Thank You, Susan Howard

Wednesday, May 5, 2022

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Outgoing Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Thank you to Susan Howard, coordinator, academic affairs, who worked tirelessly in the East Campus Academic Affairs Office to support students, faculty and staff, and was responsible for leading a myriad of projects — including managing the copy for the East and Winter Park Campus Concentrate — since her start in October 2015.

“She has been a leader, a mentor and a coach, all while managing multiple projects each day,” shared Michelle Foster, dean, academic affairs. “We thank her for her diligent work on the Campus Concentrate each month. A day without Susan is like a day without sunshine!”

Susan retired on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Allan Maxwell Nominated for the 15th Annual International Color Awards

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Outgoing Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Congratulations Allan Maxwell, part-time faculty, art, who was recently celebrated as a nominee at the 15th Annual International Color Awards with pictures in portrait and still-life categories. His submissions were two of 6,786 entries received from 78 countries.

The International Color Awards is the industry’s yearly online event that celebrates the most exceptional achievements in color photography. Professional and amateur photographers may submit all forms of color photography using traditional or digital methods.

View the entries here.

Spring Beauty Abounds

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Outgoing Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Spring is celebrated on East Campus with beautiful vibrant colors everywhere! The gardens behind East Campus’s Building 3 are especially breathtaking.

Thank you to Professor of English Holly Elliott for sharing one of her spring poems.

Green Eyes by Holly Elliott

The Stones say paint it black

and a “poet” told me to not use green.

But there aren’t many choices

to make about black — either matte

or gloss, with no shades

mixed in-between. And if

someone said to paint it green, then

someone else would have to ask


if it should be forest or aspen

or olive or jade or emerald or sea

or just plain green, like the crayon

in the Crayola box, the one that


wore down in a six-year-old hand

from coloring in tops of trees —

not individual leaves, but filling in

puffy shapes like thought-


balloons, impressions of solid flat

pure impossible green. Most children see

trees in that way; they aren’t concerned

if they’re pine or willow or oak.


Paint it green, green as April grass.

Use whatever shade each thing wants to be —

see not only trees in green, but dances and

words, so the view can never mist to black.

East Campus Math Faculty Form Team to Develop Instructional Math Modules for Science Disciplines

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Outgoing Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

If you have met the East Campus Math faculty, you know that they are ready to attack any problem head-on. That is what they did this fall after noticing students struggling with prerequisite math skills in their first Valencia biology course. After further investigation, they realized that lack of basic math skills was a common complaint of the science teachers and that many of these students are not required to have even a single math class before their introductory science course.

This prompted them, in fall 2021, to attend an East Campus Science department meeting where they collected input from the science instructors about the prerequisite math skills where students need support.

Afterwards, the Math/Science Collaboration team consisting of Professors of Math Dan Mullins, Joanne KiriazesSidra Van De Car, Abdul Zainulabdeen, Eve Gassman, Jim McCloskey, Steve Purtee, Lisa Potchen and Michelle Karkkainen was formed. Their goals are for Valencia students to leave math classes ready to apply the math they have learned, to support the science faculty in filling in any mathematical holes the students may have and to integrate more science applications into their math courses. One of the ways they are going about this is to develop instructional math modules specific for each science discipline.

The team decided to address biology first with a group of dedicated BSC1005C instructors from across all campuses for technical support and input. The math team will be presenting the completed module to support BSC1005C at the end of the spring semester. Plans include developing a physics module this summer with starting work on a chemistry module in the fall.

As much as this group loves math, they understand that mathematics is a tool to be applied and their ultimate desire is to work with and support their science colleagues in order to positively impact Valencia students.

Students From Koning Willem I College Visit Valencia College

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Outgoing Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

In March, Valencia College marked its eighth reciprocal study abroad trip with students from Koning Willem I College (KWIC) in s’-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, led by Professor of Speech Suzette Ashton. This year, the trip included two service-learning projects and a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the School for Public Safety, including a hands-on virtual shooting range experience.

Students had an opportunity to experience the tactical simulator that trains police officers with simulated firearms for the emotional realities of real-life, use-of-force situations.

“This was the first time I held and shot a gun,” a KWIC student commented. “I had less than a second to react. Being a police officer is more difficult than it seems, and I have a greater appreciation for them. I wouldn’t have this same feeling if I hadn’t experienced the tactical simulator.”

Kudos to Executive Dean of the School of Public Safety Jeff Goltz and Director of the Criminal Justice Institute Rob Pigman for their assistance in organizing this experience. In addition, Orange County Sheriff’s Office Lead Tactical Simulator Trainer Yuri Melich provided the students with an informative session on safety and gun culture in the United States.

The trip also consisted of dinner with College President Kathleen Plinske on the Winter Park Campus and two service-learning opportunities, including a trip to the Marine Discovery Center. Students spent part of the day learning about the biodiversity of marine and plant life in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. They also clocked in volunteer hours at IDignity, a local organization that helps disadvantaged people in Central Florida obtain personal identification such as birth certificates, Florida ID cards and social security cards.

“I learned a lot of things during my visit to Valencia College, but the one thing that stuck with me the most was volunteering at IDignity,” another KWIC student said. “I really felt like I made a difference, and it was fascinating to hear the clients’ struggles with obtaining identification. I hope I can come back to Orlando and volunteer there again.”

It was a busy week full of wonderful opportunities to learn about culture from a truly interpersonal experience.

“The people here are very close; I felt a real sense of community during my visit to the USA,” an additional student shared. “I saw this at the College, at the church we attended, at the skatepark, in the images at the Pulse Memorial and even on the streets of Orlando.”

Suzette hopes to visit KWIC with a group of students next summer, pending pandemic restrictions.

Dorea Cooks Receives a 2022 Emerging Leaders Award from NATS

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Outgoing Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Congratulations to Dorea Cook, visiting professor, music theory, who recently received a 2022 Emerging Leaders Award from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). This biennial grant program is designed to recognize teachers of singing with no more than 10 years of teaching experience and who are active at the chapter and regional level of NATS.

Winners receive a $750 grant to assist with their attendance at the NATS 57th national conference from Friday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

Humanities Speaker Series Shares Restoration Project of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Outgoing Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

On Monday, April 15, 2019, the world watched in shocked disbelief as the great cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris was engulfed in flames. In the aftermath, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed that this famous icon of French culture would be restored in five years. Now, three years into the process, the Humanities Speaker Series arranged for a look behind the scenes of the great restoration process by bringing together a Zoom webinar on Friday, April 1, 2022, featuring several medieval art historians who are intimately involved in the work.

The panel of speakers included Dany Sandron of the Université Sorbonne in Paris, who was joined by American medieval art and architectural historians, Lindsay Cook of Ball State University and Jennifer Feltman of the University of Alabama. The discussion was hosted by Valencia’s own medieval technology historian, George Brooks, professor, humanities, who coordinates the Humanities Speaker Series, and who also serves as the current president of AVISTA (the Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Medieval Technology, Science, and Art). Dr. Cook, a specialist in medieval roofing, and Dr. Feltman, a specialist in Reims cathedral and the long lives of medieval buildings, are also members of AVISTA.

The webinar had a large attendance of 175 people from around the world as the event was advertised by AVISTA members at their home institutions and in architectural programs across the country. During the 90-minute discussion, topics explored included the origins of the Notre-Dame fire, the extent of damage, the nature of restoring a 900-year-old structure, the surprising discoveries made, the training of modern builders in the techniques of the Middle Ages and the role of memory and culture surrounding the monument’s long life.

The talk also paid tribute to the late Andrew Tallon, architectural historian and former member of AVISTA, who became known internationally for his work in digitally mapping Notre-Dame cathedral with a billion laser points, creating the most accurate and detailed 3D-model of the monument ever created, which has been invaluable in the restoration process.

Employees Help Build LibGuide for New Media Communications Program

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Outgoing Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Thank you to Emerging Technology Librarian Adam Johnson, Librarian Erich Heintzelman and Professor of Speech Edie Gaythwaite, who collaborated with the New Media Communication program faculty to build a comprehensive LibGuide for the program. They met last month to outline the template and plan out the guide’s content for students and faculty involved in this Associate in Science degree program

Valencia Has Zero Deficiencies in Safety Report

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

For the seventh year in a row, Valencia College has achieved a “zero deficiencies” safety report.

From Tuesday, February 22 through Thursday, February 24, and on Thursday, March 17, 2022, we conducted the Annual Comprehensive Safety Inspection. A team contracted through the Florida College System Risk Management Consortium inspected approximately 2.4 million square feet of Valencia College for fire, safety, casualty and sanitation deficiencies (based on the State Requirement for Educational Facilities). The following facilities were included.

Advanced Manufacturing Training Center
Center for Accelerated Training – Downtown Orlando
District Office
East Campus
Fire Rescue Training Facility
Lake Nona Campus
Osceola Campus
Poinciana Campus
School of Public Safety
West Campus
Winter Park Campus


Virtual Engagements for Vice President, Equity Strategy and Partnerships Postponed

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

As shared earlier this month, finalist interviews and open forums were scheduled for this week on Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6, 2022, for the vice president for equity strategy and partnerships. Although we extended an invitation to four finalists, who initially all accepted, three of the four candidates have since withdrawn.

At this time, given that we have only one finalist remaining, the remaining interview activities have been canceled.

The search committee will reconvene to discuss next steps and an update will be provided as soon as a plan has been developed. If you have any questions about the search or the upcoming virtual engagements, please contact Carla McKnight, vice president, organizational development and human resources, at or 407-582-1756.