Valencia Employees Gather to Celebrate the New Academic Year During Welcome Back Social

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

On Friday, August 21, 2020, Valencia College employees gathered to celebrate the new academic year during the Welcome Back Social. The event, which was sponsored by the Valencia African Heritage Committee and Organizational Development and Human Resources, was co-hosted by Stanton Reed, past president and interim president of the Collegewide Faculty Association, and Wendy Givolgu, interim president, East and Winter Park Campuses.

The virtual celebration included musical and spoken word performances from faculty and staff across the College. Performances included:

  • “Welcome Back” by Michelle Mailhot, part-time faculty, music; John Olearchick, part-time faculty, music; and Steven Grant, alumni
  • “A Steady Groove” Original Composition by Jorge Valladares, professor, psychology
  • Spoken Word by Tamara Madison, professor, English
  • Instrumental by Troy Gifford, professor, music
  • “Lean on Me” by Sharnecia Jones, staff assistant II
  • “The Lord’s Prayer” by Fontella Jones, counselor
  • “Crazy” by April Montallana, administrative assistant
  • “Sonata” by Lynn Howard, professor, mathematics
  • “O Du Mein Holder Abendstern” by Makendy Jacob, student services advisor
  • A Song by Carla DelVillaggio, part-time faculty, music
  • Re-versed “On the Road Again” by Al Groccia, professor, mathematics

The evening also included a poem, recited by College President Sandy Shugart, and a surprise musical performance by Executive Vice President and Provost Kathleen Plinske.

Nearly 100 participants joined the celebration and actively engaged through the evening via the Zoom chat.


  • Claudine Tomlinson-Burney said:

    This was such a fun night. Thanks to the organizers, hosts, participants and attendees for making this an exquisite night of artistic expression, engagement and college pride. A special 🗣 shout-out for the awesome selection of Bahamian native Johnny Kemp’s classic hit, Just Got Paid! I had way too much fun chair dancing. 🙂

    PMTue, 15 Sep 2020 20:41:03 +0000Tue, 15 Sep 2020 20:41:03 +0000pm20,8:41 pm

  • April Montallana said:

    This was another excellent night of talent and fellowship! Big kudos everyone involved and to the Valencia African American Heritage Committee! I can't wait for the next one.

    AMThu, 17 Sep 2020 08:45:30 +0000Thu, 17 Sep 2020 08:45:30 +0000am20,8:45 am

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