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Florida State College at Jacksonville
FSCJ Promise Press Conference

FSCJ Promise Program Launches to Help Students Attend College

At a press conference on March 2, FSCJ debuted the first program in the state to provide a debt-free pathway to college completion. FSCJ Promise is leading the College Promise initiative in Florida to provide more access and opportunity to eligible students in Duval and Nassau counties who might not be able to attend by their own means.

Starting this fall, FSCJ Promise will fully fund the first two years at FSCJ (tuition, fees and books) for eligible local students. The program plans to provide support for students through the creation of a college-going culture while increasing student persistence and degree completion for first-time-in-college students.

“FSCJ Promise promotes equity amongst our students, a core component of the College’s values, by eliminating the barrier of financial debt, ensuring that all of our community members have the chance to receive a quality education,” said FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. “Opening the door to education for those who might otherwise not receive it means providing opportunities that benefit not only the individual as they excel in their academic journey, but also the community in preparing a more talented, skilled and dedicated workforce. FSCJ Promise is one more piece of this mosaic for Jacksonville.”

According to the LeRoy Collins Institute, Florida is falling short of the national average on need-based aid appropriations. Nationally, the percent of higher education need-based grants is 48 percent; in Florida, that number is only 25 percent.   

FSCJ is dedicated to creating strong public support in efforts to produce a college-going culture. The program will subsidize tuition and books toward the first two years of an associate degree. FSCJ Promise plans to serve up to 1,000 new students on an annual basis.

“We are fortunate to live in a city with valued partners like FSCJ that are committed to building a stronger Jacksonville community,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “This initiative supports and promotes a higher quality of life by providing a pathway and resource for first-time-in-college students aspiring to earn a college degree.”

 Be sure to check the In the News section for news coverage from the press conference.


Accepting Nominations for APC and CEC Awards

Administrative and Professional Collaborative Exceptional Service and Initiative Award

FSCJ faculty and staff are now able to submit nominations for the Administrative and Professional Collaborative Exceptional Service and Initiative Award. Any College employee can nominate one Administrative or Professional employee by the March 17 deadline.

Only employees that have served in an Administrative or Professional role for at least one year are eligible for the award. Click here to submit your nominations.

The award decision will be based upon criteria including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Demonstrates and contributes to the values of FSCJ:
    • Integrity
    • Excellence in Teaching and Learning
    • Culture of Honesty and Trust
    • Creativity
    • Respect for Diversity
  • Displays a vision that strengthens and advances the goals of the College 
  • Displays exceptional professionalism in the workplace 
  • Creates innovative and resourceful approaches to challenges

Career Employees’ Council Recognition of Excellence Award

Nominations are also being accepted for the Career Employees’ Council Recognition of Excellence Award. Any College employee can nominate one career employee for the award. Click here to submit your nomination by April 3, 2017.

Eligibility for the award is limited to employees that have served in a career employee role for at least one year. The award decision will be based upon the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates or supports the values of FSCJ:
    • Integrity
    • Excellence in Teaching and Learning
    • Culture of Honesty and Trust
    • Creativity
    • Respect for Diversity
  • Displays exceptional professionalism in the workplace
  • Creates innovative and resourceful approaches to challenges
  • Collaborates with team members
  • Advances the well-being of all employees
  • Has significantly contributed to strengthening and advancing the goals of the College

When submitting your nominations for these awards, please provide your name, the employee’s name and three to five sentences on why you are nominating this person.

Winners of each award will receive $1,000 to support their professional development and be invited to an awards banquet. Additional recognition will continue through the next academic year.

Women's History Month 2017 Events

Women's History MonthThroughout March, FSCJ is recognizing the achievements and contributions of women to history, culture and society. 

We invite you to join us for the closing event of Women’s History Month. The "Through Their Eyes: Women’s History Month Panel" will feature a lively discussion as our distinguished panelists explore the history of women in their industries, share their professional journeys and discuss current/future opportunities for women in their respective fields. The event will take place on March 29 at North Campus (C-122) from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Panelists include:
Erica Bennett, News Anchor and Reporter, Action News Jax
Dr. Kathy Burns, Superintendent, Nassau County School District
Lt. Lakesha Burton, Executive Director, Police Athletic League of Jacksonville, Inc.
Anne Martin Fletcher, Retired Major, United States Air Force and Pilot

Click here to view all of the Women’s History Month 2017 events we have scheduled this month.

FSCJ Food Pantry Now Open

It’s a well-known fact that food insecurity is very common for college students and can be a significant obstacle to their success. To support the assumption that many of our own students are impacted by hunger, a working group at South Campus began the initial investigation and decision-making effort in the summer of 2015. Based on the results from their research, the FSCJ Student Food Pantry initiative was created to support our students with this critical need.FSCJ Food Pantry

The pilot pantry is located on FSCJ’s South Campus, F-103, and is open to serve all students on Tuesdays from noon - 5 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and Thursdays from noon - 5 p.m. Any student may visit the pantry one time each day of operation to receive up to five pounds of food. Pantry volunteers from Student Engagement will request the student’s FSCJ ID and will provide additional information on available community resources. Program expansion to additional FSCJ locations is in the planning stages.

You can help! Donate your nonperishable food items at any Student Life office. To participate in a donation event or to host one of your own, contact Ashlie Barker-Empleo. You can also help raise awareness of the program by referring any student you may know is in need of support.

Please also be on the lookout for details on the upcoming Grand Opening event on Thursday, April 13, 2017, from 10 a.m. - noon. 

FSCJ Hosts Diversity Matters Symposium

FSCJ hosted the Diversity Matters: Health Conditions in Diverse Communities Symposium on March 9 at the North Campus Zeke Bryant Auditorium. With more than 200 students and faculty members in attendance, the dynamic panel of guests discussed various social issues related to education, gender and health care. The information demonstrated how these issues directly impact the economic and overall health of the various health zones within our city.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Project Director Dr. Carol Neil said, “The case for increasing diversity awareness has never been stronger than today. We should not be judged by our communication style or dress but by our differences and the richness of our character and our abilities.”

The workshop featured two prominent leaders in our community: Nicole Thomas, president of Baptist Medical Center South and Dr. Kelli Wells, director of the Duval County Department of Health.

Thomas serves as the first female ever to be named president of Baptist Health and is the chair of Women in Local Leadership for United Way of Northeast Florida. She shared an informative, yet personal, message about her experiences of progress within a major organization as an African-American woman and the importance of building and bridging healthy relationships everywhere we go.

Aside from her role as director for the Duval County Department of Health, Dr. Wells is also a family physician with a passion for public health. She spoke about the relationship between various “health zones” in Duval County and the access they have to nutritional food, money, safety, education and health care. Dr. Wells stressed the fact that everyone has a story and it is important to listen to the stories of others.

One of FSCJ’s health care students shared, “This was one of those moments where something seems so little in your life but you’re so grateful that you went to it because it absolutely changes your entire perspective…and was certainly something I needed.”

FSCJ Hosts 2017 Astronomy Day: Your Place in the Universe

Each year, a global annual celebration of the spectacular cosmos takes place, usually in spring. FSCJ has participated in this celebration for nearly a decade. The 2017 Astronomy Day event was held at Cecil Center on Saturday, March 4.

Astronomy Day featured events and talks by local amateur astronomers with the Northeast Florida Astronomical Society, Museum of Science & History and FSCJ students, through the College’s Transformational Academic Project. Attendees, made up of College students, staff and members of the public, were able to experience what it is like to live and work in space, touch a large meteorite, safely observe the sun, see what might grow on Mars and even create a model of Saturn and its rings.

The highlight of the event was a talk by Astronomy Magazine Senior Editor Michael Bakich on this summer’s solar eclipse. He outlined what will happen during the eclipse and why it is best to travel to the part of totality, as close as Charleston, South Carolina. Bakich quipped, “Going to see a partial solar eclipse, like you will have here in Jacksonville, versus the total solar eclipse, is like going to the Super Bowl and sitting outside in the parking lot versus going inside for the game.”

This event reached across all ages and communities. One young man and his grandfather even drove from Georgia to participate. When seeing the moon for the first time through a telescope, the nine-year old simply shrieked with excitement. A little later, as the young man and his grandfather were leaving, he said he wanted to be the first person on Mars. 

Olympic Champion Discusses Title IX for Women’s History Month

Nancy Hogshead-MakarOn March 6, FSCJ Student Engagement partnered with BlueWave Athletics for the opening seminar of Women’s History Month on Title IX at the Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts. More than 60 students, coaches, student athletes, staff, faculty and community partners from UNF Athletics engaged in conversation and breakout sessions with guest speaker Nancy Hogshead-Makar. 

Hogshead-Makar is an Olympic champion, civil rights lawyer, public speaker and activist. She leads Champion Women, a non-profit that provides legal advocacy for girls and women in sports. Champion Women’s focus areas include equal play, traditional Title IX compliance in athletic departments, sexual harassment, abuse and assault in sport, employment, pregnancy and LGBT discrimination. 

Hogshead-Makar shared a historical perspective on Title IX and described how the law has created more opportunities for women to be successful in life and have equal educational opportunities through sports. Following her speaking engagement, participants engaged in table conversations around the law and what they learned from the experience. 

FSCJ Hosts Entrepreneurship Day for High School Students

Students - Entrepreneurship Day 2017Last month, FSCJ hosted Entrepreneurship Day 2017, a unique opportunity for high school students to experience working as an entrepreneur within the business industry. The event, held at Kent Campus, was a day to motivate and inspire the next generation to pursue their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur or seeking a career within the business sector. The focus was also to showcase and promote the associate and bachelor’s degree business programs at FSCJ.

High school students were able to experience college life and participated in workshops and a mock classroom environment. Workshops were led by FSCJ professors, local business owners and leaders.

Some of the learning outcomes produced from the event were a better understanding of personal leadership qualities, information on how to start a business, basic entrepreneurial concepts and financial theory.

One of the students in attendance said, “My favorite aspect of E-Day was taking college courses and getting a feel of college life for the first time.” Another student said, “My least favorite part was that it went by so fast.”

Overall, Entrepreneurship Day 2017 was a well-received event with a total of 89 students and 20 volunteers spanning from JaxPort, FSCJ and Year Up, as well as dual-enrolled students. The event was sponsored by Black Knight Financial Services and JaxPort with additional support provided by Professors Dr. Harvey Slentz and Professor Jon Lyon.

A high school teacher at the event said, “I thought it was excellent and so did my students. I think you should do this in the early fall at the beginning of the school year, as this is important for 11th and 12th graders that need information and goals like this to help them focus and make good choices throughout the school year. Thank you so much!”

Due to the overall success of the event, Entrepreneurship Day 2018 will be offered in both Nassau and Duval counties and JaxPort has already agreed to be one of the sponsors for the event in the future. 


Respiratory Care Students Compete in Annual Sputum Bowl

Respiratory Care Students Sputum Bowl For the first time, FSCJ’s respiratory care students recently competed in the Florida Society for Respiratory Care’s third annual Student Sputum Bowl. Two teams representing FSCJ joined eight other teams from colleges and universities throughout Florida. Players participated in a double-elimination tournament featuring several rounds of games.

Respiratory Care Students Sputum Bowl In the Student Sputum Bowl, teams of three take part in a “Jeopardy!”-style competition in which questions are asked. The first team to buzz in with the correct response receives a point and the team with the most points at the conclusion of regulation wins the game.   

One of FSCJ’s teams was able to win twice before being eliminated. FSCJ’s second team made it all the way to the tournament finals but ultimately lost to Valencia College by a score of 14-9.

“I am so proud of the students who competed! They did a wonderful job and represented FSCJ very well,” said Respiratory Care Program Director and Professor John Salazar.

The respiratory students were able to defeat teams from Valencia College earlier in the competition as well as teams from Daytona State College, Nova Southeastern University and Palm Beach State College. Well done to these hard-working team players. 

FSCJ Student Recognized for Academic Achievements

Last month, one of our outstanding students, Ania Bang, was chosen as the Chancellor's Clark MaxwellAnia Bang Scholar Student of the Month for her academic excellence. The physical therapy assistant student earned a prized spot in the high-demand FSCJ program for which only 30 students are selected each year. Ania applied as the academically top-ranking student and is currently tied for first in her class.

In addition to her personal academic achievements, Ania also strives as a leader to help her fellow peers succeed. Instructional Program Manager Dr. Sean McClafferty said Ania goes “above and beyond” during study groups.

Additionally, she plays an active role within her community, having gained one of the highest amounts of volunteer hours at FSCJ’s newly-opened pro bono clinic. Ania also dedicates her time to Service Learning and Community Outreach programs throughout Jacksonville and St. Augustine.   

The Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month award recognizes outstanding students in the Florida College System who demonstrate leadership skills, academic success and/or commitment to community service. 


Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program Relocates to Downtown Campus

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) recently relocated the Culinary Arts and Hospitality program from North Campus to Downtown Campus. Previously, the downtown space housed the welding department but has since been extensively renovated and modernized to welcome the new facility.

FSCJ culinary arts students now have the opportunity to study all facets of working in a food service environment. First-year students will begin their culinary education working in the dining room to experience how to serve cuisine effectively. This is also a time for students to understand the business side of the industry. Students in their second year will transition into the kitchen, where they learn to master the culinary skills needed to prepare gourmet food as a chef in a real-world kitchen environment.

The Culinary Arts and Hospitality program is also the home to a brand new, state-of-the-art baking laboratory, which will equip students with the latest skills for baking and pastry production. Much of the new baking equipment was funded by a generous $10,000 grant, courtesy of Bank of America. This charitable act was in response to the need of expanding the FSCJ culinary program to better serve the community.

The facility also boasts the most advanced culinary business software in the industry and mirrors the technology that is being used in food service operations today. Students have access to a more developed and accurate accounting system for learning how a food service business operates.

William Mark, instructional program manager for the Culinary Arts and Hospitality program, stated, “A learning outcome goal is to recognize the collaboration that must exist between the kitchen staff and the dining room staff to provide service that exceeds the customer’s expectations.”

The new downtown location also better provides students and patrons with a more accessible facility located within the core of Jacksonville.

On a weekly basis, the Culinary Arts and Hospitality program offers rotating menus with various themes. Lunch time seating is available at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and noon. Dinner seating is at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Gratuities are greatly appreciated and all proceeds go toward a special student activity at the completion of each term.

Reservations can be made by calling (904) 633-8151. 


Get to Know Your Fellow A&P Colleagues - Vanessa Howard   

The Administrative & Professional Collaborative (APC) is the representative voice for the Administrative & Professional employees of FSCJ. In an effort to build cohesiveness, awareness and collegiality, each month we put a “spotlight” on one of our members.Vanessa Howard

March’s Administrative and Professional Collaborative (APC) Spotlight shines on Vanessa Howard, instructional program manager for early childhood education.

Vanessa oversees several educational programs within the department that offer students the knowledge and skills they need to become highly effective teachers in the workforce. She coordinates programs, supervises adjunct faculty and assists students with daily program services. Vanessa also supports all of the College’s education programs under the dean’s leadership.

She has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Grambling State University, a master’s degree in special education from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate in education leadership and administration from Capella University. She taught in elementary education for 12 years and managed several non-profit and private early childhood programs for more than 18 years.

In 2007, Vanessa worked two years for FSCJ as an adjunct professor for the Continuing Workforce Education program, teaching early childhood courses which included teachers and directors of early childcare programs throughout Duval County and the surrounding districts. 

Originally from Jacksonville, Vanessa spends her free time exercising, traveling and listening to jazz music.

Our spotlight shines on each campus/center at least once a year. Nominations for the spotlight may be directed to your campus representative or any officer. Learn more about APC on our website,


Respiratory Care Alum Finds Path at FSCJ

DeMuria Family PhotoOne of our alumni, Michael DeMuria, has gone on to a successful career following his time at FSCJ, then known as FCCJ. Michael is yet another shining example of what our students are able to achieve through perseverance and hard work.

When he and his wife, Susan, moved to Florida, Michael was unsure of his path and decided that higher education would put him on the right track. The Connecticut native, whose family was involved in the medical field, opted to enroll in the College’s Respiratory Care program. During this time, Michael became fascinated by a potential career as a cardiovascular perfusionist.

As he studied and sold cars while living in Saint Augustine, he and his wife faced difficult times and were forced to depend on welfare. Despite the financial hardships, Michael was determined to pursue his education. “Michael says going back to school changed everything,” said Susan. “We could support our family. It gave us a life we never dreamed.”

As a student in his 30s, Michael was told that his age might hurt his chances of obtaining a job in his field after college. Nevertheless, his FCCJ instructors were encouraging and even helped him write letters for job applications. “It really made a difference to have someone behind him,” said Susan, emphasizing the College’s support. In addition, he was offered many FCCJ scholarships due to his 4.0 GPA. Michael graduated in 1994.

Much to the surprise of Michael and his wife, he received two job offers, including a position at a teaching hospital with Yale University, where he taught new perfusionists. Now a clinical cardiopulmonary perfusionist, Michael will begin a new position later this month at the University of Missouri, where one of his three sons attends college.

We congratulate Michael on continued success in his professional endeavors.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

You may be shocked to learn that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable. While incidence rates have dropped in the U.S. among adults 50 and older, an estimated 134,490 new cases were diagnosed last year.

FSCJ has pledged to help increase screening rates by supporting the 80% by 2018 employer challenge initiative, led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. Leveraging the energy of multiple and diverse participants, program partners seek to empower communities, patients and providers to increase screening rates among their employees and their families.

To help shine a light on the topic, Katie Couric, Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) co-founder and founder of NCCRT-member, the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, has launched an exciting celebrity-filled awareness campaign for colorectal cancer screening. Daily through the month of March, a celebrity “get screened” video of the day will be posted on Katie Couric’s Instagram account. This content is also available on the Stand Up to Cancer YouTube page.

For more information about colorectal cancer screening, visit or contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. For more information about the 80% by 2018 initiative, visit

2017 Personal Health Assessments

Free Personal Health Assessment (PHA) opportunities are coming soon for all full-time employees. To sign up, click here.

Tuesday, April 4
8 a.m. - 1 p.m.          
Deerwood Center, Academy-1206

Wednesday, April 5           
1 - 5 p.m.      
South Campus, Lakeside Room

Thursday, April 6   
8 a.m. - 1 p.m.          
Downtown Campus, A-1068

Thursday, April 13
8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Kent Campus, D-120

Tuesday, April 18   
8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
North Campus, A-236

Thursday, April 20 
noon - 4 p.m.          
Downtown Campus, A-1068

April Wellness Seminar

Master Your Motivation: Seven Strategies to Keep You Inspired

Wednesday, April 12
Noon - 1 p.m.
South Campus, N-236

If you’ve attempted to lose weight, eat better, exercise regularly, manage stress or make other improvements in your health in the past, you may have experienced setbacks or been frustrated by what feels like the inevitable come-and-go nature of motivation. This presentation will help you define your powerful motivators for change and leave you with seven practical strategies that will empower you to consistently make choices to reach your personal health goals. Click here to reserve your spot.


This is your chance to provide a glimpse into life at FSCJ! Each month for FSCJ in Action, we encourage our faculty and staff to share active and fun photos of your experiences at the College. This could include anything from working with students on unique classroom and lab activities to your everyday interactions with colleagues.

Be sure to keep an eye on this section to see if your photo is featured! You can send your submissions to


FSCJ faculty and staff are leaders, not only within the College, but outside the College as well. We are proud to recognize and honor their achievements and successes.

  • Professor of Design and Painting Dustin Harewood will be recognized as “Educator of the Year” at the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s 41st Annual Arts Awards. Dustin, who has taught art at FSCJ since 2004, is among seven individuals who have demonstrated a tremendous impact on arts and culture in the Jacksonville community. The gala will take place on May 6, 2017. Click here to learn more about the 41st Annual Arts Awards.

Dustin was recently featured in one of our #iamfscj Blue Chair Interviews. You can view Dustin’s story here

The following list includes FSCJ employees who have left, or are preparing to leave, their positions with the College. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors!

Employee  Title
 Kathryn Carreon  Senior Support Specialist
 Robert Dickerson  Professor
 Richard Dowling  Senior Supervisor - Campus Plant
 Ileana Figueroa Correa   Administrative Assistant I
 Jorge Gutierrez  Project Coordinator
 Diane Hickman  Administrative Specialist
 Marshaun Hymon  Student Success Advisor I
 William Meece  Senior Plant Service Worker
 Chris Pemberton  Senior Support Specialist
 Amanda Richter  Sign Language Interpreter II
 Anna-Marie Siegel  Director of International Student Services
 Dunia Taylor  Marketing Communications Manager
 Nicole Turner  Security Officer II
 Lauren Zanders  Associate Director of Student Onboarding


RPT Career DSS

RPT Career DSS

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 with the College.

FSCJ is preparing housing for fall; project also includes public café
Published on on March 13, 2017. Learn more »

Tuesday’s Letters - DON’T LIMIT THEM
Published on on March 13, 2017. Learn more »

Bill could cap four-year degrees at FSCJ, other state colleges
Published on on March 7, 2017. Learn more »

FSCJ Artist Series presents Rodgers+Hammerstein's CINDERELLA
Published on on March 7, 2017. Learn more »

New Jacksonville Port Academy Quickly Prepares Ex-Offenders For Work
Published on on March 7, 2017. Learn more »

FSCJ Hosts Olympic Champion Nancy Hogshead-Makar for Women’s History Month
Published on on March 6, 2017. Learn more »

President Dr. Bioteau Talks about FSCJ Promise on Positively Jax
Published on on March 5, 2017. Learn more »

Published on on March 4, 2017. Learn more »

FSCJ offers promise to deserving students
Published on on March 2, 2017. Learn more »

The Morning Show with Dr. Reynolds
Published on on February 25, 2017. Learn more »

Help Wanted: Jacksonville’s economic mobility challenge and efforts to address it
Published on on February 13, 2017. Learn more »

“Jersey Boys” when the music snapped
Published on on February 13, 2017. Learn more »

*For more news coverage on FSCJ Promise, visit


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To view all upcoming events, visit the Collegewide calendar of events.

Did you know that registration for the 2017 Summer Term is now open to all FSCJ students? We ask that our faculty and staff encourage students to enroll now for their summer classes. View class schedules by clicking here

Test your knowledge. To ensure all faculty and staff have an opportunity to submit answers, the quiz winners will be selected at random from all entries that have all four questions correct. 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. FSCJ Promise plans to serve up to ____ new students on an annual basis.

    a. 5,000
    b. 1,000
    c. 1,500
    d. 500

  2. The deadline to submit nominations for the Administrative and Professional Collaborative Exceptional Service and Initiative Award is:

    a. March 31
    b. April 4
    c. March 17
    d. March 10

  3. FSCJ has pledged to help colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting which employer challenge initiative?

    a. 80% by 2018
    b. 90% by 2019
    c.100% by 2020
    d. None of the above

  4. The Culinary Arts and Hospitality program recently relocated to Downtown Campus. Where was the program previously located?
    a. South Campus
    b. Kent Campus
    c. Deerwood Center
    d. North Campus