Filtered by featured colleague

Featured Colleague: Nelson Rafael Placa Goes from...

By Dani Moritz-Long He grew up learning English in school, so when Puerto Rican native Nelson Rafael Placa, now director of continuing education, moved to Illinois with his family at age 15, he wasn’t all too concerned. Shortly after arriving stateside, though, he experienced the shock of his life. The then-overconfident teenager’s expectations of easily […]

Featured Colleague: Jennifer Denlinger Builds a Culinary ...

By Dani Moritz-Long Professor of Culinary Management Jennifer Denlinger (more commonly known as Chef Jenn) knows nothing brings people together quite like food — which makes culinary arts the perfect profession for her. She not only brings people together by creating Florida farm-to-table recipes, which she shares with others on her The Florida Chef website and in […]

Featured Colleague: As an Alumnus and Employee, Valencia...

By Dani Moritz-Long Many of us love working at Valencia College because we know we play a role — no matter how small it may seem — in changing lives. Assistant Director of Advising Dan Smith loves working at Valencia, because he understands the transformative nature of the College from firsthand experience. That’s why, to […]

Featured Colleague: Yoshi Oyarzun’s Journey From...

By Dani Moritz-Long We know it’s important for our students to encounter faculty and staff they can relate to — people who share our students’ background, experiences and challenges — so that our students can see themselves in the people they’re surrounded by. At Poinciana Campus, Yoshi Oyarzun, Atlas technical assistant, embodies this role. Like […]

Featured Colleague: Darren Smith’s Transition From...

By Dani Moritz-Long When Darren Smith, now Valencia’s director of institutional effectiveness, first heard College President Sandy Shugart speak at an event in North Carolina, he was hooked. And not just by Dr. Shugart’s charismatic speaking style. “I really responded to the vision he articulated during the address,” Darren said, “and I’ve been following Valencia ever […]

Featured Colleague: Trisha Whitmire Combines Her...

By Dani Moritz-Long When faced with interpersonal conflict or witnessing conflict between others, many prefer to retreat to the shadows — safely distanced from the conflict at play. This isn’t the case for Trisha Whitmire. After taking a women’s studies course at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and working alongside victims of sexual assault and domestic […]

Featured Colleague: Jason Mills Leads a Life of Service

By Dani Moritz-Long A brief interaction with Coordinator, Career Program Advisor Jason Mills quickly reveals his compassionate and empathetic nature. In addition to being a talented staff member with a silly sense of humor, he’s also an artist and an American hero. Jason served in the United States Navy from 2014 – 2016. For a […]

Featured Colleague: Vishma Kunu Embraces Diversity in...

By Dani Moritz-Long Born and raised in Trinidad — an island famous for its diverse array of ethnicities, religions and cultures — Humanities Professor Vishma Kunu grew up embracing a slew of different ideologies. Her family, for example, actively practiced Hinduism and celebrated Christmas, a popular tradition among most of Trinidad’s residents. They also commemorated […]

Featured Colleague: Robyn Brighton Expands the Scope of...

By Dani Moritz-Long  Credited as Valencia’s first director of curriculum initiatives, Robyn Brighton has a knack for expanding the scope of important work. That’s putting it mildly. In her 12 years of tenure at the College and, more specifically, her nearly six years in her director role, Robyn has significantly grown key initiatives that fall under three […]

Featured Colleague: Courtney Demings Turns Dreams Into Re...

By Dani Moritz-Long In sixth grade reading class, few of us selected literary masterpieces for our book reports based on the caliber of an author’s writing or our passionate interest in a novel’s themes and narratives. On the contrary, most of us quickly counted the pages of available books or defaulted to a novel we […]