Spotlight on Excellence: Linda Gregory
Linda Gregory, educational advisor in Academic Advising and Counseling, consistently demonstrates integrity, excellence and knowledge. She leads the Advising Transfer Team and strives for knowledge so that students’ questions and concerns are addressed correctly and in a timely manner.
She collaborates with all departments in Student Affairs to ensure accuracy and efficiency in providing excellent service to our students. Linda, who has been at Seminole State since 2002, is determined and persistent in providing a student-centered approach to make sure the integrity of the department is maintained and the rights of students are protected. Linda often works beyond her office hours on her own initiative to make sure there is follow up and follow through on any initiative she is assigned. The efforts she has given in assisting the Developmental Education Task Force have been recognized, and her organizational skills have proved to be exceptional when gathering the multitude of information necessary to address the new Senate Bill requirements.
Linda, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French from University of South Florida, and her MBA from Florida Institute of Technology, also works as an adjunct professor, teaching business and technology courses.
Spotlight on Excellence: Liz Gombash
Liz Gombash, Associate Vice President for Strategic Grants Planning and Development, leads the Grants Department at Seminole State, collaborating with individuals and departments to develop innovative and meaningful grant concepts; write and submit competitive grant proposals; and support the management and effectiveness of funded grant projects.
Liz credits the College with getting her started in grant writing 23 years ago, when then Seminole Community College hired her as a novice grant writer. Since “coming home” to Seminole State about two and half years ago, Liz has been committed to putting Seminole State on the map by building the College’s capacity to generate grant-winning ideas. In just the past two years, the Grants Department has evolved to bring in nearly $7.4 million in additional resources to the College, doubling the number of grant applications submitted annually and nearly doubling the amount of annual grant revenue generated, all while achieving an average 61 percent approval rate (30 percent is average). This success includes many Seminole State firsts, including the largest grant received by the College from the National Science Foundation, as well as the first grants awarded to the College by the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and AT&T.
In addition to building internal capacity by designing and delivering individual and group training for College faculty, staff and administrators, Liz is recognized nationally for sharing her expertise on a variety of grant planning, development and management/compliance issues. She has published numerous articles in grant professional publications, and has made more than 60 presentations at national, regional and local events. She has served in visible national leadership roles, as vice president and director of the board of the National Grants Management Association, and as a regional and a state director for the Council for Resource Development, an affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges. She is also a member of the Grant Professionals Association and the National Council of University Research Administrators.
Spotlight on Excellence: Career Program Advisors Steve Curfman, Olga Gonzalez, Jamie Gordy, Linda Jenkins, Erin Marshall, Luisa Mejia and Amanda Taylor
The seven careeer program advisors (CPAs) work one on one with students and are focused on helping them complete their degrees or certificates. CPAs contact students to ensure they stay on the path to completion and help remove barriers students may experience on the road to finishing their degrees. They have been instrumental in Seminole State's tremendous increase in certificate completers as well as a 10 percent increase in Associate in Science degree completions. Most of the CPAs are housed in the academic areas they serve but report to Debbie Lynch, director of counseling and advising, in Student Affairs. This arrangement has made for a wonderful partnership between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. We salute these CPAs for all of their hard work on behalf of our students.
Spotlight on Respect: Shelley Herter
Shelley Herter has served as Office Supervisor I at the Oviedo Campus for more than six years. Her role in supporting and welcoming faculty and students each term to the Oviedo Campus is crucial in maintaining a culture of fairness, inclusiveness, dignity and respect.
Shelley always has a smile on her face and a few extra minutes to lend a hand to students, faculty and staff. Shelley actively participates as an Oviedo Representative for the Career Service Employees Council, regularly assists the Oviedo Campus student clubs and organizations with activities, is an active member of the Association of Florida Colleges, and volunteers each year to assist with the High School Brain Bowl competitions that take place on the campus. She seeks opportunities to support diversity by helping with the Black History Month Fashion Show and Soul Food Extravaganza. Shelly is highly respected by her coworkers for the way she treats others and was recently selected to participate in the College’s Leadership Academy. Shelley serves in a caring and competent manner that is genuine and is an example for all of us to follow.
Spotlight on Knowledge: Jacquelyn Thompson
Jacquelyn Thompson has served as a learning leader in the field of higher education for the past 11 years. Her broad knowledge of the end-to-end process of Student Services has fostered her continuous professional development at Seminole State. As the Director of Student Services for the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, Jacquelyn has collaboratively worked with colleagues throughout the College to improve the student experience for each and every student. “Through her extensive experience in Student Affairs, she is commonly known to the College as a key go-to person for information regarding financial aid, enrollment processes, residency and a myriad of other items pertaining to the successful attainment of our students' goals,” says Geoffrey Fortunato, dean of students and assistant vice president of Student Services.
Jacquelyn was an original member of the launch team for the new Altamonte Springs Campus, where she served as a Student Success Specialist and Career Program Advisor. As a manager at Seminole State, she led the inception and development of two highly successful new departments in the Student Affairs Division: eStudent Services and Sanford/Lake Mary Student Services. Jacquelyn is an active member of the Association of Florida Colleges Student Development Commission and serves as the Region III Representative. She has also been a long-standing member of the Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Fortunado adds, “We recognize Jacquelyn Thompson for her vast and intricate knowledge of College processes and procedures.”
Spotlight on Knowledge: Phyllis Gardner
Phyllis Gardner, research specialist for Institutional Effectiveness and Research, has worked at Seminole State for more than 35 years and is a tremendous resource with her knowledge and experience.
Gardner's manager, Dr. Mark Morgan, associate vice president of Institutional Effectiveness and Research, says, “Phyllis is the go-to person for complex requests for information, as she is able to tie together knowledge of various data elements, systems and data resources to compile answers quickly.”
Gardner recently completed more than 100 follow-up actions from 19 Academic Program Reviews, responding to a variety of requests for details on completer counts, demographic analyses, and data verifications.
She routinely updates and delivers a wide-ranging set of reports, including the Daily Credit Enrollment Report, the Enrollment Management Capacity Reports, the Honors Scorecards, Daily Admissions Reports, and Health Program Graduate Reports. She represents IER on the Curriculum Committee and the SPD Committee, further stretching her understanding of the institution and its programs.
Morgan adds, “She is our department’s budget, purchasing and payroll analyst as well, managing these complex systems and interactions.”
Spotlight on Integrity: Jose Badillo
Almost every day, somewhere across our campuses, someone is conducting an event that requires the talents of our Multimedia Technology Services (MTS) department. MTS is the team behind the scenes that makes it all look so easy. Jose Badillo, manager of the MTS Department, leads a team of eight employees who work diligently in the background, often aiming the "spotlight," but rarely in it.
Jose is hard-working and conscientious. He and his team travels around the county to produce media events for a wide variety of College departments.
“Jose’s adherence to ethical principles and honesty is his hallmark,” says Patricia DeSalvo, dean of Libraries and Learning Technology. “Excellence and respect are entwined with those principles of integrity. His production work over the years demonstrates his commitment to ever-increasing knowledge and academic freedom. Jose is respected by staff of the College for his fine interpersonal relationships as well as his excellent work.”
Spotlight on Integrity: Phil Ryan
A man of few words, Phil Ryan is much appreciated by those he helps. Phil holds the job of mail receiving service clerk at the Heathrow Campus, but his scope of service goes far beyond the mailroom.
On any given day, Phil can be found welcoming new staff and students and doing whatever it takes to help co-workers and students be successful. From hanging a colleague’s picture to assisting a student with a car problem, Phil makes it his mission to help those around him.
Members of the Heathrow Student Affairs Office remember when an important package needed to be delivered to the Altamonte Springs Campus. To ensure the delivery and put everyone at ease, Phil arranged to deliver the package to the other campus personally.
“We can count on Phil, and he has a great work ethic,” says Mercedes Bermejo, dean of students at the Heathrow Campus. “When we found that we could recognize employees for their hard work and contributions, all of us in Heathrow Student Affairs agreed we wanted to give our thanks to Phil.”
Spotlight on Respect: Student Financials/Bursar Department staff
The Student Financials/Bursar Department staff consistently embraces excellent customer service and demonstrates respect for students by always answering questions – even those not pertaining to student accounts – or referring them to the correct department.
“This team goes out of its way to assist our students in many ways, including giving directions and addressing general questions about the College,” says Lynn Powers, associate vice president of Business Services. "Team members always respond in a friendly and positive way. They epitomize the core value of respect through their daily interactions with students and staff."
The Student Financials/Bursar Department is led by Barbara Cooper, associate director, Student Accounting Services/Bursar. Team members are:
Spotlight on Excellence: Nancy Harrison
Would you be a little concerned if your paycheck was inaccurate or late? What if the payroll taxes taken out of your paycheck were not reported to the IRS? Luckily, these problems are not reality for us here at Seminole State. Under the leadership of Nancy Harrison, assistant director of Payroll Services, our College enjoys a strong track record of on-time paychecks and accurate reporting to state and federal agencies.
“It’s not about me," Nancy is quick to say. "It’s our great team that makes it happen every pay period.”
In addition to her team leadership skills, Nancy goes the extra mile for our College. Some of her contributions include: serving on screening committees; serving on the Staff Benefits committee; teaching the Overtime/Comp Time Course; working to move our W-2s and pay stubs online to save postage expenses; automating the direct deposit process; and participating in the Leadership Academy Program.
“Nancy’s payroll duties and other operations are always timely and accurate,” says Lynn Powers, associate vice president, Business Services. “She is a highly respected member of our team.”
Seminole State College
100 Weldon Boulevard
Sanford, Florida 32773-6199