Thursday, April 21, 2011

Record number of students slated to graduate

The Class of 2011 already is making its legacy known at Daytona State.
College officials anticipate this year’s graduating class to be the largest in the institution’s history, outpacing last year’s May graduating class of 1,618 by 15 to 20 percent, according to Dr. Richard Pastor, associate vice president of enrollment and student development.
In order to better accommodate graduates and their guests, the college will have three commencement ceremonies this year – two for college credit programs and one for adult education.
 “In recent years, we’ve focused on making college more accessible to our students through accelerated seven-week semesters, more nighttime and weekend courses, and an increasing number of online and hybrid courses,” said Interim President Frank Lombardo, who also noted that college enrollments nationally tend to increase during hard economic times. He also pointed to other efforts Daytona State as implemented in recent years to attract and retain students – keeping tuition costs as low as possible, providing more student support services and streamlining the enrollment process. “There are many factors that have influenced our growth, resulting in increased numbers of graduates,” he said. “Our students have made commitments to seek better lives through education. They have prepared, and now they are progressing. We couldn’t be more proud of them, and we want to honor their commencement in a manner that shows the most consideration for them and their families.”
Dates, times and locations of each ceremony are:
Associate of Arts/University Transfer degree graduates – Monday, May 16, at 2 p.m. in the Daytona Beach Ocean Center.
Baccalaureate, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science and Certificate graduates – Monday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Daytona Beach Ocean Center.
Adult High School and GED graduates – Tuesday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the L. Gale Lemerand Center on the college’s Daytona Beach Campus, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd.
Preparing and progressing: Notes from our students and graduates

Tinsley Nweze
Tinsley Nweze - A Network Services Technology major enrolled at Daytona State’s Advanced Technology College, Mr. Nweze has landed a city of Daytona Beach internship with the help of the college’s Office of Cooperative Education. He said that prior to attending Daytona State, he struggled with his academics because previous schools focused mainly on lectures and tests to deliver and measure student learning. After transferring to Daytona State and participating in the internship program, he has learned on the job from skilled and experienced network engineers, analysts and technicians. “I get first-hand experience on issues critical to Information Technology, such as trouble-shooting, network management and installation,” he said. “I now have more work experience than I could have ever imagined, from configuring Windows Server 2008 for departments at City Hall to installing surveillance cameras on the city's Boardwalk.”  Mr. Nweze will graduate during Summer 2011.

Glen Huckins
Glen Huckins - A Robotics and Simulation Technology major, Mr. Huckins was able to attend Daytona State through the National Science Foundation’s S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program. During his studies, he also did an internship with the city of Daytona Beach, which was followed by temporary employment at Halifax Medical Center.   He will graduate next month with his associate of science and associate of arts degree (high honors) and has secured his first permanent position as a military simulator support technician with Raydon Corp.   “This is a job that I never thought possible,” he said.  “It all has come to fruition with the assistance and backing of the Daytona State College Computer Science Department and their great staff.”
Jonathan Eric Braswell
Jonathan Eric Braswell - This father of three teenage daughters, whose wife is disabled, worked full-time at Fabco Metal Products while studying Architectural and Building Technology at Daytona State’s Advanced Technology College. In addition to working his regular job duties at Fabco, he also completed an internship with the company in a different department as part of his cooperative education work experience requirement. Mr. Braswell maintained a 3.87 GPA and graduates in May with high honors.
Elizabeth Odom  – Beth, as she likes to be called, is an Early College student at our DeLand Campus. This young lady is not only talented, but an exemplary student as well, and was recognized last month with an Outstanding Student Award.  In fact, one of her professors, Paulette “P.J.” Marek, suggested that Beth is, “Quite possibly the best student I’ve ever taught.”
Beth was a member of the English Club and participated in the college’s Shakespeare Festival last year. Throughout her Daytona State College experience, she has been an inspiration to all who know her. While she has severe health issues, she does not allow her life-threatening condition to interfere with her enthusiasm or her determination to be successful.
In May, she will earn her associate of arts degree, with a perfect 4.0 GPA, and plans to transfer to a university to earn a bachelor’s degree in English Studies.
Noemi Vazquez– Mrs. Vasquez is a 52-year-old Cuban-born immigrant who lives in Deltona .
Even as a teenager struggling to assimilate into American society, she always dreamed of getting an education; however, first came marriage, then three children and all the responsibilities that go along with raising them.  To make matters more difficult, her husband became disabled and she found herself in another role as family breadwinner, working full-time as a bookkeeper for a local company.
Once the children were grown, though, she decided it was her turn to go to school.  She began taking classes in Accounting Technology part-time while continuing to work full-time, that is, until she was laid off.  Undeterred, she decided to pursue her degree as a full-time student and received assistance with tuition and textbook costs through the Women’s Center New Directions program, as well as the TRIO Student Support Services program.
She has excelled in her accounting program and graduates next month with a 3.87 GPA.  But she’s not done yet. Mrs. Vasquez has been accepted into the BAS in Supervision and Management program, and will start during fall semester. She is a shining example of the “can do” attitude that many of our more mature, non-traditional students share.

Donald Grantonic

Donald Grantonic -  Mr. Grantonic began working as a draftsman in 1987, and for more than two years did manual board drafting before transitioning to computer-aided drafting and design. But he could not break the barriers that kept him from moving beyond entry level jobs because he did not have a degree. So, he started a lawn care business, but had to give it up for health reasons.  In spring 2008, he decided to resume his drafting career and enrolled in Daytona State’s associate of applied science degree in Drafting and Design Technology program.  Mr. Grantonic will graduate next month with a 3.94 GPA and has landed a full-time drafting job with Hawaiian Tropic.
Hoyt and Brandon Feister – The Feisters are a father and son duo who will graduate together next month. Hoyt came to Daytona State after losing his job as a truck driver. Now, he’s graduating with an associate of science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. He currently is seeking employment and plans to enroll in Daytona State’s Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology program this fall semester. Brandon has earned his associate of arts/university transfer degree and is now pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice as a junior at the University of Central Florida.
Quick facts from the schools of Computer Science and Work Force Careers
·        A total of 150 students have participated in an internship/coop within the College of  Engineering Technology and Occupational programs from summer 2010 to spring 2011.
·         90 employer placement sites since summer 2010
·         49 employer placement sites this spring
·         89 student interns in the School of Computer Science
·         61 student interns in the School of Work Force Careers
·         Placement sites include:
-          Flagler County Clerk of the Courts
-          Volusia Council of Governments
-          Florida Department of Transportation
-          International Speedway Corp.
-          Center for Business Excellence
-          Florida Hospital Flagler 
-          Florida Hospital Ormond
-          Halifax Medical Center
-          Southeast Volusia Chamber
-          City of New Smyrna Beach
-          Orthopedic Clinic of Daytona Beach
-          City of Daytona
-          Palm Coast Data
-          KVAR Energy Savings
-          Daytona Toyota
-          Hudson Technologies
-          Flo Met

College of Education graduates working and making a difference

The College of Education is pleased to announce that 46 students will formally receive their Bachelor of Science in Education diplomas during commencement ceremonies on Monday, May 16.  These proud graduates consist of a cohort of 11 students who completed their coursework, certification exams and senior internships in December 2010, and a second cohort of 35 students who will complete their coursework, certification exams and senior internships in May.  The graduates will be certified in either Elementary Education or Special Education, and all 46 graduates will be fully endorsed in Reading and ESOL.  Also, of the 11 students who completed their program in December last year, all who applied for teaching positions in Volusia County are currently working at elementary or middle schools in the district, according program chair, Dr. Les Potter.

Professor Gets Books into Children’s Hands
Dr. Joy Lewis
Dr. Joy Lewis, reading education professor in the College of Education, will collaborate with Book Trust and Holly Hill Elementary School to present the 100 Book Challenge to students in kindergarten through second grade. The Holly Hill students will receive $7 in free books every month through participation with Book Trust, a company which uses donors to put free books into the hands of students at Title One schools across the country.  Dr. Lewis is currently teaching a practicum course at the Holly Hill school, providing hands-on experience to Daytona State College’s pre-service teachers.

“Thanks to the cooperation between the two schools, Holly Hill will be a professional development school with Daytona State College,” Dr. Potter said.

Holly Hill Elementary School will be Volusia County’s first K-8 school in the fall of 2011.
Dr. Lewis also was a member of the planning committee for the Florida Association of Teacher Education Crown Conference held this month at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville. The theme for the conference was Teaching for Tomorrow: Fostering Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
Sub-sessions included:  Teaching ESOL students, Educational Psychology, Classroom Management, Children's Literature, Multiculturalism, and Technology in the Classroom.

Conference participants included teachers of education from colleges and universities across the region, as well as more than 80 education students.

Evelyn Lynn Scholarships available

The Daytona State College Foundation is accepting applications for its Evelyn Lynn Teachers’ Education Transfer Endowment Scholarship.
One scholarship in the amount of $5,000 is available for continuing students who have graduated with an AA degree from Daytona State and who will enroll for at least six credit hours during their junior year at a four-year state university in the semester for which the scholarship is sought. (Applicant must provide proof of registration.) Applicants must be enrolled in an education-related discipline and must provide proof of a passing score on the College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) prior to the semester for which the scholarship is sought.

Applicants also must intend to obtain their K-12 teaching degree and certification within a two-year period, and must meet all eligibility requirements to be employed as teachers for the Volusia and Flagler County school districts.

Applications may be downloaded on the Foundation’s website.

Earth Day activities to culminate with alternative fuels road rally

Kevin Para
Innovative college students and academics, not politicians, are the next great hope of steering the nation’s energy demands away from fossil fuels toward more environmentally friendly and sustainable resources. So says Kevin Para, a Daytona State College associate of arts/university transfer student majoring in Pre-Architecture, who will take his demonstration of alternative bio-fuels on the road to each of Daytona State’s campuses Friday in celebration of Earth Day.

A former New Smyrna Beach Utilities commissioner and heavy equipment dealer, Para, 50, has been interested in creating alternative fuel from waste vegetable oil for years. On Friday, he will demonstrate how he was able to convert his 1986 Mercedes Benz into a two-tank system that operates on both diesel and vegetable oil.

“Our goal is to demonstrate how successful this can be,” said Para, who also is president of the college’s Science Club. “We will be talking about a variety of different processes regarding how bio-diesel fuel is made and used in cars, practical steps that address some of the problems facing our nation as far as energy consumption and demand are concerned. I believe that the solutions to our problems are going to come from the campuses and the students of colleges like Daytona State, not from Washington or Tallahassee. As college students, we have to take a leadership role.”
Para said he has been driving his Mercedes for over seven years, using a two-tank system that shares diesel and vegetable oil. His son and daughter also drive vehicles that have been converted to bio-diesel, a byproduct of vegetable oil.
The tentative schedule for the Alternative Fuel Road Rally calls for up to 10 alternative fuel vehicles to arrive on the Daytona Beach Campus around 8:30 a.m., with demonstrations beginning at 9:15. The caravan will arrive at the Advanced Technology College at 10:15, then head to the Flagler/Palm Coast Campus just before noon. It is scheduled to arrive at the DeLand Campus at 1:30 p.m., then head to the Deltona Campus and wrap up at the New Smyrna Beach-Edgewater Campus around 4.
“There are so many things we as students can do that are progressive,” Para said. “Our goal is to share the possibilities with our fellow students.”
Every day is Earth Day for Environmental Club
Members of the college’s Environmental Club view Earth Day as a way of life, not just an event, and have been working to foster environmental awareness on campus year-round.
Members of the Environmental Club meet during a recent
beach cleanup.
On Wednesday, club members hosted an information booth during student government elections, promoting activities that fellow students can do every day to help save the environment, according to club adviser Jane Davis, who said the club will distribute information electronically on Friday, offering tips to students and staff on ways to conserve energy in their daily lives.
“As a club, our mission is to foster a constant awareness,” she said. “I think even the most environmentally aware people can sometimes get caught up in the daily routine of life and let some bad habits – like not recycling – start slipping back in. While Earth Day is a good time to refresh everyone’s memory about what we are supposed to be doing as individuals, our goal is to have this awareness be top of mind every day.”
Recently, the club also sold reusable cups that can be refilled at a discount in the college Food Court, an alternative to paper and Styrofoam cups. The more than $200 in proceeds the club raised will be used to purchase sapling trees to plant in the Tiger Bay State Forest and other locations. Club members also regularly promote their on-campus plastics recycling program, participate in coastal cleanups, and have properly disposed of nearly 15,000 cigarette butts found on campus grounds this year alone.
Club President Denise Hayes also is planning a “Pledge to Save Water Campaign,” with the goal of encouraging students and employees to do their part every day to help save Florida’s water resources and reservoirs.
“The best thing we can do is give people the tools to help themselves become more environmentally aware and, in turn, allow them to take responsibility for their own part in living a greener lifestyle,” Davis said.
Learn more about the Environmental Club on the Web at, or find them on Facebook.

Still time to tee off and Score One for Kids

The Daytona State College Foundation has once again teamed up with the Kiwanis Club of Daytona Beach to host the 36th annual Score One for Kids Golf Tournament to be held Friday, April 29, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Sugar Mill Golf and Country Club, New Smyrna Beach.

Sheriff Ben Johnson will be the master of ceremonies for this year’s event, which also is being sponsored by Carter Electric Co., Coca-Cola, Jon Hall Honda and Stonewood Grill & Tavern.
Tournament sponsorships are available at a variety of levels. Learn more by downloading a registration form.
Last year, the tournament raised nearly $32,000 for area children and scholarships.
More information on this year’s tournament is available on the Daytona State College Foundation website. Or, contact John Koberg at (386) 258-5632,