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Seminole State College
Did you know...Seminole State is the eighth largest college in the Florida College System.
Presidential Report: April 23, 2012
First, please let me express my appreciation to all of you for allowing me to accept the Fulbright Fellowship in Russia. It was an absolutely amazing experience that I am still trying to process. My overwhelming response to the people of Russia and the visits to educational institutions in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don and Voronezh is that we need to involve more of our faculty and students in study trips abroad. My greatest joy would be to see many of our faculty apply and receive Fulbrights. If they are willing, I think that we can make that happen. And, as you saw in the Board packet, there is a tremendous amount of interest on the part of our faculty in international study as evidenced by the Study Abroad requests for next year.
Robert McGraw, Professor of Emergency Medical Services and a dual enrollment faculty member, has been selected by a Seminole High School honors student as “the faculty or staff member who significantly influenced his or her education.” This is the second year in a row that Professor McGraw has received this recognition, which is all the more meaningful because it comes from a student. Congratulations, Robert!
Congratulations to Professor Maureen Tremel, director of nursing technology and simulation. She has been selected as an evaluator for the National League for Nursing (NLN) Project on Using Simulation for High Stakes Assessment.
Our Phi Theta Kappa Chapter has been named one of the top 10 in the region! Many thanks to Dr. Susan Bell for the time and talent that she dedicates to these students!
Neel Patel, our dual enrollment STEM Research Program student, placed sixth out of a field of 40 at the Intel Science Talent Search. Neel earned $25,000 in scholarships and was recognized as one of the top 10 high school scientists in the country! Another highlight for Neel was that he met President Obama at the White House.
Liz Gombash, our executive director of strategic grants planning and development, had an article published in the March issue of the Federal Grants Management Handbook. The title of the article is “Risk Management: Absolute vs. Creative Decisionmaking: Weighing Grant Risk.” The publishers liked Liz’s article so much, they asked her to write a parallel article that focuses on proactively avoiding risk when developing a grant proposal. Liz is doing a great job of continuing to build Seminole State’s national grants reputation.
Our Early Childhood Education Program has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In their report, the Commission stated, “It is expected that this strong, rich program will continue to engage in the kind of ongoing reflection that was clearly evident in the self-study report and affirmed through the peer review report." Congratulations to Associate Vice President Angela Kersenbrock, Program Manager Nana Robertson and the entire Child Development Department for this great accomplishment!
Seminole State’s Brain Bowl team took third place at the Florida College System Activities Association’s (FCSAA) State Tournament in March. Student Dustin Lore made the State All-Star team finishing fourth individually. Congratulations to Professor Jeri Rogers and the team for this great accomplishment!
Also in March, Seminole State sent a group of 28 students to the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) State Leadership Conference and Event Competitions in Tampa. We placed in 19 out of 27 events. Five of those placements were for first place! First place winners were: Stephanie Black in Business Ethics; Greg Nearhoof in Contemporary Sports Issues; Ryan Browne in both Information Management and Management Concepts; and Julie McClean in Business Law. Students placing in first through third place will go on to represent Seminole State at the National Competition in San Antonio, Texas, in late June. Congratulations to all of the students and the PBL faculty and staff!
Seminole State has been named as an American Heart Association (AHA) Gold Fit-Friendly Company. We qualified because of our efforts in offering our Annual Health Fair, our smoking policy, and our efforts to promote physical activity. Congratulations to all our employees for doing their part to make Seminole State a healthy place to work.
Seminole State’s Nursing Program was recognized by the Holler-Classic Automotive Group during the Orlando Predators' College Night on March 29. Student Nurse Association President Cathy Centurion; Professors Laura Aromando and Maureen Tremel; and Carlos Ovalle, instructional technology support specialist, represented the program on the field during a timeout. About 30 nursing students, faculty and their families also attended. The Nursing Program was chosen because it recently received the Chancellor's Best Practice Award for its integration of simulation throughout its curriculum.
The Central Florida American Lung Association has recognized our Respiratory Program’s "Asthma Assassins" as their volunteer organization of the week! Many thanks to Respiratory Therapy Professor and Program Manager Mark Carey, Professor of Respiratory Therapy Michael Santiago and our respiratory students for their efforts to make our community healthier and safer!
Congratulations to Dr. Carol Clayton, professor and program manager of our Physical Therapist Assistant Program, who has been selected to receive the F.A. Davis Award as the Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Educator for 2012. The award will be presented at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Annual Conference. Congratulations, Carol!
Our Lady Raider golfers are off to a roaring start winning the first event of the season – the Florida Southern Lady Moc Golf Classic. This was the first tournament that the team has ever won, and it was a major Division II tournament. But they are on a winning streak as they won another tournament last week. The next event is the regional tournament against Daytona State College. Good luck, Lady Raiders, and congratulations to Coach Christa Teno! Also, the Foundation will be holding their Golf Classic on April 30, and our Lady Raiders will be featured!
You may remember that our Bass Fishing Club won $1,000 earlier this year. Well, in March, Neal Combs and Kevin Lucas won another $1,000 for a third-place finish at the National Guard College Fishing bass tournament on Lake Seminole. This means that we are still in the running to win a Ranger 177TR bass boat in the National Championship. Congratulations, Neal and Kevin, and best of luck at Nationals!
American Association of Community Colleges Convention
As you know, Seminole State was asked to be the official sponsor of the AACC Convention, which started this past Saturday in Orlando and will end tomorrow afternoon. This has been a huge undertaking for us, but also a great way to showcase our students, faculty and staff and their accomplishments to more than 2,500 educators from around the world. This is the largest convention that the AACC has ever held, and our Seminole State team, under the leadership of Deborah Richard, has really risen to the occasion. I will be sending out a longer note collegewide with specific thanks to all involved. But, for the moment, please know that you can be very proud of the showing of your College, which will pay dividends for us as we apply for grants, Fulbrights, etc.
Many thanks to each of you for your help with this year's Legislative Session! Governor Scott signed the 2012-13 state budget, thereby approving the $7.5 million the Legislature had allocated for our Altamonte Springs Campus land acquisition, plus the $1.5 million in special operating funding that was built into Seminole State’s unrestricted operating budget. Also, the Governor approved the 5 percent tuition increase for the Florida College System authorized by the Legislature.
We have many friends to thank for these positive legislative outcomes this year. Rep. Chris Dorworth, Sen. David Simmons, and the other members of our Seminole County Legislative Delegation each did yeoman’s work on our behalf this Legislative Session. As members of the Board, each of you was actively engaged in the effort to secure this money. Thank you! And, of course, we are grateful to Governor Scott for recognizing the important role our colleges play in Florida’s economic development and recovery, as well as for his approval of the funding for the Altamonte Springs land acquisition.
In fact, the Governor especially complimented our entire system in his budget speech saying, "The Florida College System specifically is a nationally recognized leader and plays a critical role in our state's plan for economic diversity, development and prosperity.” At the same time, he explained his rationale for approving the tuition increase, noting that it was “a choice between two important issues for students: keeping costs as low as possible and maintaining a strong and competitive instructional program. I continue to believe that local boards of trustees at our colleges remain best positioned to weigh the needs of their educations against the burden of increased student costs.”
Finally, the Governor also shared his expectations regarding the use of 2012-13 funds, stating that “increases in tuition and fees, if any, should be specifically designed to improve learning gains, enhance or improve services that are targeted toward higher completion and placement rates, or to expand and improve programs that are tied directly to Florida's workforce needs. … As I develop my fiscal year 2013-14 budget recommendations, I will carefully examine learning gains, completion, placement, and success rates, and the impact of the institutions in the Florida College System in ensuring a strong economic environment for Florida." It is clear from these comments that Governor Scott will be looking for improved student performance and institutional accountability for the funds with which our system is now entrusted.
This Friday, we will have another record number of students graduating, and I am pleased that Dr. John Hitt has agreed to be our Commencement speaker. We would like to recognize Dr. Hitt for his 20 years of service at UCF, his contributions to the Central Florida community and his partnership with Seminole State. For that reason, I am recommending to the Board that they bestow an Honorary Degree, Bachelor of Science in Construction on Dr. Hitt. It only seems appropriate because he is the "builder" of UCF. This will require approval by the Board.
Next Board Meetings
Just a reminder that next month's Board meeting will begin with a budget workshop on Wednesday, May 23, at 8 a.m., followed by the Board meeting at 9:30 a.m. at the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus. This is a change in date for the meeting. The June meeting is scheduled for June 18 at the Heathrow Campus, and we expect that the July meeting will be canceled.
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