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May 2020

Commencement 2020 Update

The FSCJ Commencement Committee is hard at work to create a virtual ceremony to celebrate and honor our graduates for their accomplishments. We have partnered with two commencement vendors, MarchingOrder and StageClip, to assist in creating the virtual ceremony that will launch on July 2, 2020.


FSCJ graduates and viewers will watch as Dr. Avendano provides special remarks to honor the graduating class. The ceremony will also feature special guest speakers FSCJ District Board of Trustees Chair Thomas McGehee Jr., FSCJ Faculty Senate President Dr. John Woodward and Student Government Association Collegewide President SeQoya Williams.


Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. John Wall will confer baccalaureate and associate degrees as a customized graduate slideshow will display each graduate’s name, degree, honors, picture and special message.


Students who are eligible for the 2020 Commencement Ceremony should RSVP their participation by the May 22 deadline to receive their commemorative FSCJ Commencement box and to have their information included in the graduate slideshow. A formal list of all graduates will be included in the digital commencement program which will be posted online.


Don't forget to send in your videos to honor the graduates' hard work and achievements by May 22. Check the email that was sent from FSCJ Communications on May 7 for submission details.

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Visionary Impact Plan

The College continues to work on the strategic plan, which we're calling the 2020 Visionary Impact Plan (VIP). The time we have been working remotely due to COVID-19 has presented a unique set of circumstances that require us to reconsider how we will be moving forward. We have decided that to best serve our students, community and College, we are going to extend the 2020 VIP process while implementing a one-year tactical strategic plan for the 2020-21 academic year.


Click the button below to learn about the extension plan that will lead us forward in the process.

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Learning on Empty

The BRIDGES Title III program recently hosted Learning on Empty, a virtual event to share current institutional practices and efforts that contribute to the collective learning experience as it relates to advancing basic needs services and supports for students. The presentation revealed survey results from our students who participated in the #RealCollege survey, the nation’s largest and longest-running annual assessment of students’ basic needs. Our inaugural response rate was 3.8%. FSCJ joined a cohort of 226 institutions across the U.S. to examine the prevalence of food and housing insecurity and homelessness. The survey results can be found in the Data Library.

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Return to Work Update

On the May 7 OnPoint call, Dr. Avendano shared that as we continue to work remotely, the facilities are being prepared to ensure they are safe for our phased return, which will begin on June 1 with supervisors. All faculty and staff should be working with their supervisors to determine when they should plan to return to work. Those who are in at-risk categories will be scheduled to return on a case-by-case basis and will not be put in positions where they feel unsafe.


Upon return, you are asked to be respectful of others and to wear a mask when you cannot maintain social distancing. We will be supplying masks to faculty and staff and are developing our distribution plan for those now.


Click on the button below to go to the site dedicated to our COVID-19 response for the latest updates.

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Virtual Celebration of Student Success Ceremonies

Each year, Celebration of Student Success ceremonies are held at each campus to honor students who were nominated by FSCJ faculty and staff for their achievements and excellence. Due to COVID-19, this year's celebrations were held virtually.


You can learn more and watch the full virtual ceremonies by clicking on the event location names below:

Deerwood Center

Downtown Campus

Kent Campus/Cecil Center 

North Campus/Nassau Center

South Campus



FSCJ Student Emergency Assistance Fund

The FSCJ Student Emergency Assistance Fund is accepting donations to support our students' needs, especially those that have emerged as a result of COVID-19.

The FSCJ Student Emergency Assistance Fund can provide the help they need during these uncertain times. Please consider donating today. Your gift, combined with others, can make an immediate impact on our students who are facing hardships. We believe brighter tomorrows are ahead and, on behalf of our students, we thank you for your support.


myGradPlan Update

FSCJ is in the process of launching a new student success management system, myGradPlan. Although the planned site visit has been delayed due to COVID-19, work to support the launch of myGradPlan is ongoing.

The staff-side technical validation was completed in March and we have been working in our system to complete the staff-side functional validation. The myGradPlan leadership team is working to finalize security roles and assignments in the system within the next week or two.


Planned Go-Live Schedule

Staff-Facing Side: Fall 2021

This requires all validations and staff training to be completed by mid-April 2021.


Student-Facing Side and myGradPlan App: Spring 2022

This requires all validations and student training to be completed by mid-October 2021.


One Button Registration Within myGradPlan: Summer 2022

This requires all validations to be completed by early February 2022.

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Get to Know Your A&P Colleagues: Martina Perry

May's Administrative & Professional Collaborative (APC) spotlight shines on Associate Director of Training and Organizational Development Martina Perry. She's been with the College since 2013, serving in a variety of different professional development capacities.

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FSCJ Student Leader Representation on FCSSGA


Destinee Roundtree was elected as the Florida College System Student Government Association (FCSSGA) Region 1 Coordinator for the 2020-21 academic year. In this position, Destinee will serve on FCSSGA State Executive Board as a voting member and will represent the nine Florida College System institutions that reside in Region 1.


In addition, Megan Partello was nominated for the FCSSGA Region 1 Leadership Award. This honor is awarded to a student who has proven to be a successful leader in their region and at their college. Christopher Rodriguez was nominated for the FCSSGA President of the Year Award. This honor is given to one president who has provided distinguished service to their campus student government association as they support, collaborate and lead their fellow students.


NJCAA Names Award In Honor of Former Coach Monts

The Florida NJCAA Council of Athletic Administrators (CAA), FCSAA Region VIII recently named the Men’s and Women's Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year awards after former FSCJ Cross Country Coach Larry Monts.


“Coach Monts is, by far, the most decorated cross country coach to come out of the state of Florida’s junior college system so it was no surprise when the Florida NJCAA Council of Athletic Administrators chose to name the most prestigious award for a male and a female cross country runner after him," said FSCJ Director of Athletics Ginny Alexander.


Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

Congratulations to VP of Business Services Al Little who was selected to receive the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO). He will be recognized at the fall meeting in Charleston, SC.

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As a Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumna, FSCJ Professor of Nursing Dr. Melisia R. Robinson was asked to speak and participate in the Virtual Hooding Ceremony that was recently held for Nurse Practitioner students graduating from FAMU.

Congratulations to all those who have completed professional development programs through Training and Organizational Development.


Adjunct Instructor Parveneh Sheikh completed the Distinguished Honors Faculty Certificate program.


The following employees recently completed the 2019-20 Adjunct Academy:

  • Mallory Branco, Communications
  • Gail Hamilton, Human Services
  • Gerard Hilgenberg, Information Technology
  • Donald Lafond, Information Technology
  • Parvaneh Sheikh, English for Academic Purposes, Interdisciplinary Studies, and ESOL
  • Bernadette Stone, Communications
  • Nakima Taylor, Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Brian Wiley, Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Jonathan Winston, Social and Behavioral Sciences


The following employees completed the Leadership Academy:

  • Vonnell Baggett, Director of Campus Center Enrollment
  • Christi Bisson, Professor and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education
  • Kerri Burns, Program Coordinator
  • Al Case, Director of Student Recruitment
  • Mary Lee Cunill, Professor of Speech
  • Samantha Davis, Project Coordinator
  • Herschel Finch, Associate Director of Academic Advising Services
  • Jeniah Jones, Professor of Adult Education
  • Steven Gunter, Senior Faculty Development Specialist


The following employees completed the Managing at FSCJ Certificate program:

  • Tere Davenport, Project Coordinator
  • Phenessa Gray, Academic and Career Coordinator
  • Vanessa Gordon, Project Coordinator
  • Michelle Nifong, Engineer IV Software
  • Dr. Eddy Stringer, Dean of Arts & Sciences
  • Vickie Witherspoon, Academic Department Coordinator


The following employees completed the New Faculty Institute:

  • Kevin Beamish, Engineering Technology
  • Howard Beckham, Funeral Services
  • John Jinkner, Logistics/Business
  • Stacey Legler, Business
  • Kathryn Millspaw, Nursing
  • Emily O’Neil, Librarian
  • Thomas Shapard, Music/Arts
  • Kalia Toro-Sepulveda, Arts and Sciences
  • Allison Turner, Business

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.


FSCJ Athletics Names 2019-20 Award Winners

Published on Learn more.


FSCJ President Dr. John Avendano; Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried; 'The Fire Watch' program

Published on Learn more.


FSCJ launches new program to help high school seniors achieve career goals

Published on Learn more.


FSCJ Launches Career Certificate Program For Low-Income High School Grads

Published on Learn more.


Upcoming Events


FSCJ In Action

FSCJ's Respiratory Care program donated three ventilators to St. Vincent’s Medical Center and the state of Florida for the duration of COVID-19. In addition, the College donated personal protective equipment including masks, gloves, gowns, etc. to area hospitals.


Did You Know?

Did you know there is a new Facebook Group called FSCJ Bound: A group for interested & admitted students, friends & family? Check it out here.


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 when the College resumes onsite work! Please note: Previous quiz promo prize pack winners, while eligible to submit answers, are not eligible for additional prizes for six months.


1) Larry Monts is the former coach of which FSCJ Athletics team?

    a. Softball

    b. Cross Country

    c. Baseball

    d. Volleyball


2) What is the deadline for faculty and staff to send in congratulations videos for the Virtual Commencement Ceremony?

    a. May 22, 2020

    b. June 2, 2020

    c. July 2, 2020

    d. July 4, 2020


3) Who was named the Florida College System Student Government Association (FCSSGA) Region 1 Coordinator for the 2020-21 academic year?

    a. SeQoya Williams

    b. Christopher Rodriguez

    c. Megan Partello

    d. Destinee Roundtree


4) FSCJ Professor of Nursing Dr. Melisia R. Robinson participated in the Virtual Hooding Ceremony for what university?

    a. University of North Florida

    b. Florida A&M University

    c. Florida State University

    d. University of Florida


5) What is the planned timing for the myGradPlan Student-Facing Side?

    a. Fall 2021

    b. Summer 2022

    c. Spring 2022

    d. Spring 2021


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