October 2014

Spotlight on Excellence: Patty Elliott

Patty Elliott
Patty Elliott

Patty Elliott, research specialist, exemplifies our Core Value of Excellence every day she comes to work. She ably responds to a wide variety of requests from constituents across the College, always going the extra mile with fulfilling requests and providing innovative solutions. Patty asks pertinent questions about the requests, fully investigates the need, and devises creative and comprehensive solutions. Patty continues to expand her knowledge and extensive skill set by attending AFC conferences, Strategic Planning Online (SPOL) conferences, and participating in the Advanced Leadership Academy. She is a graduate of the Seminole State Leadership Academy, is completing two years as President of CSEC, and is serving on the CAC to the Executive Team. Additionally, Patty volunteers for a variety of collegewide events. “Patty is a pleasure to work with, and she always supports her colleagues, and continually examines every aspect of her work with an eye toward innovation and excellence,” said Dr. Mark Morgan, associate vice president, Institutional Effectiveness and Research.

September 2014

Spotlight on Excellence: Accounting Professors Christine Wright and Terri Walsh

Christine Wright and Terri Walsh
Christine Wright and Terri Walsh

Professors Christine Wright and Terri Walsh of the Accounting Program represent the Core Value of Excellence in everything they do. The Accounting Program is a dynamic program that is well integrated with the business community in Central Florida. This integration happens when the initiative of the team, led by the program manager (Terri Walsh) continually involves the students in the community and, in turn, involves the business community with our advisory committees. It takes time and energy to foster these relationships. When the business community indicates a content change or new direction is needed for the program, these professors put these suggestions into play. As stated by Hugh Moore, Associate Dean, Center for Business, Legal and Entrepreneurship, “The excellence and high quality of the Accounting Program is an example to follow for Seminole State College and its presence in the community.”

July 2014

Spotlight on Respect: Lauren Bender

Lauren Bender
Lauren Bender

Lauren Bender, security officer in the Safety and Security Department, is an exemplary employee and one who represents our Core Value of respect in everything she does.

"She exudes the attitude and behavior we wish to see in all of our employees," says Maxine Oliver, director, Safety, Security and Risk Management.

Lauren is the consummate ambassador of good will. She frequently goes out of her way to provide assistance to anyone she meets. Lauren easily builds a rapport with others, which helps put people at ease when interacting with her. She is not only respected by her peers, but also garners many accolades from the campus community.

"Whether it is students, staff, faculty or guests, Lauren communicates effortlessly in her quest to provide the best customer service possible," Oliver says.

June 2014

Spotlight on Excellence: Gus Beckstrom

Gus Beckstrom
Gus Beckstrom

Gus Beckstrom, professor/program manager of criminal justice with more than 40 years of service to the College, demonstrates the Core Value of Excellence through his dedication, experience and commitment to the criminal justice programs.

“He is the driving force behind the success of students enrolled in the Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Training program here at Seminole State College, “ says James Lee, associate dean of criminal justice. Gus has served in the law enforcement arena in Central Florida for almost half a century (47 years) and brings real-life experience to the classroom.

Gus began his career at Seminole State in 1973 as an adjunct professor and has been a full-time faculty member in the Criminal Justice Department since 2004. With his past law enforcement experience and his passion for teaching future officers, he provides a rich and stimulating classroom environment.

In keeping with our theme of  “We Change Lives,” Gus has been instrumental in helping to change the lives of literally hundreds of law enforcement offers in Central Florida and beyond,” Lee says.

May 2014

Spotlight on Respect: Mayra Eschbach

Mayra Eschbach
Mayra Eschbach

Dr. Mayra Eschbach, physical therapy assistant professor with more than 19 years of service to the College, demonstrates the Core Value of Respect through her commitment and knowledge and through the recognition she brings to the PTA program.

"She has been instrumental in the incredible success of the PTA program. Seminole State PTA program graduates have outperformed all other PTA graduates in the state on licensing exams and placement,” says Dr. Angela Kersenbrock, associate vice president of the School of Career and Professional Programs

During her tenure at Seminole State, Mayra has served as the clinical coordinator, and this year, she has been selected to serve as an accreditation site visitor with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). This honor will take Mayra to PTA programs across the United States in a peer evaluator role. The position illustrates her integrity and the respect others have for her.

"She is loved and respected by her students and graduates," Dr. Kersenbrock adds.

April 2014

Spotlight on Respect: Dr. Richard Calloway

Dr. Richard Calloway
Dr. Richard Calloway

Dr. Richard Calloway, professor/program manager of business and information management, demonstrates the Core Value of Respect through his commitment in assisting with establishing, maintaining and growing the business and information management baccalaureate degree. Calloway came to Seminole State when the College was in the middle of launching the degree.

"Rick picked up the reins from the previous program manager and dug deep into the program structure including the enrollment demands,” said Hugh Moore, associate dean for the Center for Business, Management and Entrepreneurship. “There are many functions and departments across the college necessary to support such a program, and Dr. Calloway treated everyone with respect. And, equally important is how he excelled at fostering relationships with existing faculty and all the students involved in the business and information management department. Rick took the time to develop relationships with the students and to listen to their needs and concerns. His capacity to listen and respect each and everyone’s views enabled him to refine and focus this program as it has grown and flourished; he is a tremendous asset to this College.”

March 2014

Spotlight on Knowledge: Daniel Cajamarca Ballesteros

Daniel Cajamarca Ballesteros

Daniel Cajamarca Ballesteros, custodian III from Custodial and Janitorial Services, demonstrates the Core Value of Knowledge through his accomplishments as a student and as an employee of Seminole State. Daniel has been a custodian at Seminole State for seven years. In 2004, he started his studies at the College in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program to improve his academic English skills. Once he completed the EAP program, he started taking a computer class  in Spring 2005.  Ever since, he used the Seminole State employee tuition benefit to take one class per semester, and two courses per year. In May 2014, he will graduate with an Associate in Science (A.S.) in  Computer Information Technology. His perseverance and dedication have enabled him to succeed as an employee and also as a student.

Daniel has been described as a loyal employee who takes pride not only in his work as an employee, but also in his classwork. He is dedicated to his work and the College.  He is truly an employee who makes a difference.

February 2014

Spotlight on Knowledge: Michael "Tony" Callaghan


Michael “Tony” Callaghan, reports coordinator from Institutional Effectiveness and Research, demonstrates the Core Value of knowledge through his achievements as a student and as an employee of Seminole State.

Tony uses his in-depth knowledge of the PeopleSoft system to develop queries to compile and analyze information. His insights about how information is used make him a valuable colleague. Previously, Tony worked as a Student Affairs functional specialist, which also gives him an edge in his current position when discussing data and resolving discrepancies.

As a student, Tony started in Seminole State's GED program. After completing that, he transitioned into the college-credit program, and completed his Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree at Seminole State. Since that time, he has received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in public administration. Tony also serves the College as an adjunct professor in the School of Academic Foundations, teaching math to students pursuing their GED.

January 2014

Spotlight on Excellence: Career Service employees

Career service employees from all campuses came together on Dec. 19 to celebrate the end of another year and to recognize those employees who made a difference in 2013.

The Career Service Employees Council (CSEC) awarded Tana Stem, Business Office supervisor at the Altamonte Springs Campus, the first S.T.A.R. award for her exceptional Service, Teamwork, Action and Reliability. Stem’s contributions were recognized by her co-workers and students. 

Eleven other employees were honored with the “You Make a Difference” award for their ongoing service to the College. Congratulations to these employees: Cheryl Osberg, Ernesto Maldonado, Jose Maldonado-Burgos, Margaret Taylor, Natalie Clark, Orlando Carroll, Patti Williams, Peggy Pinder, Phyllis Gardner, Shelley Herter and Tammy Gonzalez Cordero.