Thursday, October 6, 2011

At 90, BAS student still pursuing her dreams

Irene Lewis studies in the
Academic Support Center
Irene Lewis is usually among the first to arrive at Daytona State College’s Academic Support Center every morning before her classes start. The place has become her home away from home as she pursues her Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management degree.
“I love it there,” she said, noting why she also volunteers her time in the ASC to befriend and assist students. “It’s like a sanctuary for me and for so many of the kids I’ve come to know at the college. Some of them come in and they are so afraid. College is completely new to them and we all know that changes don’t come easy.”
College is nothing new to Irene Lewis, though. (She earned her cosmetology certificate and associate degrees in microelectronics and nursing nearly 30 years ago.) In fact, at 90 years old, nothing much comes new to her, these days. She’s been there and done that, and isn’t afraid to say so or express her opinion about everything from national politics and the ills of society to the promise of today’s young generation and what they need to succeed in life – mainly encouragement and the comfort in knowing that someone genuinely cares about them and is ready to help.
 “For example, I have a good chance to get to know many of the kids who come into the ASC,” she said. “Many are like deer frozen in the headlights. They lack confidence. They are having a hard time growing up. They’re literally lost. College is so new to them.  They come into the ASC and it’s like a family. You’re not a lost soul here. You don’t have to be afraid to ask questions, and these kids are drinking it up.”
Daytona State operates ASCs at all of its campuses. Their operational models and best practices in providing academic support to students have been nationally recognized by numerous educational organizations and professional associations.
One common bond Lewis shares with many of her fellow students is the challenges life can bring when one least expects it. In fact, it was one of those challenges that brought her back to school last year.
She was filling a tire with air one day several years ago when it exploded, severely damaging both her hands. The reconstructive surgery and long recovery that followed threatened to compromise her long-sustained independence. She saw herself becoming more and more isolated.
“I came back to school to save my mind,” she said. “I have a home, I’m on a fixed income,  I’ve been independent all my life. But my mind began going after the accident because I couldn’t do lots of the things I used to be able to do. I realized that in order to save myself, I had to do something away from the house.”
She chose Daytona State’s BAS program because she wants to develop her business skills and become an advocate for spinal cord research, a cause close to her heart that goes back to her years as a practicing registered nurse. “This was never about coming back to school to make money,” she said. “I have more years behind me than I have ahead of me – at least I think I do – and I want to be able to communicate with educated, knowledgeable people who can help move spinal cord research forward. If I can do that, I’ll go to heaven with wings on.”
She let out a giggle and brought the conversation back to the college, its staff and its faculty. “These folks are willing to go above and beyond to help students,” she said. “They are sincerely bent on making this a good place, a place where students can start new lives. “
Her advice to anyone thinking about attending or returning to college: “Hey, go for it! Tell your boss that you are going back to school and you would like to have them work with you. Most will do it. If not, there are resources available here that can help you.  All you need to do is knock on the door.”
But she initially scoffed at the notion that her story might serve as inspiration for others to follow their dreams.  “Well, I don’t know,” she said, reconsidering. “Maybe.  I hope so. If I can help one or two, inspire one or two to stay in school or get back in school, it would be just like saving a life.”

Foundation launches new Credit Hour Club

The Daytona State College Foundation is launching a new scholarship initiative that provides opportunity for patrons to support students - one credit hour at a time.
The new Credit Hour Club is an idea brought to the Foundation by college President Carol Eaton, modeled after a similar scholarship program at her former institution, Frederick Community College.
Foundation Executive Director Donna Sue Sanders said the intent of the scholarship is to help mitigate the financial challenges faced by many students. “They have to deal with more than just tuition,” she said. “Books and supplies, lab fees, housing, travel and other education related expenses can amount to thousands of dollars.”
She noted that for as little as 27 cents a day, Credit Hour Club supporters can help bridge the financial gaps many students face, particularly in light of the fact that federal financial aid today covers less and less of the total cost of a college education.
For the academic year 2011-2012, Credit Hour Club membership is $100; however, patrons are encouraged to purchase as many credit hours as they wish. One hundred percent of gifts made to the fund are committed to students. There are no administrative costs charged to the fund.
For more information on how you can join the Credit Hour Club, call the Foundation at (386) 506-3110.

SBDC at Daytona State to host free Marketing Mondays and Technology Tuesdays Lunch and Learn sessions

Learn about the latest in Internet marketing techniques and new technologies that can improve your business’s bottom line during a new series of monthly brown-bag learning lunches hosted by the Small Business Development Center at Daytona State College beginning in October.

Marketing Mondays and Technology Tuesdays will feature guest presentations by industry experts about how to leverage virtual technologies and strategies - from social media and mobile business productivity applications to digital integrated marketing and “cloud” computing.
Presentations scheduled for fall are:
·         Oct. 11 - Put your iPad to Work
·         Oct. 24 – Integrated Marketing Overview
·         Nov. 22 – Introduction to Cloud Computing: Evolve Your Business
·         Nov. 28 – Facebook and Twitter Essentials
·         Dec. 12 - Present4: Who, What, Why, How?
·         Dec. 13 - Go Mobile with Business Productivity Apps
All sessions will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Bergengren Hall (Bldg. 110, Rm. 112) on Daytona State’s Daytona Beach Campus, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., and are free and open to the public.
Participants are urged to bring their own lunch, or they may purchase it at the college’s Lenholt Student Center (Bldg. 130). Please RSVP by calling (386) 506-4723 or emailing

Notables. . .

Frank Lombardo
The Volusia County Council this morning declared today Frank Lombardo Day to honor the longtime Daytona State faculty member, vice president and interim president upon his retirement.  In a unanimously approved resolution, the Council noted Lombardo’s generosity, leadership and dedication to the college. The resolution cited his efforts to build bridges in the community during his service as interim president and paving the way for a smooth transition upon the arrival in August of President Carol Eaton.  Dr. Eaton also formally introduced herself to councilmembers just prior to today’s meeting.
John Connor
John Connor, professor in the School of Education, has had a book accepted by Kendall Hunt Publishing Company. The project is entitled: Revelation Theory of Learning: A Workbook. It is expected to be published in spring 2012. Connor also is working with a group a professors and authors to produce a multimedia eBook on Educational Psychology that would be open source and available online for free.
Carlos Robles
Carlos Robles has joined Daytona State as a Fulbright Scholar in Residence. Hailing from Brazil, Robles is wearing several hats during his yearlong stay, teaching Portuguese, tutoring, and conducting international and cultural workshops and seminars. An expert on international student exchange programs, Robles this week was to have presented at the 11th annual strategy workshop of the Florida Consortium for International Education’s Internationalizing the Curriculum & Study Abroad in Higher Education Conference in Orlando. For more on the conference, visit