Mrs. Laura D'Alessio

Tenured Faculty Member - Biological Sciences, West Campus
🧬General Biology 1 - BSC1010c
🌿General Biology 2 - BSC1011c
🔬Microbiology - MCB2010c


Facilitator for the Valencia Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA)
🔗Teaching and Learning Academy Website


Representative and Secretary for the West Campus Faculty Assembly
🔗West Campus Faculty Assembly SharePoint site (Limited Access)


ABOUT ME
🏫 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. Following the completion of a 5-year program, I was awarded tenure in 2022. I teach General Biology 1, General Biology 2, and Microbiology, with offerings and availability varying from term to term.

🎓 Academic History
I graduated from UCF with a BS in Secondary Science Education in 2010. In 2013, I earned an MA that fused Higher Educational Leadership, Community College Education, and Biology.

👨‍🏫 Teaching Philosophy
Students in STEM fields need an academic experience rich in hands-on activities to simulate future job competencies and promote future career success. I infuse my traditional coursework with other life and job skills to help students 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. I am also working to deeply integrate scientific methods of critical thought - such as logical reasoning, scientific inquiry, and informed skepticism - throughout my coursework. I celebrate every unique student and believe that a sense of belonging is the foundation of a strong classroom, college, and community. 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 sounds quite serious, I do include ample humor and sarcasm to spice up class time and keep things fresh!

✒️ Professional Commitment & Distinctions
2023-24
  •  TLA Facilitator for Year-2 Tenure Candidates
  •  TLA Technology and Website Consultant
  •  West Campus Faculty Assembly (Senate) Secretary and At-Large Representative
  •  Valencia Presidential Commission on Artificial Intelligence Team Member
  •  QEP Starting Right in Gateway Courses BSC1010c Team Member
  •  General Education Learning Outcomes Assessment Team Member
  •  Assessment of Learning in Online Courses (ALOC) Team Participant

2022-23
  •  TLA Facilitator for Year-1 Tenure Candidates
  •  TLA Canvas Portfolio Migration Team Member
  •  West Campus Faculty Assembly (Senate) Secretary and At-Large Representative
  •  Biology Department HIP Project Contributor
2021-22
🏅Granted Tenure at Valencia College
🏃‍♀️Milestone: 400 cumulative hours of faculty development courses
  •  TLA Model Faculty Portfolio, Tenure Class of 2022
  •  The League for Innovation in the Community College Excellence Award
  •  Foundations in Creative Thinking Certificate
  •  Emerging Leaders Program
  •  College-wide "Belonging" Workteam
  •  Summer 2022 Destination: Trauma-Informed Teaching
  •  West Campus Faculty Assembly (Senate) Secretary and At-Large Representative
2020-21
  •  Tenure-Track Year 4 Development
  •  Active Learning Certificate
  •  Trained ROC Panelist
  •  Summer 2021 Destination: Inclusive Teaching & "Belonging" Minded Practice
2019-20
  •  Tenure-Track Year 3 Development
  •  Transitioned all courses to fully online during the pandemic
2018-19
  •  Tenure-Track Year 2 Development
  •  Summer 2019 Destination: Writing Across the Curriculum
2017-18
  •  Tenure-Track Year 1 Development
  •  LifeMap Certificate
  •  SafeZone LGBTQ+ Ally Certificate
  •  Spanish for Faculty & Staff
2016-17
  •  Digital Professor Certificate
  •  Quality Matters Certificate
2015-16
  •  Associate Faculty Certificate

📝 Articles
  •  Featured Colleague: Laura D’Alessio, a Star in the Classroom
  •  Faculty Highlight: Laura D’Alessio Helps Students Grow
  •  Laura D’Alessio Launches STEMpossible Guest Speaker Series
  •  Congratulations to the 2021-2022 League Excellence Award Recipients

🔎 My Background
  •  I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, and am a proud graduate of Edgewater High School.
  •  While in high school, I worked in the construction industry doing home renovations.
  •  I was the General Manager of a local Hardware store for six years while I was in college.
  •  I taught both Biology and Anatomy/Physiology at Edgewater High School and Winter Springs High School.
  •  My father is a pilot, so I grew up co-piloting and helping him with aircraft maintenance.
  •  I also enjoy woodworking, metalworking, stained glass, and doing home repairs. I am happiest when I can be alone in my garage, building something.

Hobbies and Interests
📚 Favorite Books:
  •  Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  •  Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo by Sean B. Carroll
  •  Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe (author of XKCD webcomic)
  •  The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  •  Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
📺 Favorite Shows:
  •  Star Trek: The Next Generation, Doctor Who, The X-Files, Supernatural, The Punisher (Netflix/Disney+ version), Adult Cartoons (like Futurama, South Park, Archer, King of the Hill)
🎬 Favorite Films: 
  •  Back to the Future, Galaxy Quest, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump
🎸 Favorite Music Genres:
  •  1960's rock and 1990's/2000's punk rock and alternative
  •  My favorite musicians/groups are the Offspring, Lemonheads, Pixies, Foo Fighters, Weezer, Green Day, Sloan, the Monkees, Janelle Monae, and the Who.

💡 COURSE ENROLLMENT & STARTING RIGHT
  •  My classes are capped at 24-28 students depending on the modality. Small class sizes allow Valencia students to benefit from meaningful interactions with their instructors. Overloading my classes would hamper my ability to serve my students and foster their success. Therefore, I do not override students or overload courses beyond the course cap.
  •  The West Campus Science Division has many talented instructors whose classes are *not* filled. Please see if one of their course sections will fit your scheduling needs. If you cannot 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. If diligent, some students 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, especially the first week. Attendance is mandatory during the first week.
  •  Sometimes, students don't attend or they choose to drop the course during the first week, leaving open seats. If a student drops my course during the first week of the term, you may be able to grab that empty seat. If you see an open seat after the term beings, 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 and email:
          📞 Jack Davies (jdavies18@valenciacollege.edu or 407-582-1164)
  •  They are available during normal business hours.

✍️ 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 make them stand out among their peers. Your instructors worked hard to earn their reputations; you also must work hard to develop your high-quality reputation to earn a letter from a professor.
If you intend to request a letter of recommendation from me, please keep in mind:
1️⃣ 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.
2️⃣ I will not write a letter or serve as a reference for a student who has not yet completed at least one of my courses.
3️⃣ 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 need some inspiration!
4️⃣ 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 email ❓





Contact

West Campus
AHS-207
407-582-5048
ldalessio@valenciacollege.edu
Faculty WebSite

Hours

AVAILABILITY
  •  I work Monday-Friday. I am unavailable on weekends. 
  •  I am available for appointments by request. Just send me a message to schedule a time to meet.
  •  Office Hours are hosted Virtually in Discord unless otherwise noted.

🌺 SPRING 2024 OFFICE HOURS
Monday - Friday (Virtual)

🕚 11:00am - 1:00pm
Tuesday (In-Person)
🕟 4:00-5:00 in AHS-207