Archive for the ‘Articles and Essays’ Category

  • My Word: Valencia’s award a community achievement

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Orlando Sentinel, My Word: Valencia’s award a community achievement By Sandy Shugart December 20, 2011 In the wake of the announcement that Valencia…

  • Valencia Wins Top Aspen Prize!

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Dear Friends, Only moments ago, I enjoyed one of the highlights of my career and of Valencia College’s 43-year history when…

  • White House Highlights ‘Champions of Change’

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Following a visit to the White House on September 21 to participate in a roundtable discussion on the positive impact of…

  • Extraordinary Results Draw National Spotlight to Valencia

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    It is my great honor to share with you that Valencia has been named a finalist for the Aspen Prize for…

  • Valencia’s President Performs Concert at Orlando Science Center

    Friday, August 26, 2011

       Valencia President Sandy Shugart performed some of his songs at the Orlando Science Center’s recent Cocktails & Cosmos event. The concert was…

  • Honoring our Graduates’ Dreams

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Commencement–my favorite day of the academic year–was Saturday, May 7 at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. We had a wonderful…

  • Take Stock in Children Golf Tournament Raises $55K for Scholarships

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    More kids will have a shot at college following yesterday’s Take Stock in Children Golf Tournament at Lake Nona Golf and…

  • The Florida College System Needs Your Support

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Now is the time to strengthen rather than blunt the work of the 28 state/community colleges now known as the Florida…

  • A Different Kind of Learning Day

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    On February 11, more than 1,000 Valencia employees gathered under one roof – the UCF Arena – for a rare convocation we call Learning Day. Attendees heard from three remarkable alumni about their lives – lives that were shaped in part by Valencia.

    They came to share their inspirational stories and to thank Valencia for having played such an important role in their success. It isn’t often that we gather the entire Valencia family to learn and serve together. It was a real treat to see these graduates again and to connect their narrative to our core mission.

    Francis Angibeaud Montjen was a typical community college student, which is to say he didn’t fit in anybody’s box. He’s a native of Cameroon, West Africa, who earned a degree from Valencia in 2002. He later moved to the United Kingdom, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southampton. He hasn’t stopped there as he is currently working on a master’s degree in finance and banking at Queen Mary University in London.

    Abeer Beshir Abdalla, a 2005 Valencia grad – also named that year’s distinguished graduate – works as a writer and a communications specialist in Washington, D.C. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCF. A master storyteller, she spoke with passion of the value of learning and serving others.

    Eddie Ruiz is the principal of Jackson Middle School, the same place he once attended as a teenager. Ruiz received his A.A. degree from Valencia in 1999 and went on to UCF where he is currently pursuing his doctoral degree. He was a finalist for Orange County Teacher of the Year in 2006.

    All three of them demonstrate the power of an opportunity. Each seized theirs and are making a difference. I invite you to watch the video where they share what Valencia has meant to them.

  • College Update, December 2010

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    As you have heard, the name change is official. We will be “Valencia College.” It will be effective July, 2011 and we have plans for rolling it out, changing signs, etc. Quite a number of students have written me to determine if their diplomas from this spring will read Valencia Community College or Valencia College. The answer is nothing changes until July…

    As I announced to West Campus Monday, let me now announce to the entire college that Dr. Falecia Williams will serve as Interim Provost of the West Campus beginning January until the selection of a new leader for the campus is completed, probably around June. She has served Valencia for some ten years in a variety of leadership roles and came to us from a career in gifted education at the secondary level.

    We have a large selection committee involved in a very open and collaborative process recruiting candidates and discerning together who may be the best fit for West Campus at this time: Lisa Macon, Russell Takashima, Gustavo Morales, Diane Orsini, Sharyn Gaston, Suzanne Lynch, Elizabeth Renn, Nasser Hedayat, Ty Johnson, Kathleen Plinske, Vicki Brooks (community member), Cathie Hansen, Michal Ewing, and a professional staff rep to be named, along with an SGA rep to be named.

    After much reflection, I have decided to change the title of the chief campus leadership positions from Provost to Campus President, effective July 1. It is a change in title only, but it signals a couple of important things. First, our provost title has never been very well understood around the state or country because it is an unconventional title for the chief campus leader, a holdover from when Valencia had no chief academic officer. Second, this ambiguity makes it more difficult to recruit candidates to the position since it makes little sense to them, hence the decision to do this prior to the search for West Campus’s leader. (We were lucky to get Dr. Plinske to Valencia in spite of this issue!) And third, it signals the level of leadership we desire from the chief campus officers in their work with faculty, deans, and staff.

    Jane and I hope with all our hearts that you will have enjoy a very special Christmas this year. See you in 2011!

    Sandy Shugart