Convocation Honors the “Olympian” in all of Us

Fall 2012 Convocation began with the melody of Chopin filling the 600-seat main theater in the Fine Arts Hall as Dr. Mitchell McKay, new Assistant Music Professor,  played to a packed house of faculty, staff and administrators yesterday morning. After a round of thunderous applause and an introduction by Dr. Sasser, convocation was underway in true Olympic spirit.

Dr. Sasser emphasized how important it is to “get off to a good start, ” exemplifying the statement with the true story of an Olympian seeking out a gold medal by 1/100th of second because he got off to a good start. They Olympic theme appropriately resonated through the remainder of the morning’s announcements.

Convocation continued with the introduction of new trustees, Carrie LeeLisa PrevattJeff Oody, Robert Woody and Chair Robert Hudson. Hudson shares a special commonality with two members of the Collegiate Veterans Society, Adam Duggan and Phillip Rosser. They are each Purple Heart recipients.

Doug Ray, Executive Editor of the Gainesville Sun and Pulitzer Prize winner, gave a short speech about a community coming together following the devastating tornadoes last year in Tuscaloosa. new employees, visiting Fulbright Scholar Dr. Zacarias, Student Government and Student Ambassadors were introduced, followed by the announcement of the “years of service” awards. Frank Lagotic and Tim Nesler received special recognition for 40 years of service with the college.

Dr. Naima Brown “proposed” to Provost Ed Bonahue and signed on the dotted line to bring Student Affairs and Academic Affairs together in union, promising to work toward a common goal. Dr. Brown promised Student Affairs would help support faculty in helping students reach their educational goals.

Chuck Clemons commented on the state of the college and announced both a new leader and a new division name. David Houder is now the Director of Communications and Creative Services (formerly College Relations).

Nina Trombi in Academic Foundations shared her success story of committing to exercise and weight loss, and encouraged all Santa Fe employees to join the wellness initiative on campus, the Santa Fe Olympics.

Other announcements included Patti Locascio discussing the new Behavioral Intervention Team, Aminah Nichols on the Student Completion program and My Brother’s  Keeper, and Bobby Hom and Denise Guerin congratulating the 2012 RUE student winners. Third term College Senate President David Price shared his views on shared governance, and Marie Thomas shared the goals of Career Services, including increasing participation among Career Services employees.

In his address, Dr. Ed Bonahue noted that SF has the highest percent completion rate of any community college in Florida and underscored the need for accurately documenting student success. He emphasized the importance of maintaining excellence and announced several new degree programs coming down the pike, including an A.S in Occupational and Physical Therapy Assisting.

Dr. Lisa Armour explained the SACS re-accreditation process. The on-site visit from SACS representatives will take place October 29 – 31. The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) – Navigating the College Experience – was outlined. The seven-minute video presentation explains the plan in detail.

Dr. Sasser concluded convocation by inviting everyone back to the Fine Arts Hall at 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 5 for an “Olympic” announcement. See you there!