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Seminole State College
Did you know...Seminole State now offers five bachelor's degrees. You can apply for these high-demand degrees as a freshman or as a junior.
2010 Spotlight Archive
Spotlight on Excellence: Arthur Aponte and Elizabeth Lawson
Members of our Adult High School faculty recognize that getting up and getting to an early class can be a bit challenging for many of our students. That's why Arthur Aponte, coordinator of ABE/GED, and Elizabeth Lawson, student recruitment and retention specialist for ABE/GED, make morning a special time for students in the Adult High School.
Each morning, Arthur and Elizabeth open doors, shake hands, smile and greet each student who enters the building. These welcoming gestures bring a hopeful smile to every face and set a positive tone for the day.
The thoughtful extra care provided by Arthur and Elizabeth demonstrates our Core Value of Excellence: Deliver Outstanding Educational Experiences and Exceptional Student Services.
Thanks to Arthur and Elizabeth for showing us how to model our Core Values.
Spotlight on Knowledge: The Distance Learning Team
From left: Joni Miller, Wilma Hodges,
Margaret Taylor and Keith Fowlkes
If you are familiar with terms like online courses, streaming video, podcasting, course migration, Quality Matters, ANGEL or Sakai, odds are you are also familiar with the Distance Learning team.
The DL team is led by manager Wilma Hodges and includes Joni Miller, Keith Fowlkes, Margaret Taylor and Yonara Nucci. On any given day of the week, you will find a smiling DL member on the Sanford/Lake Mary, Oviedo and/or Altamonte Springs campuses, providing one-on-one support to faculty and students, as well as offering workshops on various tools and topics.
For a small team, Distance Learning contributes significantly to the College's ability to meet record growth. Wilma and her staff provide the engine behind the College's approximately 250 online courses. Their days are filled with training, trouble-shooting, fielding help requests and meeting deadlines. Last year, the DL team responded to more than 4,000 online course help tickets via e-mails, telephone calls and walk-ins. As if that weren't enough, the team is converting all online courses from the ANGEL Learning online course management system to a new system called Sakai.
Because of the DL team's commitment to sharing knowledge and serving others, more than 200 faculty members and almost 12,000 students stay up and running, meeting their distance learning goals.
Spotlight on Academic Freedom: Speaker Series
Through a unique collaboration, the Seminole State College community was treated in March to an up-close and personal experience with Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panthers.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Black Panthers, an African American organization, affirmed their message of Black Power to seek social, political and cultural awareness and change. Bobby Seale is considered a hero by some and a criminal by others. Even today, his speeches draw protesters.
Professor Vincent Intondi championed Seale's visit as an example of giving students the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of perspectives. Seale's visit was the result of the coordinated efforts of the Social Sciences and Humanities departments, Student Government, the Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Spotlight on Integrity: Senior Accountant Mila Ecle
Webster's Dictionary defines integrity as the firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. Buckminster Fuller said integrity is the essence of everything successful. This month we recognize a person who has consistently demonstrated integrity and consistently helped our College to be successful.
As the senior accountant for construction projects, Mila has controlled the millions of dollars that connect the state, the College, and more than 100 contractors and vendors. Through Mila's diligence, the College has received excellent audit results on these funds and projects. No matter how small or large the decision, Mila applies the same rigor, procedures and practices to account for every detail, says Adie Price, director of Facilities.
"Mila is a joy to work with," adds Herman Miedema, associate director of Finance and Accounting. "She listens to all sides of a situation, applies her considerable experience, and makes the right decision."
Spotlight on Respect: Career Development Center Director Christy King
Respect is a key ingredient in the recipe for successful relationships. Our spotlight this month is on someone who lives our core value of respect in her professional and personal roles. Christy King, director of Career Development Services, models respect by involving all parties and perspectives in initiatives, whether on the department or division level, or even Collegewide, says Placement Specialist Lisette Guillen-Dolby. This inclusive approach yields multiple benefits, such as acknowledging the diverse talents of individuals and creating a fertile environment where everyone's contributions are valued and can enhance the College's effectiveness, Lisette says.
Christy, a longtime member of the College's Diversity Council, embodies the characteristic of respect in her day-to-day actions, simply by making sure all voices are heard with consideration and courtesy, says Dr. James Henningsen, vice president, Educational Programs.
Spotlight on Excellence: Security Shift Supervisor Debbie Digioia
Excellence is about striving to exceed expectations. Debbie Digioia models this philosophy each day in her role as Security Shift Supervisor. As part of her daily routine, Debbie represents our College to students, employees and visitors. Her opportunities to change lives take her from one end of the campus to the other.
Debbie does those extra things that deliver excellent service to everyone she interacts with, says Maxine Oliver, Director of Safety and Security. As the shift supervisor, she also leads by example, showing her 10 security officers how to handle difficult situations, ask appropriate questions, remain calm and in control, seek answers, and how to follow up and bring closure to multiple diverse situations. Debbie doesn’t hesitate to roll up her sleeves, jump in, and do whatever it takes, adds Maxine.
Debbie’s pursuit of excellence has been noticed by many in the College community. “Debbie is the type of person who always goes the extra mile, and I’ve received calls and letters recognizing her always-positive attitude and willingness to help,” says Security Supervisor Crystal Clark, Debbie’s direct supervisor.
Spotlight on Knowledge: Associate Dean Baboucar Jobe
Baboucar Jobe, associate dean of Social Sciences and professor of sociology is a sociologist -- one who studies the development, structure, interaction and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings. One could also say he is a philosopher -- one who loves knowledge and wisdom.
After just a few minutes with Baboucar, you find that his passion for acquiring and sharing knowledge is infectious. “I love to work with people and help them learn and develop an appreciation for other cultures,” he says. His eyes brighten, his smile widens, and his hands become animated as he talks about the bond he creates with his students.
“The bond I create is about not being afraid to ask questions,” he says, “not being afraid to be wrong, not being afraid to disagree and even argue.”
It’s his special bond with students that leads to a more creative and open learning environment. A native of Africa, Baboucar shares his own cultural experiences and demonstrates how we all have developed via socialization.
“The knowledge I share is about knowing we all have opinions, beliefs and biases, yet we are all brothers and sisters and can seek what is right by trying to understand why we do what we do," he says.
Baboucar shares his passion for knowledge with others daily and is pursuing advanced studies in anthropology.
Spotlight on Excellence: Emergency Response team
The safety of the students, faculty and staff of Seminole State College of Florida is our highest priority. Seminole State's Emergency Response Team (ERT) includes 17 members, a cross section of representatives from across the College. The team meets regularly and stands ready to work in cooperation with Seminole County and other government agencies to coordinate emergency procedures should the need arise.
Planning for and responding to emergencies is a year-round job requiring leadership and after-hours efforts. Under the leadership of Dick Hamann, vice president of Information and Technology and ERT chair, the team has accomplished much for the College in 2009-10, including:
Spotlight on Respect: Seminole State Food Pantry
Managed by the Office of Diversity Inclusion, the Food Pantry is one of many ways that Seminole State College strives to create an environment of mutual respect for the College community we serve.
With locations on each of our four campuses, the Food Pantry is open year round to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff by serving them in a discreet and respectful manner, which is our highest priority here at the college.
To make donations, or to help someone who needs access to the food pantry, contact one of the site liaisons:
Suggested donations include canned fruits, soups, vegetables, stews and pastas with pull tops; baby food; diapers; and personal hygiene items. Gift cards for gas, groceries and other items are also needed.
Spotlight on Excellence: Adjunct Faculty
With the current economic environment, two-year colleges across Florida are increasingly calling on adjunct faculty as enrollments swell while funds languish. At Seminole State, adjuncts taught 53 percent of our total student semester hours during the 2009-10 academic year. The adjunct or "part-time" faculty role not only helps our College respond to changing economics, it also allows us to react to changing student interests and community needs.
Adjuncts bring a "practitioner's" perspective because many are working professionals, such as EMTs, police officers, attorneys, accountants, engineers, programmers and even company presidents.
"These community members not only share current work environment situations with our students but often offer advice related to seeking internships and employment," says Angela Kersenbrock, Dean of Career and Technical Programs.
In most cases, adjuncts teach at night after a full day at their "regular" jobs. On any given evening at one of our campuses, it’s an adjunct who is teaching our students and representing our College. Because of their expertise and commitment to our students, adjuncts play an important role in achieving our Core Value to strive for excellence and deliver outstanding educational experiences.
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