Two Seminole State honors students named 2017 Jack Kent Cooke Scholars

SANFORD, Fla. (April 24, 2017) – Seminole State students shine again! For the third consecutive year, multiple honors students at Seminole State College of Florida were named winners of one of the nation’s most prestigious and lucrative scholarships.


Gustavo Diaz Galeas and Cathryn “Cate” Kandle were awarded the Jack Kent Cooke (JKC) Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship – worth up to $40,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university and up to $50,000 a year to pursue graduate studies. Diaz Galeas and Kandle were among 55 scholars selected this year to receive the award nationwide.


Kandle began attending Seminole State as a homeschooled, Dual Enrollment student and is majoring in biology. She hopes to transfer to Cornell University in the fall. She will continue her education as a biology major with a focus on sustainability. Kandle works as a student tutor in Seminole State’s Academic Success Center.


“It feels unbelievable,” says Kandle. “The Jack Kent Cooke scholarship has opened up my options so that I can go where I want.”


Diaz Galeas is studying computer engineering. He hopes to attend MIT in the fall. Diaz Galeas is the programming director in the STEM Student Club and also serves as an embedded tutor for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) grant program and for the Academic Success Center.


“Because I am an international student, trying to find financial resources is really hard,” says Diaz Galeas. “The very fact that I got this scholarship means that I don’t have to worry about taking out loans, and I don’t have to worry about working. I can focus fully on my studies.”


Both Kandle and Diaz Galeas will miss the sense of community and the support from faculty and the Grindle Honors Institute that are found at Seminole State.


“I have felt like around every turn at Seminole State, someone has had my back,” says Kandle. “I never felt like I am in this alone. There are people who are always willing to help me and extend their hands to me.”


All of the JKC winners show financial need and strong records of academic achievement as indicated by grades, leadership skill, awards, extraordinary service to others and perseverance in the face of adversity.


Since 2006, Seminole State has produced a total of 17 JKC scholars, including a national record-tying four scholarship recipients in 2015. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation says its Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is to community college graduates what the Rhodes Scholarship is to overseas study.


JKC Scholarships fund the costs of attending college not covered by other financial aid, plus academic advising, stipends for internships, study abroad and opportunities to network with other JKC scholars and alumni.

Seminole State Biology Colloquium Series Presents Filmmaker Paul Rosolie April 19

SANFORD, Fla. (April 12, 2017) – As part of the Biology Colloquium Series, the Seminole State College of Florida Environmental Initiative Club and Biology Department will host nationally known speaker Paul Rosalie, as he presents his topic, “Protecting the Wildest Place on Earth: Conservation in the Amazon.” This free event will be held on Wednesday, April 19, from 7 - 9 p.m., in the Fine Arts Concert Hall (building G) at the College’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.


As seen on Discovery Channel, Paul Rosolie is a naturalist, author, explorer and award-winning wildlife filmmaker who has specialized in the western Amazon for nearly a decade. 


As an author, Paul’s mission is to blend adventure and conservation with the aim of reaching a broader audience and including more people in an ecological call to arms.


Rosolie will share his experiences in the Amazon Rainforest and discuss his memoir, Mother of God, detailing his adventures in the Peruvian Amazon, the most bio-diverse wilderness on Earth. Learn about his wildlife encounters and how his conservation project, Tamandua Expeditions, uses tourism to support rainforest conservation.


Seating for this free event is first come, first served. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A reception and book signing (with books available for purchase) will immediately follow the presentation.


For more information about the author, please visit


For more information about the Biology Colloquium Series, please contact Dr. Debra Socci at 407.971.5077. To view past speakers at Seminole State, visit the community speakers webpage.


About the Biology Colloquium Series: Seminole State’s Biology Department hosts the Biology Colloquium Series to present topics and issues related to various fields of biology. The Biology Department invites panelists and speakers to participate in the colloquium by serving as experts on these subjects. To learn more about the Biology Department, please visit

FL Main Streets Demonstrate the Importance of Fully Funding VISIT FLORIDA

The Florida Senate and House each passed their respective budget bills. As we anticipated, the House's proposed funding level for VISIT FLORIDA is $25 million, a 67 percent cut to VISIT FLORIDA's budget. The Florida Senate, however, matches the Governor's recommendation of fully funding VISIT FLORIDA at $76 million. The budget conference process, where the House and Senate will negotiate and determine what's in the final budget, could begin as early as next week. When this next phase begins, it will be more important than ever for you to reach out to your legislators to ensure VISIT FLORIDA is fully funded. We ask that you stand ready to advocate for full funding for VISIT FLORIDA and will be back in touch with a specific call to action when needed.

To continue to draw visitors to every part of Florida, this week, VISIT FLORIDA announced a new initiative to showcase Florida Main Street communities. In partnership with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) and the Florida Department of State's Florida Main Street Program, VISIT FLORIDA has begun including these historic Florida communities on the Florida Attractions Finder - a popular online tool where visitors can personalize their Florida experience. As part of the launch, VISIT FLORIDA has added an initial grouping of eight Main Streets to the Attractions Finder and will continue to work with these communities to highlight additional Main Streets throughout the spring and summer.

For more details, please contact

Additional City Services Available Now on Fridays at Sanford City Hall

The City of Sanford is pleased to announce that starting Friday, April 7, 2017 additional City services will be available on Fridays at City Hall.  We look to accommodate the increased growth in Sanford and to meet our customer’s needs both now and in the future.


With this new change, the City of Sanford Building Department and Public Works Department will be staffed on Fridays from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm.  The Building Department permit counter staff will take in permit applications, answer any questions related to building permits and vertical construction applications and setting up future building inspections.  Staff will also issue Building Permits that are ready for pick up, business tax receipts that have been approved by Planning and Development, and they will accept business tax applications. 


The Public Works Administrative Office will be available on Fridays to handle trash concerns, hand out recycle bins, and provide critical services such as pot hole repairs, hazardous sidewalks, and downed stop signs.


The Utility Department will continue to be open for billing and customer service inquiries on Fridays from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm.