Don’t Miss the Campus Store’s Cyberweek Deals

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Our Campus Store is offering Cyber Week deals through Saturday, December 4, 2021. On the site, you’ll find select items that are discounted, including:

  • Clothing – up to 40% off
  • Supplies – up to 40% off
  • Electronics – up to 40% off

The sale price will be listed under the original price of the discounted products.

New deals will be added daily throughout the week.

Join the Upcoming PJI Resilience Common Read

Monday, November 29, 2021

Join the Resilience Common Read, a book club initiative started by the Peace and Justice Institute (PJI) addressing positive and adverse childhood experiences (PACEs), trauma healing, and resilience.

In January, the group will begin reading “What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing,” by Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey, which discusses the impact of trauma and adversity and how healing must begin with a shift to asking “What happened to you?” rather than “What’s wrong with you?” The Common Read will run for seven weeks — from Monday, January 10 through Friday, February 25, 2022.

How Do I Participate?

You can select one or both ways to participate:

1. Join the Common Read Facebook Group: Each week, discussion prompts will be posted in the private Facebook group for participants to engage with in written format.

2. Register for the three Virtual Discussion Sessions: The club will host three Zoom sessions to discuss the book in a live format:

  • Session 1 

    Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2022
    Time: 12 – 1 p.m.
    Location: Zoom. Register here

  • Session 2 

    Date: Tuesday, February 1, 2022
    Time: 12 – 1 p.m.
    Location: Zoom. Register here

  • Session 3 

    Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022
    Time: 12 – 1 p.m.
    Location: Zoom. Register here

Get a Free Copy of the Book

Thanks to the generous support of Valencia College, participating Valencia employees can receive a free copy of the book! Complete this request form by Tuesday, December 14, 2021, to receive a free book. Be sure to indicate that you are a Valencia employee.

Who Can Participate?

The Common Read initiative is open for Valencia College faculty and staff and community members as part of PJI’s larger community resilience work. Its theme is also the focus of the annual conference — Creating a Resilient Community: From Trauma to Healing (Save the date: Thursday, April 21, 2022 – registration details are coming soon.).

This will be the fourth time Valencia employees and community members will participate in the Resilience Common Read, having read the following books since 2019:

  • “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity,” by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris (2019 Common Read)
  • “Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings,” by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg (2020 Common Read)
  • “Childhood Disrupted: How your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Can Heal,” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa (2021 Common Read)

Payroll Tips for the Holidays

Monday, November 29, 2021

A Message from Bettie Cooper, Director, Payroll Services 

As we approach the holiday season, many Valencia employees may be working irregular schedules, which might include working extra hours to prepare for a holiday break or taking additional time off to spend time with loved ones. With this in mind, please review the following tips for irregular holiday schedules.

Requesting and Using Time Off
It’s important to remember that you must have the leave available when you use it, not when you submit the Certificate of Absence (COA). So, please make sure that you submit your COAs in a timely manner to ensure the most accurate leave balances. The leave system is live, which means you will immediately see if you’re using more leave than you have available because your available balance will be negative once the leave request is submitted.

Please remember, even though most of us are working remotely, if you are not available to work, then you must submit a COA.

Please note, if you take time off the day before or the day after a holiday break and you do not have the time available, you will not be eligible for holiday pay.

While any time worked over 40 hours for a non-exempt employee will result in overtime, please discuss any needed overtime with your supervisor, who should establish guidelines and expectations for when it’s acceptable for employees on the team to work overtime and the approval process.

– Overtime is earned when a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a week (Sunday through Saturday). Hours worked include:

  • Starting your shift early to get a head start on the day;
  • Working late to wrap things up;
  • Interrupted lunch time; and
  • Checking emails on the weekend.

– Overtime must be pre-approved by your supervisor.

– The overtime calculation is based only on hours worked. It does not include paid time off (holiday, sick, vacation, personal, summer hours, etc.).

– A week cannot total more than 40 hours if paid time off is included (vacation, sick, holiday, etc.). Paid time off hours would need to be reduced and the corresponding COA would need to be reversed and resubmitted as necessary.

– Overtime will be automatically processed from the timesheet as a payment on the next available payroll once the timesheet is in a “Completed” status.

Banked Holiday
Banked holiday is earned if a full-time, non-exempt employee works more than the required number of hours in a week and cannot record the full number of hours granted for holiday. If an employee works more than the required number of hours in a week that contains a holiday, he or she must reduce the number of holiday hours recorded and would then have “Banked Holiday” hours to use at a later date.

Here’s an example of how banked holiday hours work:

  • An employee works 20 hours during the week of Thanksgiving, rather than the typical 16 hours for two days of work. As a result, the employee would record only 20 hours for the holiday break (20 hours worked plus 20 hours of holiday hours), instead of the typical 24 holiday hours for the three-day break.
  • In this scenario, the employee would have four hours of banked holiday hours.
  • Payroll will run a report to see that this employee only recorded 20 hours of holiday hours on his or her timesheet and therefore has four hours of banked holiday hours.
  • As soon as possible once the timesheet has been approved and is in a “Completed” status, four hours of banked holiday hours will be recorded in the Request and Manage My Leave system and can be seen as available Banked Holiday on the Leave Balance screen.
  • When banked holiday pay is used, it is recorded on the timesheet as Banked Holiday and a corresponding COA is submitted for this time off.

If you have questions, contact Organizational Development and Human Resources at, or call the HR4U helpline at 407-582-HR4U (4748).

Banner 9: Budget Training Is Now Available on the Valencia EDGE

Monday, November 29, 2021

Banner 9: Budget training is now available on the Valencia EDGE. Completion of this course is required for access to Banner and its respective accounts. The course can be taken by new hires who require access to Banner Finance as well as current users who may need a refresher.

Banner 9: Budget 
Location: Online. Register here

By the end of the Banner 9: Budget course, participants will be able to:

  • Navigate the Banner 9 system.
  • View current available balances.
  • Perform detailed research on available balances.
  • Complete a budget transfer.
  • Correct a disapproved budget transfer.

If you have questions, contact Valencia’s Budget office at

‘Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher,’ Now Available on Netflix

Monday, November 29, 2021

Check out the work of Valencia College students in the movie “Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher,” which was released this month on Netflix. In 2017, more than 30 Valencia Film program students traveled to Ada, Oklahoma, and St. Augustine, Florida, to take part in the film’s production.

The movie — which has consistently ranked in the top 10 movies in the U.S. since its debut — tells the remarkable story of Montford T. Johnson, a historic member of the Chickasaw Indian tribe, who was orphaned as a little boy, but later built a ranching empire along the Chisholm Trail. Montford’s story, coming to the big screen through the generosity of the Chickasaw Nation, exemplifies the courage and work ethic of the Chickasaw people.

Read about our students’ on-location experience in this 2017 article.

Free Up Our Zoom Storage Space by Downloading and Deleting Your Recordings

Monday, November 29, 2021

A Message from Jamie Rost, Managing Director, Campus Technology Services

Valencia College has a limited amount of storage space to retain all Zoom meetings and recordings. As a result of these limitations and expanded use of the Zoom platform, we are currently reaching the storage limits on our account.

To reclaim space on our account to meet the needs of the College, we ask that, if you have saved recordings, that you follow these actions immediately.

Please note that recordings will not be automatically removed from your account. If you have recordings that you are actively using those may remain online for access. Additionally, we are working closely with Faculty Development to provide long-term storage for your course recordings. More information on this option will be available soon.

As a best practice for the future, please regularly download and delete your recordings.

If you have any questions or require any assistance, please call the OIT Service Desk at 407-582-5555.

Thank you in advance for freeing up our Zoom storage space.


‘Tis the Season of Giving — Holiday Donation Drives

Monday, November 29, 2021

The holiday season should be the most wonderful time of the year for all families, regardless of their circumstances. Together, we can give back to our community and help make holiday wishes come true!

Valencia College has teamed up with community organizations to donate to local causes during the holiday season.

Student Development Drive

Student Development will host its annual virtual holiday toy/donation drive to support organizations focused on essential need assistance in our communities.

“Community is part of our DNA, and in these precarious times, Student Development would like to remain focused on our civic engagement mission by challenging our faculty and staff to donate to those organizations focused on providing support to our communities,” said Charles Ensminger, director, student development.

Rather than using drop-boxes to collect items on campus, we encourage our Valencia College staff and faculty to donate using the contactless and virtual donation options offered by each charitable organization listed below. The drive will take place between now and Saturday, January 1, 2022.

  • Second Harvest Food Bank – Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects, stores. It distributes donated food to more than 550 feeding partners in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia. Last year, with the help of numerous donors, volunteers, and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed enough food for 73 million meals to partner programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, daycare centers and Kids Cafes. To donate, click here.
  • Resource Centers – Samaritan Resource Center and the Christian Help Employment and Resource Center lead individuals and families out of homelessness and into stable, independent futures. To donate, visit or
  • Central Florida Community Program – The Baby DJ program began more than 25 years ago when its founder “Johnny Magic” was inspired to assist families of economic disadvantage in the Central Florida area. To donate, visit

Pooky’s Pantry East Campus Holiday Food Drive

The East Campus Pooky’s Pantry is collecting food donations through Friday, December 10, 2021. The following items are needed:

  • Protein canned meats
  • Canned vegetables
  • Cake mix/desserts
  • Stuffing
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Refrigerated items 

  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Canned fruit
  • Condiments and spices
  • Canned beans
  • Carton milk 


    Please drop off your donations to East Campus, Building 4, Room 134 or the donation bins in Buildings 4 and 5.

    Engelwood Elementary Toy Drive

    For the past four years, Engelwood Elementary has hosted a successful Christmas Toy Drive to give toys to students from their school as well as their siblings from nearby schools. The Christmas Store will provide school parents with a wonderful opportunity to come to the school and select free toys for their children. The toys will then get gift wrapped and parents can take them home. If you have toys to donate, please drop them off at the school [front office] by Monday, December 13, 2021, at 3 p.m., in order to have the time to organize the store.

    Suggested donations:

    • New, unwrapped toys (ages 4-10 boys and girls) such as dolls, cars, Legos, board games (no guns), etc.
    • Older students (ages 11-17 years) are often overlooked. Consider donating books, gift cards, electronic gaming accessories, sporting equipment, etc., for this age group
    • Stuffed animals
    • Clothing items, pajamas, socks, underwear for ages 4-11 boys and girls

    Gift cards and checks can be donated. Contact Program Coordinator Natalia Giraldo at Engelwood Elementary, 407-249-6340, extension 3344-2250, if you wish to donate a gift card or check. One hundred percent of these donations will go directly to purchase toys for the toy store.

    All donations will be provided to all Title 1 families on Thursday, December 16, 2021.

    Winter Park Campus Toy Drive

    The East Region will be supporting the Eatonville Neighborhood Center for Families toy drive. A drive-thru toy giveaway will take place on Thursday, December 16, 2021, at Hungerford Elementary. As we look to support the families of this center, the Winter Park executive dean’s office (Room 244) will be accepting toy donations through Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at 5 p.m. The toy donations will be dropped off at the Eatonville Neighborhood Center for Families on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. The following donations will be accepted:

    • Unwrapped Toys
    • Wrapping Paper

    Note: Teenagers typically do not receive enough gifts, so the emphasis is being placed on this group to ensure all age groups receive a gift. Ideas include makeup, sporting equipment, gaming accessories, books, pajamas, etc.

    West Campus Books and Clothes Drive

    West Campus is collecting books for children to foster literacy in our community. Any books donated will be distributed to Little Free Library boxes located at schools, doctor’s offices and other places for children to enjoy throughout the area. We are also collecting new or gently-used clothes to be distributed to Evans High School. Both casual and career apparel — especially female clothing — would be appreciated.

    Please drop off your donations to the West Campus President’s Office in Building 1, Room 211. Donations are accepted Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. through Friday, December 10, 2021.

    If you have any questions, contact Melonie Sexton, professor, psychology, at

    Downtown Campus – The United States Marine Corps Annual Toys for Tots Drive 

    Downtown UCF Student Services, the College of Community Innovation and Education and the Veterans Academic Resource Center (VARC), in cooperation with UCF Staff Council, are participating in the United States Marine Corps Annual Toys for Tots drive. The Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys to distribute to children ages newborn to 13 years old in our Central Florida community.

    Please drop off your donations to Union West, Room 226 by Thursday, December 9, 2021.

    OCPS ACE School Shirts Donation

    United to Promote Cultural Awareness  — a UCF Downtown initiative has partnered with the OCPS Academic Center for Excellence to support raising money for school shirts that will be distributed to the more than 1,000 students who attend the school. The T-shirts are long lasting reminders of the accomplishments and achievements of the year while promoting camaraderie and school spirit among students. To make a contribution to ACE to help purchase school shirts for students, click here.

    Orange County Mayor’s Toy Drive

    Now in its 11th year, the Orange County Mayor’s Toy Drive has collected more than 56,000 toys that directly benefit local youth to ensure a happy holiday season. Last year, the drive collected a record-breaking 11,000 toys and served over 500 families countywide.

    For safety and convenience, toy donations can be made online through Monday, December 6, 2021, or toys can be dropped off in person at 21 countywide collection sites through Monday, December 13, 2021.

    Residents are encouraged to purchase a new, unwrapped toy and either drop off in person or make an online donation. Children and youth are served — from infants to teens. Cash, gift cards and plush toys are not accepted. Please include extra items where appropriate. For example, please purchase batteries with electronic toys or crayons with a coloring book.

    Online shopping is available now through Monday, December 6, 2021, by simply visiting This option allows donors to purchase items for the Mayor’s Toy Drive from their phone or computer. Some donors may prefer to select their toys for donation and drop them off at a collection site. In-person donations will be accepted now through Monday, December 13, 2021. For a complete list of public drop-off locations throughout Orange County, visit

    Provosts Search Update: Finalists Named and Interview Open Forums

    Tuesday, November 23, 2021

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

    In last week’s Provosts Search Update, we shared that in late October, 71 candidates for our five provosts positions were invited to participate in an asynchronous digital interview via HireVue. Our search committee has identified 15 finalists who will participate in a set of virtual interviews and a tour of our campus locations. The candidates will meet first with the search committee, then in a series of forums for faculty, staff, deans and students.

    You’re invited to participate in our Finalist Interview Open Forums during the week of Monday, November 29 through Friday, December 3, 2021, to get to know the candidates and provide feedback. For faculty members, we will also host a Faculty Forum for each candidate.

    Recognizing that there are many candidates, many meetings and many recordings, we have created a Finalists page on our Provost Search site so that you can find all of the information, including Zoom links and recordings, in an easy-to-access format. On this site, you’ll also find the finalists’ letters of interest and curriculum vitae for your review.

    Feedback from the College community is a critical component of a successful search process, and your insights are needed by the search committee. Please complete the following Qualtrics survey with your feedback on each candidate. The survey will open on the morning of Monday, November 29, 2021, and will close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 10, 2021.

    Following the finalist interviews, I will review the feedback from the College community and insights from the search committee and advisory committee to make a final decision.

    Thank you to the members of the search committee, advisory committee, and those supporting the search process for their deep engagement in this search.

    If you have any questions about the search process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at, or Carla McKnight, vice president, organizational development and human resources, at or 407-582-1756.


    New Osceola Landscaping Will Provide Shade, Outdoor Seating

    Friday, November 19, 2021

    A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses

    A landscape conceptual design was introduced in the Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. The design will add shade and seating to the walkway that runs along Buildings 1 to 3 on the Osceola Campus.


    We are interested in your feedback on the proposed designs. Feel free to reach out via email to or with comments or questions. We also welcome feedback in the comments below.


    Invasive Vegetation Removal Planned for Osceola Campus

    Friday, November 19, 2021

    A Message from Melissa Pedone and Stanton Reed, Interim Presidents, Osceola, Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses

    Plans to eliminate the invasive vegetation on the west side of Osceola Campus were approved by the South Florida Water Management District office.

    In order to maintain the long-term health and functionality of the wetlands and to comply with the South Florida Water Management District standards, the College has developed a plan to remove invasive species within the Mill Slough drainage area on campus.

    The plan will take place over a period of two to three years and involve various levels of equipment, methods and personnel. The work is expected to alter the Slough area’s visual look as many of the invasive species are large robust vegetation such as Brazilian pepper and tallow trees.

    The project will be managed by Andy Sorrow, managing director, grounds, and members of the Osceola Grounds team working in conjunction with selected contractors.