BlueWave News

Florida State College at Jacksonville

20West Cafe is Now Open

FSCJ celebrated the grand opening of our student- and staff-operated restaurant, 20West Cafe, on Thursday, March 15, 2018, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a menu-sampling lunch reception.

Located on the ground floor of FSCJ’s soon-to-open student housing at 20 West Adams Street, the restaurant showcases FSCJ’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality students’ culinary talents and provides them with valuable real-world learning opportunities, all while deepening the College’s commitment to the city’s revitalization efforts.

“FSCJ’s Downtown Immersion effort was inspired, first and foremost, by the desire to provide a more inclusive and comprehensive experience for our students,” said FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. “What began as an idea two years ago is now a reality and even more beautiful and meaningful than any of us could have expected.”

The farm-to-table, counter-service restaurant opened to the public on Monday, March 19, 2018. Breakfast and lunch is served between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, the restaurant will provide catering services and the opportunity to reserve the entire space for private events in the evening and during the weekend.

Along with the public dining area, the Winston Room, a 12-seat private dining area, is also available by reservation only for breakfast and lunch meetings and private receptions. The space was named to honor the generosity of philanthropist Jim Winston toward both the restaurant and housing units.

Visit the website to view the menu and for more information. For reservation and catering inquiries, email

View the photos from the grand opening event.




2018 Commencement Ceremony Reminders

Commencement newsletter 2018_720x720_FINALThe 2018 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 10 at 4 p.m. at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. We'd like to share a few reminders to help our faculty and staff prepare.

Like last year, the ceremony will begin with a full processional, beginning with our students, followed by faculty/staff and platform guests in full regalia.

All faculty members are asked to participate in the formal procession leading in to the ceremony. Your involvement will require that you arrive no later than 3:15 p.m. to robe and receive ceremony directions. The ceremony will begin promptly at 4 p.m.

Please find the information below for the online registration system.

Rashean Mathis

We are excited to announce our Commencement speaker will be Rashean Mathis, community philanthropist and founder of the Rashean Mathis Foundation.

Faculty/Staff Registration: Please be sure to register your attendance at Commencement by April 26 by filling out this brief form. Any additional questions you have can be submitted through this form.

An email with detailed information regarding the ceremony and parking passes will be emailed to all registered faculty and staff following the April 26 deadline. Please ensure your email address is entered correctly.

Students who are eligible to participate in the ceremony must register through myFSCJ.

Join us for May's Business Speaker Series Event: State of the Economy

fscjBusinessSS_logo_color (1)

Join us on Wednesday, May 23 for the fourth event in the Business Speaker Series, "State of the Economy" with Dr. David E. Altig from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

When? Wednesday, May 23, 2018
8-9 a.m. Continental Breakfast
9-10:30 a.m. Presentation

Where? FSCJ Advanced Technology Center
401 W. State Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Registration is required and will be open soon. Visit for more information.

March Event Features Dr. Ronald Reimer

By Samantha Mathers, FSCJ Marketing and Communications Intern

41097229291_ac7e01f44c_kNearly 250 students, faculty and medical professionals gathered at FSCJ's Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts on March 29 to attend the Business Speaker Series with keynote speaker Dr. Ronald Reimer of Mayo Clinic. Dr. Reimer, regarded as one of the premier neurosurgeons in the state of Florida, spoke to the ever-growing convergence of eastern and western medical practices in the United States, specifically his use of acupuncture as a treatment for illness. 

While the U.S. medical community has been slow to incorporate Chinese or other Eastern medical techniques into standard practices, there has been a dominant, progressive push to promote the importance of mind, body, spirit and hope in both preventing and recovering from illness. It is a view held by many medical professionals: Americans are too reliant on medicine and treatments which are often unnecessary and preventable. It is because of this crippling dependence that Dr. Reimer has adopted a multi-dimensional approach to medicine, using acupuncture as treatment since the mid-‘90s. Over the last 17 years, he has utilized acupuncture for management of refractory autonomic dysfunction, post-operative ileus and nausea and vomiting, particularly in solid organ transplant patients with overall excellent results.

Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medical practice dating back over 3,500 years, is stimulation of various points along meridians of the body to improve various conditions and enhance a person's quality of life. It is said the body produces a continuous flow of energy, front to back, that when disrupted causes illness and other ailments. According to practitioners of acupuncture, it is one of the most effective ways to reestablish natural flow and heal without invasive treatments or prescription drugs. 

While Dr. Reimer understands there is still a considerable amount of skepticism by the public concerning the efficacy of acupuncture, he believes the testimonials from those he treats speak for themselves. He notes, additionally, that the National Institute of Health has long endorsed acupuncture and many health insurance providers now cover the cost of the procedure. Dr. Reimer urges everyone to rethink what they know about medicine as we begin to bridge the gap between old and new.

View photos from the event. 

The series was made possible by a $250,000 commitment from First Florida Credit Union to support initiatives that will help local students and community members become future business leaders. The funding helped launch the series and will bolster the College’s Financial Skills Academy over the span of five years.

To see the full schedule of future events, visit



FSCJ Hosts Third Annual Frisch Institute for Senior Care Symposium

41371393931_47dd88a7b7_kThe third annual FSCJ Frisch Institute for Senior Care Symposium was held on April 10. Dr. M. Elaine Tagliareni, a consultant with the National League of Nursing, was the keynote speaker and addressed the audience on the topic, "Providing Nursing Care to Older Adults: Are You Ready?".

During the event, four students were named the winners of the 2018 Frisch Scholarship: Chelse Bridges, Mary Corley, Jayne Sarfo and Selena Stokes. 

The Frisch Institute for Senior Care was established at FSCJ thanks to a generous donation from the Beaver Street Foundation, Inc. and the Harry Frisch Family. Their gift has allowed the development of this program which enhances the educational experiences of nursing, allied health and massage therapy students and prepares them to better serve the specialized needs of older adults. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from geriatric care professionals who shared their expertise and personal experiences throughout their years of service.

View the photos from the event.



FSCJ Hosts Fifth Annual SLS Conference

SLS_news_1024x720FSCJ held the fifth annual Student Life Skills (SLS) Conference during the week of April 2-6, 2018. This year’s theme focused on the Pursuit of Knowledge.

The week-long Conference launched with three days of pre-conference sessions. More than 100 students and staff attended 90-minute classes on diverse topics ranging from time optimization and creative problem-solving to the power of being present and self-care. These new sessions provided students opportunities to learn side-by-side with FSCJ faculty. 

The Student Conference was held at Deerwood Center on April 5. More than 160 students gathered to hear from keynote speaker Dr. Shep Shepard, share ideas with peers during breakout sessions, build success skills and learn more about FSCJ degree programs. 

“The SLS Conference was one of the greatest experiences I have had since I started my college classes. I learned through this conference some valuable things that are crucial to a student’s success such as motivation, pursuit of knowledge and how to manage my money for financial stability," said an ENC 1101 student.

“Attending the pre-conference sessions and the SLS Conference was so empowering! In each session, I found passion, I learned how to overcome imposter syndrome and I found mindfulness,” said an ENC 1102 student.

Additionally, the SLS Scholarship was awarded to four students – Mia Rodriguez, Rachel Smith, Olivia Weippert and Alyssa Whitaker. 

The Conference concluded with the Faculty Focus Day at Deerwood Center on April 6. More than 80 faculty, staff and administrators gathered to learn about student-centered pedagogy, social-cultural-global learning and academic success for all. 

View pictures from the Student Conference.

View pictures from the Faculty Focus Day.




Scheidel Scholarship Luncheon Recognizes Student Volunteers

The 2017 Herbert W. Scheidel Community Leadership in Action award celebration was held at Epping Forest on Wednesday, March 28. The FSCJ Foundation Board, Dr. Bioteau, Scheidel Foundation and family representatives, and other FSCJ administrators joined together to award the three finalists for this year’s scholarship.

39268452570_eee413aae4_k (1)Ashley Cetin was the 2017 finalist. She is a sophomore working toward her A.A. degree. In her spare time, Ashley volunteers with Hope at Hands, a nonprofit providing art and poetry therapy for at-risk youth populations. She said, “I want to help people overcome trauma and help with self-expression. I have learned through my own life experience that the arts are a very beneficial tool to healing and practicing self-love.”

Semi-finalists were Jessica Lucas and Kaw Lahpai. Jessica is in the education program and volunteers at the I’m a STAR Foundation. Kaw is working on her A.A. degree and volunteers at the Jacksonville Kachin Baptist Church, assisting refugees who are resettling in the Jacksonville area.

All three students will receive scholarship awards and donations will be made in their honor to the nonprofit of their choice.




Get to Know Your Fellow A&P Colleagues - Angel Duncan

Angel Duncan_Headshot 032918The 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.

April's APC Spotlight shines on Angel Duncan who serves as director of Continuing Education, a position she has held since July 2016. She oversees all Continuing Workforce Education programs, serving more than 1,300 students with 80 classes and programs per year, including open enrollment courses for professional and career development, non-credit certification and licensures, fast-track training programs and personal enrichment courses.

Angel joined FSCJ in June 2014 after having spent 15+ years in corporate America working for companies such as General Electric, Walmart, Kellogg’s and Pfizer. In her previous positions, she was responsible for conceptualizing and implementing strategic initiatives designed to improve market penetration and program/product awareness while increasing sales and profitability. She holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. in Public Relations from Florida A & M University and is a Certified Operations Manager (COM) and Program Planner (CPP).  

Angel is committed to building collaborative partnerships between FSCJ and the broader community, including businesses and government. She is passionate about providing high-quality, relevant, lifelong learning opportunities that inspire and empower individuals to achieve career advancement and personal fulfillment.

In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with family and friends and traveling. She also enjoys giving back to the community by serving on community development and private school boards.

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 their website,




FSCJ's A.S. in Computer Information Technology Receives National Ranking


Congratulations to our Associate in Science in Computer Information Technology. The degree program ranked seventh for the best online associate in Information Technology degree programs by

This recognition is based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, faculty, rankings, awards and reputation.

View the full list.




Students Recognized at Celebration of Student Success Events

39463338560_532fc38a6d_kFSCJ recently recognized some of our students for their academic and leadership contributions to the College at the Celebration of Student Success awards ceremonies. Students were acknowledged for accomplishments in four categories: Academic Achievement, Inspirational Achievement, Outstanding Student Worker and Outstanding Student Leadership.

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. The event at Deerwood Center will be Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m., and South Campus will be Thursday, April 12 at 6 p.m. All photos will be posted soon.



Meet 20West Cafe Chef Brett Cromer

BrettCromer_250x350Learn more about the chef behind 20West Cafe, Brett Cromer, a 2017 FSCJ graduate.

Q: Why did you choose to become a chef and what do you enjoy most about your line of work?
A: I was actually thrown into this line of work. I applied to be a waiter but was hired into the kitchen. I quickly found a passion for the restaurant world and decided to make it a career.

Q: What excites you most about cooking and food in general?
A: I love the endless possibilities. I can keep doing this for the rest of my life and still find new combinations and techniques to try.

Q: How did FSCJ prepare you for life as a chef?
A: How can I possibly list everything? Menu development, costing, production...There had been, and still is, always an opportunity to learn.

Q: In addition to being a chef, you are a culinary instructor. What do you enjoy most about working with young adults who are pursuing the same career as you?
A: Having been through the same program, I can better assist the employees as they take their next steps. I can't wait to see what this team will do after their internships!

Q: If you were offered the chance to plan your final meal, what would be on the menu?
A: If I pick foods that aren't available in the same season together, can we keep pushing back the final meal?




Upcoming Wellness Seminars

FSCJ's Employee Wellness Program is offering free health seminars on a variety of topics to help you reach your health and wellness goals. Seminars are open to all employees and may be considered work time with supervisor’s pre-approval.

The next seminar opportunities are below:

Boost: Transform Your Workday
Wednesday, May 9, noon-1 p.m.
North Campus, Room A-236

Most of us spend more time recharging our phones than recharging ourselves. We are working harder and longer but refueling our brains, bodies and spirit less and less. This presentation will outline an energy management solution, based on intentional work breaks, to transform the way you work and boost your energy levels all day long. To reserve your spot, click here.

Master Your Motivation: Seven Strategies for Staying Inspired
Wednesday, June 13, noon-1 p.m.
Kent Campus, Room C-100A

If you’ve attempted to lose weight, eat better, exercise regularly, manage stress or make other health improvements in the past, you may have experienced setbacks or been frustrated due to lack of motivation. This presentation will help you define your powerful motivators for change and leave you with seven practical strategies to help you reach your personal health goals. To reserve your spot, click here.

For more information, contact


Announcing Better You Strides Wellness Program

FB-better-you-strides_logotype_TwoLineTake strides toward better health today. Better You Strides is replacing BlueRewards. Register now for Better You Strides, powered by CaféWell®, a personal wellness site that creates a custom-made plan to help you meet your health and wellness goals.

Registering is simple.

1) Log in to your Florida Blue online account at Find “Your Guide to Better Health” on the right side of your home page. Click “Get Started.”
2) On the welcome screen that appears, provide a username and password. Click “Create your account.” Then answer a few security questions to help protect your account. Welcome to your Better You Strides personal page!

From the CaféWell mobile app:
1) Download the CaféWell mobile app from the Apple App store or Google Play. Click “Register now.”
2) Enter the sponsor code: betteryoustrides
3) Create a username and provide your date of birth, gender and password for your account. Click “Create account.” Answer a few security questions to help protect your account. Click “Save.”
4) Enter your date of birth and your member ID number found on your Florida Blue member ID card. Click “Verify.”

With questions, call (855) 337-8340 or send an email to



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
 Ixchel Baker-Tate  Dir Financial Aid
 Logan Becker  Assistant Dir Budget & Aux Srvs
 Trina Buck  Admin Assistant I
 Jalaine Buford  Admin Assistant I
 Vitalina Chizh  Business Office Coord
 Ciera Durden  Student Success Advisor I
 Rafaela Gjondrekaj  Academic Tutor
 Regina Harris  Admin Assistant II
 Lee-Anna John  Vocational Eval II
 Samuel Johnson  Student Records Specialist
 Christopher Johnson  Plant Service Worker
 Carla Mack  Test Examiner
 Vernon Mummaw  Journeyman
 Jenny O'Hayon  Professor Level 2
 Karen Phillips  RPT Career DSS
 Katherine Ross  Chief of Staff
 Malcolm Smith  Security Officer II
 James Thomas  Armed Security Officer
 Ryan Turner  Academic Tutor
 Tammy Walker  Test Examiner
 Cam Waller  Web Specialist/Developer


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 within the College.

Jacksonville Civil Rights Task Force Begins 'Collating' Historic Timeline Ahead Of Second Meeting
Published on on March 28, 2018. Learn more »

Civil Rights History; Moveable Feast; Warrior Care Network; Farmers Market
Published on on March 28, 2018. Learn more »

FSCJ opens 20West Cafe as teaching restaurant in downtown Jacksonville
Published on on March 26, 2018. Learn more »

Partner Profile: Local college makes two-fold investment in Downtown
Published on on March 26, 2018. Learn more »

Q&A: Executive chef talks plans for 20West, FSCJ's new culinary student-run cafe in downtown Jax
Published on on March 26, 2018. Learn more »

FSCJ culinary arts cafe open in downtown Jacksonville (Photos)
Published on on March 26, 2018. Learn more »

FSCJ Shows Off Its New Downtown Cafe
Published on on March 26, 2018. Learn more »

FSCJ cuts ribbon on 20West Cafe
Published on on March 26, 2018. Learn more »





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

Volunteer Services Awards Banquet- 328x213-01

insight_logo_cmykDid you know that students can now request in-person and virtual advising appointments online through Insight? To make an appointment, students can access Insight through the My Life @ FSCJ tab in myFSCJ or via the website at



New_Learn_to_Read_Logo_png_(2) (1) Womens-Center-of-Jacksonville-Logo-350x-14-

Students from Professor Audrey Antee's ENC 1102 courses recently participated in a service learning project exploring the issue of illiteracy. Students volunteered at Learn to Read Jacksonville and in the Women’s Center Expanded Horizons Literacy Program where they gained a better understanding of the various types of literacy, the widespread impact of illiteracy, its causes and possible solutions.  


Dental Assisting students participated in the JDRF One Walk on April 7 to support life-changing breakthroughs that give hope to everyone impacted by type 1 diabetes.






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 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 topic of the March Business Speaker Series?
    1. Economic issues
    2. Medical acupuncture
    3. Advanced infrastructure
    4. Workplace dynamics

  1. Where was the SLS Conference Faculty Focus Day held?
    1. South Campus
    2. Downtown Campus
    3. Kent Campus
    4. Deerwood Center
  1. What is the deadline for faculty and staff to register to participate in Commencement?
    1. April 26
    2. May 10
    3. April 16
    4. None of the above
  1. What date did 20West Cafe open to the public?
    1. March 15
    2. April 2
    3. March 19
    4. March 29
  1. What is the name of the program that is replacing BlueRewards?
    1. Better Strides
    2. Better You Strides
    3. Better You
    4. CaféWell