Friday, August 5, 2011

Dr. Carol Eaton takes the helm as Daytona State’s new president

Dr. Carol Eaton
Dr. Carol Eaton’s first days on the job this week began with meetings among key Daytona State College administrators, staff and student government representatives, a whirlwind orientation befitting a new college president, and her own electronic embracing of the entire Daytona State College community.
Eaton’s calendar over the next several months is booked solid as she gets more acquainted with college operations and takes to the road to meet with local and state politicians, fellow presidents of area colleges and universities, institutional supporters, representatives of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the media and other constituents.
“I’m especially looking forward to working with the faculty, staff and students of Daytona State College, developing new educational partnerships and getting acquainted with all of our colleagues and friends who support the mission of the college,” Eaton said.
A community reception welcoming Daytona State’s eighth and first female president is planned for Friday, Sept. 2, from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the News-Journal Center, 221 N. Beach St. in downtown Daytona Beach.
Half-way through her first day on the job Wednesday, Eaton reached out to the entire college staff and faculty via a campus-wide email, asking their feedback on what they believe are the best things about the institution and what they feel needs to change.
“I am excited to learn about all of the wonderful things at Daytona State and look forward to working with many of you,” she said, noting that she believes collaboration is critical to informed and effective decision-making.
During her first media interviews, Eaton spoke about the challenges facing community colleges, particularly with state and federal funding. “Funding for public higher education is threatened because of the national economy,” she said. “We must make the case that we are adding value, that when students complete their work at the community college or at the baccalaureate level, that they have some value they are going to add to the work force.”
She also suggested that community colleges are going to continue to struggle with students who seek access to higher education and training, but are not prepared for college-level work. “A number of students in junior and senior high school are not thinking about college or the world beyond that,” she said. “The community college system allows these students to have a bridge that gives them an opportunity to take on more personal responsibility and be successful.”
Eaton joins Daytona State after serving six years as president of Frederick Community College, Frederick, MD. While FCC did not offer baccalaureate degrees, she said she views Daytona State’s four-year degree offerings as another option for students that adds to the college’s core mission. She also indicated that she would like to strengthen Daytona State’s 2+2 partnerships with area universities.

“Students need to have a lot of choices,” she said. “There needs to be a lot of road maps for students to take, whether they be certificates, associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees or even master’s or doctorates. Community colleges have the responsibility to keep that road map open and to work with partners to see that students have those choices.”

She said she will approach educational partnerships with other institutions from a very collegial perspective. “There are plenty of students who need to have access to higher education. We don’t have to compete for them,” she said. “We need to figure out how we can have our own niche and find our own students that we can best serve.”

Eaton also has been president of Clinton Community College, Plattsburgh, NY, and vice chancellor for community colleges at the State Universities of New York (SUNY).  In addition, she has more than a decade of faculty experience teaching mathematics and statistics. Her Ph.D., MS and BS are from SUNY Albany and she also holds an AAS degree from SUNY Cobleskill, which she touts as the degree for which she is most proud because it set her on a path toward more advanced degrees and professional opportunities.

Daytona State’s QUANTA program continues tradition of excellence

Steven Pruitt
When Steven Pruitt applied to Daytona State College several years ago, he wasn’t certain he had what it takes to make the grade. At 29 years old, it had been a while since he sat in a classroom and he still wasn’t convinced he could handle the workload.
But an academic advisor recommended that Pruitt enroll in Daytona State’s nationally recognized QUANTA program and, looking back, he said that decision has made all the difference.
 “QUANTA gave me a foundation,” he said. “It made me realize I can handle the workload required in three classes, as well as what I can anticipate having to deal with in my future studies.”
Now entering its 28th year, QUANTA is a freshman experience program that prepares incoming students to think and write critically across boundaries, to work collaboratively in groups, and to explore their individual creativity.  The program integrates traditional college courses with a common theme and offers students the challenge of seeing and exploring the relationships between subjects and ideas within those subjects. Students register for three distinct classes - an English course, a humanities course and a critical thinking course - which meet from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Each class takes place in the same room and, combined, is integrated into one, holistic learning experience with a common theme.  For example, this coming fall semester the theme will be "The Quest for Community," where the courses jointly focus on the human journey to discover who we are and how we relate to others in society. Each class meets the general education requirements for the Associate of Arts/University Transfer degree.
QUANTA students are a diverse group, according to Daytona State’s Learning Communities Chair Casey Blanton.”They include the creative scholar, the passionate thinker, the shy student ready to make friends, the team worker, the born leader, the outgoing friend maker, the new high school graduate, the non-traditional student apprehensively returning to school and ready for a lifestyle change,” she said. “They enjoy taking college subject matter one step further and analyzing it. They like having fun in their learning environment and are bored by lectures and row-by-row classrooms.”
The collaborative learning experience is what drew 21-year-old Roman Balmakov to QUANTA. Balmakov will earn his associate of arts degree in spring 2012 and plans to ultimately earn a degree in human rights law with an emphasis on China. “The inter-relation of subjects was what I found very interesting, as I enjoy seeing different sides and perspectives on the same issue,” he said. “So, being taught concepts from the three simultaneous perspectives of sociology, literature, and humanities was something I found very gratifying. In the end, QUANTA delivered on everything I could have possibly expected.”
Blanton noted that students who complete one or two semesters in QUANTA have a significantly higher graduation rate. “These freshmen don’t get lost in the crowd and don’t fall between the cracks,” she said. “Even after completion of the program, friendships remain strong and faculty support is available.”
Pruitt, now 34, said he most enjoyed the camaraderie and skills he learned by working in teams with fellow students. “It helped me develop leadership skills and learn how to succeed while working with other people,” he said.
It also gave him the vision to continue his college studies. He will earn his Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management degree in December and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Educational Leadership to forge a career in higher education.
“My college experience has taught me that one class or one teacher can change a person’s life,” he said. “That’s what I hope to do. I want to make a difference.”
For more information about how you can join the QUANTA experience, visit the program website at, find them on Facebook at, or email

Tickets still available for Foundation Gala honoring “Gator Burt’ Reames

Tickets are still available for the Daytona State College Foundation’s signature fundraising event next month, when it pays tribute to longtime community advocate and college supporter Bert Reames.
The “Championship Gala” will be held Thursday, Sept. 22, at Daytona State’s L. Gale Lemerand Center (bldg. 310), 1200 W. Int’l Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach.

Better known as “Gator Bert,” Reames was born in Gainesville and attended the University of Florida. He graduated from Drury College in 1949 before moving to Daytona Beach that same year.

For decades, Reames has been active in community service and fundraising for a variety of organizations, including the American Red Cross, Daytona Beach Rotary Club, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Board of Visitors and the Halifax Medical Center Foundation, to name just a few. He is president of Reames Employee Benefits Solutions, which specializes in life, health, disability and other employee benefits. He has been designing and implementing employee benefit plans since 1955.

The 2011 “Championship Gala” begins at 5:30 p.m. with a Tailgate Party (poolside cocktail and hors d’oeuvre reception), followed by the MVP dinner at 6:30. The evening will conclude with a poolside dessert reception. Guests are encouraged to dress in business casual attire or, even better, wear their favorite college colors. 

Proceeds from the gala will benefit the Daytona State College Foundation, providing funding for student scholarships and campus growth initiatives.

For tickets or sponsorship information, please contact the Foundation by email at, call (386) 506-3110, or visit

Help the Women’s Center raise some dough

If you have a yearning to savor the delectable delights of Uno Chicago Grill between now and Oct. 31, you can help raise money for the Daytona State College Women’s Center Fresh Start program while satisfying your appetite at the same time.
Through itsDough Raiser” program, Uno will donate up to 20 percent of your check to the college’s Fresh Start program. All you have to do is download and print a Dough Raiser Voucher and present it upon payment.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to provide scholarships to Women’s Center students.
The participating Uno is located at 1796 W. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach.
Learn more about how Daytona State’s Women’s Center is helping women – and men – get a fresh start on life and a chance to realize their potential by visiting them on the Web at