BlueWave News

Florida State College at Jacksonville

FSCJ Celebrates Graduating Class at 51st Annual Commencement Ceremony

FSCJ celebrated the achievements of thousands of proud students during the 51st annual Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 10, 2018, 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 accepted their diplomas from FSCJ Interim President Kevin E. Hyde and members of FSCJ’s District Board of Trustees.

Approximately 3,689 degrees were awarded to FSCJ graduates and candidates for the 2017-18 academic year, with some students earning more than one degree. Of these, 2,212 were associate in arts degrees, 771 were associate in science degrees and 706 were bachelor’s degrees.

In President Hyde’s graduation address, he spoke of persistence in the next phase of the graduates’ journeys, also emphasizing the importance of showing gratitude to those who helped the graduates achieve their goals.

“Whatever lies ahead of you, I implore you to continue to challenge yourself. Let this great achievement serve as the launching pad that propels you into the fulfilling and enriching life that you deserve,” said President Hyde.

Associate in Arts Graduate Nadia Esha gave a powerful speech to her fellow students, sharing her own experiences as an international student from Bangladesh.

Ms. Esha said, “Getting to where I am today was not easy. In fact, like many of you, I faced many obstacles throughout my life. Obstacles that stood in the way of my hopes and dreams, but, through hard work, dedication, and sometimes tears, we made it here today to celebrate our great achievements.”

Community Philanthropist and Retired NFL Player Rashean Mathis was the keynote speaker. Bringing together his Jacksonville background and life experiences, graduates and guests were moved by his speech on the need for confidence and grit especially in seasons of change.

President Hyde presented the Distinguished Alumni Award to State Representative Clay Yarborough. In addition, an honorary degree was awarded to Mrs. Miyuki Scheidel in recognition for her longstanding service and philanthropic support to FSCJ and the Jacksonville community. Mrs. Scheidel was unable to attend and Mr. Wes Scheufler accepted the degree on her behalf.

Graduates may find their formal photos for purchase at Additional candid photos and videos of the day are available on FSCJ’s Flickr page and social media pages, @FSCJOfficial.




FSCJ to Recognize First Pathways to Work Cohort

PTW newsletter 300x300_FINALThe inaugural class of Pathways to Work students will be recognized for their accomplishments on May 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Advanced Technology Center.

This group of 58 high school seniors from A. Philip Randolph, Andrew Jackson and William M. Raines have completed the necessary career-related training and personal skill development coursework in Construction/Trades, Culinary Arts or Global Logistics.

This cohort of motivated students will now enter the next phase of the program, obtaining internships in their desired fields of study as they work toward earning industry certifications and job placement in their chosen industries.

Pathways to Work was created to provide meaningful career-related training and skill development opportunities to high school seniors with high-economic need. The learn-and-earn training model helps students transform their lives by earning a postsecondary workforce certificate to access immediate employment on completion of the program and acquire educational credentials along a trajectory toward an associate or bachelor’s degree.



Advising Centers Launch New Service Tool

FSCJ has launched a new, improved service tool at our Advising Centers to enhance student advising. Based on student feedback, the new system will offer a more efficient, convenient and pleasant advising experience.

Students now have three easy options for checking in to Advising Centers: online, by text or in person. They can now utilize mobile check-in to “virtually” check themselves into the line ahead of time. Students may also receive text messages to notify them of accurate wait times, updates on their place in line and to let them know when it’s their turn.

Students can also schedule an appointment online at a time that is convenient for their schedule.

Students may still walk in to an advising center as necessary. All they need to do is check-in by adding their cell phone number at the kiosk which will add them to the queue and they will begin receiving notifications.

To find out all of the details of these new tools, visit


Register for the Next Business Speaker Series Event, "State of the Economy"

fscjBusinessSS_logo_color (1)The next Business Speaker Series will take place on Wednesday, May 23 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the FSCJ Advanced Technology Center.

Dr. David E. Altig, executive vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will present an in-depth analysis of the U.S. economy, including economic trends, tax reform, unemployment rates and forecasts for 2018. 

Lunch will be provided and seating is limited. Online registration is required to attend. Visit for more information.


First Students Graduate from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Early College Academy 


FSCJ and Englewood High School recently celebrated the inaugural graduating class of the Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Early College Academy.

In addition to earning their high school diploma, these students earned their Associate in Arts degree, industry certification, have incurred no student loan debt, and have the opportunity for an advanced job interview at Johnson & Johnson.

The program began through a collaboration between Duval County Public Schools, FSCJ and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. in 2014 and features courses in advanced electronics, robotics and computer-aided drafting. 

Students are able to complete all high school requirements during their 9th and 10th grade school years on the high school campus. Students then take college courses at the FSCJ Downtown Campus during their junior and senior years and participate in a paid summer internship at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.





The Academy for Teaching and Learning Hosts Second Annual Faculty Colloquium

Colloquium1.jpgMegan Phelps-Roper, a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, opened the second annual Faculty Colloquium with an inspirational recount of her experiences. She described the transformation that took place as she experienced and learned to appreciate other points of view through social media. Her message – that empathy can overcome hate and tolerance can bridge ideology – resonated with many in the audience. Megan’s presentation set the tone for the Colloquium, one in which faculty celebrated the College’s dedication to intellectual openness and curiosity.

Our own faculty presenters then shared some of the amazing and inventive ways they reach students in the classroom over three sessions. Attendees learned new ways to use technology in the classroom and new ways to communicate with students. Presenters also shared new ideas from their fields. 

During the lunch session, provided by the Faculty Union, Dr. Wall recognized the Distinguished Faculty Award and Adjunct Award recipients. Dr. Justin Bateh, Professor of Business; Dr. Tim Gilmore, Professor of English; Christina M. Goodell, Professor of Business; Robert Massicotte, Professor of Fire Science Technology: and Dr. Holly Wiegreffe, Professor of Chemistry were all recipients of the 2017-18 Distinguished Faculty Award. Additionally, Dr. Gail Bondi, Professor in our ESL department, received the Adjunct Award. We thank all of these awardees for their contributions to the College’s mission and their work in encouraging our students’ success.



Get to Know Your Fellow A&P Colleagues - Terry Hollingshead

TerryHollingsheadThe 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 Ms. Terry Hollingshead, the 2017-18 APC Exceptional Service and Initiative Award winner.

In her role as senior associate director of student recruitment, Terry provides collaborative leadership in the operation and administration of community and school-based recruiting activities that increase both the quantity and quality of prospect and applicant pools to FSCJ. In addition to community-facing recruitment responsibilities, Terry is a self-proclaimed “data geek” and happily serves as principal researcher and project manager for departmental and institutional strategic initiatives related to student recruitment.

Terry’s affection for data and data-driven decision-making is observable in her work to develop and expand functionality of the Recruitment CRM (Connect) as well as through her involvement in Collegewide committees for Strategic Planning, Data Governance, Outcomes Assessment and Strategic Enrollment Management.

Terry holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She plans to complete the Executive Certificate in Data Analytics from Cornell University during the summer of 2018 and further enhance her “data geek” designation.

In her spare time, Terry is also a “movie geek” who enjoys watching movies and has an excellent recall of movie quotes. If you notice her smiling at odd moments during a meeting, it is often because she has made a mental association between the topic under discussion and a line in a movie. In her estimation, the single most quotable movies of all time are A Few Good Men, High Fidelity and How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days.

In July, Terry will celebrate three years as a member of the FSCJ team. She is hoping the next three years will provide an opportunity to use the quote “Wakanda Forever” in FSCJ related conversation. Wait…I think she just did!

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-Complete Florida Program Featured in Partner Newsletter

Pete Barbara  Yvonne Outside (002)FSCJ and Complete Florida's work to help adults finish their degrees was featured in the latest partner newsletter. In the article, Director of Creative Learning Services Dr. Pete Shapiro said 226 students are currently enrolled in the spring session as part of the FSCJ-Complete Florida Program and 209 in summer classes. Since the partnership’s inception in 2015, 46 students have graduated with their degree.

Complete Florida was created to assist adults in Florida who have earned some college credit but have not earned a degree. Funded by the state of Florida, the services are offered at no charge to the students.

View the entire newsletter.




FSCJ Student Named Daveler Fellow

Camila_1024x720FSCJ Hospitality Student Camila Quintanilla was recently named a 2018 Scholar in the Daveler Entrepreneurship program. As one of only 20 Daveler Fellows who were selected from 75 finalists, and represent over 800,000 college students in Florida, Camila was invited to participate in a business pitch competition at the University of South Florida on April 14, 2018.

Her successful pitch earned her a spot as one of 10 Daveler Scholars for 2018. Camila will receive $2,500 for competing and an additional $2,500 to support her entrepreneurial efforts.

The Daveler Entrepreneurship Program, in partnership with The University of South Florida Center for Entrepreneurship, was founded in 2016. The program works to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among undergraduates in the state of Florida. Through the generosity of Frank and Ellen Daveler, the Daveler program has provided over $200,000 in support to aspiring young entrepreneurs who will have a positive impact in Florida. Click here to learn more.




Alumni Spotlight: Shaun Beebakhee

Shaun Beebakhee resized_041018

Shaun D. Beebakhee was nervous about going back to school 10 years after graduating from high school. An enlisted U.S. Marine, Shaun wanted to develop his management and leadership skills. He also needed to quickly obtain a four-year degree, so he could lead Marines as an officer and attending FSCJ allowed him to do both.

Shaun chose supervision and management as his program of study. “I knew I would be working with and managing people for the rest of my active duty career,” he said. Shaun gained insight about leadership from his professors. He easily related to Dr. Harvey Slentz, who made the greatest impact on him. “We learned, laughed and were well prepared for life after FSCJ. I remember most of his lessons and how he would make it relatable simply by using everyday scenarios,” exclaimed Shaun. “It wasn’t based strictly on PowerPoint lessons and tests, but actual conversations where we held open dialogues.” Shaun found going to college to be rewarding and in 2014, he graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management.

He moved up the ranks in the Marines and held positions such as maintenance management officer, squadron logistics officer and when deployed, served as a company executive officer based in Kuwait. He’s now a motor transport company executive officer, supervising almost 100 Marines, and an operations platoon commander, managing 50 Marines. “My degree gave me the knowledge and tools I needed to be a good leader and get the mission accomplished, which ultimately gives me the advantage.”

He’s thinking about career options after retirement. “Being connected on LinkedIn, I’ve received hundreds of job suggestions based on my degree. It’s great knowing that once I’m retired from the Corps, I have plenty of options to remain in the workforce,” said Shaun.

Shaun accomplished what he set out do and leads by example. He encourages students and others looking to go to college. “Take the first step; invest in your mind and future, and show others it’s achievable. Get to know the staff. They’re very helpful people that genuinely care about your education and future.”



Upcoming Wellness Seminar

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 opportunity is below:

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




FSCJ BlueWave Men’s Basketball Player Named the Hal Chasey Scholar Athlete of the Year

#4.Ronald.TaylorFSCJ BlueWave Men’s Basketball Player Ronald Taylor has been named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 8 Hal Chasey Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2017-18.

The Hal Chasey Scholar Athlete of the Year Award goes to the top men’s basketball player in the NJCAA Region 8/Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) for outstanding academic achievement, athletic achievement and service to the community. Taylor is the first FSCJ Men’s Basketball player to ever receive this top award.

Taylor, a sophomore guard from Bradenton, FL (Southeastern High School), currently holds 3.68 GPA and is graduating this term with an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree.

He is a two-year starter for the BlueWave Men’s Team and became the 35th member at FSCJ to join the 700 point club. He averaged 17.3 ppg (8th in the state) and a 44.2 three-point percentage (6th in the state) and was named first-team All-Mid Florida Conference this year.

Taylor has participated in multiple service events as a member of the Men’s Basketball Team including the Brooks Rehabilitation Wheelchair Basketball event, American Heart Association Heart 5k Walk and the Let’s Move! Jacksonville event.

“We are so proud of Ronald and his accomplishments during his time at FSCJ. He will leave the BlueWave as one of the most decorated Men’s Basketball players to represent our College,” said Director of Athletics Ginny Alexander.

For additional information on FSCJ BlueWave Athletics, visit  



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.

DMLCDr. Matthew Collins' new book, "The Success Book," has been published and paperback copies may be purchased by clicking here. E-reader versions will be available soon.





jrheadshotDr. J.R. Woodward was quoted in an article featured on on the topic of race relations and institutionalized racism. Read the full article.





27982645248_c2b44e01fb_kFaculty and staff were celebrated for their dedication to FSCJ at the most recent Years of Service and Retiree Recognition event. Employees who had reached 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and even 45 year anniversaries and also those who are entering their retirement were recognized. View all event photos.




Employee Spotlight

Instructional Program Manager Ernie Friend was named the HI-TEC Educator of the Year. This award recognizes a community college educator for outstanding contributions to advanced technological education. He will formally accept his recognition at the awards luncheon in July in Miami.




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
 Michael Brock  Professor
 Makaylie Brown  Library Asst I
 Sara DuBerry  Case Manager/Career Specialist
 Kara Gerbase  Admin Spec - Student Success
 Lena Gilbert  Training & Dev Specialist
 Colin Mailloux  College General Counsel
 Julia Pabon  Student Records Analyst II
 Eknarin Rassouphengthong   VA Enroll Services Processor
 Yaowei Schilling  Admin Spec - Student Success
 Philip Sessions  Maint Site Mgr
 Belinda Traore  Professor
 Donald Whitford  Academic Tutor


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.

Stressed by technology? Researcher explains why.
Published on on May 2, 2018. Learn more »

Eight Arts Awards will be handed out Saturday at black tie dinner
Published on on April 30, 2018. Learn more »

Guest column: Exciting developments underway Downtown
Published on on April 30, 2018. Learn more »

Airline safety: Jacksonville firefighters train for aviation-related emergencies
Published on on April 20, 2018. Learn more »

Students get early kickstart on careers, internships
Published on on April 20, 2018. Learn more »





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

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CESUM18_720x720_finalDid you know FSCJ employees can enroll in Continuing Education courses for free? With flexible schedules and more than 50 classes to choose from, there's something for everyone. 

Click here to view the Summer Term Schedule and register for a course today. 




leadershipjaxOn April 17, students were invited to attend the Leadership Jacksonville Celebration 2018. They had the opportunity to meet award honorees Susan Greene and Janet Owens as well as many other community leaders. 
IMG_0159FSCJ nursing students participated in the National Kidney Foundation of Florida Jax Kidney Pump on April 29 and were named the top fundraisers for the Friends and Family category, raising $3,800 and counting! This fundraiser supports patient aid, education and awareness for kidney patients in Florida.

Students at Robert E. Lee High School celebrated the next step in their academic journey at FSCJ Signing Day. View photos from the day.






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. Who served as the keynote speaker at the 2018 Commencement Ceremony?
    1. Nadia Esha
    2. Rashean Mathis
    3. Kevin Hyde
    4. Clay Yarborough

  1. How many students are enrolled  in summer classes through the FSCJ-Complete Florida Program?
    1. 209
    2. 226
    3. 46
    4. None of the above
  1. How many Daveler Scholars were named for 2018?
    1. 20
    2. 18
    3. 10
    4. 100
  1. When is the next health seminar opportunity?
    1. May 23
    2. July 13
    3. June 23
    4. June 13
  1. What is the name of the award Ronald Taylor received?
    1. Hal Chasey Athletic Scholar of the Year
    2. Hal Chasey Scholar Athlete of the Year
    3. Hal Chasey Scholar of the Year
    4. Hal Chasey Athlete of the Year