AVON PARK, Fla.–May 28, 2015–Jamie Bateman has been named executive director for institutional advancement to include oversight of the South Florida State College Foundation, Inc.



In that role, she will work directly with the Foundation board members and SFSC’s leadership team to oversee the Foundation’s fundraising efforts to support the continued growth of the college.

Bateman begins her tenure at the SFSC Foundation on July 1 and follows Donald Appelquist who retires on June 30 after 45 years of service with SFSC and the SFSC Foundation.

“Institutional advancement is critical, and Jamie is key to leading us to embrace new and exciting opportunities,” SFSC President Thomas C. Leitzel said. “She is a skilled leader who understands the importance of building a better community through a strong educational underpinning. The legacy established through the stellar accomplishments of Don Appelquist will continue through Jamie’s leadership.”

Bateman is currently the executive director for the Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center Foundation, where she has worked since 2003. While in that position, she assisted in raising over $4 million in donations for the Foundation. She helped secure the largest donation and naming opportunity in Florida Hospital Heartland’s history—for the Jarrett Family Blessed Beginnings Birthing Center. She led a $500,000 capital campaign from which Florida Hospital Heartland’s Sebring campus obtained equipment to grow its Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

On Bateman’s watch and in conjunction with Jarrett Ford, Florida Hospital Heartland received national recognition from Ford Motor Company for surpassing the number participating in a single event for the company’s Drive 4 Your Community program. The hospital foundation’s event, Kruisin’ 4 Kids, raised funds for its pediatric unit.

“It is an exciting time to be a part of the South Florida State College’s Foundation board,” said Christy Crews, president, SFSC Foundation Board of Directors. “The college is celebrating its 50th anniversary by remembering its history as it looks forward to the future. We are currently acknowledging the retirement of Don Appelquist, as the executive director of the SFSC Foundation, who truly represents the great history of the Foundation. We are also excited about our future as Jamie Bateman honors us by accepting the executive director position. It is with much enthusiasm that I welcome Jaime to the SFSC Foundation family and look forward to the passion she radiates about our community.”

“I’m humbled and honored to accept the executive director over the SFSC Foundation,” Bateman said. “This is a rewarding and exciting opportunity, and I look forward to partnering with the community to strengthen existing friendships and building new relationships.”

A native of Sebring, Bateman is a graduate of Webber International University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. She earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University.

AVON PARK, Fla.–May 28, 2015–High school students who will be entering grades 11 and 12 in the fall can boost their skills in reading, writing, and math through a free program being offered at two South Florida State College campuses.

SFSC’s Summer Bridge Program is open to students who meet certain eligibility criteria but particularly demonstrate a need to improve their basic skills in language and math. SFSC instructors work with participants to strengthen their abilities in these areas and to develop the attitudes that foster academic success. As part of the program, participants explore careers, gain a better understanding of topics related to science, technology, engineering, and math, and learn how they can use their last year or two of high school to prepare for entering college.

The Summer Bridge Program is being held at the Highlands Campus, June 15-19, and at the Hardee Campus, June 22-26. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-3:10 p.m., Monday-Thursday, with a field trip on Friday for students who attend all four days. This year’s field trip is exploring Florida Gulf Coast University and Bowditch Point Regional Park and Preserve in Fort Myers.

Get more information about the Summer Bridge Program here or by calling Magie Hulbert at 784-7209 or Dr. Kimberly Batty-Herbert, dean, Arts and Sciences, at 784-7329.

AVON PARK, Fla.–May 26, 2015–South Florida State College received recognition as a Most Promising Place to Work in the first of its kind survey of America’s community and technical colleges released this week.

SFSC joins 15 other colleges receiving top marks for the extent to which diversity and inclusiveness imbue its administration, work environments, and hiring practices.

“This recognition confirms a commitment made by our trustees and college leaders to support an inclusive posture in all hiring decisions,” Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel, SFSC’s president said, reacting to the release of the survey.

SFSC earned a grade of A for its general diversity policies and staff human resources practices.

The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and the magazine Diverse commissioned the survey in 2014. This year’s survey results mark the two organizations’ inaugural listing of the nation’s most diversity-friendly colleges.

Cover of Diverse feature survey results

Cover of Diverse featuring survey results

The magazine’s editors noted that SFSC is “considered to be one of the most comprehensive colleges in Florida,” with its offerings of three bachelor’s degrees, two-year transfer degrees, and workforce training programs.

The Ohio State University’s Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) conducted the survey and analyzed the results for NISOD and Diverse, which reports and publishes on diversity, access and opportunity in higher education. The CHEE researchers looked at a range of variables to determine top scoring colleges, including salaries, employee demographics, and hiring strategies.

Only one other college of the 28-member Florida College System, Tallahassee Community College, scored high enough to gain a spot on the list. Other colleges in the southeast receiving recognition include Albany Technical College in Georgia, South Carolina’s Piedmont Technical College, and Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina.

“I am extremely excited about this year’s honorees,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s Executive Director. “These community and technical colleges are very deserving of this recognition because of their outstanding work to enhance equality, diversity, and inclusion across their campuses.”
NISOD says the prestigious recognition can be used by recipients to promote their commitment to providing campuses where all individuals and groups feel welcomed, respected, and valued.

SFSC will receive official recognition of its achievement at NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence in Austin, Texas, later in May.

Award recipients will also be provided with a specially designed logo they can use to promote their institutions’ commitment to diversity during student and staff recruitment efforts.

Ralph Newell, vice president of business development and technology for Diverse, noted his excitement that the colleges making the list don’t have national name recognition.

“You don’t have to have a big name to succeed and do great work,” he said.

Elver Hodges, 102 years old, came from Wauchula to the 50th Anniversary luncheon for SFSC’s retirees and former trustees.

AVON PARK, Fla.–May 21, 2015–John Dziewiatkowski, a former South Florida State College employee, drove down from Michigan. For Jim Brooks, a former trustee, it was a hop from Avon Park. Dr. Elver Hodges, 102 years old and a college founder and trustee, came from Wauchula.

On Thursday, they joined 75 other college retirees and current and former trustees for a luncheon to celebrate SFSC’s 50th anniversary. The gathering was one of a series of yearlong events to commemorate the college’s founding in 1965.

Receptions were held the night before at the Hotel Jacaranda as well as prior to the luncheon at the SFSC Highlands Campus, giving current employees a chance to swap stories and catch up with old friends and colleagues.

The group settled down to lunch provided by the Palms of Sebring as part of its 55 Acts of Kindness. The retirement community is sponsoring community events throughout the year to showcase its 55th anniversary.

“If it weren’t for you, this place wouldn’t exist,” Dr. Catherine P. Cornelius, told those who had gathered in the SFSC University Center for lunch. “You’ve helped make this the fine institution what it is today, which in my mind is the best in the state.”

Dr. Cornelius recognized Dr. Hodges, who served on the first board of trustees. SFSC’s second president asked him, “How old are you, Dr. Hodges, if I may ask?” Raising his hand to gesture numbers with his fingers, he said, “O 2.” “That a hundred and two,” said Dr. Cornelius to the applause of the other guests.

After lunch, the guests assembled in the SFSC University Center Auditorium to hear a selection of songs from the early 1960s performed by business instructor Adam Martin and retiree David Hale.SFSC’s current president, Thomas C. Leitzel, followed up with a presentation highlighting the accomplishment for 2014 and on his vision for SFSC.

He said the college’s future lies with precision agriculture, aerospace technologies, bioenergy, and health care.

“Change is happening now and we have to prepare our students for the future,” Dr. Leitzel said. He noted that more than a dozen high-demand jobs today did not exist 10 years ago.

He thanked those who had brought the college to where it is today, including SFSC’s third president, Dr. Norman L. Stephens Jr., who was listening in the audience. “You’ve passed the baton on to us, and now we have to run with it.”

Valentine Dr SidneyAVON PARK, Fla.–May 20, 2015–Dr. Thomas C. Leitzel, president of South Florida State College, has offered the position of vice president for academic affairs and student services to Dr. Sidney E. Valentine. Since Dr. Valentine has enthusiastically accepted, Dr. Leitzel will ask the SFSC District Board of Trustees to consider his recommendation of Dr. Valentine at its May 27 board meeting.

Dr. Valentine, who is scheduled to begin work at SFSC on July 6, will fill the position held by Dr. Leana Revell who is retiring June 30 after 11 years at SFSC.

Dr. Valentine earned his doctoral degree and Master of Science degree in computer engineering from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C and his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the WVU Institute of Technology in Montgomery, W.V.

He is currently associate vice president, Industrial and Engineering Technology, and the interim associate vice president, Corporate and Continuing Education, at York Technical College in Rock Hill, S.C.

While at York Technical College, Dr. Valentine participated and lead his division in completing its interim report for SACSCOC, preparing for an upcoming ABET reaccreditation, receiving reaccreditation for the full five-year period with the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), and receiving initial accreditation for the maximum term of five years with the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS). The college is currently preparing for its next SACSCOC reaccreditation visit. (ABET accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.)

He is the immediate past president of the board of directors for the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) as well as the previous chair of the Charlotte Regional Workforce Development Partnership (CRWDP).

Dr. Valentine was previously director of workforce, economic, and technical program development at the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia, Charleston, W.V.; and associate professor of electrical engineering and director of workforce development at Bridgemont Community and Technical College in South Charleston, W.V.

Dr. Valentine is married to Amanda, and they are the proud parents of a four-year-old son, Jake.

SFSC Testing Center

Pictured are the Testing Center staff with their NCTA certification plaque: (from left) Peggy Becerra, Amanda Farmer, Testing Center director MaryAnn Little, Janie Ferguson, and Princess Shannon.

AVON PARK, Fla.–May 14, 2015–The Testing and Assessment Center at South Florida State College is one of only six testing centers in Florida to have been recently awarded Test Center Certification by the National College Testing  Association ( NCTA).                                          

“This certification allows us to offer the best opportunity for testers to demonstrate their knowledge, potentially improving the accuracy of the test results,” said Mary Ann Little, director of SFSC’s Testing and Assessment Center. “By receiving the certification, students and the community know that we have aligned our procedures with the recommended best practices. We have demonstrated that we have established an optimal environment for enrolled and potential students, distance education students, and community members.”

NCTA certification criteria are rigorous, and the Testing and Assessment Center initially submitted a pre-application to determine if the center met the professional standards and guidelines to be considered, according to Little. Following application approval, the center submitted documentation including floor plans of testing center rooms, photos, policy and procedures manual, test administration, and training manual to a NCTA advisor for review. An on-site evaluation was the final step before certification approval by NCTA board members.

The NCTA said SFSC’s Testing and Assessment Center “has set the bar high for other post-secondary test centers and achieved national status as a leader in excellent testing practices.”

“There is a limited window of time to submit a pre-application each year and a limited number are accepted,” Little said. “We have been working on developing policies and implementing the requirements for about 18 months, so that when we applied we would be fully ready.”

“Every staff member contributed to the development, documentation, and implementation of the policies, which follow the NCTA standards in areas of policy, contractual agreements, staffing, college representation and coordination, physical environment, testing accommodations, and specific guidelines for paper-based and computer-based tests,” Little said.

The National College Testing Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of professionalism and high-quality service in the administration of testing programs, offers certification to college and university test centers that demonstrate exemplary practices.

SFSC’s Testing and Assessment Center provides online and paper-based testing services to SFSC students and the public in its friendly, secure environment. The Testing and Assessment Center is located in the Catherine P. Cornelius Student Services and Classroom Complex (Building B) on the Highlands Campus. Some testing services are also available at the DeSoto and Hardee campuses and the Lake Placid Center.

For more information about SFSC’s Testing Center, contact the Testing Center at 863-784-7214.

Nursing professor Joanne Foote (third from left) accepts her Endowed Teaching Chair in Nursing. Also pictured are Dr. Michele Heston, director of SFSC's nursing programs, Don Appelquist, executive director of the SFSC Foundation, and Dr. Tom Leitzel.

Nursing professor Joanne Foote (third from left) accepts her Endowed Teaching Chair in Nursing. Also pictured are Dr. Michele Heston, director of SFSC’s nursing programs, Don Appelquist, executive director of the SFSC Foundation, and Dr. Tom Leitzel.

AVON PARK, Fla.–May 14, 2015–At a meeting of the SFSC Foundation’s board of directors on May 12, 2015 Endowed Teaching Chairs were presented to Joanne Foote, professor, Nursing, Darlene Saccuzzo, professor, Dental Education, and James J. Moye, professor, Mathematics.

Moye received the Carol Emery Endowed Teaching Chair, which was established by a former SFSC mathematics instructor and designated for math faculty. Although the endowment is not tied to a specific project, Moye plans to use it to expand the use of technology in his math classes. He said the award was especially meaningful, since he is one of Emery’s former students.

Foote is devoting her Endowed Teaching Chair in Nursing to facilitating professional development and promoting improvements in health care. Part of that effort will be directed toward establishing an SFSC chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which offers free online courses to students and health care providers through its Open School. Courses are related patient safety, improving the delivery of health care, and professional development for health care professionals and could be integrated into all of SFSC’s Health Sciences programs.

Saccuzzo’s Endowed Teaching Chair in Dental Education is helping to install new technology in the Dental Education Clinic that will make it easier for students to watch her demonstrations of the proper use of dental hygiene instruments. A camera with zoom capabilities is being installed at Saccuzzo’s station in the center of the clinic so that she can broadcast her demonstrations to 12 dental hygiene stations. Students will be able to see Saccuzzo’s work close-up and follow along while she and other instructors answer questions and supervise their work. The new technology should be in place by the fall term.

“Until now, students gather around my station and try to watch what I’m doing,” Saccuzzo said. “This new technology should be able to cut down on remediation time and increase our students’ success in their state board exams.”

The Endowed Teaching Chairs in Nursing and Dental Education are funded by the Highlands County Health Facilities Authority.

Endowed Teaching Chair appointments are highly competitive. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee and the college faculty as a whole. Selections are then confirmed by SFSC President Dr. Tom Leitzel. Each $5,000 endowment is awarded over a period of two years with half going toward for projects or improvements related to the professors’ profession and half being an honorarium.

“The Endowed Teaching Chair program has enabled to the SFSC Foundation to show its appreciation to outstanding faculty members at SFSC,” said Donald Appelquist, the foundation’s executive director. “We presently have five named teaching chair endowments and the pledge of a sixth.  Being able to make these awards allows the college to help attract and keep the very best educators with the ultimate benefit redounding to our students.”

Dr. Tom Leitzel (left) and Don Appelquist (right) present the Carol Emery Endowed Teaching Award to James "J.J." Moye.

Dr. Tom Leitzel (left) and Don Appelquist (right) present the Carol Emery Endowed Teaching Award  to mathematics professor James “J.J.” Moye.

Becky Sroda, dean, Health Sciences, accepts the Endowed Teaching Chair in Nursing on behalf of nursing professor Darlene Saccuzzo. The award was presented by Dr. Tom Leitzel (left) and Don Appelquist.

Becky Sroda, dean, Health Sciences, accepts the Endowed Teaching Chair in Nursing on behalf of dental education professor Darlene Saccuzzo. The award was presented by Dr. Tom Leitzel (left) and Don Appelquist.



Juliana Jackson, Student Commencement Speaker

AVON PARK, Fla.–May 8, 2015–South Florida State College marked the end of the 2014-15 academic year with its spring term Commencement, May 7, in the SFSC Theatre for the Performing Arts on the Highlands Campus. SFSC faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, and families of over 208 new graduates came together to celebrate the students’ accomplishments and encourage them in their future endeavors.

“Defining moments come rarely in life, and yet inevitably, we all know of just such an event,” said Ken Lambert, chair of SFSC’s district board of trustees. “With every success that you achieve, there are people to thank along the way, for no one succeeds without a team of support. Reflect on your team, and do not fail to thank them for believing in you, motivating you, and encouraging you at every step of the journey.”

The student Commencement speaker, Juliana Jackson, opened her presentation with a light-hearted selection from Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go:  “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

“The last time we heard this quote from Dr. Seuss was probably in Kindergarten, but it still rings as true today as it did then,” Jackson said. “Over the last few years, we’ve been using our brains to acquire an education that will help us succeed in life. Our families, friends, and teachers have helped us to get this far, and now it’s time to continue to steer ourselves in the direction of our careers.”

“Although we look to the future, we should recognize that reaching Commencement is a great accomplishment and something to be very proud of,” Jackson said. “Education is the gateway to opportunity and success, but is also not easily earned. For the hard work that we have put in to acquire this degree, we can know that even though we aren’t finished yet, success has been reached. As many of us continue on to universities and careers, I am certain that this hard work and success will continue.”

Jackson, a resident of Avon Park, graduates with an Associate in Arts degree with honors and also graduates from Avon Park High School in May 2015. While a student at SFSC, Jackson was an active member of the SFSC student organizations Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Campus Christian Club, and Rotaract, while participating in the Avon Park High School student government association, Future Business Leaders of America, and cheerleading.

After graduation, she plans to attend Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., to double major in mathematics and secondary education. She aspires to work toward a master’s degree in education so she can return to Highlands County to teach mathematics in high school.


Mr. Robert Terrell, 1967′ Graduate from South Florida Junior College

Earlier in the Commencement program, graduates received congratulations and words of wisdom from Dr. Thomas Leitzel, SFSC president: “Commencement is the highest and most revered of all ceremonies we have in American higher education,” Leitzel said. “Its purpose is to honor student achievement and to recognize hard work and sacrifice. This is a humble and respectful event that embraces tradition from decades past. 2015 is a meaningful year for SFSC. Fifty years ago, in 1965, SFSC was chartered. The roots of this amazing institution began in downtown Avon Park. Tonight, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are pleased to honor the first graduate from South Florida Junior College from the class of 1967, Mr. Robert Terrell.”

Dr. Charlotte Pressler, director of SFSC’s Honors Program, recognized two Honors Program graduates for academic excellence, outstanding leadership, and strong citizenship. They are Tyler Brice Akins Gary, Scott Gergen Isabela, Lucia Gonzalez,

Christina Marquerite Gourley, Katelynne Louise Leman, Stella Maldonado Enchautegui, Araceli Marquez Diaz, Christopher Neil Robbins, and Victoria Michelle Warren.

Steve Ashworth - Macebearer

Steve Ashworth, Chief Marshal and Macebearer

Faculty selected to serve as marshals were Davida Austin, Thomas Bush, Kathleen Cappo, Dr. Ellen Cover, Robert Hampton, Dr. Theresa James, Melanie Jackson, Claire Miller, and Lena Phelps. Steven Ashworth, SFSC Faculty Council president, was chief marshal and macebearer. Members of the SFSC District Board of Trustees in attendance were chair Ken Lambert, vice chair Kris Rider, Timothy Backer, Tami Cullens, Derren Bryan, Dr. Louis Kirschner, Lana Puckorius, and Joe Wright.

Distinguished guests were Robert Terrell, SFSC alumnus; John Scherlacher, president, SFSC Alumni Association; Christy Crews, chair, SFSC Foundation Board of Directors; Dr. Catherine P. Cornelius, SFSC president emerita; and Dr. Norman L. Stephens Jr., SFSC president emeritus.

Click here to view a photo gallery

Dental Hygiene Students & Keynote Speaker

Front row (left to right): Tonimarie Hutchinson, Bonita Gonzales, Ms. Rhoda Kublickis (keynote speaker), Cayla Dixon, and Samantha Moore. Back Row: Dallas Carlisle, Emily Pickles, Heidi Mortimer, Joshua Quellette, and Jamela McFadden.

AVON PARK, Fla.–May 7, 2015–Nine graduates of South Florida State College’s Dental Hygiene program were honored in a traditional pinning ceremony on May 6 in the SFSC University Center Auditorium, Highlands Campus. The graduates were Dallas Carlisle, Caylah Dixon, Bonita Gonzalez, Tonimarie Hutchinson, Jamela McFadden, Samantha Moore, Heidi Mortimer, Joshua Ouellette, and Emily Pickles.

Keynote speaker, Ms. Rhoda Kublickis, president of the Florida Dental Hygiene Association (FDHA), complimented the students on their commitment to the field of dentistry and expressed how proud she is of the graduates.

“Job prospects continue to grow for the future of dental hygienists,” Kublickis said. “The Center for Disease Control (CDC) had added oral health as number eight to the list of leading health indicators along with mental health, nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. Think of the opportunities you have as dental hygienists outside the clinical setting such as prevention specialist or oral health coaches in diabetic or pregnancy centers. Each one of you can make a difference, do the right thing.”

“You may be graduating today, but know and understand your journey of life-long learning has just begun,” Kublickis said. “My parents continue to say that education and knowledge is the key to opening doors. Join me in diversifying dental hygiene by letting your passion, heart, and intuition guide you.”

During the ceremony, graduates accepted their dental hygiene pins from Dr. Deborah Milliken, chair of SFSC’s Dental Education program. Darlene Saccuzzo, dental education professor, then delivered the dental hygiene oath along with SFSC’s dental hygiene graduates.

“The SFSC dental hygiene program requires five semesters of rigorous study and practice to earn the knowledge and skills it takes to be a great dental hygienist,” Dr. Milliken said. “These students are perfect examples of the determination it takes to achieve that goal. We expect that any dentist who employs one of these graduating hygienists will get a jewel in their offices.”

“Because so many people have periodontal (gum) disease, dental hygiene is a pivotal profession. Dental hygiene is no longer considered just about how pretty teeth look when they are clean, it is about overall health, longevity, and quality of life. The dental hygienist’s job is to treat and educate patients about healthcare – for the mouth and the body.”

SFSC offers a two-year Associate in Science degree program in dental hygiene. Upon completing SFSC’s Dental Hygiene program successfully, graduates become dental hygienists by passing the National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and the Florida State Clinical Licensure Examination. SFSC also offers an 11-month occupational certificate program in dental assisting. Upon completing SFSC’s Dental Assisting program successfully, graduates can become Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs) by passing the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) exam and qualify for Expanded Functions Dental Assisting Certification as well as Orthodontic Assistant Certification.

For program entry requirements, visit http://www.southflorida.edu/current-students/degrees-programs/academics/dental-education. For more information, contact the SFSC Advising and Counseling Center at 863-784-7131.

SFSC, Nursing Pinning, Lamp, 72dpiAVON PARK, Fla.– May 5, 2015–Twelve graduates of South Florida State College’s nursing program were honored in a traditional pinning ceremony recently in the SFSC University Center Auditorium, Highlands Campus. The students are graduates of the college’s one-year Transition-Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) to Registered Nursing (RN) program. 

The graduates are Cheryl Baker, Danielle Boyle, Charmaine Cruz, Janna English, Leticia Garcia, Lisa Garduno, Jacquelyn Graziani, Chelsea Longabaugh, Dominica Lozano, Grace Race, Michelle Taylor, and Ana Torres. 

Guest speaker, Adam Kless, chief nursing executive at Highlands Regional Medical Center, addressed the students: “I want to impress upon you, tonight, the sacredness of the relationships you are entrusted with as healer and caregiver. You greet new life as it enters the world, and you have the privilege of saying the final farewell as life passes on. In a while, you will light a lamp to symbolize your oath and duty as a nurse. The light of that lamp is for the lives you are entrusted with, for the people that will depend on you, for those that need your comfort and care.” 

Dr. Michele Heston, director of SFSC’s nursing program, spoke of change. “We thank [the students] for having the courage to change, to accept more responsibility in their chosen discipline. We also challenge them that as they face new career challenges, they always carry with them that courage to be positive agents for change, exhibiting competence and compassion in every nursing encounter.” 

During the ceremony, graduates accepted their nursing pins from a person of their choice, in most cases a relative or friend whom they credited with being supportive throughout their lives.  To honor Dr. Leana Revell, the students presented her with a special nursing pin of her own. Dr. Revell is not only the SFSC vice president for academic affairs and student services, but she is an RN as well. She retires from SFSC in June 2015. 

The nursing graduates awarded Gloria “GiGi” Reschke, an emergency room RN at Florida Hospital in Wauchula, with the 2015 Golden Duck. The award is presented to a group or individual who contributes to the learning experience of the students and has gone above and beyond to educate and accommodate members of the class. The award’s significance is based on the D.U.C.K. motto: Developing, Understanding, Compassion, and Knowledge.

The practice of pinning new graduates has been a nursing school tradition in the United States since 1916. The pin is worn prominently on a nurse’s uniform throughout her or his career. One story of the ceremony’s beginning goes back to 1883, when Queen Victoria awarded Florence Nightingale the Royal Red Cross on St. George’s Day for her service to the sick and injured during the Crimean War. In turn, Nightingale later extended the honor to her outstanding nursing students by presenting them with a medal of excellence. 

Graduates of the nursing program become registered nurses by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) exam. SFSC nursing graduates are usually fully employed in nursing within a few months of graduation. Positions that some of SFSC’s nursing graduates hold are director of a wound care center, charge nurse at a medical-surgical diabetic center, director of nursing in a 130-bed skilled nursing facility, operating room nurse, charge nurse for a progressive care unit, hospice nurse, school nurse, clinical supervisor in home health care, and emergency room nurse manager. 

SFSC offers Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) options for students interested in becoming registered nurses: a two-year Generic-RN program and a one-year Transition-LPN to RN program. The college also offers a one-year practical nursing occupational certificate program. For program entry requirements, consult the current SFSC College Catalog.