Mrs. Laura D'Alessio
Tenure-Track Faculty Member - Biological Sciences, West Campus
NEWS & UPDATES
Fall 2020 Enrollment & Overrides: At the request of my dean, I am not currently able to override students into my Fall 2020 courses if the course is full. My online classes are capped at 24 students. Please find a seat in a section with another faculty member.
About Your Professor
Commitment to Valencia College
I began my career with Valencia College at the Lake Nona campus in the Spring of 2014. In August 2017, I transferred to the West campus to continue my teaching career with Valencia as a full-time faculty member. I teach General Biology 1, General Biology 2, and Microbiology, with offerings and availability varying term-to-term.
I graduated from UCF with a B.S. in Secondary Science Education in 2010, and an M.A. in Higher Educational Leadership, Community College Education, and Biology in 2013.
I believe that students in STEM fields need an academic experience that is rich in hands-on activities to simulate future job competencies and promote future career success. I try to infuse my traditional coursework with other life- and job-skills to aid students as they mature into well-rounded citizens.
In my classes, students must be willing to engage with the complex issues facing humanity in the 21st century, while also examining and unpacking difficult historical issues in science. Currently, I am working to add more environmental justice, social justice, and equity-minded practices into my courses. Additionally, I am working to deeply integrate scientific methods of critical thought - such as logical reasoning, scientific inquiry, and healthy skepticism - throughout my coursework.
I celebrate diversity and believe that diversity is the foundation of a strong classroom, college, and community. I believe that all students have the potential to achieve success and reach their goals if they are willing to put serious time and effort into their academic pursuits. While all that probably sounds quite serious, I do include ample amounts of humor and sarcasm to spice-up class time and keep things fresh!
I earned the Associate Faculty certification in the Summer of 2015 after completing 60 hours of professional development training with the Teaching and Learning Academy. I earned Digital Professor Certification and Quality Matters certification in the Summer of 2016 to better facilitate student learning in hybrid and online environments. I updated my courses into the new Canvas/Instructure Learning Environment and am adding new resources every semester. More recently, I earned the LifeMap certification, through which I improved my abilities to advise and assist students and infuse learning strategies into my courses. I enrolled in conversational Spanish 1 and 2 to support our Spanish-speakers and their families. I am currently attempting to learn conversational French and refresh my knowledge of Latin. I completed the SafeZone Ally certification to support our LGBT+ community. I am currently on a 5-year voyage of personal discovery and professional development to earn tenure at Valencia College.
I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. Prior to my time at Valencia, I taught Biology and Anatomy & Physiology at Edgewater High School and Winter Springs High School. While in high school, I worked in the construction industry doing home renovations. I was also the General Manager of a local Hardware store for six years while I was in college.
Hobbies and Interests
In my free time, I enjoy keeping active by roller skating and doing yoga. During the quarantine, I am working on improving my guitar skills, training to run a 5K, and working on my French lessons. I am a die-hard Star Trek fan, and I love collecting late 60s rock & roll and early 90s punk-rock music on vinyl. My father is a pilot, so I frequently can be found co-piloting or helping him with aircraft maintenance. I also enjoy wood-working, metal-working, and doing home repairs. I am happiest when I can be alone in my garage building something. My favorite TV shows are Star Trek, Supernatural, The Punisher, Futurama, South Park, and Archer, and my favorite book is Cosmos by Carl Sagan.
Regarding Full Classes and Enrollment:
Please be aware that my face-to-face classes are capped at 28 students due to the number of chairs in the laboratory. I do not offer waitlists, and I do not override/overload beyond 28 students.
The West Campus Science Division has a number of qualified and talented instructors whose classes are *not* filled. Please see if one of their course sections will fit your scheduling needs.
If you are unable to find a section that suits your needs, please keep checking ATLAS to see if an opening appears in my course. The rosters see a tremendous amount of turnover in the weeks before a semester. Some students, if diligent, manage to snag an empty seat if another student drops from the course.
At Valencia, we believe in Starting Right. This means every minute of class is important, even and especially the first week. Attendance is mandatory during the first week. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first week of class will be reported as no-show students.
If a student drops my course during the first week of the term, opening up a seat, you may be able to grab that empty seat. You must e-mail me requesting an override. I will review your request. If approved, I will work with our administrative office to get you enrolled as a replacement for the student who dropped. If you enroll late after missing any class meetings, you are still required to make up all missed information and assignments by the end of the second week of the term.
Students will not be granted overrides into my courses for any reason beginning Monday of the second week of the term.
The West campus Science Division Administrative Offices are located in AHS-231. Our wonderful administrative assistants are available by phone at 407-582-5149 (Juanita) or 407-582-5156 (Gabby). The office is open during standard business hours (limited hours on Fridays during the Summer term).
Regarding Letters of Recommendation:
When you request a letter or reference from any professor, you are asking that professor to use their reputation to support your aspirations. Therefore, letters of recommendation are by no means guaranteed or "owed" to any students.
Students requesting a letter must show above-average qualities that made them stand out among their peers. Your instructors worked hard to earn their reputations; you too must also work hard to develop your high-quality reputation in order to earn a letter from a professor.
If you intend to request a letter of recommendation from me, please keep in mind:
(1) All students must formally contact me via e-mail and receive my written approval/consent before listing me as a contact or reference.
Failure to receive prior consent will result in the refusal of your request.
(2) I will NOT write a letter or serve as a reference for a student who has not yet successfully completed at least one of my courses.
(3) Students should be prepared to provide a cover letter, applicant statement, resume, or other similar documents to help guide the authoring of their letter. I'm not an English major - I need some inspiration!
(4) I require a minimum of 4 weeks of advanced notice if writing you a letter for the first time. I require a minimum of 2 weeks notice to edit your existing letter for a new purpose. Faster turn-around times MAY be possible but are not guaranteed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---