CLASS NOTES, WINTER 2015

Class Notes, Winter 2015

Manny Washington

Photograph: Television Food Network

Manny Washington, 11

In high school, Manny Washington dreamed of an acting career. “But,” he says, “I realized I wasn’t going to eat doing theater.” So he became a firefighter like his dad. At Valencia, he earned an A.S. degree in emergency medical services technology and went to work at the Orlando Fire Department. Because Manny’s father served as a fire station chef in Miami, Manny knew cooking might be part of the job. “My dad told me, ‘Before you start, you’ve got to have a meal ready to go.’” Sure enough, on his second day at work, his Orlando colleagues sent him to the kitchen, where he prepared a simple meal of grilled chicken, yellow rice, salad and garlic bread. Today, Manny leans toward fancier fare: One of his favorite firehouse meals is skirt steak with homemade chimichurri sauce, served with cilantro-lime rice with black beans, fresh plantains and Cuban bread.

No wonder a friend nominated him for an episode of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” Over a four-day shoot in January, Manny and his fellow contestants cooked while facing challenges (cooking a meal while carrying a ladder). “It was more fun than stressful,” says Manny. “Being a firefighter, we deal with stress all the time.”

Since winning the $25,000 competition, Manny has been invited to cook in food competitions and demonstrations. But he hopes to combine his theatrical side with his love of cooking. “Eventually, my dream is to go around the nation to see other firefighters and do a TV show that would highlight firefighters that cook,” he says. “Hopefully one day I could do that.”

Manny does a dance in celebration of his appearance on Cutthroat Kitchen.
  • Patricia Kleba, ’93

    Pat teaches nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Professional Program in Nursing.

    1
    Vitae Magazine
  • Brian Macon, ’95

    Brian is enjoying his 15th year as a member of Valencia’s math faculty and this year will serve on the Alumni Association board.

    3
    Vitae Magazine
  • Monica Elizabeth (Linan) Reyes, ’03

    After earning a Ph.D. in cancer biology from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Monica became a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. This summer, she was appointed vice chair of the Presidential Career Symposium for the Postdoctoral Association Executive Committee to help lead the organization of the 5th Annual Presidential Career Symposium.

    1
    Vitae Magazine
  • Sabrina Anne (Charleston) Roberts, ’05

    Sabrina received her master’s in integrated marketing communication from California State University, San Bernadino. She is also teaching communication studies at both a university and a community college.

    1
    Vitae Magazine
  • Laura Lord, ’07

    Laura earned her accreditation in public relations, as granted by the Universal Accreditation Board, Public Relations Society of America.

    3
    Vitae Magazine
  • Richard Aponte, ’08

    Richard, who earned a technical certificate in digital media and was a compositor for the hit films “Kung Fu Panda” and “Epic,” has most recently been involved with the new Peanuts movie. Working in the stereoscopic department, Richard’s job is to create the depth of 3-D, while keeping the stylized look of the original cartoon.

    0
    Vitae Magazine
  • Thomas Pringle, ’08

    Thomas was awarded his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, and is now pursuing his master’s in divinity from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach.

    0
    Vitae Magazine
  • Sandra Canzio, ’09

    Sandra is a licensed Realtor who enjoys helping people find their dream homes (third from left).

    1
    Vitae Magazine
  • Pierina Nuñez, ’09

    Pierina’s paintings and sculptures have been exhibited at the Orlando Museum of Art, the Gallery at Avalon Island in downtown Orlando and the Osceola Arts Center. Most recently, Miami’s prestigious Art Basel commissioned Pierina to create a mural in the famous Wynwood Art District of Miami during its upcoming show in December.

    1
    Vitae Magazine
  • Mark Kenneth Berrios-Ayala, ’11

    Mark is a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens in Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court, while attending Florida International University College of Law in Miami.

    0
    Vitae Magazine
  • Laura (Enriquez) Skelton, ’11

    Laura Enriquez married Brian Skelton in April, and also welcomed their first child.

    1
    Vitae Magazine
  • Michelle Porto, ’14

    Michelle is pursuing a psychology degree at the University of Central Florida.

    0
    Vitae Magazine
  • Carlos Xavier Sanchez, ’15

    Carlos is attending Rollins College as an economics major, while working for Bank of America.

    0
    Vitae Magazine

Let Everyone Know What You’ve Been Up To!

To be featured in Class Notes, visit valenciacollege.edu/alumni/class_notes and fill in the submission form or mail to: Class Notes Editor, Valencia Alumni Association, 1768 Park Center Dr., Orlando, FL 32835.

The Alumni Association can also help to spread the word! Let us know about your meetups, networking events, annual retreats, reunions and save-the-dates that your fellow alumni might like to attend or did attend with you. Whether it’s getting a group together for sporting events, charity fundraisers, a day at the parks or just brunch and lunch, let us know. And if you send pictures, we might just include them in the next issue. We can share your adventures and good times with our readers, so that next time they can plan on joining in on the fun!

And don’t forget: If you have an idea for a future article, please contact the Alumni Association. Send all suggestions to: alumni@valenciacollege.edu