FSCJ celebrated the tremendous achievements of thousands of proud students during the 50th annual Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 11, 2017, at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
Surrounded by an audience of their families and friends, students who completed FSCJ’s bachelor’s and associate degree programs walked across the stage to accept their diplomas from FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau and members of FSCJ’s District Board of Trustees.
Approximately 4,758 FSCJ students earned at least one degree for the 2016-17 academic year, with some students earning more than one degree. Of these, 3,126 are associate in arts degrees, 933 are associate in science degrees and 699 are bachelor’s degrees.
In President Bioteau’s graduation address, she spoke of the importance of ambition and impressed upon the graduates the legacy they will leave as FSCJ alumni.
“Today’s honorees join a network of more than 132,000 Florida State College at Jacksonville alumni who have gone on to do remarkable things that impact not only those in our community, but also throughout the state, nation and even the world,” said Dr. Bioteau.
Associate in Arts Graduate Lyse Medina gave a powerful speech to her fellow students, sharing her own experiences as an immigrant from Haiti as a message of encouragement.
Ms. Medina said, “Like many immigrants in this country, my parents made many sacrifices for me to be here – and I do not want to waste them. Everyone here has their own unique story. You have all overcome challenges and made sacrifices to be here today. I feel proud to be gathered here with you all as we begin the next phase of our individual journeys.”
The Keynote Speaker Retired Professor Steve Piscitelli also spoke on the importance of resilience, relationships and gratitude.
Additionally, Dr. Bioteau and FSCJ Foundation Chairman Jeff Edwards presented the Distinguished Alumni Award to Mike Schneider, co-founder and CEO of The Loop Pizza Grill.
Candid photos and videos of the day are available on FSCJ’s Flickr page and social media pages, @FSCJOfficial.
In a recent report released by ADT Security, FSCJ was named one of the top three safest colleges in the state of Florida. State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota in Bradenton was noted as the safest college in Florida and Eastern Florida State College in Cocoa was also included in the ranking.
To select the top safest colleges in each state, ADT studied reported crimes at colleges and universities and divided them into three sections, violent crime, property crime and violence against women, and weighed the crimes’ severity compared to the per-capita crime rate.
"At FSCJ, safety for our students, faculty and staff is a top priority," said Director of Security Gordon Bass. "While we cannot be in all places at all times, the best prevention for the unthinkable is preparedness. This is why the FSCJ Safe app is such an important tool."
All members of the FSCJ community are encouraged to download our mobile safety app, FSCJ Safe, to use as a resource to contact campus security and/or law enforcement while at one of our campuses or centers. The free app offers real-time safety functions and features in one convenient location to help ensure the safety of those on campus at all times. To help users plan ahead and prepare before incidents occur, the comprehensive app provides important information on how to respond to emergencies such as active shooter situations, evacuations, severe weather and more. You can locate and download the app in Google Play or the App Store by searching “FSCJ Safe.”
FSCJ was ranked as one of the 50 Best Community Colleges for 2016-17 by College Choice, a leading website in college and university rankings and resources. College Choice compared data from Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, Payscale and individual community colleges to develop their list of the 50 best community colleges based on certain criteria including performance scores, retention and graduation rates, credentials awarded and tuition rates, to name a few.
View the full list here.
FSCJ recently hosted the fourth annual Florida College Learning Center Association Conference (FCLCA). The conference provides an opportunity for professionals from learning centers at institutions throughout the state to network and share best practices in the delivery of academic support services.
This year’s conference was the largest in the history of the organization with representatives from 14 Florida College System (FCS) institutions, nine State University System (SUS) of Florida institutions, two private colleges and two out-of-state institutions attending.
The conference opened on April 6 with a mini-institute facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Bloom, one of the co-founders of the Appreciative Advising and Appreciative Education movements. Attendees also took tours of the Library and Learning Commons located at Downtown Campus and Deerwood Center, giving attendees an exclusive look into FSCJ’s facilities and spotlight on our student success initiatives.
FSCJ Director of Tutoring Services Youlanda Henry who was also announced as the 2017-18 FCLCA Vice President at the conference said, “The conference provided an excellent opportunity to network and learn from our colleagues, as well as highlight the great work that is being done in the LLCs here at FSCJ. We received very positive feedback from all of the participants. They were impressed by the facilities and the hospitality and graciousness that were exhibited by each member of the FSCJ community that they encountered.”
FSCJ recognized some of our students for their academic and leadership contributions to the College at the Annual Awards Ceremonies. Students were acknowledged for accomplishments in four categories: Academic Achievement, Outstanding Student Worker, Outstanding Student Leadership and Scholarship Recipient.
FSCJ is proud to have students who are making a difference on campus, in the classroom and throughout the community.
View the photos from each event:
Special congratulations to FSCJ employee and Converged Communications student, Vickie Witherspoon who received the Academic Achievement Award at the South Campus ceremony. Ms. Witherspoon is an administrative services support specialist and is working toward earning her bachelor's degree.
She said, "This is a wonderful school that serves the community well. I am very grateful that I work for such passionate, supportive professionals that cheer on my furthering my education, as well as every student at the College."
The Academy for Teaching and Learning Hosts Faculty Resource Center Open Houses
The Academy for Teaching and Learning hosted Faculty Resource Center Open House events across the College on Monday, April 17.
Designed to serve as the onsite locations for the Academy for Teaching and Learning, the Faculty Resource Centers (FRCs) are a place where full-time and adjunct faculty can receive technology and course development assistance. A partnership between Training and Organizational Development and the FRCs enhance the services by creating space for technology-based workshops, discussion forums and roundtables.
“On behalf of the Academy for Teaching and Learning, I would like to thank administration for their support and forward thinking throughout the FRC implementation effort,” said Academy for Teaching and Learning Director Dr. Susan Slavicz. “We look forward to the professional development opportunities and collaborative atmosphere this environment will inspire.”
Consistent availability of hardware and software and access to a multimedia specialist or student assistant at each location will help streamline services. Additionally, adjunct faculty will have a comprehensive workspace and ongoing connection to the College community.
Deerwood Center, Room C2300 (within the Campus Resource Center)
Downtown Campus, Rooms A1137 and A2092
Kent Campus, Rooms C100A and C100B
North Campus, Room D315
South Campus, Room G201
Corporate Learning & Training Solutions was recently awarded multi-year GSA contracts to conduct onsite training at the U.S. Naval Base in Panama City, Florida. The intensive, three-day course will provide 24 civilian employees at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) with comprehensive Microsoft Project 2010 Intermediate instruction and training.
The $12,000 award will allow FSCJ to provide a qualified instructor and all relevant course materials, including books, hardware and software. The contract also comes with a four-year renewal option.
At the end of this course, participants will be able to understand and utilize the MS Project 2010 platform up to the expert levels established by Microsoft Corporation.
Vice President of Student Services Dr. Chris Holland was selected for the Regional Community College Professional Award from NASPA, the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession.
The prestigious award is given to nominees who make valuable contributions to their field, exemplify hard work in the profession, their institution and NASPA Region III.
“What an honor it is to be selected for this Regional Community College Professional Award,” said Dr. Chris Holland. “I honestly believe the incredible members of the Student Services department have made this recognition a possibility. I am privileged to work alongside them and the entire FSCJ team toward achieving the common goal of helping our students succeed.”
Dr. Holland was invited to celebrate and receive his award during the NASPA Region III Summer Symposium in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Congratulations, Dr. Holland!
FSCJ has been authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify graduates of the Associate in Science in Professional Pilot Technology program with the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certification at a reduced number of flight hours. Additionally, the FAA authorization reduces the age requirement for the ATP for FSCJ graduates to 21 years instead of 23 years, helping students launch their career two years earlier.
Through FSCJ’s A.S. in Professional Pilot Technology, individuals interested in flying for the airlines can earn a 250-hour discount toward the 1,500 hours of flight time required to be eligible for the ATP certification, the highest-level FAA-issued certificate.
“Receiving the FAA approval provides industry recognition of the high-quality, superior pilot program we offer here at FSCJ,” said Program Manager Sam Fischer. “Using a specialized combination of classroom curriculum, simulator training and flightline experience, our associate degree expertly prepares students to be skilled, confident pilots.”
FSCJ’s program provides extensive, advanced training that aligns with industry trends and educates students on current FAA standards and regulations to produce knowledgeable, proficient, safe and responsible pilots and flight instructors for the National Air Transportation System.
After Adam Hubbard completed his time serving in the Marine Corps, the busy father made the decision to pick his education back up by coming to FSCJ where he knew he could benefit from the smaller class sizes and flexible schedules.
Learn more about where Adam is now and his plans for the future.
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.
May’s Administrative and Professional Collaborative (APC) Spotlight shines on Dr. Judy Jones-Liptrot, assessment and certification manager at Deerwood Center. The assessment center she supervises has received the distinct honor of becoming a National Certified Testing Center granted by the National College Testing Association. Dr. Jones-Liptrot also sits on various councils within FSCJ, collaborating with faculty and other members of the College to meet the needs of students.
Dr. Jones-Liptrot earned her doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University and a master’s degree from Florida State University in Career Development. She is a member of the Florida Association of College Test Administrators (FACTA) where she holds the parliamentarian position and has received recognition for outstanding leadership in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. She is also a member of the National College Testing Association (NCTA) and is affiliated with the National Rehabilitation Association as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. In addition, she has presented at national and state conferences such as National College Testing Association and the State Assessment Meeting.
She is married, loves horror movies, traveling, volunteering at her church and spending time with family and friends.
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, blogs.fscj.edu/apcollaborative.
FSCJ Alumna and Potter's House Chef Celestia Mobley Opens Her Own Restaurant
FSCJ Alumna Celestia Mobley was recently featured in an article in the Jacksonville Daily Record for her new restaurant venture, Celestia's Coastal Cuisine. The soul food and Caribbean-style restaurant will be located at 6765 Dunn Avenue on Jacksonville's Northside.
Ms. Mobley has spent 19 years as executive chef with the Potter's House restaurants and looks forward to focusing more on her passion for being in the kitchen through this new endeavor.
Click here to read the full article.
BlueWave Athletics celebrated student athlete success during the Annual Awards Ceremony at North Campus.
Felix Garcia, starting pitcher for BlueWave Baseball, was named Scholar Athlete of the Year. He earned a 4.0 GPA this fall term and holds a cumulative GPA of 3.73. He also received both Region 8 and NJCAA All Academic awards last year. He is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and participated in the peer mentor training for the One Love Foundation’s Escalation workshop on relationship violence prevention. Felix has held his starting position for two years and will continue his academic and baseball career next fall at the University of Florida.
The Women's Basketball Team was given the 2016-17 BlueWave Life Skills Champion Award.
This acknowledgement is given each year to the team with the highest points per player average in the following areas: Academic Excellence, Personal Development, Career/Financial Development, Athletic Excellence and Community Service.
Weight Watchers at Work Success
The Weight Watchers at Work series has been a great benefit to FSCJ employees since its start in February. Participants have lost more than 215 pounds in just three months! Now in our second round of sessions, the health and wellness efforts are increasing while the numbers on the scale are decreasing.
One FSCJ participant said, “I chose Weight Watchers over other programs because I recognize this is a lifetime initiative. Losing weight by eating pre-selected meals or by drinking diet shakes won’t help me once I decide I no longer need them. Weight Watchers teaches me how to make eating decisions. Can I eat chocolate cake or have a glass of wine with dinner? Absolutely. But through Weight Watchers, I understand the trade-off for doing so. It becomes my decision as to whether it’s worth it which eliminates the feeling of being deprived. This understanding will continue to benefit me through my lifetime.”
FSCJ Team Captain Kierstan Snyder said, “It’s been amazing to watch the support that is shared within our group. We all have a common goal - to lead healthier, happier lives. We share real life stories and scenarios that the average person experiences on a daily basis when it comes to meal choices. This program has helped us to build confidence in ourselves, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel because it is so realistic.”
The next session will begin in August, but you can join anytime at a prorated cost. Be on the lookout for communications with information about joining the August session soon.
Turn Your Healthy Habits into Free Spending Money
Full-time employees with the College health insurance can earn Blue Reward points that may be redeemed for gift cards to many of your favorite retailers just for taking proactive charge of your health. It’s simple.
1. Visit floridablue.com
2. Register as a new member or log in
3. Click “Health & Wellness” then “Discounts & Rewards”
4. Select “Earn BlueRewards – Learn More” to check your points balance and redeem points
Covered employees’ spouses can also earn their own Blue Reward points. Each participant should sign up at floridablue.com using their own name and member contract number.
“Earning redeemable points is one of the many great perks of being a College employee with health insurance,” said FSCJ Budget Analyst Logan Becker. “The Florida Blue website is extremely user friendly and earning these points couldn’t be easier. I earned the majority of my points through goal trackers. In addition to learning more about my personal health and receiving many great tips for a healthier lifestyle, I was able to earn free money! The points that I earned translated into $175. I was able to choose from a variety of gifts and gift cards that were redeemable at the most popular restaurants and stores. I encourage everyone to participate, it’s an awesome incentive!”
With questions about the FSCJ Wellness Program or Blue Rewards, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is your chance to share a glimpse into life at FSCJ! We invite our faculty and staff to send active and fun photos of your experiences at the College and in the community. This could include anything from working with students on unique classroom and lab activities, everyday interactions with colleagues and your engagement efforts throughout the community.
Be sure to keep an eye on this section to see if your photo is featured! You can send your submissions to email@example.com.
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.
Dr. Mike Reynolds was interviewed on WJXT's The Morning Show to discuss the discovery of "ocean worlds" by NASA. To watch the full interview, click here.
Dean of Education Dr. Tiffany Hunter was appointed to serve on the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs.
Dr. Andrew Holt spoke at Georgia Southern University on The Modern Politics of Medieval Crusading on April 12. On May 11, he presided over a panel which was sponsored by the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at UF. The discussion was titled, "Archaeology of Medieval Europe I: History and Politics in Medieval Archaeology." He also spoke on "The Confraternity of Belchite and the Knights Templar: A Comparison of Origins" at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University on May 12.
FSCJ South Campus Librarian Susan Mythen was named the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Member of the Week.
View the spotlight here.
Professor of Design and Painting Dustin Harewood was 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 were honored for their tremendous impact on arts and culture in the Jacksonville community. The gala took place on May 6, 2017.
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!
| Leroy Amos
|| Plant Service Worker
| Angelica Argueta Alvarenga
|| Academic Tutor
| David Bell
| Amy Brown
|| Accounts Payable Specialist
| James Carter
|| Tradesworker I
| Therese Ditto
|| Dean of Nursing
| Valerie Frazier
|| Test Proctor
| Theodore Graham Jr.
|| Student Success Advisor II
| Daniel Hanson
|| Security Officer I
| Marjorie Heatherington
| Casty Hobbs
|| Construction and Electrical Mechanics Inspector
| Judy Holcomb
| Nicola Holley
|| Clerical Specialist
| Kritayoth Inpornvijit
|| E-Learning Instructional Designer
| Joyce Jones
|| Administrative Specialist - Student Success
| Steve Kruszewski
|| Assistant Research Analyst
| Mary Melfi
| John Patterson
|| Plant Service Worker
| Crisdiandris Rojas
|| Student Success Advisor I
| Shelia Simmons-Bermudez
|| Administrative Assistant I
| Christopher White
|| Case Manager/Career Specialist
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 forensics team wins national title
Published on news4jax.com on May 16, 2017. Learn more »
Thursday's Editorial: College Grads Rejoice
Published on jacksonville.com on May 9, 2017. Learn more »
Native and Boston University Sophomore's Sculptures Are Turning Heads
Published on folioweekly.com on April 27, 2017. Learn more »
FSCJ bringing Broadway to Jacksonville
Published on firstcoastnews.com on April 27, 2017. Learn more »
Stamping Out Hunger-FSCJ Opens Student Food Pantry on South Campus
Published on wjct.org on April 21, 2017. Learn more »
1st Responders Want Drones to Aid in Searches, Saving Lives
Published on news4jax.com on April 10, 2017. Learn more »
To view all upcoming events, visit the Collegewide calendar of events.
Did you know FSCJ employees can enroll in Continuing Education courses for free? With more than 100 classes to choose from, find the one that works for you. Click here to view the summer schedule.
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 answered all questions correctly. You have until 6 p.m. on the day the newsletter is distributed to email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- Approximately how many faculty and staff members were in attendance for FSCJ's Strategic Planning Day?
- Who named FSCJ one of the safest institutions in Florida?
- The Brink's Company
- ADT Security
- Who named FSCJ one of the Best Community Colleges?
- U.S. News and World Report
- Niche: College Search
- College Choice
- Which statement is not true about the Florida College Learning Center Association Conference (FCLCA) that FSCJ hosted?
- The conference opened on April 6
- FSCJ Director of Tutoring Services Youlanda Henry was announced as the 2017-18 FCLCA Vice President
- The conference was the largest in the history of the organization
- Attendees toured the Library and Learning Commons at North Campus
- What does receiving the FAA's approval for the airline transport pilot certificate mean for FSCJ students?
- Individuals interested in flying for the airlines can earn a 250-hour discount toward the 1,500 hours of flight time required to be eligible for the ATP certification
- Individuals interested in flying for the airlines can earn a 500-hour discount toward the 600 hours of flight time required to be eligible for the ATP certification
- Individuals interested in flying for the airlines can earn a 500-hour discount toward the 900 hours of flight time required to be eligible for the ATP certification
- Individuals interested in flying for the airlines can earn a 1,000-hour discount toward the 2,000 hours of flight time required to be eligible for the ATP certification