November 2020 Spotlight: Karen Kelley, Instructional Program Manager for Medical Assisting Workforce and Pharmacy Technician Programs

As an instructional program manager (IPM) in the Workforce and Online department, Dr. Karen Kelley provides leadership by supporting the Medical Assisting and Pharmacy Technician Career Certificate programs. In addition, she also serves the workforce development and entrepreneurship efforts in various health care-centered programs.

Dr.  Kelley is an accomplished professional with 12 years of experience at various institutions including hospitals, urgent care facilities, and general and specialty physicians’ offices before transitioning to academia in 2007. Dr. Kelley obtained an associate degree in Radiology Technology in 1996. She was the Valedictorian of her bachelor’s degree program in Health Sciences, which she completed in 2012. She obtained her master’s degree is in Educational Leadership and Administration in 2013, and she earned her doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Capella University in March 2020, with a 4.0 GPA.

Dr. Kelley has served FSCJ since 2015 in the role of full-time faculty, program director and currently IPM. As a full-time faculty of the Medical Assisting Career Certificate program, she has ensured and maintained a 100% RMA national exam pass rate and a 98% employment placement for graduates. As a subject matter expert, Dr. Kelley has been a strong advocate and collaborator with other internal divisions at FSCJ.

As director and now IPM, she secured a Medical Assisting contracted night cohort for training resulting in a 100% RMA pass rate and a 3% pay raise for each student. This collaboration with UFJPI, Career Source, and the FSCJ team is currently recruiting for a second cohort. The FSCJ team’s creative solutions consisted of contracting through Business Solutions, using a Continuing Workforce Education (CWE) platform for curriculum, and working with Workforce Operations to deploy the program.

Partnership efforts with CWE have also resulted in a phlebotomy program, RMA Certification review course, and a basic health care course in response to employer and community demand. Dr. Kelley partnered with the ESOL and Adult Education Departments to create an iBest program within the Medical Assisting Career Certificate program. The first MA-ESOL cohort will complete in September 2021.

Currently, Dr. Kelley is working on an upcoming project and may be developing a hybrid Pharmacy Technician program specifically for hospital incumbent workers in collaboration with UF Health (Shands), Career Source, and the Workforce Operations team. Other projects planned will be to update and streamline both the Medical Assisting and Pharmacy Technician Career Certificate programs.

Dr. Kelley has served and continues to serve on various committees to fulfill the community college’s mission.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and pets, including her ducks. She enjoys shows such as “The Good Doctor,” “Law and Order,” “Criminal Minds” and “CSI.” She has also been focusing her attention on her family heritage in Cuba and Poland. Fun fact: her great, great, great, grandfather, Perucho Figueredo, wrote the Cuban National Anthem in 1868.

October 2020 Spotlight: Dr. Kip Strasma, Executive Director of Project Development and Management in the Office of the President

October’s Administrative and Professional Collaborative (APC) Spotlight shines on Dr. Kip Strasma. As Executive Director of Project Development and Management in the Office of the President, Dr. Strasma provides Collegewide leadership in Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and Six Sigma Process Improvement Methodologies. He also leads project teams and serves as a collaborator with other Six Sigma project team leaders. Currently, there are seven all-college teams improving Application, Document Workflow, Drop for Non-Payment, Financial Aid, Hiring and Workload Entry.

Kip holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Philosophy from Saint Louis University. His Masters and PhD are in Rhetoric and Composition and English Studies respectively from Illinois State University. While at Illinois State, he received graduate school and national awards for his dissertation research on literacy in hypertextual environments as the Internet was being invented. Kip has formerly held diverse positions at former Illinois and Florida two-year, four-year, graduate colleges: adjunct faculty member, full-time faculty member, Chair, Associate Dean, Associate Provost, and Six Sigma Black Belt.

As a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Kip was hired in March this year to help FSCJ better serve students by making processes more effective, efficient, and simplified. It is likely that you will hear him ask questions like:

  • What’s the student experience of this process?
  • What is the data showing us?
  • Is there a way to simplify?

In his spare time, Kip enjoys spending time swimming, biking, and running with his wife, Ann. He is a 12-time Ironman finisher and Kona World Championships qualifier and has completed six Ironman races with his wife. He loves the fine arts, jazz music, and community service–having recently been elected to his homeowner’s association as Board President.

Kip believes there is value in contributions that come from including diverse voices from across all of FSCJ, and he welcomes the opportunity to help make the college a top-performing institution in Florida and the US.

July 2020 Spotlight: Billy Thomas, Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences

July’s APC spotlight shines on Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences Billy Thomas. As Dean, Billy Thomas provides Collegewide leadership by supporting the faculty in Social & Behavioral Sciences, to include opportunities for professional development, academic and community engagement. Dean Thomas helps faculty find a balance between work and life, and he is particularly concerned about faculty well-being as well as managing the administrative duties that come with budgeting, class scheduling and strategic planning.

He has served FSCJ as an advisor, counselor and faculty member since 1988. A believer that education is a lifelong endeavor, he graduated from Sandalwood High School, Florida Junior College (as FSCJ was named at the time) with an Associate in Arts, Stetson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Christian Education, has post graduate hours in Education Psychology from the University of North Florida, and is currently a doctoral student at the University of South Florida.

Billy served proudly in the United States Army as a Chaplains Assistant. He has three children, Matthew, Amelia and Teddy. He’s also an avid outdoorsman who enjoys kayaking, camping and hiking and has been a motorcyclist for 53 years.


August 2020 Spotlight: Beth McClain, Director of Project Budgeting and Accounting

The Administrative & Professional Collaborative (APC) is the representative voice for the Administrative & Professional employees of FSCJ. In an effort to build cohesiveness, awareness and collegiality, each month we put a “spotlight” on one of our members.

August’s Administrative and Professional Collaborative (APC) Spotlight shines on Beth McClain. Beth started her career at FSCJ just a few months ago as the director of project budgeting and accounting but will be transitioning to the bursar role this month.

Beth’s passion lies in student services, and she is constantly looking for ways to improve the student experience to ensure seamless onboarding of students as students try to navigate the sometimes foreign and overwhelming processes at a higher education institution. Trying to see things through the student lens and working for a school that takes that same approach is really important to her. She is very excited to co-lead her first process improvement team here at FSCJ focused on the financial aid awarding process.

Beth holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Dayton and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She worked at a community college in Illinois for the last 16 years, where she began her career as an accountant at the school, served as Six Sigma Black Belt leading process improvement initiatives, and ultimately served as the dean of enrollment management for the last five years.

In her spare time, Beth enjoys spending time with her son exploring everything the Northeast Florida area has to offer in outdoor activities. It has been a very unconventional beginning in a new location and a new job, but she is very excited to work with the FSCJ team and has already gotten the sense that everyone in the FSCJ family truly believes in the mission of the school and the work we do on a daily basis to ensure student success.

Our spotlight shines on each campus/center at least once a year. Nominations for the spotlight may be directed to your campus representative or any officer. Learn more about APC on their website,


June 2020 Spotlight: Elizabeth Chan, Department Chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences

June’s APC spotlight shines on Department Chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Elizabeth Chan.

In her role, Elizabeth provides department leadership by assisting in the course schedule preparation process, reviewing of faculty workload and payment documents, and assisting both students and faculty with academic issues. She is also focused on recruiting, credentialing, evaluating and supporting adjunct instructors within the department.

Elizabeth holds both a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from N.C. State University. She earned her master’s degree in Biological Sciences from Clemson University. Elizabeth worked at Walt Disney World for three years before transitioning into education. After spending 10 years teaching Chemistry in public high school in North Carolina, Elizabeth married her husband and relocated to Jacksonville.

She began her career at FSCJ just over five years ago as an adjunct Biology instructor. In January of 2018, she joined the Social and Behavioral Sciences team as an academic department coordinator before accepting the role of acting department chair. Elizabeth is now looking forward to continuing this role on a permanent basis.

Elizabeth is an avid reader and lifelong learner. In her spare time, when her nose is not in a book, you will find her spending time with her husband and being a soccer mom to her two 5-year-old sons.


May 2020 Spotlight: Martina Perry, Associate Director of Training and Organizational Development


Martina Perry is the Associate Director of Training and Organizational Development. In this role, she assists with the management and implementation of professional development courses for FSCJ employees, special events such as the Collegewide Professional Development Day and the Student Services Professional Development Day, and certificate programs including the FSCJ Leadership Academy and Managing at FSCJ. Martina collaborates with numerous subject-matter experts across the College to develop and coordinate trainings for the Student Services division. She also serves as the HR NeoGov Perform Team leader as well as project leader for the newly implemented FSCJ Work-Share initiative.

Martina holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and a master’s degree in higher education with an emphasis in Student Affairs, both from Florida State University. Martina also earned an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University in 2019. She is currently pursuing the Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership at Liberty University.

During her time as an undergraduate, Martina became eager to help students achieve their academic goals. She served as a peer advisor for the FSU College of Communication, and later became a Service Learning Graduate Assistant, where she fostered service learning partnerships between faculty and community organizations. Upon graduation, Martina began her professional career at the University of North Florida, where she served as the coordinator for Undergraduate Initiatives from 2007-13. In this role, she managed the University’s Transformational Learning Opportunities program, which funded experiential learning opportunities for students.

Martina joined FSCJ in 2013 and has provided professional development at the College in several capacities including Student Services Training Coordinator from 2013-16, Training and Development Coordinator from 2016-18, and Associate Director of Training and Organizational Development from 2018-present. Martina has also served on various committees and chaired several search committees at the College. She enjoys helping employees gain the tools that they need to better serve our students.

In her spare time, Martina loves serving at her church, Hope Chapel Ministries, and spending time with her family (several of whom have also worked at FSCJ including her mother, Emily Perry, who retired from FSCJ in 2011 after 30 years of service). Martina enjoys traveling, watching movies and playing board games with friends. She is also a songwriter and has written and directed several Christmas musicals for her church.

February 2020 Spotlight: Deborah Fontaine, Associate Vice President of Strategic Priorities

February’s Administrative and Professional Collaborative (APC) Spotlight shines on Deborah Fontaine. As Associate Vice President of Strategic Priorities, Deb provides Collegewide leadership focused on strategic planning to ensure the College’s effectiveness in fulfilling its mission. In addition, she oversees the College’s current Title III grant, BRIDGES, and works to infuse the Achieving the Dream principles into College initiatives and activities.

Deb holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science Education from Stetson University, a Master’s of Education and Master’s of English from Eastern New Mexico University, and a Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University.

Deb has volunteered in a variety of community and volunteer organizations throughout her career, holding leadership roles in K-12 organizations, military support organizations, and Rotary, to name a few.

Prior to joining the ranks of higher education, Deb taught middle school English in addition to American government and history at the high school level. She began her post-secondary career as an adjunct English instructor before joining Northwest Florida State College as a full-time instructor. There, she served as lead instructor for developmental English, Chair of the English/Communications and Social Sciences Departments, Interim Dean of General Education and Grants, and Assistant to the President for Accreditation. She has also served on and chaired numerous committees, including General Education, Curriculum, Institutional Effectiveness, Assessment and Student Success.

At the state-level, Deb has worked with groups to redesign developmental English, revise the PERT and FCAT, and develop the Florida College Prep: English IV course for high school seniors.

Her research interests include leadership development, assessment, institutional effectiveness, composition and technical communication pedagogy, writing program development, transfer theory, and data and text mining.

Excited to be a part of the FSCJ team, Deb is appreciative of the collegiality and warm reception of her new colleagues and embraces opportunities to contribute to the institution’s success.


December 2019 Spotlight: Eric Zoller, eLearning Multimedia Designer

This month’s spotlight shines on eLearning Multimedia Designer Eric Zoller. Eric began working at the College seven years ago as a program coordinator for Open Campus. He then joined the Center for eLearning (CeL) Multimedia Team, working with instructional and multimedia design professionals to improve the quality and accessibility of FSCJ Online course development. Eric provides creative direction for a variety of CeL multimedia projects. He has experience with broadcast writing, graphic design, web design and video production.

Prior to FSCJ, Eric worked as a graphic production designer, freelance web designer and served as an IT administrator in the Air Force for eight years.

He has an Associate in Science degree in Multimedia Production from FSCJ and received his bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of North Florida.

Eric likes spending time with close friends and family. He is passionate about typography, video production and music. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, video games and reading books with his son.


November 2019 Spotlight: Talani Torres, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the Humanities

This month’s spotlight shines on Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the Humanities Talani Torres. Talani provides academic leadership, guidance and administrative services in support of teaching and learning within the disciplines of English for Academic Purposes, Fine Arts, Humanities, and World Languages. She has been with FSCJ since 2011, serving as professor and director of dance. Prior to her deanship, she had been teaching in higher education for 18 years, and owned her own studio in Miami for 10 years, where she founded a non-profit modern dance company for children.

Talani earned an MFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, a BA in Psychology from Florida International University, and an AA from Miami Dade College. Her choreography has been presented internationally and her recent research interests include the intersections of art and technology, real and virtual means. She has been awarded a NC Dance Alliance Choreography Fellowship and her co-authored work on dance pedagogy in higher education has earned her a Top Paper Citation award from National Dance Education Organization. Inspired to keep learning, Talani plans to pursue a doctoral degree when the time is right.

A commitment to the values of the College is the underpinning of her work as a dean and she looks forward to continually growing into the role. She loves the daily rewards of her job and is humbled, every day, by the people she works with, for and on behalf of.

When she is home, she heads to the beach with her golden retriever, who is training to be a therapy dog for her wife’s second grade class.

September 2019 Spotlight – Ginny Alexander, Director of Athetics

This month’s spotlight shines on Director of Athletics Ginny Alexander. Ginny provides leadership and oversight for six head coaches and seven athletic teams consisting of approximately 120 student athletes. In addition, she and her staff provide Collegewide oversite for the five fitness centers, intramural sports and the Nassau Outdoor Education Center. Ginny also serves as the Chair of the Mid-Florida Conference (through the FCSAA), Chair of FCSAA (State of Florida) Volleyball Committee and member of the Executive CAA (state Athletic Directors) Board.

Ginny holds a bachelor’s degree in social and behavioral sciences with an emphasis in criminal justice from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a master’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University. She attended and participated for one year on the volleyball and softball team at Lake City Community College (now Florida Gateway) before transferring and playing three years of collegiate volleyball at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Her experience as a student athlete inspired her to become a collegiate coach and eventually an athletic administrator. That combined with the fact that there are not very many female athletic directors in the state of Florida or even nationally, motivates her every day to be a role model for all students wishing to go into athletics as a career.

Ginny first came to FSCJ in 2011, stepping into the assistant volleyball coaching role while working for a local not-for-profit club organization. Her decision to work at FSCJ came out of a desire to build community and pride within the department. Ginny has just started her fourth year at FSCJ. She began her college career in 1988 as a graduate assistant coach and eventually worked her way to becoming an NCAA Division 1 Head Volleyball Coach. She spent 20 years in higher education and another ten in not-for-profit work and teaching before arriving at FSCJ. Her college coaching experience includes head volleyball coaching stints at Utah State University, Temple University, Drexel University, Bowling Green State University (Men), Michigan State University and Converse College.

Alexander fell in love and made the transition to athletic administration in 1999 by creating and implementing an NCAA CHAMPS (Challenging Athletes Minds for Personal Success) Life Skills Program at San Diego State University for over 500 student athletes. She went on to create two more NCAA CHAMPS Life Skills Programs at Converse College (first women’s college to receive an NCAA CHAMPS program) and Brevard College (NC). She duplicated these efforts at FSCJ in 2016 by adding the BlueWave Life Skills program partnering across campus organizations in order to enhance the wholistic approach to serving student athletes. She finds constant reward in the success of student athletes as they grow in their academics and athletic careers. Meanwhile, she looks for ways to continue collaborating across campuses and in the community while building relationships that support the greater good of the FSCJ students.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends at the beach (her hometown), biking, swimming, golfing and watching sports. For more information on FSCJ athletics, intramurals, fitness centers and the Outdoor Education Center please visit