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February 2020

Inauguration 2020: President John Avendano, Ph.D.

The Inauguration Ceremony for College President John Avendano, Ph.D., was held on Friday, February 7, 2020, at the Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts. Along with the FSCJ District Board of Trustees, local and state elected officials, the Florida College System, college and university partners and local school districts, FSCJ faculty, staff and students convened for the formal academic ceremony to officially install Dr. Avendano into office.


In addition to President Avendano’s inaugural address, the ceremony was hosted by City of Jacksonville Director of Community Affairs Dr. Charles Moreland and included remarks from Florida College System Chancellor Kathy Hebda, Tallahassee Community College President Dr. Jim Murdaugh, The College of the Florida Keys President Dr. Jonathan Gueverra, St. Johns River State College President Joe Pickens, J.D., University of North Florida President Dr. David Szymanski, Nassau County School District Superintendent Dr. Kathy Burns and Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene. Trustee Thomas McGehee Jr. led the ceremonial installation, presenting President Avendano with the College's medallion.

View Photos

Craig and Fred Are Coming

The 2020 Author Series will welcome the author of "Craig & Fred a Marine, a Stray Dog and How They Rescued Each Other," Craig Grossi and his dog, Fred this March. Faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in all of the events leading up to the author's visit which are taking place now. As a grand finale, be sure to join us for the author presentation and book signing on March 4 at 7 p.m. at South Campus or March 5 at 11 a.m. at Kent Campus. Check the website to learn all about the author, book and the scheduled activities.

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Save the Date

Save the Date! The 2020 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, May 7, 2020, at 4 p.m. The event will be held at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.


Faculty and staff must register your attendance and participation in the processional no later than Thursday, April 23 by completing this online registration form. Any additional questions you have may be submitted by using the linked form as well.


Register Now

FSCJ Celebrates Grand Re-Opening of South Campus Food Pantry

FSCJ faculty, staff and students gathered on Monday, February 3 to celebrate the grand re-opening of the FSCJ H.O.P.E. Food Pantry on South Campus. Thanks to the generous support from organizations like Bank of America and the FSCJ Foundation, the new larger facility offers immediate access to non-perishable food products, personal hygiene items, and College and community resources for students who may be facing food insecurity and other needs.

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Submit Your Nominations for Celebration of Student Success Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the annual Celebration of Student Success ceremonies. Faculty and staff are invited to nominate up to three students from your respective courses, programs, organizations or workplace for recognition. Students may be nominated from the Summer 2019, Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Terms.

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Achieve@FSCJ Spring Data Summit

Don't forget to register for the Achieve@FSCJ Spring 2020 Data Summit which will take place on Friday, February 21, at the ATC Room T-140/141 from 9 a.m.-noon. We will focus on ADP/EDP retention data followed by a faculty panel discussing classroom retention and wrapping up with a discussion of early intervention strategies. This event is open to all FSCJ employees.


Register to attend via myFSCJ, Class Number 6122, AFPD5239. Your attendance counts for three non-credit hours of professional development toward the One Percent Salary Incentive.


For questions, please email Dr. Jerrett Dumouchel at


First Year Experience (FYE) Program to Begin in Fall Term 2020

In a culmination of collaborative efforts from departments across the College, FSCJ is proud to announce that the newly updated First Year Experience (FYE) is set to launch this Fall. FYE will provide critical programming, events and services to facilitate first-year Associate in Arts (A.A.) students’ success at FSCJ. The core of FYE is the Strategies for the Pursuit of Knowledge (IDS 1107) course. Designed to promote academic excellence and a successful transition to college life, IDS 1107 is the foundation for a rewarding student experience at FSCJ.

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FSCJ Aviation Students Recognized at the Deland Sport Aviation Showcase


FSCJ aviation students Rashaan Woods, Eve Shiplina, Travis Titus, Spencer Lott and Tanner Ives were recently recognized as YoPros (young professionals) in Aviation Influence at the 2019 Deland Sport Aviation Showcase.

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Faculty Spotlight

Check out the video spotlight of FSCJ Nursing Faculty Lori Overstreet. She has a true passion for patient care and for guiding the next generation of nurses.

View Spotlight

Mark Your Calendars for Q&A with Dr. A

All faculty and staff are invited to this open conversation with President Avendano. This is also an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the College, current initiatives and priorities moving forward.


Event Schedule:

February 26, 2:30-3:30 p.m. - Nassau Center, Nassau Room

March 2, 2-3 p.m. - Downtown Campus, ATC T-140/141

March 16, 3-4 p.m. - Cecil Center, Room A0109 (Auditorium)

March 17, 2-3 p.m. - Kent Campus, D-120

March 18, 1-2 p.m. - Deerwood Center, The Academy B1204

March 24, 2:30-3:30 p.m. - North Campus, Auditorium (C-126)

March 26, 2-3 p.m. - South Campus, Lakeside Room


Board Highlights

Review the highlights of the February 11, 2020, meeting of the FSCJ District Board of Trustees:

  • The District Board of Trustees authorized College administration to negotiate and enter into a contract agreement for architectural and engineering services for the North Campus Dental Renovation project.
  • The District Board of Trustees approved revisions to Board Rule 6Hx7-10.3 - Student Registration, under Section 10 - Educational Support Services.
  • The District Board of Trustees approved College entering into a Term Sheet agreement with the City of Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority for the operation of a 60-unit student housing and retail space.
  • The District Board of Trustees approved fee change for the following courses to be effective Spring Term 2019-20: CJK 0001-Introduction to Law Enforcement and CJK 0300-Introduction to Corrections.
  • The District Board of Trustees approved fee change for the following courses to be effective Summer Term 2019-20: ATF 2201-Commercial Flight 1, ATF 2202-Commercial Flight 2, ATF 2305-Instrument Flight, ATF 2400-Multi-engine Flight and ATF 2500-Certified Flight Instructor.
  • The District Board of Trustees approved the Academic Calendar for 2020-21.
  • The District Board of Trustees approved a new Clinical Research Professional Associate in Science degree program effective Summer Term 2020.
  • The District Board of Trustees approved a new Clinical Research Coordinator Technical Certificate program embedded within the Associate in Science degree program in Clinical Research Professional effective Summer Term 2020.
  • The District Board of Trustees approved a new Surgical Technology Specialist Technical Certificate program embedded within the Associate in Science degree program in Surgical Services effective Spring Term 2020.


You can find more information on the Board of Trustees meeting on our website.


February Recruitment Update

The Office of Recruitment and Admissions had another busy month, building on relationships with students at area high schools as well as counselors to highlight FSCJ's offerings and services.

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Get to Know Your Fellow A&P Colleagues: Dr. Deb Fontaine

February's spotlight shines on Associate Vice President of Strategic Priorities Dr. Deb Fontaine who provides Collegewide leadership focused on strategic planning to ensure the College’s effectiveness in fulfilling its mission. In addition, she oversees the College’s current Title III grant, BRIDGES, and works to infuse the Achieving the Dream principles into College initiatives and activities.

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FSCJ Athletics Celebrates Academic Achievements

FSCJ Athletics recently held a gathering at South Campus to celebrate the academic success of our student athletes during the Fall 2020 Term. This fall, 67 (65%) of the 103 student athletes earned a 3.0 GPA or higher. Out of those 103, 14 earned a perfect 4.0 GPA.

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FSCJ Participates in AACC's Workforce Development Institute

The College was invited by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to participate in the 2020 Workforce Development Institute (WDI). This year's theme, "Economic Innovators," highlighted innovations and promising practices from various industries.


Dr. Avendano, Deans of Arts and Sciences Talani Torres and Eddy Stringer are pictured here with AACC President and CEO Dr. Walter Bumphus.


FSCJ Joins National Study on Students' Basic Needs

In collaboration with FSCJ’s Institutional Research and Marketing and Communications departments, the BRIDGES Title III grant program administered the #RealCollege student survey this past fall to over 20,000 enrolled students. FSCJ’s student data will be shared with the College community later this spring.

Now in its fifth year, the #RealCollege survey is the nation’s largest, longest-running annual assessment of basic needs insecurity among college students. In the absence of any federal data on the subject, the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice created the survey to evaluate access to affordable food and housing among college students. In 2019, nearly 167,000 students from 171 two-year institutions and 56 four-year institutions responded to the #RealCollege survey.

The 2019 national results indicate:

• 39% of respondents were food insecure in the prior 30 days

• 46% of respondents were housing insecure in the previous year

• 17% of respondents were homeless in the previous year

Read the Full Report

Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

Congratulations to Director of Theatre and Entertainment Technology Johnny Pettegrew who won the award for Best Technical Design of a Musical for "Newsies," FSCJ Summer Musical Theatre Experience from Broadway World Jacksonville.

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Congratulations to FSCJ's Upsilon Eta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) for achieving Five Star status in the 2019 Five Star Chapter Plan. The chapter will be recognized as a Five Star Chapter at the Spring Regional Convention as well as the Annual Convention.

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The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Committee on Fifth-Year Interim Reports reviewed and, with the exception of minor clarification needed for three SACSCOC Standards, concluded that our report demonstrated that FSCJ is in compliance with standards/met expectations. They commended FSCJ’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). In their letter, they included the following comments:

“The institution has adequately described the initial goals and intended outcomes of its QEP, discussed the limited changes made in the QEP, discussed the impact on student learning and/or student success, and described what the institution has learned as a result of the QEP experience. The Committee commends the institution on its QEP Impact Report, ‘Make a Plan for Success (MAP).’ The QEP Development Team identified clear goals for the QEP and indicated three major lessons that the institution learned as a result of the QEP experience. The work the institution conducted as part of its QEP, particularly the creation of roadmaps, was instrumental in securing the Title III grant.”

FSCJ was named a finalist in the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Awards of Excellence in three categories: Advancing Diversity, Safety Planning and Leadership, and Student Success.

View All Finalists

Associate Provost for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Kathleen Ciez-Volz was selected as an American Association of University Administrators (AAUA) Professional Development Fellow. Fellowship selection is a competitive process and is limited to nominees who present the very best and most productive professional backgrounds, who offer the best prospects for sustaining a productive fellowship year, and who—in the judgment of the selection committee—have excellent prospects for subsequent leadership roles in American higher education.


Employee Wellness Fair 2020


All employees are invited to join us on February 28 at the ATC for the annual Employee Wellness Fair. The event will feature massages beginning at 9 a.m., financial planning resources, community resources, health care providers, food and dietary services, FSCJ Health and Human Services programs, and more. All attendees will receive two tickets to attend the Comedy Zone Jacksonville and will be entered into the drawing for door prizes.

Learn More

In the News


FSCJ's faculty, staff, students, programs and leadership are often highlighted by local and regional media outlets - online, on air and in print. Read all of the recent articles regarding important activities happening within the College by clicking here.


How FSCJ students are working to understand, find solutions for homelessness

Published on Learn more.


FSCJ to Host Form Your Future: FAFSA Ready, Set, Go!

Published on Learn more. Announces Best Most Affordable Online Colleges for 2020

Published on Learn more.


Finalists for AACC’s 2020 Awards of Excellence

Published on Learn more.


FSCJ Artist Series Brings the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT to Jacksonville

Published on Learn more.


RENT 20th ANNIVERSARY TOUR Announced for FSCJ Artist Series

Published on Learn more.


Jumpin' Jax House of Food opens downtown Jacksonville restaurant

Published on Learn more.


Local Security Officer Awarded Scholarship for Saving Firefighter

Published on Learn more.


Scholarship awarded to Jacksonville hero that saved life of JFRD Captain

Published on Learn more.


Jacksonville security officer awarded scholarship for saving firefighter

Published on Learn more.


8 Reasons Why Community College Might be the Best Choice After High School

Published on Learn more.


Comings and Goings


Who's New


This list includes those individuals who are filling the newly appointed Faculty full-time positions, full-time A&P positions and full-time Career Employee positions.


Faculty Full-Time

  • Julie Pactor - Librarian
  • Laurie Taylor - Temporary Professor of Interior Design
  • Terry Thomas - Professor of Medical Assisting


A&P Full-Time

  • Erica Anga Curran - Associate Director of Admissions
  • Ashli Archer - Department Chair
  • Morris Bellick - Interim Associate Vice President for Facilities
  • Ujjwal Chakraborty - Dean of Arts & Sciences
  • Maggy Dartiguenave - Interim Director of Program Development
  • Suman Deekonda - System Analyst - PeopleSoft Security
  • Jane Durham - Associate Dean of Nursing
  • Grainne Dwyer - Interim Program Manager
  • Jacqueline Kloin - Associate Director of Student Recruitment
  • Alexandria Lewis - E-Learning Multimedia/Web Developer
  • Jorge Puig - Engineer IV - Software
  • Billy Thomas - Dean of Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • Deborah Williams - Library and Learning Commons Manager


Career Full-Time

  • Mac Howard Brown - Journeyman
  • Ronnie Davis - Security Officer I
  • Okey Emejuru - Student Success Advisor II
  • Carin Franey - Financial Aid Advisor I
  • Christel Grant - Call Center Representative I
  • Latesha Harris - Enrollment Coach
  • Shania Hernandez - Financial Aid Advisor I
  • Christopher Knight - Plant Service Worker
  • Ashley Maddox - Academic and Career Advisor
  • Donald Malishan - Armed Security Officer
  • Davion Manuel-McKenney - Academic and Career Advisor
  • Ethan Mehrlust - Security Officer I
  • Jillian Moody - Financial Aid Advisor I
  • Megan Oliver - Project Coordinator
  • Rennie Phillips - Vision Rehabilitation Training Specialist I
  • Andrew Sachse - Front-End Developer Designer
  • Missoura Smith - Interim Library Assistant I
  • Emily Stomps - Laboratory Manager
  • Shamonda Swain - Payroll Technical Support Specialist
  • Javier Vigo - Senior Security Officer
  • Marcus Williams - Security Officer I

Who's Retiring

The following employees have recently retired, or will soon be retiring, from FSCJ:

Kimberley Fair


Upcoming Events


FSCJ In Action

Students in FSCJ's Respiratory Therapy program volunteered and/or competed in the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb on February 1. Those who competed climbed the 36 floors/713 stairs of the Bank of America Tower downtown. In fact, two of the students placed second in their respective age groups. This annual fundraising event helps to provide life-saving lung health research, patient education and public policy efforts. This year’s event raised $121,728!

Earlier this month, Professors John Thomas and Dr. Paul Weikle took 12 FSCJ students competed in the annual Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) Music Symposium at Florida Southern College. Woodwind Solo Artist Aaron Dolan and Jazz Solo Artist Robert Bidwell won in their categories and will each receive a $1,000 award from their transferring institutions following their program completion at FSCJ. In addition, FSCJ Chorale student Melissa Caceres was selected as a soloist by the conductor for one of the pieces on the FCSAA Choral program.

FSCJ's English Language Institute (ELI) students and faculty recently toured TIAA Bank field. The tour was one of several field trips that the Institute takes throughout the term to immerse students into American culture while providing intensive non-credit English language instruction to non-native English language speakers. Students toured the press box, owner's suite, and other parts of the stadium during the tour. Currently, FSCJ's ELI program serves non-degree seeking F-1 international students from more than eight countries including Brazil, Chile, Estonia, China, and more.

On February 1, students in our Respiratory Therapy program volunteered and/or competed in the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb. Those who competed climbed the 36 floors/713 stairs of the Bank of America Tower downtown and two of the students finished in second place for their respective age groups. This annual fundraising event helps promote the mission of the American Lung Association and provides life-saving lung health research, patient education and public policy efforts. This year’s event raised $121,728.


Did You Know?

Continuing Workforce Education has partnered with Citizens Property Insurance to offer a series of IT certifications, with a chance for students to be eligible for paid internships and potential employment at Citizens. Learn more.


BlueWave News Quiz


Test your knowledge. To ensure all faculty and staff have an opportunity to submit answers, the quiz winners will be selected at random from entries with all questions answered correctly. You have until 6 p.m. on the day the newsletter is distributed to email your answers to The three winners will receive a BlueWave promo pack! Please note: Previous quiz promo prize pack winners, while eligible to submit answers, are not eligible for additional prizes for six months.


1) What was the theme of the2020 Workforce Development Institute (WDI)?

    a. Map Your Future

    b. Achieve@FSCJ

    c. Economic Innovators

    d. Celebration of Student Success


2) Who presented Dr. Avendano with the College medallion at the Inauguration Ceremony?

    a. City of Jacksonville Director of Community Affairs Dr. Charles Moreland

    b. Florida College System Chancellor Kathy Hebda

    c. Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene

    d. Board of Trustees Chair Thomas McGehee Jr.


3) How many of our student athletes earned a 3.0 GPA or higher this fall?

    a. 67

    b. 103

    c. 14

    d. 40


4) What will all Employee Wellness Fair participants receive?

    a. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens tickets

    b. Comedy Zone Jacksonville tickets

    c. Museum of Science & History tickets

    d. A one-night Hilton Hotel stay


5) What is the deadline for faculty and staff to register to participate in the Commencement Ceremony processional?

    a. May 7

    b. March 7

    c. April 23

    d. May 6


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