May 2016
Florida State College at Jacksonville BlueWave News

Another Great Commencement Ceremony for our 2016 Graduates

Many of you joined us at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena as we celebrated the dedication and hard work of our graduates at the 2016 Commencement Ceremony on May 5. More than 8,000 degrees and certificates were awarded to graduates who now join the 125,460 alumni that have graduated from the College since 1968.

“As I watched the students receive their diplomas and cross the stage, I was met with overwhelming pride for the accomplishments they have achieved,” said President Bioteau of the nearly 2,000 students who attended the ceremony receiving their bachelor’s or associate degrees.

Brianna Smith, president chair of the student government association, delivered the Commencement student address to her fellow graduates. “We all possess the capability to be leaders in our families, communities and in our careers,” she addressed the crowd. “We just have to challenge ourselves to allow it to flourish.”

Board certified emergency medicine physician and author Dr. Sampson Davis delivered an inspiring and thought-provoking address motivating these graduates to embrace their futures with enthusiasm and passion.

“Education is the coolest thing out there,” said Dr. Davis. “It is the passport to your future. It is the bridge from one side to the next. It is the Golden Gate Bridge to your life, to your destiny, to your future.”

Long-time contributors to the College were also honored with special awards. Harry Frisch received the first-ever honorary Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration awarded by FSCJ, and Jim Marlier was presented with a Distinguished Alumni Award for his contributions.

As the ceremony concluded, the arena floor turned into a sea of blue and white as thousands of graduates raised their “FSCJ Grad” banners triumphantly in the air. We’re extremely proud of our new alumni and look forward to seeing what they accomplish next.

We've posted hundreds of photos from the ceremony on our FSCJ Flickr photostream. Be sure to check them out!

fscj news

Center for Economic and Financial Education Receives $5,000 Grant from State Farm

The Center for Economic and Financial Education (CEFE) was awarded the 2016 State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Education grant. A check presentation with State Farm representatives and FSCJ leadership was held on April 21, 2016. The $5,000 grant will help the CEFE expand a financial literacy initiative for the region’s K-12 educators into Collegewide programs which will reach our students as well as our faculty and staff. The workshops provide necessary economic knowledge and financial skills to be able to make responsible financial decisions.

Currently hosted on Kent Campus and working with the Florida Council on Economic Education, CEFE serves as a valuable community resource for our region’s educators who are able to share the information they have learned with their students. Designed to help prepare underrepresented students to make informed financial decisions while also helping to reduce the College’s overall student loan default rate, the program’s goal is to directly impact economic and financial decision-making throughout our community.

Through the Collegewide program during the 2016-17 academic year, the CEFE intends to educate 200 students and 50 faculty and staff members on economic and financial matters, especially as it concerns borrowing wisely and decision-making regarding higher education. The CEFE will partner with other groups throughout the College including Student Life and Leadership, the Financial Skills Academy (FSA), Faculty Senate, as well as staff employment councils to establish a comprehensive and cohesive effort.

Spring 2016 will serve as the planning period for topic evaluation and seminar scheduling. Seminars will be held in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 to complement the FSA’s coursework. Course topics will be selected based upon each audience and may include topics such as: emotions and money; earning and borrowing money; tracking spending; bridging the college funding gap with student loads; paying college bills; and general financial and economic literacy.

The initiative will also include a signature CEFE event to be held on an annual basis for the public. Funding for the seminars is provided through the State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Education grant program.

You can find further information about the CEFE on our website. Also, click here to view photos from the event.

FSCJ Becomes Professional Learning Partner

With more than 500,000 open computing jobs across the United States, we at FSCJ know how important it is to offer advanced, technical curriculum and practical hands-on training in the fields of computer science, information technology, engineering and mathematics.

That is why we’re excited to announce the College’s new partnership as a Professional Learning Partner. FSCJ joins a nationwide network of Professional Learning Partners to support efforts to expand access to computer science in K-12 schools.

As a Professional Learning Partner, the College will provide quality professional development to educators in Northeast Florida through partnership with local school districts including Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties. These counties have combined efforts to spread opportunities for computer science instruction to more than 200,000 students served collectively by their 330 schools.

Through this partnership FSCJ will also work toward building a positive local computer science education community. This partnership directly supports the Computer Science for All initiative launched by the White House which proposes $4 billion in funding and additional support for training teachers to bring computer science to students.

FSCJ will begin the professional development training with local district educators later this year. Read more about the partnership here.

Students Make FSCJ History with Sixth-Place Finish at National Forensic Association Tournament

Our talented Forensics team has ended its most successful season with an impressive, first-time sixth-place division finish at the National Forensic Association (NFA) National Championship Tournament.

Competing and excelling in categories such as After Dinner Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Rhetorical Criticism, Prose Interpretation, Informative Speaking and Persuasive Speaking, these students have made FSCJ history at a national competition. Some of the College’s best speakers contended against more than 80 colleges and universities from around the country in speech and debate categories.

The students who competed include: Adonis Lane, Julian Lopez, Nicki Ercolino, Saman Jaberi, Madeline Windsor, Jimmy Henson and CJ Andrews.

The NFA is an academic association dedicated to providing leadership in intercollegiate speech and debate education in the United States. The NFA sponsors the annual collegiate national championship in Individual Events and Lincoln Douglas Debate.

To prepare for such tournaments, the Forensics team meets weekly for a three-hour team practice, in addition to individual training sessions throughout the week with Professors of Speech Chad Kuyper and Dr. Michael Chouinard, equaling almost 20 hours in one-on-one coaching.

Earlier this season, the Forensics team became state champions, bringing home first place at the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) Forensics State Championship, followed by a second-place finish at the Florida Intercollegiate Forensics Association (FIFA) State Championship.

College Hosts Second Annual Student Paper/Presentation Conference

Open Campus/Deerwood Center hosted the College’s second annual Student Paper/Presentation Conference on April 15, 2016. This year’s theme was “Bridges: From Research to Understanding.” Approximately 140 people attended the conference. This event serves as an opportunity for students to submit their research topics and ideas in the form of a 150-word abstract to the Student Conference Committee for consideration.

If selected, the students are assigned a faculty mentor and asked to write the research paper. On the day of the conference, students present their topics, research and findings in categories including “innovations in medical practice and theory,” “public policies and public narratives” "wonders of science and human antiquities" and “history and artistic styles.”

Special guests included FSCJ President Cynthia A. Bioteau, Executive Chair for the School of Human Services/Open Campus President Jana Kooi and the event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Ruse. Professor Glenna Veiga, Dr. Leo Collins, Dr. Laura Jeffries and Dr. JR Woodward served as the event’s judges. Special thanks also goes to Dr. Carl Colavito, Dr. Rebecca Ford, Dr. Paul Hendrickson, Dr. Susan Poole, Dr. Maureen McCormick, Dr. Gordon Rakita, Ryan Sessions, Dr. Rachelle Wadsworth and Dr. John A. Woodward.

Paper and poster presentations were judged based on criteria such as organization, subject knowledge, grammatical errors, style/delivery and more.

The following students and their presentations were selected as winners of the conference:

  • Best Paper for Panel I: Jessica Gregory, “Restraints and Seclusion in Psychiatric Nursing Practice”
  • Best Paper for Panel II: Kylie O’Bryant, “Death with Dignity as Public and Media Representation”
  • Best Paper for Panel III: Marjorie Dickinson, “Demonstrating the Effectiveness of the Bee Propolis for Antibacterial Properties”
  • Best Paper for Panel IV: Tiffany Adams, “The Business of Selling Human Asian Hair in the African American Community”
  • Best Poster Presentation: Chelsie Williams, “Epigenetic Applications to the Human Services”
  • Winner for Original Contribution to Field: Christina Sellers, “Treating Pain with Complementary Alternative Medicine”

FSCJ Digital Media Productions recorded the conference, allowing current and future participants to share their experience and review their presentation skills. We would like to congratulate students on their impressive presentations and hard work, and thank all faculty and staff members for their participation.

Click this link to view more photos from the event.

Volunteers and Students Offer Dental Services at Mission of Mercy Event

Volunteers and students from North Campus helped nearly 3,000 dental patients in need of care at the Florida Mission of Mercy (MOM) event, held from April 22-23, 2016. More than 2,400 volunteers provided free dental treatments and assistance to patients at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

Dentists, dental students and faculty, dental assistants, lab technicians, medical professionals and community volunteers donated their time to performing and helping with 16,000 procedures during the MOM event. People from the community who experience barriers to care received oral health care services totaling $2.7 million during the weekend.

Philanthropy at Work: Caring for our Community’s Senior Citizens

Our community’s rapidly growing aging population requires highly specialized, multidisciplinary care. Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is well-positioned to provide necessary training and real-world application to our students who wish to care for seniors and their complex health needs, thanks to the philanthropic support of many donors.

The Frisch family has a long history of helping the community through charitable gifts and believes in the importance of serving people, a lesson that was learned during the early days of Beaver Street Fisheries. Since its beginning in 1950 as a local fish market, the company has grown to become an international supplier of frozen seafood and other frozen food items for retail, food service and wholesale accounts.

Through the Beaver Street Foundation, the family made a significant donation to help establish the Frisch Institute for Senior Care as well as scholarship opportunities for students in the program. The Institute was designed to enhance the educational experiences of nursing and massage therapy students to prepare them to address the ever-increasing demand for caregivers who are professionally qualified to serve the needs of older adults. From clinical rotations and internship opportunities at nursing homes, senior centers and assisted living facilities, to clinical and instructional labs and simulators, students of the Frisch Institute will work alongside industry experts to build a strong resume and prepare them for employment.

Former vice chairman of FSCJ’s Board of Trustees Dr. Myron (Mike) Mass and his wife, Marilyn, also feel strongly about supporting older adults in our community and believe it is wise to invest in the future of their care. Dr. Mass dedicated 35 years of his life to medicine and understands the importance of ensuring a strong base of high-quality caregivers is always available. The couple chose to establish the Dr. Myron (Mike) and Marilyn Mass Nursing and Health Careers Endowed Scholarship which will provide need-based financial aid to students enrolled in a nursing or allied health program of study at FSCJ. One criteria for the scholarship is that applicants must be working toward employment at a long-term care facility, with priority given to those who wish to be employed by River Garden Senior Services.

Based on the National League for Nursing’s Model for Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors (ACES), students participating in the senior care program will use evidence-based practices to gain an understanding of the aging process which will prepare them for a future in geriatric care. Students will receive formal training in aging theories, evidence-based intervention and a practical overview of the aging field while they work toward their certificate in geriatric care. Additionally, students will benefit from a career pathway and continuing education program which will lead them to their Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Nursing.

“Due to the increasing need for quality geriatric care, we at FSCJ have made it our priority to provide the best educational resources for students in the field,” explained Cleve Warren, Florida State College at Jacksonville Foundation executive director. “The support of the Frisch family and Dr. and Mrs. Mass has enabled us to design this new and innovative program for our students which will benefit our community now and in the future.”

program spotlight

Meet FSCJ’s New Director of Development William Allen

Welcome William (Bill) Allen as our new Director of Development. Bill shared some of his thoughts and goals as he joins the FSCJ family.

Q: How do you plan to help FSCJ improve its methods of developing meaningful relationships with students, alumni and friends of the College?
A: Our team at the FSCJ Foundation is working on building an active and involved alumni association, an extensive network of corporate and foundation relationships, as well as partnerships with civic and nonprofit groups centered on our significant presence (50,000 students, 140,000 alumni) in the current workforce and our great potential for educating the future First Coast workforce. As we build these relationships, our students will reap benefits ranging from more scholarship dollars and upgraded facilities to a wider selection of employment opportunities and career choices.

Q: What expectations do you have for the remainder of the 2015-16 academic year?
A: Being new to FSCJ and Jacksonville, I have a lot to learn over the coming weeks. I’m setting my sights on finishing my learning curve soon and helping our team increase support for the Foundation in 2016-17.

Q: What are your goals to help the FSCJ Foundation achieve the goals that were established at the start of this academic year?
A: Our overall goal is to increase the Foundation’s ability to financially support FSCJ, its programs and facilities and, ultimately, its students. To achieve that goal, we need to reach out in a new and effective way to our prospective donors. We expect our approach will be successful … stay tuned, you’ll be hearing more soon.

Q: Are there any new resources you plan to implement to help FSCJ better serve its donors and community partners?
A: We want every donor and every community partner to “realize a return” on their investment in FSCJ. Packaging and presenting investment opportunities in FSCJ in a way that matches FSCJ’s needs with the prospective donor’s interests will result in more dollars flowing into the Foundation.

Getting to Know FSCJ’s Director of Development

Q: What was your favorite food when you were a child?
A: My grandfather’s beef stew recipe prepared by my mother.

Q: What's the #1 most played song on your playlist?
A: “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohen.

Q: When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?
A: Free time is a rare commodity, but I enjoy reading biographies and autobiographies of historic figures.

Q: What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
A: Anything by Bruno Mars, Phil Collins, Foreigner, Daughtry, Boston and Queen.

Faculty-to-Faculty Spotlight

FSCJ has the best and brightest faculty who are committed to providing meaningful and rewarding educational experiences for our students.

As a way to continue the 2015-16 theme of “engagement,” Dr. Angela Browning is highlighting the extraordinary work of a faculty member each month to share his/her teaching and engagement techniques, professional development, community service and unique College contributions.

This month’s column highlights the work of Karen Otto, professor of speech at North Campus.

Engaging with and supporting students:

  • Aware of how intimidating a speech class is for many students, Professor Otto begins class meetings with informal “icebreakers” to help students engage with each other and to make them more at ease with the classroom context. She makes a concerted effort to learn all student names as soon as possible, and promotes students learning the names of their peers with structured activities.
  • Building on this rapport, Professor Otto often assigns students brief activities that require work in pairs or groups. They may research a topic together or share their understanding of a reading to each other. Again, this approach is designed to make them more comfortable with their classmates and surroundings.
  • One of Professor Otto’s assignments asks students to present an infomercial to the class. This assignment is designed to be humorous and fun for both the presenter and the audience. She finds that an assignment like this not only supplies the class with levity, but promotes a less formal and more welcoming classroom environment.

Reimagining course assignments:

  • Service Learning – Ten years ago, Professor Otto began requiring a service learning assignment in her speech course.  This assignment requires students to give an expository speech, but it also requires hands-on experience with a volunteer organization serving some community need. 

    Students are asked to champion any organization for which they are willing to volunteer. They must serve as a volunteer for a minimum of four hours. In addition, they research the organization and interview someone who volunteers or works there. After completing this hands-on research, students present a speech that informs listeners about the organization they are championing, their experience at the organization and how others can get involved.

    This assignment has been transformational not only for her students, but for her as a professor. She noted several beneficial outcomes of this assignment over the past decade. First, students have unique experiences creating more variety in the material presented in class. Next, students who have embraced the experience have had incredible experiences: some have been offered jobs or internships at the organization while others may realize how close their lived experience is to the experience of those being helped. Perhaps most importantly, Karen notes that students gain a reward from this work that is beyond the assigned grade. It seems to combat the malaise that students often bring to their classroom work.

    Regarding her work, this assignment has re-ignited her passion for teaching. While many of us hear from students about the impact our class has had on them, this often happens well after the course has ended. Service learning, however, has enabled her to see how her work impacts their lives when they are still in her course.

  • Speech Showcase – For years, Karen has coordinated a “speech showcase” at North Campus to showcase exceptional student work. Students from different courses give their speech to a broad audience of students and staff. Professors from other disciplines serve as judges and award prizes to the student competitors. Students are afforded additional practice with a broader audience, and Professor Otto is able to help them refine their work without serving as the evaluator of that work.

Engaging with the College:

  • Speech Council Leader, 2001 – current
  • Discipline Liaison, 2015 – 16
  • Outcomes Assessment Facilitator, 2007 – current

Engaging with the community:

  • Member, Orange Park Chorale
  • Provides music for local funerals

*Tell us about the engaging activities in which you and your students are involved. Email with information about your class or a colleague’s.

Get to Know Your Fellow A&P Colleagues

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 spotlight shines on Christy Campbell, chief information technology officer at FSCJ.

Christy Campbell joined the College in March of 2015 as a contractor and the senior project manager of the FSCJ ERP Implementation (MyFSCJ). In January 2016, she was appointed as chief information technology officer. Christy came to us from higher education organizations such as University of California, City Universities of New York and University of Phoenix, where she served in many information technology positions.

Christy has 24 years of experience in information technology, serving in positions such as IT representative, applications engineer, consulting manager, project manager, project director, director of applications and delivery and program manager. She has also worked in many different industries including higher education. Additionally, she served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Phoenix and continues to have a passion for learning and educating students in all areas of technology.

Christy holds a master’s degree in computer information science from the University of Phoenix, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Mary’s College of California, an associate degree in general education studies from Diablo Valley College and a PMI project management certification.

She enjoys outdoor activities, reading, movies and most of all, 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.

Dr. Justin Bateh Receives Teaching Excellence Award

Professor of Business Dr. Justin Bateh has been recognized as a regional recipient of the 2016 Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Teaching Excellence Award. The ACBSP recognizes individuals each year who exemplify teaching excellence in the classroom.

Dr. Bateh will be presented with a medallion and $100 check at the ACBSP Annual Conference 2016 from June 17-20 in Atlanta, Georgia. During the conference, two International Teaching Excellence Award recipients will be announced at a special Salute to Regions luncheon, one from a baccalaureate/graduate degree-granting institution and one from an associate degree-granting institution. As a regional recipient, Dr. Bateh is now a candidate for the international award.

The ACBSP Associate Degree Commission established the International Teaching Excellence Award in 1995 to recognize outstanding classroom teachers. It is the only specialized body for business schools that presents an award recognizing excellence in teaching, open to application by the entire membership.

Click this link to learn more about the ACBSP on our website.

program spotlight

North Campus and Nassau Center Raise Sexual Assault Awareness

FSCJ students and employees wrapped up last month’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) events by donning their jeans for Denim Day on April 27. North Campus hosted a rape prevention education discussion which focused on informing our fellow employees of their crucial role in serving our students when sexual violence is involved.

Speakers at the event included:

  • FSCJ security officer Mike Carter, who provided training on the responsibilities of employees in reporting sexual violence
  • Division Chief Adair Newman of the State Attorney’s Office Fourth Judicial Circuit, who spoke about the State Attorney’s Office’s role when it comes to sexual violence and the process of what occurs when sexual violence is reported
  • Rape Recovery Team Director Morgan Moeller, who discussed the services and resources available through the Women’s Center of Jacksonville and ways that our community could become and remain involved

The Peace Over Violence Denim Day campaign has raised awareness of sexual assault in April for the past 17 years. A rape conviction overturned by the Italian Supreme Court originally triggered the campaign. The justices believed that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove them, thereby implying consent. The following day, women in the Italian Parliament arrived at work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.

Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. Earlier last month, North Campus kicked off SAAM with a Day of Action on April 5, in order to educate students, faculty, staff and administrators about sexual assault resources to assist victims.Detective Ray Reeves of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Hubbard House Court Victim Advocate Roisin Kannupp were guest speakers at the event. Many participants signed a pledge stating that they will never commit, condone or remain silent regarding sexual violence.

Through the SAAM events, North Campus raised nearly $400 for the Women's Center of Jacksonville Rape Recovery Team. With that, an employee matched the donation and through the FSCJ Foundation, $779 will be dontated to the Women's Center of Jacksonville.

Nassau Center and the Women’s Center of Jacksonville also hosted a “Prevention is Possible in Nassau County” community panel discussion on April 11 to help end sexual violence in the area. Professionals from campus security, the Women’s Center of Jacksonville, the State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement participated in the discussion. They addressed the process of sexual assault from the incident to conviction and shared important resources available for those affected by sexual assault.

FSCJ LINCS Students among First to Earn All SCPro™ Fundamentals Certifications

Congratulations to the following students who are among the first group of college students in the country to earn all eight SCPro™ Fundamentals certifications awarded by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP):

  • Ramona Federico
  • Mark Krancer
  • Joseph Larsen
  • James West
  • Michael West

The FSCJ LINCS Supply Chain Management Program administers the courses needed to earn the CSCMP certifications. LINCS stands for Leveraging, Integrating, Networking and Coordinating Supplies. It is funded by a $24.5 million U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.

The LINCS program includes the eight industry-recognized certification tracks: customer service operations; demand planning, inventory management; manufacturing and service operations; supply chain management principles; supply management and procurement; transportation operations; and warehousing operations.

Many of the students in the FSCJ LINCS program are seeking a second career and degree, while others include unemployed workers, first-time students and military veterans. Students may graduate from the program with an associate degree in supply chain management or receive their Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S) in Logistics.

The demand for more workers in supply chain management is steadily increasing as such factors as an aging workforce, increased trade from Asia, the Panama Canal expansion and the new free trade pacts play a part in what's happening in the industry.

FSCJ is a part of a consortium of nine colleges and three universities that was awarded a portion of the TAACCCT grant to develop a national curriculum, enroll students into credit-bearing supply chain management degree plan, provide credentials and place graduates in jobs and/or provide transfers into four-year universities.

Forensics Team Member Discusses Successful Season

FSCJ’s Forensics Team has enjoyed a record-setting season thanks to the hard work of our outstanding students. Team member Saman Jaberi placed second in Poetry Interpretation at this year’s Florida Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Championship (FIFA), held on February 26-28, 2016.

“The coaches really pick you up and they help you out,” he said. “They really give you the confidence you need. You end up surprising yourself.” Watch this video to hear more on Saman’s experiences as part of our Forensics Team.

Student Video Project Recognized by Assisted Living Facility

Professor Byron Caplan’s students recently had their hard work recognized by The Elmcroft of Timberlin Assisted Senior Living Facility. At the start of Spring Term, the digital media professor‘s digital video fundamentals students put together a video project called “I Remember,” which involved interviewing senior citizens about their life experiences.

“I give this assignment for any number of reasons, not the least of which is because it is a relatively easy way for my students to get started, but also because it promotes inter-generational dialogue and it emphasizes storytelling,” Professor Caplan said.

He reached out to a number of nursing homes, all of which were enthusiastic about their senior residents being interviewed. Students were asked to offer their interviewees a copy of the final video as a token of appreciation for their time and as a family keepsake for their loved ones.

Over the course of two weeks, students sat down with senior citizens in Timberlin’s library. When the assignments were complete, students showcased their finished videos in class. “Generally speaking, the student response was very positive, but from the residents’ point of view, it was marvelous,” Professor Caplan said.

Activities Director Rachel Waxer recently reached out to invite Professor Caplan and his students to Volunteer Appreciation Day. Students Ronily Stevens, Michael Berskshire and Stacey Marsh were able to attend, and the residents had great things to say about their video projects. This unique assignment will leave these residents’ families with something to remember for generations to come, and we congratulate our students for their efforts.

Actor Alum Shines on Small and Silver Screens

Matt Mercurio finished his time at FSCJ in the spring of 2009. As a theatre performance student, Matt received a full-time performance talent-grant. The talent-grants offered by FSCJ played a pivotal role in Matt’s decision to begin his education at the College. With the financial burden of school being lightened by the grant, students are able to focus on academics and further developing their craft.

“It’s a great program and was a vital part of my growth as a young actor and a person; as well as so many other theatre artists I know,” Matt said.

After leaving FSCJ, Matt went on to the bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) acting program at the University of Florida, where he won the American College Theatre Festival for the Southeast Region. From there, he advanced on to the national competition and won an acting fellowship to the acclaimed Williamstown Theatre Festival. His time at the festival presented him with his first professional theatre opportunities and led to his career as a working actor.

“Since then, I’ve done over 25 episodes of major network episodic television, worked with Academy Award winners on a number of films and have done theatre at some of the best regional theatre houses in the country,” Matt said. “Not long removed from when I last performed at the Wilson Center for the Performing Arts at FSCJ’s South Campus.” Matt says he is vocal to anyone who asks about his training and tells them of FSCJ’s theatre program.

Today, Matt is enjoying life as a professional actor based out of Atlanta and Los Angeles. You can see him on a number of television networks including ABC, CBS, Discovery ID, FOX, HBO, Sony PlayStation TV, USA, VH1 and the new Go90. He has recurring roles on Sony PlayStation TV’s Powers, FOX’s Sleepy Hollow and the upcoming Go90 series Replay.

To read more about Matt’s success as an actor, click here.

did you know

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 succeses.

  • Student Success Advisor Hellitz Rivera has won the Florida College System Student Government Association (FCSSGA) District IV Advisor Award. She was honored at the 2015-16 FCSSGA End of the Year Conference, which took place from April 8-9 at St. Petersburg College.

    The FCSSGA District IV Advisor Award is given to one advisor who has provided distinguished service to their campus Student Government Association. Read more about Hellitz’s award by clicking here.

  • Retired dental hygiene faculty member Tina Daniels recently returned from a trip to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with Jacksonville’s Sister Cities group. During their visit, they delivered medical supplies and met with members of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Port Elizabeth Stadium, the Chamber of Commerce and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's City Counsel. You can read more about their visit to South Africa here.

  • Spanish Professor Laurie Huffman received the “Outstanding Faculty” award from the College on April 21, for her leadership and excellence in the digital classroom. Laurie was nominated by her students for her contributions to FSCJ’s online Spanish classes over the last 10 years. Learn more about Laurie’s achievement here.

  • Communications Professor Dr. Bakari Akil II’s article, “What to Do When No One’s Doing Anything,” was recently chosen as an Essential Read by Psychology Today. Bakari’s article discusses the Bystander Effect, Diffusion of Responsibility and ways to get people to react in an emergency. Check out Bakari’s full article on

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

    Employee Title
    Fawn Avant Administrative Assistant II
    Steve Bludsworth Press Operator
    Anita Bozic Benefits Coordinator
    Robin Cole Dean of Career Education
    Kimberly Conner Professor of Biology/Environmental Sciences
    Janet Crosby Instructional Program Manager
    Linda Foley Accounting Specialist
    L. Darlene Friend Administrative Assistant I
    Stanley Jurewicz Director of Risk Management
    Marilou Kuo Mail Clerk
    Patricia Levine Brown Professor of Reading
    Sarah Llanque Instructional Program Manager
    Benjamin Lion Student Success Manager
    Kim Masisak-Leyva Administrative Specialist
    Lino Platon Financial Analyst
    Steven Ring Professor of Aviation Maintenance Technician
    Jocelyn Shadforth Director of Outcomes Assessment
    Kimberly Shaw Coordinator of Academic Planning
    Sebron Sinclair Professor of Engineering Technology
    Wilbert Travis Maintenance Site Manager
    Doris VanCamp Lead Business Office Specialist
    Daniel Wendt, II Tool Room Technician
in the news

FSCJ professor talks shipping trades
Aired on Action News on May 15, 2016. Learn more »

Davis keynote speaker at FSCJ graduation; Frisch and Marlier receiving awards
Published on on April 27, 2016. Learn more »

Reach Higher offers up cheers for seniors academic ability, not just sports
Published on on April 26, 2016. Learn more »

FSCJ to expand computer science education courses
Published on on April 15, 2016. Learn more »

Sensor data boon spurs supply chain analytics applications
Published on on April 8, 2016. Learn more »

upcoming events


For more events view the full calendar »

did you know

An astounding 8,618 degrees and certificates were awarded to our graduates for the 2015-16 academic year. Breaking it down, that’s 729 bachelor’s degrees, 3,449 associate in arts degrees, 1,025 associate in science degrees, 28 associate in applied science degrees, 2,119 technical certificates, one applied technology diploma and 1,267 workforce certificates.

bluewave news quiz

Test your knowledge. To ensure all faculty and staff have an opportunity to submit answers, the quiz winners will now 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. When did FSCJ actor alum Matt Mercurio graduate from the College?
    1. 2012
    2. 2009
    3. 2007
    4. 2016
  1. The NFA stands for which of the following?
    1. National Football Association
    2. North Florida Athletes
    3. National Forensic Association
    4. New FSCJ Alumni
  1. How many associate in arts degrees were awarded to our graduates for the 2015-16 academic year?
    1. 2,119
    2. 1,267
    3. 729
    4. 3,449
  1. State Farm for Financial Literacy Education has awarded the Center for Economic and Financial Education (CEFE) a grant worth how much money?
    1. $10,000
    2. $2,000
    3. $5,000
    4. $1,000
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