Valencia Graduates First “Global Distinction” Students

global-distinction-new2-groveLeft to right: Kara Parsons, program support specialist; Vannia Ruiz, administrative assistant; Jossie Morales, student and Jennifer Robertson, director, study abroad and global experiences

A message from Jennifer Robertson, Director, Study Abroad and Global Experiences (SAGE)

Three students made history at Valencia’s 46th Annual Commencement — they were the first in the College’s history to graduate with a Valencia Global Distinction (VGD) Medallion. Nakita Camacho, Jossie Morales and Melissa Thomas-Yarde worked within the short time between the program’s official launch and their spring graduation to complete their capstone project under the mentorship of Valencia Professor of English Aby Boumarate, who praises the three students for their devotion, diligence and passion.

“They represent,” he adds, “the true spirit of this distinction as they had completed most of the requirements before the program’s inception — their earned medallion is more of a glittery reflection of their true love of global learning.”

Nakita created a video on how Anime Conventions bring diverse people together. Jossie, on the other hand, created a digital booklet to show her staunch support for small business and sub-cultures in the face of a growing global influence exerted by Walmart and McDonald’s. Melissa, the third graduate, weaved together a lyrical narrative of the importance of preserving the Everglades as a global heritage site.

Nakita-camacho-VGD-270wNakita, holding her medallion and Valencia degree in this picture, deeply believes that “the world would be a better place when everyone finds common bridges of friendship, respect and tolerance — the tenet principles of Anime conventions all over the world.”

“As a graphic designer who is hoping to go out to other countries and help small businesses grow,” Jossie, from the Osceola Campus, believes in empowering small businesses to preserve a sense of place. Just recently, for instance, she crafted a new logo for the Orange County Animal Shelter and will soon be approaching them with her idea.

Melissa, a Caribbean native and a computer programmer, has become an expert on the Everglades preservation in only a matter of weeks. “When I began this journey, I did not expect this capstone project to change me the way it did,” Melissa asserts, and she has become an ardent voice calling for “a commitment that demands global attention to the Everglades — any weak effort will be lost among the tides and seas of growing world problems; we need a worldwide thrust to teach people to appreciate, value and preserve the Everglades for all mankind.”

global-distinction-new1-groveLeft to right: Jossie Morales and Aby Boumarate, professor of English

As showcased within the works of this first cohort, the goal of Valencia’s Global Distinction (VGD) is to prepare students to live and work in an interdependent and multicultural world, while having the knowledge, skills and attitudes of a competent global citizen.

In order to successfully earn the Valencia Global Distinction, students must complete an orientation seminar, 15 credit hours from any of the courses on the VGD course list, 15 global co-curricular hours or participate in a study abroad trip and a Capstone project. All students who complete the requirements receive a certificate of accomplishment, a medallion at graduation and a Global Distinction notation on their official transcript.

Under the leadership of Assistant Vice President of Curriculum and Assessment Karen Borglum; Director of Study Abroad and Global Experiences Jennifer Robertson and a devoted committee consisting of administrators, faculty and staff; this program — after two years of preparation and hard work — came into fruition as Valencia College, once again, takes a flagship role in leading efforts to promote and integrate global education.

For further details on Valencia Global Distinction click here.

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