate.

To earn the certificate, you must complete four courses:

Creative Thinking
In this interactive, virtual, two-session workshop, explore the tenets of creative thinking in order to strengthen your thinking mindset. Practice separating divergent and convergent thinking, using specific language to invite solutions and fostering a creative mindset. We all have the innate capacity to be creative, and by applying techniques, we can increase our own creative thinking abilities.

Dates: Thursday, May 13 and Friday, May 14, 2021
Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Online

Dates: Thursday, September 23 and Friday, September 24, 2021
Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Online

Register for this course.

FourSight for Enhancing Innovation and Collaboration
Understanding your particular approach to innovating can enable success in our ever-changing world. FourSight is a research-based assessment based upon a four-step process for problem solving. The assessment and results provide insight into a variety of ways that individuals prefer to address and solve problems. In particular, you will leave with a better understanding of how you engage in the creative process based on your individual FourSight results.

Date: Thursday, May 27, 2021 
Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Online

Date: Friday, October 8, 2021 
Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Online

Register for this course.

Creative Process (Prerequisite: Creative Thinking)
Come learn about creative problem solving (CPS), a research-based, deliberate, creativity process for solving problems. In this four-part, virtual workshop, you will build upon the basics for creative thinking mindset to apply a creative toolset. Learn to clarify problems, generate ideas, develop solutions and implement ideas on demand. Throughout the sessions, experience hands-on activities, real-world examples and a variety of creative thinking tools to give you the skills you need to implement creative problem solving in your personal and professional life. Please ensure that you can attend all four sessions before registering.

Dates: Thursday, June 10; Friday, June 11; Thursday, June 17; and Friday, June 18, 2021
Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Online

Dates: Thursday, October 21; Friday, October 22; Thursday, October 28; and Friday, October 29, 2021
Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Online

Register for this course.

Creative Application (Prerequisite: Creative Process or Prototype)
Build on your creative mindset and creative problem-solving toolset in order to increase your creativity skillset. In this two-part virtual workshop, we will use scenarios to practice applying the knowledge, tools and techniques learned through the Foundations in Creativity Certificate coursework. You may retake this workshop during future offerings to practice and deepen your creative skillset.

Dates: Thursday, July 8 and Friday, July 9, 2021
Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Online

Dates: Thursday, November 18 and Friday, November 19, 2021
Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Online

Register for this course.

COVID Vaccinated? Share Your Photos to Celebrate

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Since receiving news that our employees were made eligible to receive the vaccine at our West Campus state/FEMA COVID site, many of us have jumped at the chance to be immunized at the federal site and elsewhere. And some of us even had photos taken of this important health event. .

If you were one of those who photographed your COVID-19 vaccine experience, please share your photos with us. We’d love to display them in a photo montage in The Grove and The Juice on Tuesday, April 27 2021. Please send all photos by Friday, April 23, 2021, to

It’s Financial Literacy Month: Learn How to Get Financially Fit

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Message from Tom Keller, Director, Total Rewards

April is Financial Literacy Month – a great time to boost your financial knowledge and retirement confidence. Fortunately, Valencia College offers resources to promote financial literacy and help you get your finances and retirement in order through AIG Retirement Services (AIG).

For example, take advantage of two helpful, interactive financial wellness workshops presented by local AIG financial advisor Kelly Craft, which are sure to provide engagement and answers to questions Valencia faculty and staff may have about financial retirement planning.

Young Professionals
Dates: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Online. Click here to register.

Young professionals face distinct challenges — increased student loan debt and underemployment — but they also have decades of earning potential ahead with time to retire debt and save. The young professionals workshop can help increase your financial literacy to help reach your financial goals. This workshop will cover: how to budget to maximize savings, strategies to invest in your financial goals, how to develop a plan to retire on your terms and how to manage financial risk. To register, click here. 

Retirement Strategies for Women

Date: Thursday, May 20, 2021
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Online

Date: Friday, May 14, 2021
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Online

Translating retirement goals into reality can be tricky for women because they often face gender-specific financial challenges. At this educational workshop, you’ll learn: how retirement planning is different for women, the benefits of participating in your workplace plan, how sound investment planning can put your money to work and how to take action toward achieving a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. Click here to register for the May 14 sessionOr, click here to register for the May 20 session.

In addition, AIG will be offering educational workshops through their national FutureFit® Financial Wellness Webinar Series on interesting topics related to financial health, retirement and investments. Scroll down to view and register for available sessions.

Your Life in Retirement
Date: Thursday, April 15, 2021
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Online

What can you expect as you reach your long-awaited goal of retiring? This webinar focuses on retirement realities and income sources, the strategies to mitigate risks to retirement income and how to convert your retirement savings into income to meet your needs. To register, click here.

Cash Management
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Online

All aspects of financial planning start with proper cash management. Attend this webinar if you’re new to financial planning or if you’d like to benefit from ideas on how to better manage your day-to-day financial resources. To register, click here.

Investment Planning
Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Online

Investing for a brighter financial future doesn’t happen by chance. It takes planning. In this learning session, you’ll discover how to develop an investment strategy based on your risk tolerance and time horizon. We’ll help you understand the benefits of a diversified portfolio and the advantages of proper asset allocation. To register, click here.

Risk Management
Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
time 12 p.m.
Location: Online

You can’t predict the future, but you can prepare for it. Join this webinar to learn the process of assessing risks and developing strategies to manage them. It involves identifying a risk, measuring the potential impact, managing circumstances to the extent possible, then reassessing your situation and risk. To register, click here.

Retirement Income Strategies
Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Online

Are your expectations for retirement realistic? Find out more about preparing for the potential challenges and risks you may face, identifying your retirement income needs and possible sources of income. All this information will help you to take the next steps in planning for the retirement you desire. To register, click here.

Finally, be sure to take advantage of these individual retirement counseling opportunities offered by AIG advisors to Valencia College employees.

Financial Planning Advising Sessions

Don’t forget that one of your Total Rewards — for both full- and part-time employees — is meeting with one of Valencia College’s dedicated AIG financial advisors. You can schedule a WebEx or phone consultation to discuss your financial planning, voluntary retirement plan options, review your retirement goals and/or enroll in your voluntary retirement plan. Your family members are also welcome to join you for the advising session. To register for sessions, click here. 

Meet Your Financial Advisors

John Hall is the advisor for East, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses, as well as the School of Public Safety and the Advanced Manufacturing Center. To read more about John, click here. Brendan Loflin is the advisor for Downtown, West and Winter Park Campuses, as well as the District Office. Read more about Brendan here.

Now Hiring for Two Dean Positions

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Valencia College is currently seeking candidates to fill two leadership roles: a dean of communications for the West Campus and a dean of business, information technology and public services for the East Campus.

A dean is a front-line learning leader of the College and a member of the campus president’s executive staff, responsible for promoting academic, administrative and fiscal leadership in accordance with Valencia’s Strategic Learning Plan.

Valencia’s students reflect the diversity of our service district, and the College is searching for leaders who are deeply committed to making a difference in students’ lives by helping them succeed beyond earning a degree and by standing in the gap between what is and what can be.

Dean of Communications, West Campus

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution [required] or higher in English, journalism, mass communications, literature, linguistics, applied linguistics, OR an MFA in writing, creative writing or a master’s degree plus 18 graduate semester hours in English, literature, writing, linguistics or applied linguistics;
  • Teaching or work-related experience in the field;
  • Administrative experience;
  • Experience in financial analysis, budget development and the design and assessment of administrative support systems;
  • Experience with grant management;
  • Leadership and supervisory experience of faculty and administrative staff;
  • Experience with supporting, managing and assessing division programs that will support student learning;
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills, including the ability to anticipate needs and concerns;
  • Leadership experience in providing conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation of student, staff and faculty concerns; and
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion and the ability to work effectively in a diverse community and meet the needs of diverse student populations.

To read a full description of the position and to apply, click here. Apply by Friday, May 7, 2021.

Dean of Business, Information Technology and Public Services, East Campus

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution (required) or higher in a related field; a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution is preferred;
  • Leadership experience appropriate to a senior leadership role in higher education;
  • Great understanding of and commitment to the learning-centered community college;
  • Experience in teaching and learning, including direct experience in teaching;
  • Experience in financial analysis, budget development and the design and assessment of administrative support systems;
  • Experience with grant management;
  • Experience in analyzing, interpreting and disseminating student engagement, academic and outcome data;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills that facilitate effective interactions with campus and college learning leaders, staff and students; and
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion and the ability to work effectively in a diverse community and meet the needs of diverse student populations.

To read a full description of the position and to apply, click here. Apply by Friday, May 7, 2021.

Students May Now Apply for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Valencia College has opened applications for the first round of student aid made possible by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II).

In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was signed into law. Under CRSSAA, the United States Department of Education (ED) made available $21.2 billion to distribute to institutions of higher education to ensure learning continues for students during COVID-19 through the HEERF II. Valencia College will receive $59.5 million in CRSSAA funds from the ED. Of this amount, at least $13.8 million must be used for student aid.

The College has identified potentially eligible students who are registered in at least one course in the Spring 2021 term, completed a 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and are classified as degree-seeking.

In addition, per CRRSAA requirements that institutions must prioritize students with exceptional need, students who completed the FAFSA and have an estimated family contribution of zero will receive a grant in the amount of $500. The estimated family contribution is an index number used to calculate how much financial aid students are eligible to receive. CRSSAA aid-eligible students who submit the FAFSA but do not have an estimated family contribution of zero will receive a $300 grant.

On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, the Student Affairs team sent potentially eligible students one of six targeted emails regarding the application process. For an example of an email sent to potentially eligible students who have an estimated family contribution of zero, click here. The deadline for students to apply is Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.

Degree-seeking students enrolled this spring who could not be eligible for HEERF II funds were notified about an opportunity to apply for financial support through the Valencia Support Fund, which has been made available by the Valencia College Foundation and other College funds. For a sample email sent to students about support through the Valencia Support Fund, click here.

Just one day after opening the application, more than 4,600 students completed the HEERF II application. This represents nearly 19% of those eligible.

Details on the plans for additional rounds of financial aid distribution for students and institutional funds will be shared when they become available.

Featured Colleague: Chris Teumer Brings Problem-solving and Integrity to His Role

Thursday, April 13, 2021

By Claudia Zequeira

Chris Teumer’s educational journey began as a business major at Colorado State University in his home state of Colorado. But after one semester, the timing and major did not seem right for him.

After taking a break from school to work and explore other interests, which included taking a job as a line cook, Chris, assistant director, learning support and advising, developed an interest in the culinary arts and found his way to Orlando and to Valencia College, where he pursued an Associate in Science in culinary management.

His connection with the College was thus born. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in restaurant management at the University of Central Florida’s College of Hospitality Management, Chris finally made a career move that took him to higher education, beginning with a position as a testing center specialist at the East Campus.

“After 12 years working in the hospitality industry, my transition to higher education took place with Valencia in 2012. The decision to make a career shift was difficult for me at the time and required a leap of faith, but it ultimately paid off and I haven’t looked back since,” he said.

Chris would later become a career program advisor for the business and criminal justice program at Valencia, making the leap into his current role in 2016. The position was funded by the East Campus Title V Grant, which sought to strengthen academic advising and enhance transferring opportunities for students.

His current role is one he cherishes, in part because it is one where he is able to apply many of his coaching and problem-solving skills.

In his day-to-day, Chris manages a talented team within the East Campus Learning Support Center (LSC) that provides tutoring, coaching and course testing services to students for numerous subject areas.

Like many of his colleagues, Chris saw his role reshaped after COVID-19 caused our campuses to close.

“With Learning Support unifying across the College this past year to launch our collegewide distance tutoring platform, I have had the opportunity to expand my role and join other learning support managers in providing oversight for approximately 300 staff, including area supervisors, tutors, the technology support team and additional team members, as they continue to support our students virtually,” said Chris.

“Our responsibilities in this effort, including my own, are ever shifting to meet the needs and challenges of our students, faculty and staff,” he added. “On any given day, I could be marketing our distance tutoring services, leading collegewide meetings, troubleshooting technology challenges, helping to move new pilot programs forward or facilitating a training with our team.”

At Valencia, Chris is most proud of having received the Joyce Romano Partnership Excellence Award for work he did to develop the SLS 1122 Transitions course, created under the East Campus Title V grant and meant to support transfer success. The course was the product of a collaboration between Valencia and the University of Central Florida.

He was also part of the team selected for the Association of Florida Colleges Learning Resource Center Exemplary Practice Award in recognition of his work with Continuous Assessment and Responsive Engagement (CARE), which established early alert guidelines to help struggling students.

Chris also led an effort in bringing Valencia’s tutoring services online as a response to COVID-19.

“This was perhaps the greatest challenge I have faced in my career, and in turn, the most rewarding,” he said. “I’m part of an amazing team of leaders and learning support staff who, over the past year, have continued to shape and improve our online tutoring platform to ensure Valencia students have the support they need to succeed in their courses.”

His supervisor, Leonard Bass, dean, learning support, referred to Chris as “the epitome of a professional.”

“He serves the LSC team with integrity and deft leadership. His work and initiatives are always well researched, timely and innovative. I often hear praise for his work whenever he leads a project and have seen him earn a reputation for excellence. He is simply a joy to work with,” said Leonard.

Chris said Valencia’s culture of innovation and the many opportunities offered for professional development helped make all his work possible; another plus about working at Valencia.

“We have never been one to settle on our laurels, and as a learning-centered institution, there is a wealth of opportunities available for engagement and professional development at the College,” he said.

Recently, Chris earned a master’s degree in student affairs and higher education at his alma mater, Colorado State University (the program was online). Some of his courses were paid for by Valencia’s Employee Development Funds, a stipend given employees on a yearly basis for professional development.

Valencia is also a place where he finds inspiration.

“Working on the front lines as an academic and career program advisor from 2012 to 2016, many students shared their stories of struggle and triumph with me,” he said. “In my current role, I get to see the overwhelmingly positive comments our students share about their experience with Valencia’s tutors, coaches and support staff. It’s these stories, and the opportunities we have to help someone on their journey, that inspire me most.”

The College, he added, is a place of opportunity for many, which is something he values.

“With the number of degree programs, certificates, training opportunities and community programming, there is an opportunity for everyone at Valencia, no matter where one is at in their professional, educational or personal journey,” he said.

When he’s not busy helping his team or our students, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, working out, landscaping and completing home projects.

He also enjoys sports.

“I love watching my beloved Denver Broncos, win or lose,” he said.

Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.

Valencia Recognized for Efforts to Keep Students Enrolled During the Pandemic

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact across all institutions of higher education, and community colleges are no exception. One effect of the pandemic has been a dip in enrollment, which has affected institutions’ ability to conduct business. Valencia College, however, has managed to keep its enrollment numbers healthy, and this feat has not gone unnoticed.

Listen to this National Public Radio piece on the many initiatives we undertook to ensure our students enrolled at the College during the pandemic.

For new students, this meant waiving the application fee and extending registration deadlines. For existing students, this involved conducting multiple calling campaigns that kept students connected to Valencia, allowing students to retake a course for free, and giving students a $500 scholarship to come back and reenroll in classes.

In the interview, you will hear from students and some employees involved in these efforts.

We are proud of Valencia for its accomplishments and this well-deserved national recognition.

Apply for Fall 2021 SEED Cohorts

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Applications for the upcoming fall 2021 Valencia SEED program cohorts are currently being accepted.

SEED, an acronym for Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity, is an international project founded 30 years ago by Dr. Peggy McIntosh of Wellesley College. SEED utilizes a cohort-based, bi-weekly seminar model with the intention of creating gender-fair, multiculturally equitable, and globally informed educational spaces and workplaces. The cohort space values all voices and experiences, and recognizes diversity in its many forms. The synchronous, virtual sessions are experiential in nature with interactive exercises and conversations often stimulated by videos and readings. The seminars deepen participants’ understanding of themselves, expand their knowledge of the world and point the way to making schools more inclusive.

The fall 2021 SEED I and SEED II cohorts will meet bi-weekly over Zoom and have approximately four hours of homework over the semester. There are day and evening options for SEED I and SEED 2, and specific dates are included in the application. Please keep in mind that to participate in SEED 2, you must first successfully complete SEED 1.

Successful completion of the cohort program earns faculty and exempt staff (those who do not complete a timesheet) up to 28 professional development hours recorded on Valencia professional development transcripts, and non-exempt staff (those who complete a timesheet) are paid their hourly wage; overtime may be paid, if applicable.

If you would like to apply, please have a conversation with your supervisor about your interest before completing the application. Valencia views SEED as a professional development opportunity that can positively influence one’s cultural competence and is committed to determining a reasonable way to incorporate the time into your work schedule.

To view SEED cohort dates and to apply, complete the application by Friday, May 7, 2021, by clicking the button below.

If you have any questions about SEED at Valencia, please contact Celine Kavalec, professor, English, and PJI academic coordinator, at or Shara Lee, campus director, faculty and instructional development, at