SF College urges faculty to a renewed inspiration

Joshua Watson, Santa Fe College assistant professor of Zoo Animal Technology, speaks to faculty and staff during Fall Convocation at the SFC Fine Arts Hall Friday.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Friday, August 22, 2014 at 8:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 22, 2014 at 8:04 p.m.

Beginning this fall term, Santa Fe College students can track their academic progress, access the college's directory and online learning platform, and get school-related notifications through a mobile app.

The SF College app is now available through the Apple Apps store and Google Play, college President Jackson Sasser said during fall convocation Friday.

The app, created by SF College's information technology services development team, is part of the college's focus on engaging with students to help them complete their studies.

To do that, Sasser said Friday, each department of the college needs to come together.

"A coming together" was the theme of fall convocation — "Coming together around commitments we've already made," Sasser said.

Among them: upholding the top-10 community colleges status awarded to SF College in spring 2013, helping students achieve educational goals and involving them in campus life.

But the most important commitment, said Joshua Watson, the featured speaker and assistant professor of zoo animal technology, is believing in learning.

Speaking to the thousand or so instructors in the Fine Arts Hall, and with jokes aplenty, Watson encouraged faculty to fall in love with their subjects again.

If you're not excited about your subject, he said, there is no chance that your students will be.

The idea, Watson said, is to get students excited about the material, and to make them feel good about being excited.

"Show them it's OK to be a total nerd about this one thing," he said.

Convocation was also an opportunity for the college to introduce a long-awaited arrival: the women's volleyball team, coached by Nick Cheronis.

Cheronis, followed by two assistant coaches and the 13 women of the team, took the stage Friday morning to introduce themselves and promise SF College, well, if not a winning season, at least a lot of fun games.

"They have a passion for the game; they have a passion for what they do," Cheronis said of the team, whose first match is Tuesday, at home. "And they're starting to have a real passion for each other."

As always, SF College administrators honored employees who have been with the college for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years — and sometimes twice that long.

Clocking 30 years with SF College are Teklay Fessahaye, Bruce Teague, Steve Williamson; Bennye Alligood, Pricilla Fort, Vivian Gentry and Carol Thomas are coming in at 35, and Sally Hoffman has been with the college for 40 years.

New to the college or a seasoned pro, Sasser urged every instructor to get out there and inspire a student, and be inspired by a student.

"I truly hope this is the best experience ever in your career," he said.

Contact Erin Jester at 338-3166 or erin.jester@gainesville.com.

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