Jill Biden visits Valencia

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Bryan Levine / Valencia Voice

Dr. Sandy Shugart welcomes Dr. Jill Biden to Valencia's west campus, Thrusday morning.

Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States and community college teacher, joined Valencia College officials, Valencia workforce and University of Central Florida partners and Valencia graduates to discuss community college partnerships and their importance.

Dr. Sanford Shugart, Valencia College president, and Dr. Falecia Williams, president of Valencia’s West Campus, welcomed and joined Biden as part of the panel on Thursday, June 28th at West Campus’ UCF building.

The rest of the panel included senior vice president of Orlando Health Mr. Shannon Elswick and Straita chief technology officer Mr. Alex Papadopulos, both of whom were there representing Valencia’s workforce partnerships.

Shurgart invited UCF provost Dr. Tony Waldrop to join the conversation and represent Valencia and UCF’s joined transfer program, DirectConnect.

To show the success of these programs three Valencia graduates were included on the panel. Angel Velazquez Guzman is a graduate of the CT (computer tomography) technician program and now a radiology technician at Orlando health.

While attending Valencia Velazquez was able to participate in clinicals that gave him experience in the field while still at school thanks to Valencia’s partnership with Orlando Health.

Valencia graduate and current student Brandon Wolfgang is a data engineer with Striata, a company he started with as an intern while still at Valencia.

To illustrate the importance of the DirectConnect program Valencia three time graduate and UCF senior Pamela Garcia told her story and the process that took place between her start in Valencia and her transition to UCF.

This panel was part of Biden’s college tour as she travels through several states to learn more and promote community colleges and their workforce partnerships.