Endowed Chairs - Sustainable Valencia

Endowed Chairs


Thinking more.
Taking less.

2017 - 2018 Endowed Chairs

James Adamski, Professor, Earth Science
Lockheed Martin Chair in Science
Natural History and Environmental Issues of the Colorado Plateau

Students will learn about the geology, hydrology and natural history of the Colorado Plateau by visiting such iconic national parks as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion. The geologic history of North America is written in the rocks of the Colorado Plateau. Students will learn about the ancient environments and life from the time of the Precambrian through the age of dinosaurs and into the modern era. The national parks in this region are also experiencing environmental issues that are becoming increasingly common. Students will learn how invasive species, changing precipitation patterns and impacts from visitors are aecting the natural ecology and hydrology of the region. The lessons learned on this trip can be applied to the same issues in other parts of the nation and the world.

April Engel, Professor, Nutrition
Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Allied Health
Addressing the Food Insecurity Problem Among Valencia Students

Food insecurity appears to be a significant concern among the Valencia community, according to a 2016 Valencia survey and comparisons to national food insecurity surveys among college students. In a collaborative eort to help combat the food insecurity problem among Valencia students, this chair will allow for an improvement of Valencia’s current food pantry through marketing, education and expansion beyond the current facilities and non-perishable foods that are often not very nutritious. This project would allow April to rethink and redeploy resources that are currently dedicated to the food pantry and combat food insecurity. Hopefully, this initial endeavor on East campus will be a model for other Valencia campuses.

Pam Sandy, Professor, Dental Hygiene
Ira Vinson Henderson Chair in Nursing and, Allied Health
Dental Hygiene Service Learning Abroad — Dominican Republic March 2018

This is an interdisciplinary study abroad service learning project with students from biology, construction
technology, and dental hygiene learning about the physical, social and cultural environment of the Dominican
Republic. Students from each discipline will participate in either environmental conservation projects, health
education and provision of dental hygiene care, or design and possible construction of needed infrastructure in this country.

Joel Berman, Professor, Mathematics
Courtney Lewis, Professor, Speech
Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies
Developing a Social Enterprise Operation within the Valencia Aquaponics Facility

Valencia recently took ownership of an aquaponics facility in Winter Garden to develop the facility into a learning laboratory for students. The facility is overseen by Professor of Biology and Horticulture Javier Garces, who shared with faculty visiting the facility that he wants the facility to break even through the sale of the produce it grows. Through this project, the first 30 students in the East Campus business cohort will create a beginning social enterprise business model that will help the facility to break-even.

2016 - 2017 Endowed Chairs

2016 - 2017 Endowed Chairs

Debra Hollister, Professor, Psychology
Brian Macon, Professor, Mathematics
Freeda Foreman Chair in Collaborative and Creative Problem-Solving
STEAM Sustainability

This endowed chair will be used to build a student community on campus with a guest speaker series that will invite experts to talk about their careers and the importance of sustainability in their fields. The chair will also encourage students collegewide to utilize their creative side by making a video about a creative solution for current issues related to sustainability. The top two or three student groups, as determined by a panel of judges, will earn the chance to attend and present their work at a conference on sustainability.

Olga Vazquez, Professor, Biology
Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies
Health Academy
The Health Academy is a community outreach and college student-driven program. It oers interactive anatomy and physiology hands-on activities delivered by college student mentors (East Campus only). The Health Academy will provide fifth grade elementary students with the information to choose healthier food products with their families while delivering science/biology content and the inspiration to choose STEM careers.

2015 - 2016 Endowed Chairs

2015 - 2016 Endowed Chairs

Steve Myers, Professor, Biology
Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies
Preserving Global Biodiversity in South Asia

South Asia is a biodiverse area with a large human population. The conservation and preservation of this unique area is of global importance. Students will travel to India and observe conservation eorts used by researchers at the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station in a field biology setting. They will have the opportunity to explore and understand the hurdles of conservation in a developing country, how those dier from regulations in the states and abroad and what eect such governance has on the ability to sustain and preserve these endemic species.

Olga Vazquez, Professor, Biology
Valencia Foundation Board Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies
Health Academy

The Health Academy is designed as an educational awareness program to supplement the biology content of the fifth-grade science class to help students adopt healthy lifestyles and learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. Valencia student volunteers from science and education programs work as mentors to the fifth-grade students.