Governor Ron DeSantis today announced the appointments of Bob Cortes and Susan Fernandez to the Seminole State College District Board of Trustees. [Read more…] about Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Two to the Seminole State College District Board of Trustees
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After a national search, Jeffery Gibbs has been named dean of the Oviedo Campus at Seminole State College of Florida. As dean, Gibbs will be responsible for leading all initiatives related to the operations of the Oviedo campus, including academic programming, student services and facilities. Since joining Seminole State in August 2017, Gibbs has already been deeply engaged in the College’s strategic planning efforts to understand the needs of the local community in Oviedo/Winter Springs and the ways in which the College’s Oviedo Campus can best serve them.
Prior to joining Seminole State, Gibbs was a senior administrative leader at Florida Southwestern State College’s Hendry-Glades Center in Fort Myers and served as an academic dean and faculty member at Zane State College in Ohio. He reports to Dr. Laura Ross, vice president of Academic Affairs.
Gibbs says he is thrilled to be joining Seminole State at a pivotal time in the College’s growth and expansion, noting his prior leadership experience in college strategic planning, institutional and programmatic accreditation, maximizing the relationships between satellite and main campus centers, as well as serving as a faculty member, will benefit Seminole State and the nearby community. “I relish the opportunity to collaborate with the Seminole State team and civic and community leaders to bring innovation to the Oviedo Campus and contribute to student success.”
Gibbs earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Ohio University, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Dayton, and is pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education leadership.
The College’s Oviedo Campus is a jewel in the Seminole State crown. Opened in 2001 as a result of a $30 million investment, the campus sits on 181 acres, which includes a 120-acre nature preserve. It features state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories and offers students small class sizes and hands-on, real-world instruction. The Oviedo Campus is home to arts and sciences and engineering, design and construction programs, as well as such programs as Associate in Arts/University Transfer degrees with DirectConnect (guaranteed admission) to University of Central Florida (UCF); Associate in Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Engineering Technology; Adult Education/Adult High School; and English as a Second Language (ESOL).
Seminole State College of Florida, with 1,500 employees on six sites in Central Florida, is the seventh-largest employer in Seminole County. The College offers a competitive benefits package, incentives for advanced education, and opportunities for personal and professional development. For information on careers at Seminole State, please visit the Human Resources employment website.
New degree in nursing (BSN) for Spring 2018 will
help to mitigate Central Florida’s nursing shortage
More highly trained, qualified nurses will join the Central Florida workforce by 2020 as a result of today’s State Board of Education approval of Seminole State College of Florida’s proposal for a new Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). The College will enroll its first BSN class in the spring of 2018.
The new BSN program will complement Seminole State’s top-rated Associate in Science degree in Nursing (ASN) and provide graduates with high-growth, high-paying jobs. The College’s nursing program has been ranked as one of the best in the nation by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The ranking is based on the passage rate for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for the April – September 2016 time period. Graduates of Seminole State College of Florida’s ASN program consistently excel in pass rates on their licensure exams, and 98 percent are placed into jobs upon graduation.
“Seminole State’s Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing will complement our Associate in Science degree in Nursing and enable us to help provide the estimated 1,000 new nurses needed each year in Central Florida over the next decade,” said Seminole State College President Dr. E. Ann McGee. “Our role in the local community is to help our industries meet their hiring goals, and we have been working closely with the University of Central Florida and sister colleges to address the area’s shortage of registered nurses, particularly those with bachelor’s degrees. We’re thrilled by today’s approval by the State Board of Education.”
Formed in June of 2016, a regional consortium consisting of executive leadership from healthcare organizations, CareerSource, and representatives from three regional state colleges (Lake-Sumter, Seminole State and Valencia) and UCF gathered to study the issue. The consortium confirmed that based on planned growth and expansions in the region and impending retirements, the shortages of registered nurses will soon reach critical levels. It is estimated that without accounting for retirements, there is a need for an additional 4,600 new registered nursing jobs, and there will be close to 8,400 openings in the region by 2023.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are a number of contributing factors impacting the nursing shortage, among them: nursing school enrollment is not growing fast enough to meet the projected demand for nursing services; a significant segment of the nursing workforce is nearing retirement age; and changing demographics signal a need for more nurses to care for our aging population.
Nursing is one of the principal programs at Seminole State’s expanding Altamonte Springs Campus, where students have access to state-of-the-art healthcare labs, high-tech patient simulation and clinical experiences. Plans are underway for an expanded health science and education facility at the campus, which will accommodate the existing and anticipated growth of the College’s nursing program. Nursing also complements Seminole State’s allied health programs, including its bachelor’s degree in health sciences, physical and respiratory therapy, pharmacy and paramedic programs.
“At Seminole State, students will soon have a flexible and affordable option to seamlessly transition from an Associate to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, trained by our excellent, caring faculty members committed to their success,” added Dr. Cheryl Cicotti, dean of nursing for Seminole State. “Students need flexible options if they are interested in becoming a nurse. Ninety percent of Seminole State’s BSN program will be offered online, enabling students to continue working while pursuing their baccalaureate degree.”
The nursing program’s small faculty-to-student ratios, affordability and availability of financial aid offer additional benefits to students. Michael Lindvig, who is in his last nursing course, the clinical practicum, and will complete his RN degree this month at Seminole State, agrees: “I found the program to be more affordable than most online or in-person classes. The professors at Seminole State were really open and willing to come to our study groups to explain difficult concepts. I could always email professors, and they were very accessible and supportive. While it was challenging to go through the program while juggling marriage, buying a house and working full time, I was able to succeed because my professors worked with me and were very accommodating. I love the program.” Lindvig plans to enroll in the College’s new BSN program, then earn a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner, following his twin passions for pediatrics, cardiology, or a mixture of both.
Learn more about Seminole State’s new BSN program here.
The Seminole State College of Florida Jack Kent Cooke winners.
(L-R). Gustavo Diaz Galeas and Cathryn “Cate” Kandle.
Seminole State students shine again! For the third consecutive year, multiple honors students at Seminole State College of Florida were named winners of one of the nation’s most prestigious and lucrative scholarships.
Gustavo Diaz Galeas and Cathryn “Cate” Kandle were awarded the Jack Kent Cooke (JKC) Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship – worth up to $40,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university and up to $50,000 a year to pursue graduate studies. Diaz Galeas and Kandle were among 55 scholars selected this year to receive the award nationwide.
Kandle began attending Seminole State as a homeschooled, Dual Enrollment student and is majoring in biology. She hopes to transfer to Cornell University in the fall. She will continue her education as a biology major with a focus on sustainability. Kandle works as a student tutor in Seminole State’s Academic Success Center.
“It feels unbelievable,” says Kandle. “The Jack Kent Cooke scholarship has opened up my options so that I can go where I want.”
Diaz Galeas is studying computer engineering. He hopes to attend MIT in the fall. Diaz Galeas is the programming director in the STEM Student Club and also serves as an embedded tutor for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) grant program and for the Academic Success Center.
“Because I am an international student, trying to find financial resources is really hard,” says Diaz Galeas. “The very fact that I got this scholarship means that I don’t have to worry about taking out loans, and I don’t have to worry about working. I can focus fully on my studies.”
Both Kandle and Diaz Galeas will miss the sense of community and the support from faculty and the Grindle Honors Institute that are found at Seminole State.
“I have felt like around every turn at Seminole State, someone has had my back,” says Kandle. “I never felt like I am in this alone. There are people who are always willing to help me and extend their hands to me.”
All of the JKC winners show financial need and strong records of academic achievement as indicated by grades, leadership skill, awards, extraordinary service to others and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Since 2006, Seminole State has produced a total of 17 JKC scholars, including a national record-tying four scholarship recipients in 2015. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation says its Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is to community college graduates what the Rhodes Scholarship is to overseas study.
JKC Scholarships fund the costs of attending college not covered by other financial aid, plus academic advising, stipends for internships, study abroad and opportunities to network with other JKC scholars and alumni.
The Grindle Honors Institute offers enrichment programs for academically talented students wishing to enhance their experience at Seminole State. For more information, visit the Honors Institute website, or call 407.708.2062.
As part of the Biology Colloquium Series, the Seminole State College of Florida Environmental Initiative Club and Biology Department will host nationally known speaker Paul Rosalie, as he presents his topic, “Protecting the Wildest Place on Earth: Conservation in the Amazon.” This free event will be held on Wednesday, April 19, from 7 – 9 p.m., in the Fine Arts Concert Hall (building G) at the College’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
As seen on Discovery Channel, Paul Rosolie is a naturalist, author, explorer and award-winning wildlife filmmaker who has specialized in the western Amazon for nearly a decade.
As an author, Paul’s mission is to blend adventure and conservation with the aim of reaching a broader audience and including more people in an ecological call to arms.
Rosolie will share his experiences in the Amazon Rainforest and discuss his memoir, Mother of God, detailing his adventures in the Peruvian Amazon, the most bio-diverse wilderness on Earth. Learn about his wildlife encounters and how his conservation project, Tamandua Expeditions, uses tourism to support rainforest conservation.
Seating for this free event is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A reception and book signing (with books available for purchase) will immediately follow the presentation.
For more information about the author, please visit paulrosolie.com.
For more information about the Biology Colloquium Series, please contact Dr. Debra Socci at 407.971.5077. To view past speakers at Seminole State, visit the community speakers webpage.
About the Biology Colloquium Series
Seminole State’s Biology Department hosts the Biology Colloquium Series to present topics and issues related to various fields of biology. The Biology Department invites panelists and speakers to participate in the colloquium by serving as experts on these subjects. To learn more about the Biology Department, please visit seminolestate.edu/biology.
The Seminole State College of Florida Speaker Series will host world-renowned astrophysicist, Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, as he presents the topic, “Reach for the Stars, No Matter What the Odds.” This free event will be held on Wednesday, April 5, from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Fine Arts Concert Hall (building G) at the College’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, a regular on Discovery Network, Science Channel and National Geographic, is a world-renowned astrophysicist, teacher, inventor and humanitarian. He grew up in impoverished Mississippi and the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans with many of his “role models” involved in the worlds of drugs and crime. Nicknamed “The Gangsta Nerd” many years ago, Dr. Oluseyi embraces this identity as it speaks to his past, present and future, as someone who believes in the power of passion and dreams.
Currently, Dr. Oluseyi has five degrees, 80 publications including books, scientific and technology publications, more than 11 patents and has received several fellowships, honors and awards.
Dr. Oluseyi’s mission is to pass on knowledge, process and results to the next generation, along the way dispelling the myth of what it takes to be a scientist. In his presentation, he will share his story and his exciting work with the 100 Year Starship Project to help lay the groundwork for the first human mission to a nearby planetary system.
Seating for this free event is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A Q&A period, reception and a special telescope viewing will immediately follow.
Seminole State’s Speaker Series is co-sponsored by CFE Federal Credit Union. For more information, please visit the Speaker Series website. For a full list of events at Seminole State, please visit the Newsroom calendar.
Related Event: Telescope Viewing
Following Dr. Oluseyi’s presentation, guests are invited to step outside and experience the fascinating world of astronomy while viewing the wonders of the night sky through the planetarium’s telescopes. Weather permitting, enjoy the view from the lawn between buildings G and C. This event is hosted by the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida. For more information on the Buehler Planetarium, visit the planetarium website.
The Seminole State College of Florida nursing program has been ranked as the best in the nation by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
The ranking is based on the passage rate for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam for the April – September 2016 time period.
Out of the 1,946 nursing programs nationwide, Seminole State ranked first. The rankings are based on the percentage of the graduates passing the NCLEX-RN examination compared to other programs with at least ten graduates who took the NCLEX-RN examination during the same time period. The college’s pass rate for this time period was an impressive 100 percent.
“We are incredibly proud of our nursing program students and their continuing successes,” says Dr. Cheryl Cicotti, associate dean for nursing. “Our students’ scores reflect on their hard work and dedication along with an excellent faculty, challenging curriculum and cutting edge technology.”
Recently, graduates of Seminole State College of Florida’s Nursing Program ranked first in Central Florida with a 99.4 percent pass rate on their licensure exams.
NCLEX is the state-required exam that determines whether graduates are prepared for entry-level nursing practice. Seminole State College’s 99.4 percent pass rates were remarkably higher than the 2016 state average of 72.68 percent, and the national average of 84.56 percent.
“These are incredible testaments to the excellence of our faculty, staff and students in the Nursing program and a point of pride for Seminole State,” says Seminole State President Dr. E. Ann McGee.
Seminole State College’s Nursing Program, part of the Ann Wiggins Moore Center for Nursing and Healthcare Professionals, is based at the Altamonte Springs Campus and features state-of-the-art healthcare labs and high-tech patient simulators. To learn more, go to seminolestate.edu/nursing.
Construction of Seminole State College of Florida’s new Student Services Center on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus has reached a milestone. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, students, faculty and staff gathered at the construction site as crews from Charles Perry Partners, Inc. (CPPI), raised the final beam into place as part of a Topping Out ceremony marking the highest point of the building’s construction.
Signatures of students, faculty and staff covered the beam, providing the Seminole State community a unique way to be part of the building’s history.
The Student Services Center will open in January 2018 and will support Seminole State’s vision of being a student-centered college by serving as a one-stop facility for student services and student life.
“This new building will be a one-stop welcoming place for new and current students that will enhance every facet of their student experience at Seminole State – from first-time information through graduation,” said Dr. Joe Sarnovsky, executive vice president at Seminole State.
During the ceremony, the signed beam was hoisted 34 feet into the air by a crane and attached to the building, which is well on its way to become an energy-efficient, two-story, 77,000-square-foot structure.
“We are very excited to be here today flying the final beam,” said CPPI Vice President and Regional Manager Jason Morgan. “A Topping Out ceremony represents the time when you fly the highest point or the last structural piece of a building, and we are all going to be a part of that today.…We do it to thank the design team and the construction workers – all who made the project possible.”
Interesting facts about the construction project to date:
- 368 tons of steel used to construct the frame
- 28 tons of reinforcing bars (rebar) installed
- 2,250 cubic yards of concrete poured
- 38,000 concrete masonry units (CMU) utilized
- 5,000 man hours dedicated to this project
Seminole State students provided their input in the building’s design. Caleb Hylton, president of the Student Government Association at Seminole State College’s Sanford Lake Mary Campus, spoke about how the Student Services Center is a combination of efforts, inputs and opinions from both students and administration.
“As construction on this building continues, remember that it stands as a symbol of what can be accomplished when you have a college that supports and puts its students first,” said Hylton. “And a student body that is eager and willing to make the difference in not only their school but in their community.”
About Seminole State College of Florida
Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded nearly 100,000 credentials, from bachelor’s degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit seminolestate.edu, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/seminolestate and follow us on Twitter: @seminolestate.
Four student-leaders from Seminole State College of Florida’s Environmental Initiative Clubs that presented research projects at The National Council for Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) 17th National Conference & Global Forum on Science, Policy, and the Environment. (L-R) Rodrigo Alcalá, Michael Barton, Caitlin McCormick and Laura Mendez-Castro.
Four student-leaders from Seminole State College of Florida’s Environmental Initiative Clubs presented research projects at The National Council for Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) 17th National Conference & Global Forum on Science, Policy, and the Environment in Washington, D.C., Jan. 23-26.
Each students’ project focused on the conference theme, “Integrating Environment & Health”:
- Michael Barton: His project, “Plant Growth and Responsiveness as a Tool in Sustainability Education,” reported on his implementation of a lesson plan in carnivorous plants at Seminole Science STEM Charter School.
- Caitlin McCormick: She presented “Breaking Down the Practice of Composting,” which analyzed the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of implementing a composting program at Seminole State.
- Laura Mendez-Castro and Rodrigo Alcalá: Their project, “Help for the Health of the Hands that Feed Us,” examined correlations between lupus symptoms and pesticide exposure among farmworkers.
The Capitol Building serves as the backdrop for this photo from the students’
visit to Washington, D.C., for the NCSE 17th National Conference in January.
The EMERGE Program for Sustainability & Renewable Energy sponsored the trip, including travel and printing costs for the students to present their projects at the conference. Dr. Debra Socci, professor of biology at Seminole State who serves as faculty advisor for the Environmental Initiative Clubs, guided the students’ research and provided feedback on their progress.
“I was so happy to participate in this year’s NCSE annual meeting to showcase the wonderful ecological citizenship efforts of our Environmental Initiative Clubs’ student-leaders,” says Socci. “The students’ projects, poster presentations, networking experiences and exposure to the work of high-level scientists and government agencies represent the best form of experiential learning!”
As part of the conference, Senior Scientist and former Executive Director of the NCSE, Dr. David Blockstein, announced the top four graduate and undergraduate posters. Barton’s STEM outreach program poster and Mendez-Castro and Alcalá’s poster made the list among students from University of Central Florida, Duke University, Perdue University, Pennsylvania State University and others from around the globe.
The Poster Session allows research scientists, university faculty, students, and others to share their work with over 1,000 conference attendees. Posters highlight research, innovations and initiatives relevant to improving the health and well-being of people, the planet and its ecosystems.
“It improved my presenting skills and allowed for me to step out of my comfort zone by meeting new people,” says Mendez-Castro. “The conference was amazing! I received many tips for applying to medical school and networking opportunities.”
The conference also included the 2017 Winter Meeting of the Community College Alliance for Sustainability Education, where the students heard key discussions on the future of the organization.
To learn more about the conference, please visit the NCSE conference website.
The Seminole State Environmental Initiative Club meets on the Sanford/Lake Mary and the Oviedo campuses. For more information, contact Dr. Debra Socci at 407.971.5077.
EMERGE Program: The EMERGE Program for Sustainability and Renewable Energy is a three-year, $900,000 grant program funded by the National Science Foundation. The program, which began in 2015, aims to strengthen employability for graduates, add courses and provide certifications in STEM areas, offer a program for dual-enrolled students and increase interest in sustainability and STEM programs among non-science majors.
The Seminole State College of Florida Forensics Team. (L-R) Eliza Benedick, Shemuwel Russ, Yithrow Russ, Dr. Camesha Manzueta, Sebastian Hernandez, Rodrigo Alcala and Meredith Slack.
The Seminole State College of Florida Forensics Team (speech/debate) took home seven awards in the Florida College Systems Activities Association (FCSAA) Forensics Championship at Florida State College of Jacksonville on Feb. 2-4.
The team, which included students Rodrigo Alcala, Eliza Benedick, Sebastian Hernandez, Shemuwel Russ, Yithrow Russ and Meredith Slack, placed third in both Individual Events Sweepstakes and in Overall Team Sweepstakes. The team’s other awards in individual categories ranged from second to fifth place.
Intercollegiate forensics (speech/debate) consists of two classes of competition: debate and individual events, according to the FCSAA Forensics website. The debate events include Lincoln Douglas, Policy and Parliamentary. Individual events include poetry, screen plays, movie/radio scripts and platform speeches. There are also two categories of “limited preparation,” a situation where the student prepares the speech as part of the competition and is unaware of the topic until the event.
“The college’s team did an outstanding job representing our institution at the FCSAA Forensics Championship,” says Seminole State Director of Forensics Dr. Camesha Manzueta. “Each of the four students who competed in individual events won an award.”
Seminole State received additional recognition at the competition when Manzueta was named Coach of the Year for the state of Florida.
“The students and I consider it an honor and a privilege to represent our great institution, particularly within the Florida College System,” says Manzueta. “I am thankful for the great leadership of this College and the continuous support it offers to the well-rounded development of our students.”
Seminole State was one of seven FCS institutions that participated in the tournament.
For more information about the FCSAA Forensics Championship, including a list of this year’s winners, please visit the FCSAA Forensics website.