YOU AND THE BLUE: Newsletter for Friends of Broward College and Broward College Alumni

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You & the Blue

A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends of Broward College



Nancy O'Donnell-WilsonOur fall term is underway, and the academic year is certainly getting off to a very different start than it did in 2019. In adapting to the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, currently we are remaining in a mostly online and remote-learning environment wherever possible for the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

As a college, we remain steadfast in our promise to be a resource for our community and are committed to be a catalyst for new opportunities for educational attainment. You can learn more about the College’s continued commitment to innovation and excellence in this year’s annual report.

Over the past several months, there has been great College-wide collaboration to provide the best possible experience for students and help us maintain a high level of operations for staff. We also remain committed to securing and deploying philanthropic support for students in ways that will help us all to rebuild lives and rebuild the community. Thank you for your support of Broward College as we continue meeting the changing needs of our students going into the fall.


Nancy O'Donnell-Wilson
Vice President for Advancement, Broward College
Executive Director, Broward College Foundation



Bunny HedrickIn 1989, at age 40, Joan “Bunny” Hedrick decided to enroll in college. When she graduated from high school, attending college had not been in the cards, as she had little support from her family, and she wasn’t terribly proud of her grades.

“When I decided to take the plunge, Broward Community College opened doors to me and warmly invited me in,” she says. It was then up to her to take advantage of an opportunity that had alluded her for so long … which she did. Ten years later, she had earned her associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. “I owe that to BCC,” she says.

She took full advantage of her classes, engaged with her professors and completed her assignments. She participated in campus events and made friends with her fellow students, many of whom were women who found themselves in situations similar to hers. “Sadly, many of these students did not have the financial and emotional support to continue their education. So many bright minds, so much potential, but they had to drop out,” she remembered. “I felt compelled to somehow help, so in 1992 I donated funds to establish an endowed scholarship at BCC.”

Over the years, as the school grew into Broward College, her scholarship fund grew as well.

“Broward College has made it possible for so many to begin or continue on their path to a higher education,” she said. “Now America finds itself in extraordinary times. There has been a resurgence in the fight against racism, with young America leading the way. We have a responsibility to acknowledge how systemic racism and oppression have occurred, and how our system needs to be dismantled, rebuilt and healed.”

With guidance from Major Gifts Officer Jim DeChant, Bunny revised her scholarship’s criteria, and it is now known as the Black Lives Matter Endowed Scholarship. “My prayer is that awarding scholarship funds will in turn help, in some meaningful way, to change the level of discourse in our society,” she says, “and create a more positive America.”

Read more about the Black Lives Matter Endowed Scholarship.


Barrington IrvingCapt. Barrington Irving, a member of the Broward College Foundation Board of Directors, recently hired two Broward College students – Aries Rodriguez and Odette Davis – from the Education Pathway to become Flying Classroom Teaching Fellows. Barrington and his Flying Classroom team collaborated with the College’s Fortin Jean-Pierre, District Director for Career Services, and Juan Ospina, Associate Dean for the Education Pathway, to identify prospective students and encourage qualified candidates to apply for the newly created positions.

Flying Classroom is a STEM+ company that encourages student investigation into core STEM areas while seamlessly correlating subject matter from all contents into student learning. The K-8 focus of Flying Classroom is to ensure students have a solid foundation in STEM+ before they move to high school, college and career life phases. The Flying Classroom is changing the way classrooms work through live, online, and real-time instruction to K-8 schools. All lessons taught online are aligned to academic standards and have a script to follow.

The responsibilities for the part-time instructor positions include:

  • Teaching students virtually during regular and afterschool hours;
  • Providing high-quality live instruction;
  • Engaging with students within a dynamic classroom environment using Flying Classroom curriculum;
  • Collaborating effectively with Flying Classroom team members to improve student outcomes; and
  • Designing their schedule to impact student learning and maximize their time.

The demand for Barrington’s Virtual Learning sessions continues to grow nationwide and he is interested in hiring at least one or two more Flying Classroom Teaching Fellows this academic year.


The Broward College Alumni & Friends Network has two great new webinars in the works!


Mindfulness Webinar

On Wednesday, September 23 at 5 p.m. we present Mindfulness and Motivation – Keys to Thriving in Career and Life, offering you the opportunity to join a panel of Broward College professionals for an interactive and inspiring discussion on how you can use simple moments of mindfulness to refresh, rejuvenate, and enhance your personal and professional presence.

Lisa Elsinger is the Wellness Program Manager in the Talent and Culture department at Broward College, where she promotes an optimistic, moderate approach to well-being and encourages attention to healthy living through compassionate self-care. She earned her doctorate in adult education and health promotion from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a certified ergonomist, a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance, and a facilitator of mindfulness and guided meditation practices. Lisa believes in the power of lifelong learning and personal growth, uplifting people’s lives, and contribution to community.

Teresa Simeon, Associate Director for Institutional Events, has worked for Broward College for more than 30 years. Over time she has worked in many different positions, learning most facets of Broward college. She also graduated from the college, earning her bachelor’s degree in Supervision and Management. Teresa has a wealth of experience producing a variety of events. She is passionate about creating awareness amongst her colleagues around creativity, calmness, honesty, kindness and inspiration. “My creative ideas are always brewing in my head,” she says, “giving new energy to every event I plan. I will continue to exude the Spirit of Broward College.”

Mario Vazquez is an Academic Advisor and an Art adjunct professor at Broward College. He is a United States Army Veteran and a prior K-12 Visual Arts Educator. Mario obtained his bachelor's and master's degree in Art Education from Southern Connecticut State University and a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University. He believes that mindfulness and art can be learned, appreciated, and incorporated into our daily lives.

Register for Mindfulness and Motivation today!

Looking ahead, on Wednesday, October 21 at 5 p.m., Dr. Stephen Dunnivant leads a webinar on The Supreme Value of Culture. Register now!

If you would like to suggest a topic or volunteer for a future Alumni & Friends event, email Jill Horowitz, your Alumni Engagement Officer.



August Row 1 August Row 2 August Row 3

Choose a Pathway and see more Alumni Spotlights online!


On August 26 the Broward College Alumni & Friends Network hosted a fun and interactive hour of comedy and trivia with alumnus Derek Dunston, returning student Lamont “Lemon” Brown and Alumni Engagement Officer Jill Horowitz.



More than 70 individuals, between 20 and 80 years of age and from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, participated. The hour was segmented by decades of comedy, ensuring there was something for everyone. Each person “chatted in” their answers to trivia questions, learning some interesting facts and enjoying comedic conversation. Truly a good time was had by all, and it was a nice escape into the world of comedy and trivia.


Broward College 2019-2020 Annual ReportBroward College celebrated numerous successes during the 2019-2020 academic year, accruing top recognitions as an institution and multiple awards to our students and employees. You must agree, last year's accomplishments are exemplary in any environment, but particularly given the challenges we faced as a community, as a nation and as a post-secondary institution. Many of the highlights in the college's annual report demonstrate our responsiveness and preparedness to serve our students and fulfill our mission.

Read “The Next Era,” the Broward College 2019-2020 annual report.


When you include the Broward College Foundation in your financial and estate planning, you ensure your legacy of providing opportunity to students who are determined to change their lives through the pursuit of higher education. Help someone become Empowered by Broward!

For more information, email Scott Rivinius or call 954-201-7490.


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Geico Square

In these trying times, we want to remind you that we’ve partnered with GEICO to offer alumni, friends and our employees a special discount on car insurance. Visit GEICO online or call 1-800-368-2734 to find out how much you could save today!

Be sure to mention your Broward College affiliation to be eligible for the special discount.

Amazon Smile LogoDid you know you could save money, save time, and help students become Empowered by Broward all at once? When you buy your gifts, clothing, food, and other products through Amazon Smile, you can direct a percentage of your purchase to the Broward College Foundation and support the Empowerment Fund, which provides the most flexibility to do what is right for our students.

Prices on Amazon Smile are identical to those on the regular Amazon site. You’ll enjoy the same convenience and help make a student’s dream of higher education a reality.

Learn how easy it is to set up your Amazon Smile account.


Past issues of your You & the Blue newsletter are available online.


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