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Seminole State College
Did you know...Seminole State A.A. grads are guaranteed admission to one of Florida's public universities.
Spotlight on Knowledge: Doreen Collins-McHugh
Before becoming a teacher, Doreen was the director of Becker College Counseling Center and she had a private practice in Massachusetts. After moving to Florida, she did research at Nemours Children’s Clinic and was a social worker at Arnold Palmer Hospital. These experiences inform her teaching. Doreen’s unique experience and passion for helping others make her a favorite of students and co-workers.
“I feel fortunate that I get to teach so many important topics that are relevant in students’ everyday lives,” she says.
Her commitment to learning shines in the classroom and also through the special initiatives Doreen champions, including diversity in the classroom, service learning, and the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
“Doreen is a special person and has the ability to help students grow, learn, and become more than they had imagined,” says Baboucar Jobe, associate dean of Social Sciences. “It’s common to see students waiting in line outside her office to meet with her.”
Her road to self-awareness and mastery have enabled Doreen to share in ways that truly change the lives of our students.
Spotlight on Excellence: Mary Kostenbauder
During the past 25 years, Seminole State College's Nursing Program has seen a lot of change. Technology has changed, protocols have changed, patient expectations have changed -- and the body of knowledge has exploded. However, at our institution one thing has remained constant. For 25 years Mary Kostenbauder has set the example for professionalism in nursing education. Co-workers and students alike hold Mary in the highest esteem. “Mary possesses the truly special ability to be firm, fair and caring,” says Cheryl Cicotti, associate dean of Healthcare Programs.
Mary has taught much of the nursing curriculum. Today she sets the stage for the profession by teaching Fundamentals of Nursing. In this course, students take their first steps into the real hospital environment. “I can’t think of anyone better than Mary to be there to support our students the first time they actually attend to a real patient,” Cicotti says.
Mary is demanding of her students and of herself. As our liaison for the Area Health Educators Consortium and our Lead Instructor for Maternal and Newborn Nursing, she is a highly respected member of her peer group. Because she asks a lot of her students, “some students express apprehension when beginning her classes, but they finish with a new sense of confidence and pride,” says Angela Kersenbrock, associate vice president, School of Career and Professional Programs.
Spotlight on Respect: Cindi Hunter
Finishing high school these days is challenging, and navigating college is yet another level of anxiety. Imagine doing both at the same time. Helping students balance dual enrollment is what Cindi Hunter does each and every day.
Dual enrollment allows students to take college courses and apply those credits to both their high school and college programs. "Dual enrollment is a great benefit to these students as it helps them get ahead with their General Education requirements, enhance their GPA and make their high school transcript more appealing to colleges," Cindi says.
Along with the benefits come a myriad of rules and regulations. The college landscape is very different from high school, and students are expected to be much more responsible.
"Cindi does an exceptional job of educating and transitioning students and their parents," says Pamela Mennechey, director of Student Recruiting and Admissions. Even during the heat of fall registration, when deadlines are near and patience runs short, Pamela says, "Cindi always remains calm, levelheaded, courteous, respectful and focused on the educational goals of each individual student."
Spotlight on Integrity: Steven Addison
Everyone who has spent time on our Sanford/Lake Mary Campus knows Steven Addison. "Stevie," as we all call him, recently celebrated his 30th anniversary as a valuable part-time employee of Seminole State College. On Sept. 1, we celebrated Stevie officially becoming a full-time employee.
In his official role as Custodian I, Stevie is a key player in keeping our outdoor environment clean and beautiful for students and employees.
"Stevie regularly 'polices' all parts of the campus to ensure its natural beauty and even communicates with maintenance and security to get things done," says Ken Meadows, Stevie's supervisor. "Stevie is an excellent worker and his attendance and attitude are outstanding." However, it's Stevie's unofficial role as "College Welcome Ambassador" that really demonstrates his unique gift for lifting the spirits of others. An eternal optimist, Stevie never tires of offering a sincere smile, handshake and welcome to our College.
Stevie has been a part of the compelling history of our College. "When I arrived here, the place was mostly filled with orange trees, and many people were in portable buildings," he says. Stevie says he has many fond memories of his years here but mentions that seeing Dr. McGee being a good sport and taking her turn in the dunking machine a couple of years ago was a particular highlight.
Stevie enjoys reading the Bible, singing in his church choir and teaching Sunday school classes. His main hobby is his computer, which he uses to create thank-you and holiday cards for his co-workers, as well as a picture book about the College that he's working on now. Stevie's approach to life and his work is truly inspirational. When asked about the future, Stevie says: "I hope to be here to help and share my friendship with others as long as my health allows."
Spotlight on Excellence: Mauricio Garcia
Mauricio Garcia is passionate about what he does. As the assistant director of Student Life, Mauricio has touched the lives of thousands of Seminole State students. His influence is far reaching as he lends his time and energy to student initiatives.
For years, Mauricio has helped shape our Student Government Association as well as the entire Florida College System Student Government Association by directing leadership workshops throughout the state.
Mauricio's contributions include developing the new Seminole State Volunteers program championing students' civic engagement, developing student leaders through Leadership Institute retreats, advising clubs such as Sigma Phi Gamma and the Hispanic Student Association, and personally mentoring countless students over the years.
"He's friendly and welcoming," says Randy Pawlowski, dean of students for the Oviedo Campus. "His love for helping students can truly be seen in his personal interactions." Adds Kevin Konecny, director of Student Life: "Mauricio is a natural at connecting with people, and I suspect he has never met a stranger. Mauricio is committed to his work at the College and to achieving excellence in his work."
Spotlight on Knowledge: Pat DeSalvo
The new library offers state-of-art resources and facilities. Under the direction of Pat DeSalvo, dean of Libraries and Learning Technology, librarians and staff have truly made the library experience meaningful by creating and living their version of the College’s core values.
"We took the College's five core values and enhanced them to express our vision of service to students and faculty," Pat says. Through this collaborative exercise, she and her team promote the value of knowledge in the following ways:
"Pat lives these values daily and passionately champions her team's role in providing academic support for students and faculty, providing easy access to information, and inspiring others to embrace lifelong learning," says Pat's supervisor, Dick Hamann, Vice President of Information Technology.
The results of Pat's influence are overwhelmingly positive as feedback shows that students and faculty are more engaged in learning, more aware of their world, and more comfortable with research technology.
The library's core values are enumerated on its website.
Spotlight on Integrity: Pilar Acosta-Blanco
In the world of computing, integrity has its own meaning. When computer data is said to have integrity, it means that the data is consistent, certified and can be reconciled.
Dick Hamann, vice president of Information Technology, says that Seminole State enjoys not only data integrity but exceptional operational efficiency of its mission-critical systems due to the personal integrity of his key team member, Pilar Acosta-Blanco.
Pilar is one of only a few people with access to all of the College’s student, employee and financial data. Pilar and the PeopleSoft system are at the heart of the College’s operations. “She is a total professional and demonstrates integrity though her openness, honesty, cooperation and drive to always do what is best for the College,” Dick says.
Pilar does not seek fanfare for her success. Instead, she quietly focuses on identifying pros and cons, considering differing opinions, building consensus and working for the long-term health of the organization.
Brenda Thacker, manager of Human Resources Records and Reporting, nicely sums up Pilar's contribution to the College's success: “Pilar is wonderful to work with. She treats everyone with the utmost respect, and she always does what is right.”
Spotlight on Respect: George Milwee
On any given day you might find George Milwee, grounds maintenance supervisor, clearing brush, planting shrubs, driving a tractor, standing knee deep in a trench, meeting with contractors or supervising a grounds crew team.
For more than 20 years, George has started each day by assessing the needs of the grounds and prioritizing tasks to maintain an efficient, safe and attractive environment for students, faculty and staff.
Through those years, George has developed a reputation as a caring friend and an honest hard worker. George’s co-workers say that he is easygoing, down to earth, and earns the respect of his subordinates and supervisors by working shoulder to shoulder with them on whatever the job might be.
“George will not ask someone to do a job that he would not do or has not done himself," says Gary Snyder, facility plant manager. "His staff respects him because he faces their challenges first hand every day.
Chuck Rehm, grounds maintenance mechanic, adds that “George doesn’t place himself above others. He treats everyone fairly and truly models great leadership.”
George shows us that respect is earned and maintained by many of the ordinary and daily opportunities that we all have to share with others.
Spotlight on Excellence: Healthcare Programs
Continuous improvement strategies keep the Healthcare Programs (HCP) at the top.
“Our programs are consistently recognized as the best because our faculty takes deliberate efforts to stay at the forefront of expertise and technology and to integrate real-world needs into an already excellent curriculum,” says Cheryl Cicotti, associate dean of Healthcare Programs.
Today, familiarity with technology is not only a competitive requirement in the workplace; it’s also an expectation in the learning environment. HCP faculty were early adopters of podcasting and now make instructional materials — even play-back of recorded classroom sessions — available to students anytime and anywhere.
A recent addition to the Nursing Program’s capstone course, Practicum and Client Care Management, shows the result of continuous improvement involving client feedback. By partnering with local healthcare employers, the faculty developed a training simulation focused on managing the care of multiple patients simultaneously.
“By assessing our clients’ needs, we found that the prioritization and delegation skills needed to manage multiple patients requiring differing levels of care was a critical need,” Cicotti says. “This new simulation adds to the many other real-world learning experiences that make our program excellent and make our students sought after."
HCP faculty members are active in their profession and even present nationally and internationally to peer groups. This year the International Simulation Conference, drawing learning experts from around the world, will converge on our Altamonte Springs Campus for its Simulation in Healthcare focus area.
“Because our faculty strives to be the best," Cheryl says, "our programs are getting a lot of attention, and our faculty members are getting the recognition they deserve."
Spotlight on Knowledge: Faculty Institute for Teaching and Learning
Gina Fontana has been an effective educator for many years and brings a wealth of experience from the K-12 and post-secondary arenas. She knows firsthand that education is a key "differentiator" in the quality of life awaiting our graduates.
Now, as director of the Faculty Institute for Teaching and Learning, Gina will focus her passion for education on our faculty as she launches an ambitious agenda this fall. Under Gina’s leadership, the institute’s initial four-part strategy aims to enhance the effectiveness of all faculty members, both full-time and part-time.
Briefly, Gina’s plan addresses key areas of opportunity, including adjunct education, full-time faculty education, use of technology in the classroom, and mentoring for new and adjunct faculty.
Education programs for full-time and adjunct faculty will include classroom effectiveness, instructional strategies, classroom management and effective assessments, rubrics, and syllabi tools. Technology topics will include the use of interactive whiteboards and iPads in the classroom. Finally, Gina hopes to establish a mentor program in which experienced faculty provide one-on-one support to new and adjunct faculty on issues ranging from student engagement and teaching strategies to Seminole State College processes and tools.
The revitalization of the Faculty Institute is in good hands and well on the way to enhancing the skills and knowledge of our faculty. Be sure to take advantage of these important programs this fall.
Spotlight on Academic Freedom: Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute
The Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute provides students with a high return on their investment. By earning a cumulative 3.2 GPA in high school and maintaining that GPA at Seminole State, honors students receive a rich academic experience. That experience provides students with “smaller classes, challenging classes, access to resources, possibilities to further their education, and opportunities to study abroad,” says Debra Socci (right), interim director of the Honors Institute. “The slogan 'We change lives' is a real experience for our students as they develop a global awareness and challenge their personal understanding of their place in the world,” Debra adds.
Honors classes are distinguished by their “in-depth discussion” format. Facilitated by their instructors, students are encouraged to challenge themselves and others in an environment where intellectual inquiry and differing opinions are respected. Instructors help students to explore all sides of an issue through critical examination. “Free examination and expression is what this academic experience is all about,” says Marisabel Irizarry, professor of humanities and a member of the Honors Institute faculty. “An appreciation for and understanding of differing views is a laudable goal and one realized in this wonderful program."
Spotlight on Integrity: Bob Woodbery, manager Employee Relations
If you know Bob Woodbery, manager of Employee Relations, you know that he is particularly kind and conscientious. During the past few years, Bob has demonstrated these characteristics as he initiated and defined the function of Employee Relations for our College. Bob can often be heard saying, "It's not about me. It's about helping colleagues become successful by helping them to identify barriers and working together to overcome those barriers."
On any given day, Bob has the unique challenge of representing the interests of employees and the College as he assesses background checks, analyzes performance issues, mediates conflicts, and navigates College rules as well as state and federal laws. Through his patience, expertise and caring, Bob resolves issues through "positive direction."
"It's easy to react negatively, in terms of discipline," Bob says. "The real challenge and right path is to set a positive direction that generates collaboration."
Bill Fowler, manager of Employee Training and Development, says Bob is effective in his role "because he practices servant leadership and focuses his efforts on enabling others to be successful." Bob's excellence in his position is the result of "his personal integrity, commitment to high ethical standards, and genuine love of people."
We salute Bob for modeling the core value of integrity and making our College a great place to work.
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