More Than 70 Sessions Will Be Offered During Friday’s Learning Day

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Join your colleagues this Friday, February 11, 2022, for Learning Day, a time to learn, celebrate and inspire each other.

To begin our Learning Day, College President Kathleen Plinske will be joined by CampusWorks CEO Liz Murphy, who has been selected to support Valencia’s reimagining and redesign of our students’ experiences as they consider, enroll, register, learn and complete their educational goals at the College. Kathleen and Liz will explore national and local trends in higher education and the impact of those trends on Valencia.

Following the discussions, attendees may choose three of the more than 70 learning sessions in six themes — adaptability and change, equity and inclusion, engagement through technology, personal development, sustainability and community building, and wellness.

Here’s what you need to know to participate in this virtual event.

– Please register no later than Thursday, February 10, 2022. Click here for registration details.

– Learning Day is a regular work day for faculty and staff, and programming will be provided between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Employees are encouraged and expected to use the afternoon for independent learning such as reading, reflecting and participating in on-demand courses through LinkedIn LearningView a list of suggested independent learning courses.

– We recommend that you review the list of learning sessions in advance, so you know what you’d like to attend. To view the sessions and speakers, visit Zoom Events.

–  For the best Learning Day experience, please make sure your version of Zoom is up to date. To update within the Zoom application, click on your photo or initials in the top right corner. Then, click “Check for Updates.” Updates will be completed automatically. Please note that it will be necessary to use your Valencia College credentials (username/login) to access the Zoom sessions. Please do not use personal credentials.

– Prior to the event, get your breakfast and lunch ready. Consider scheduling a Zoom lunch with your work friends or team.

– Wear your favorite Valencia College T-shirt (and don’t forget to wear pants!).

– Join in the fun by using one of these Learning Day Zoom backgrounds.

– Keep your camera on as often as possible and engage with your colleagues in the learning sessions.

– Share your Learning Day experiences and photos by posting to social media using the hashtag #LearningDay2022. And email your photos to Emailed photos will be shared in an upcoming issue of The Juice and in The Grove.

View a video on navigating the Learning Day website, reviewing the checklist and FAQs, exploring learning sessions, and registering for the event.

If you have questions, read the Learning Day Frequently Asked Questions. For additional questions, contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-299-HR4U (4748). For technical support during the event, contact the Office of Information Technology at 407-299-5555.

Kathleen Plinske Joins Our Fire Rescue and Law Enforcement Students for Immersive Experience

Tuesday, February 8, 2021

College President Kathleen Plinske immersed herself into a day in the life of our Fire Academy and Law Enforcement Academy students on Thursday, February 3, 2022.

After a fire training and Associate in Science in Fire Science Technology overview at our Fire Training Grounds on Oakridge Road, Kathleen suited up in bunker gear and then participated in interactive fire science training exercises with our students.

Then she traveled to the School of Public Safety (SPS), where she was outfitted with a Law Enforcement Academy shirt and cap and joined the students in training on topics such as critical incidents and active shooter. The active shooter training included the analysis of the law enforcement response to the Pulse nightclub shooting and personal testimony from an Orange County deputy who responded to the nightclub. She then went to the gym and spent an hour with the recruits in physical training, where she was exposed to the rigors and discipline of the law enforcement academy.

“I really enjoyed getting to meet our students at the School of Public Safety and getting a sense of their learning experience,” Kathleen shared. “I am so proud of their dedication and commitment to serving our community.”

Kathleen also joked, that with the physical training exercises at the Law Enforcement Academy, “I was regretting having gone to Orangetheory that morning.”

In the eyes of SPS, Kathleen is now an honorary firefighter and law enforcement officer at Valencia.

You’re Invited to Celebrate Marcey Camacho’s Retirement

Tuesday, January 8, 2022

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Time: 1 – 2 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Please join us to celebrate Marcey Camacho, accounts payable specialist, and her upcoming retirement.

Marcey has been called “Saint Marcey” as well as “The Guru” of the Accounts Payable department, but Marcey Camacho has been more than that to the College.

For more than three decades, Marcey has dutifully and painstakingly researched, processed and filed an untold number of invoices to ensure that vendors were paid accurately and on time for goods and services provided to the College.

Marcey began working at Valencia in 1990 after moving to Florida from her native Chicago. In her time at Valencia, Marcey has worked for the same department and performed similar functions, a testament to the affection she feels for numbers.

Marcey is especially looking forward to traveling with her grandchildren upon retirement.

The Search for Our New Vice President for Equity Strategy and Partnerships Will Launch This Friday

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

A  Message from Carla McKnight, Vice President, Organizational Development and Human Resources

In fall 2020, former Valencia College President Sandy Shugart commissioned a design team to develop a plan for Leadership of Equity and Opportunity work. The Leadership for Equity and Opportunity Infrastructure Design work team developed a set of well-researched options, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each, for leading equity work at Valencia and produced a report of its findings to Kathleen Plinske upon her transition into the role as president.

Based on your feedback and the work of the Leadership for Equity and Opportunity work team, in fall 2021, Kathleen shared the decision to create a new vice president-level position for the leadership of our equity strategy and sought feedback from the college community on the new role.

After several months of refining the scope of duties and the successful conclusion of the provost search, we are pleased to share the search for our new vice president of equity strategy and partnerships will launch on Friday, February 11, 2022.

The vice president for equity strategy and partnerships will be a member of the senior leadership team and report to Kathleen. The individual’s team will include our assistant vice president for educational partnerships for equity as well as our director for the Peace and Justice Institute. In addition to serving as a strategic thought partner as we intentionally design for equity, this new vice president will also serve as a liaison for our community advisory groups and employee affinity groups.

We are committed to conducting an inclusive, equity-minded search, guided in part by the recommendations of the Equity-mindedness in the Employee Experience work team.

The search committee will begin a review of applications in February and will continue working until a selection is made. There will be several opportunities to provide feedback throughout the process, and we invite you to stay tuned for progress updates on the search, including details on how to participate.

Central Florida Residents: Share Your Feedback for the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Osceola, Orange, Lake and Seminole residents, you can help identify our region’s health needs and issues by completing the following Community Survey, launched by the Central Florida Collaborative.

Complete the 10- or 15-minute survey by Friday, February 18, 2022.

Spring Arts Week: A Celebration of the Creative Community Across Valencia College

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

A Message from Rebekah Lane, Professor, School of Arts and Entertainment and Director, School of Arts and Entertainment

Spring Arts Week — a celebration of the creative community across Valencia College — is coming, Monday, February 28 – Friday, March 4, 2022. Spring Arts Week is designed to create meaningful and inclusive arts experiences and programming at the collegewide level while inspiring students to connect purpose and imagination to their lives, strive for career and artistic excellence, and contribute to the cultural and workforce needs of Central Florida and beyond.

This year’s highlights and featured sessions — both in-person and virtual — include artists in residence, collegewide collaborations, community engagement and returning workshops.

Artists in Residence

This year we have three artists in residence developing two interdisciplinary projects.

  • Theatre Workshop for English Learners: Part-time Faculty of Humanities Nadia Garzon is leading a workshop for English learners, culminating in a public sharing on West Campus.
  • True Crime Theatre: Hell’s Belle: Theatre Artist Kevin G. Becker and Professor of Art Carley Frank are collaborating to bring us an immersive experience combining visual art, live sound effects and live storytelling. The performance will feature Valencia College students in all roles.

Sessions Featuring Collegewide Collaborations

  • Voices of Dissent: The Theatre program and the Peace and Justice Institute are working together to offer this vibrant, staged reading featuring the stories of people who stood up for their cause.
  • Freelancing vs. Creating a Business: The West Campus Business and Organizational Leadership program will teach a business class for artists led by Professor of Business Jerrid Kalakay.
  • The Business of Being an Artist: The East Campus Business Administration Program will offer a Business Q&A for Artists with Professors of Business Storm Russo and Lee McCain.
  • The Big 3 Creative Behaviors: The Organizational Design and Development department on West Campus will offer a creativity workshop facilitated by Interim Instructional Lab Supervisor Amanda Forth.

Community Engagement

  • Capturing the Cosmos: Derek Demeter from the Seminole State Planetarium will come to West Campus to explore and discuss the breathtaking views that can be captured through a mall telescope and digital SLR camera.
  • Hannibal Square Walking Tour: This tour, led by Hannibal Square Heritage Center Manager Barbara Chandler will take participants from the Winter Park Campus on a historical walking tour through Hannibal Square, ending at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center.
  • Rollins Museum Tour: A tour of the museum in Winter Park led by Professor of Humanities Val Woldman.

Returning Workshops

Returning workshops include The Narrators: Forgiveness; Beginning Henna; Slam Poetry; and The Story of Your Name.

To view the full schedule, click the button below.

Submit Your Art for Spring Arts Week

There is still time to submit your art. No matter your profession, you are invited to submit art pieces that will be on display during the Springs Art Week. For more information, click here.

For questions, contact me at or 407-582-2195

Now Hiring: Implementation Coordinator and Coordinator, Institutional Planning

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

If you’re searching for a new role, check out these opportunities open for internal candidates to apply: implementation coordinator, planning and development and coordinator, institutional planning.

Implementation Coordinator, Planning and Development

The individual in this role will provide a broad range of support duties, including administrative, hospitality and technical tasks for our Planning and Development team. The ideal candidate will have:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of office administration.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of event coordination and/or training and development.
  • Skill in the use of personal computers and general office software.
  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Ability to take initiative and work with limited supervision.
  • Ability to think through problems and seek solutions.
  • Ability to conduct research, make recommendations, and prepare reports and spreadsheets.
  • Ability to organize work, prioritize multiple assignments, make appropriate decisions and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to perform work that requires a high level of attention to detail.
  • Ability to travel between campus and to various worksites in the Orlando area, as needed.
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse community and meet the needs of diverse student and employee populations.

To read a full description of the position and to apply, click here. Apply by Wednesday, February 9, 2022.

Coordinator, Institutional Planning

The individual in this role will perform complex and collaborative work in support of Valencia College’s planning processes and will support documentation requirements associated with the College’s accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The ideal candidate will have:

  • Knowledge of College policies and procedures.
  • Skill in communicating clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to plan, initiate and carry out assignments independently.
  • Ability to gather and synthesize information from technical, legal and institutional sources.
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse community and meet the needs of diverse student populations.
  • Ability to follow complex directions; handle multiple priorities; solve problems; independently plan, initiate and complete assignments; and make independent decisions.
  • Ability to exercise independent judgment and discretion in resolving problems.
  • Knowledge of the range of continuous planning activities collegewide.
  • Strong organizational skills, excellent communication skills and process knowledge.

To read a full description of the position and to apply, click here. Apply by Wednesday, February 9, 2022.

If you have questions about applying, contact the Talent Acquisition team at or call the Talent Acquisition team at 407-582-8033.

To sign up for job alerts, to receive notifications when jobs become available in your field, follow these directions:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Fill out the Email, First and Last Name fields
  3. Review and select the job categories of interest

Placement of Our New Provosts

Monday, February 7, 2022

A Message From Isis Artze-Vega, College Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs

In late January, I shared that after a multi-phased, five-month long search process, we selected five candidates to serve as our new provosts and invited you to help inform the decision about the placement of each individual into one of the five provost roles. 

Thank you to everyone who provided thoughtful, candid feedback by participating in forums and/or completing a survey. Your insights were extremely helpful, both for the placement decisions as well as for my ability to support the provosts when they assume their new roles.

We also connected individually with our five provosts to learn their perspectives regarding how their experiences and strengths align with the unique needs of each position.

I’m very excited to share our placement decisions with you:

  • Provost, Career and Professional Programs: Lesley Frederick
  • Provost, Downtown and Winter Park Campuses, and Transfer Initiatives: Wendy Givoglu
  • Provost, Osceola and Poinciana Campuses: Lancelot Gooden
  • Provost, West (and future Horizon West) Campuses: Danny Hoey
  • Provost, East and Lake Nona Campuses: Sobia Khan

They have each shared how eager they are to assume these positions and get to know their new colleagues. To learn more about our exceptional new provosts, click here. 

We are still finalizing the start date for each of our new leaders, but expect each of them to begin during the Summer 2022 term.

Thank you for all of your contributions throughout the extensive search process, and thank you in advance for helping to welcome our provosts to Valencia and to their new roles this summer.

Featured Colleague: Natasha McIlmurray Combines Investigative Skills and Empathy to Develop Leaders

Monday, February 7, 2022

By Jennifer Keefe

Know yourself and recognize your own potential. Those might be two pieces of advice that Natasha McIlmurray, coordinator, employee development, might give you.

What’s interesting, though, is that you might not recognize her.

That’s because Natasha is one of several Valencia employees hired in early 2020, right around when our campuses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But just because you can’t put a name with her face that doesn’t mean she hasn’t already had a major impact on your work at the College.

She can also probably help you figure out a lot about yourself.

Natasha’s background includes training in forensic psychology. She’s also certified as a FourSight trainer, which is a behavioral profile assessment, and she’s a Predictive Index Certified Trainer. That assessment can tell you what drives you and what your needs are.

Among other things, Natasha helped to design, develop, coordinate, and facilitate the College’s first completely virtual leadership program.

The Emerging Leaders Program actually started as the Virtual Leadership Development Pilot Program in fall 2020.

Natasha explains that the pandemic “presented a great challenge and an even greater opportunity to think strategically about the critically important work of leadership development at the College.”

While it is just one of several projects Natasha is involved with, it holds a special place in her heart.

“This work has served as a beautiful reminder for me that anything is possible under the right conditions and continuous dedication to the work, which I am very appreciative of,” she explains.

Natasha also supports several of our employee recognition programs at the College. She and fellow Employee Development Coordinator Jaclyn Taylor, who, incidentally, also came to the College mid-pandemic, were instrumental in the creation of the My Development Plan, which helps Valencia employees in short- and long-term goal setting.

Natasha’s supervisor, Deanne Abrams, director, employee development, really appreciates the impact she has had on the team and the College.

“She offers great synergy to support our work in serving employees,” Deanne shares.  “The team consistently looks to her for new ideas and to keep us on task when our wild ideas take us too far off track.”

Director of Organizational Design and Development Katie Tagye also works with Natasha. For her, working with Natasha has been very meaningful.

“She has such a capacity for empathy, such a passion for developing others, and such a great sense of humor,” Katie says.

Some of Natasha’s empathy likely comes from her work before she came to the College.

Working for the Victim Service Center, a non-profit organization that serves as the rape crisis center for Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties, Natasha learned a lot about herself and others.

“I learned that everyone is simply doing the best they can with the awareness they have and that you can build your awareness to become more connected to yourself and others,” she explains.

Natasha is most inspired by both her team and the College’s commitment to “offering educational opportunity to anyone who is the slightest bit interested in learning and growing.”

She adds, “The value held that ‘anyone can learn anything under the right conditions’ stands at the forefront of all the minds I get to work with daily, which exemplifies our true dedication to serving others.”

Natasha also appreciates the College leadership and how they have made her personal development a priority.

She explains, “I have had immense opportunity to grow, develop, be vulnerable and show up exactly as I am at any given moment and the peace of mind and safety that comes with that opportunity is celebrated daily.”

Natasha says she sees the value Valencia College holds in our community.

“I believe Valencia signifies learning through connection, access by engagement within our community and hope for those who may feel like college level education is not available to them,” she says.

Natasha has spent a bit of time in college herself. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a minor in psychology, and a certificate in behavioral forensics from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Nova Southeastern University.

She spends her free time with family, friends and her “incredibly cute and fluffy” Goldendoodle named Cooper. She also enjoys spending time in nature, meditating, cooking, traveling and binge-watching TV shows.

Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for at least one year? Send the colleague’s name to us at He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.

Rally Part 5: Personalized Coaching Available to Help You Meet Your Wellness Goals

Monday, February 7, 2022

A Message from Jessica Johnson, UnitedHealthcare Nurse Liaison 

Sometimes we all need a little coaching. Whether it’s to get moving, stress less, eat better or even improve our sleep, Rally — a healthy living tool for employees with Valencia College’s UnitedHealthcare benefits —  can connect you with a wellness coach who will work with you to create a personalized healthy-living plan that works with your lifestyle. Rally wellness coaching helps you reach your health goals at your own pace with live coaching support and courses on a wide range of popular topics.

If you haven’t yet checked out Rally, now’s the time. Not only does this tool help you create healthy habits, but if you achieve your goals, you can earn coins that you can use to enter to win prizes such as an Amazon Fire TV Stick or iRobot Roomba. And if you register for Rally and complete its health survey by Friday, February 18, 2022, you’ll be entered into a Valencia College drawing for one of four $25 Amazon gift cards.*

With Rally wellness coaching, you’ll receive:

  • Live coaching support: Make small, achievable lifestyle changes and adopt healthier behaviors with the support of an expert coach.
  • Relevant courses: Benefit from the most relevant course topics, including stress and weight management, and more. You can choose from more than 10 topics such as stress, sleep, weight management, finances, family wellness, meditation, tobacco cessation and diabetes management.
  • Flexible access: Engage in a variety of ways that best fits your needs and schedule, from self-directed to live coach-led courses. Plus, you’ll receive access to videos, quizzes, polls and educational content 24/7.

How Do You Get Started?

Visit and select “See if you have Rally.” Then sign in with your UnitedHealthcare username and password. You will be directed to create a separate Rally username and password.

After you create your online Rally account, you may also take advantage of the Rally mobile experience by downloading the Rally app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Tap “Register for an account” and enter the mobile registration code BEWELL. Have your UHC card ready, as you’ll also need your member ID and group number.

To view Rally FAQs, click here.

For questions, contact me at or 407-866-8134.

* Gift cards provided to employees of the College are considered cash equivalent items, and therefore, are taxable and will be added to W-2 earnings.