CLASS NOTES, SUMMER 2017
Michael Maguire, ’95
After graduating from Valencia College, Michael was recognized as a National Hispanic Merit Scholar and was awarded several scholarships to Florida State University. While attending FSU, he headed a 15-member production department for a Tallahassee radio station and was heavily involved with FSU’s High Flying Circus as a juggler and trapeze artist. After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, he taught English overseas
and spent a year traveling around Europe, living in several cities in Poland and Germany.
Upon returning home, Michael began his production career as a project and talent coordinator for Disney and the Universal Studios Production Group. During his tenure, he worked on several high-profile TV and commercial projects, including ‘N Sync’s first music video, “I Want You Back,” the Backstreet Boys’ “As Long As You Love Me,” ABC’s “Very Merry Christmas Special,” and psychic John Edward’s television series, “Crossing Over.”
Michael then spent five years producing commercials and marketing materials for resort industry clients including Hilton, Marriott, Westgate Resorts, and Disney Vacation Club.
In 2004, Michael and record producer Maurice Starr (who created New Kids on the Block) co-produced several music videos for gospel group Five Young Men, and the pop boy band The Heartbeat Boys.
Pursuing his passion for educational video, Michael accepted a video producer position with Valencia College in 2005 and was later promoted to operations manager for Valencia Productions. After joining Valencia, Michael earned an MBA from Rollins College’s Crummer School of Business, graduating summa cum laude. Today, he manages Valencia’s video department and works with college faculty to develop educational videos for online learning.
Paul Skinner, ’77, ’79
Paul graduated from Valencia with an A.S. in Fire Technology in 1977, and an AA in 1979. Through the years, his VCC degrees helped him advance through the ranks in the Orlando Fire Department, from which he retired in 1996 as an assistant chief. Paul then served as Daytona Beach’s fire chief for six years. Paul earned a bachelor’s degree in fire and safety engineering technology from the University of Cincinnati in 1992 and, in 1996, earned a master’s degree in public administration from UCF, where he was selected as their outstanding graduate.
Randy Harvey, ’77
Randolf Harvey is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and was recently recognized with the Alice Magaw Outstanding Clinical Practitioner Award from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
Eddie Ruiz, ’99
In July 2016, Eddie was selected to serve as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Equity and Access for the School District of Palm Beach County.
Richard Martin Smith, ’00
Richard is a biological scientist at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka. Recently, his study on Humulus lupulus, the plant that yields the flowers used in beer production, commonly known as hops, challenged long-held beliefs about the ability to grow and produce hops in the Southeast U.S. This research has captured the attention of National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, and the Orlando Sentinel. Richard is also owner of Florida Hops, an organization that seeks to foster the development of the highest quality, locally grown ingredients for home brewers and craft brewers.
Monica Reyes, ’03
Monica is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program at MD Anderson, studying the late-effects of cancer treatment on the heart in cancer survivors. She recently received an American Association for Cancer Research Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award.
Marcy Porter, ’05
Since earning her a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCF and a master’s degree in counseling psychology, Marcy has spent the past eight years working as a mental health outpatient therapist. A former president of the Valencia College Alumni Association, Marcy currently serves on Valencia College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) as a community representative.
Gena Filion, ’07
After earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration from UCF, Gena held several roles in banking. Today, she is the Marketing Analyst at Crossman & Company, one of the largest retail leasing, management, and investment sales firms in the Southeast.
Jacqueline Dheere, ’09
Jacqueline is a regional vice president and investment advisor representative with Primerica Advisors and has been repeatedly recognized for her work. One of her greatest joys is showing someone how setting aside $25 every month can change their future. Jacqueline lives in Boca Raton.
Rosanda Williams, ’13
After graduating from Valencia, Rosanda worked at Hilton Hotels for three years and participated in the American Culinary Federation’s national competition “Cook. Craft. Create.” Today, she works as a food stylist and recently finished TV commercial and print ads for Disney, and a photo shoot for Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Carvis Durr, ’14
Carvis earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration from UCF, with a minor in Nonprofit Management in 2016. He is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP). He currently works for Orange County Public Schools as the department lead/program coordinator for Food and Nutrition Services Meal Benefits/Free and Reduced Lunch Program. After obtaining his MBA, he plans on pursuing a doctorate in public health.
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