At its September 18 meeting, the Valencia College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to re-elect Bertica Cabrera Morris as its chair. Cabrera Morris is the first Hispanic chairwoman in the college’s 45-year history.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Cabrera Morris owns and operates an Orlando public relations and governmental affairs consulting firm that represents Fortune 500 companies.
At the same meeting, the board re-elected Maria Grulich Toumazos as its vice chair. Grulich Toumazos serves as Osceola County’s first international business development director, where she assists international investors and provides VIP/diplomacy services to visitors from foreign governments.
Valencia’s eight-member governing board is appointed by the governor to direct the college’s policies. Other members are Lewis Oliver, III, Jerry Buchanan, Lori Kifer Johnson, Jo Quittschreiber, Guillermo Hansen and Fernando Perez.
Valencia College was named the top community college in the nation for 2011-2012 by the Aspen Institute, a Washington educational- and policy-studies center. A panel of judges selected Valencia for the inaugural Aspen Prize based on the strength of its graduation and transfer rates, especially among minority students, as well as the high job placement rates of its workforce training programs.
The college offers a two-year A.A. parallel program that prepares students to transfer to an upper-division college or university; technical programs and continuing education courses that prepare students to meet the needs of business and industry, and bachelor’s programs in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology. Valencia operates six campuses and centers in Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties.