A Conversation with Wendy Hancock Dean of Education at FVI – Florida Vocational Institute
Who is Wendy at FVI?
I am so fortunate to be the Dean of Education here at FVI. It is such a positive and supportive place to work. Basically, I oversee the education department. In that role, I get to work with program directors, faculty, students and other FVI team members. Although I oversee compliance, reporting, budgeting and other administrative tasks, my job really comes down to one thing, the most important thing, which is making sure that our students and faculty have the tools they need to be successful. I love teaching, I love making things better, and I love helping others so this is the perfect job for me! I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else.
What is it like to be a student at FVI, student life
Students at FVI are awesome. When I started working with the school, I immediately noticed that they were so welcoming and friendly. Then, after I was here for a while I could see that they love their instructors, love to have fun, and are also dedicated to their studies. FVI students really become like a family. It’s nice to see that.
What is your best career advice?
Wow, there is so much advice I have given, and so much I have learned along the way. Over the last 25 years, I have watched so many students reach their goals and change the course of their lives. I think I have to cheat and give two answers. For students, continue no matter what. Don’t get caught up with “perfect”. Having to be perfect, needing the perfect grade, the perfect technique, or even perfect circumstances to attend school. The point is to learn and improve – try to be better than you were yesterday, but if you aren’t – try again tomorrow. Education is something no one can ever take away so whether you have a relatively smooth ride through or hit every bump in the road, if you stick with it – at the end that knowledge is yours. For grads or those working, I would say to be a lifelong learner. I know how that hokey that sounds coming from an educator. But it’s true. Keep learning. Add skills to your toolbox. Stay on top of the latest in your field, and learn skills outside your field. In today’s world, we have to keep up, and embracing new things keeps you fresh mentally and professionally.
What are your thoughts on the Miramar Campus?
The campus is finally open and I can’t wait to get to know our new students! As we get closer to the class start, I am getting more and more excited. It’s not just about the beauty and novelty of a new campus, it’s knowing that we are reaching more students to experience the FVI difference. Besides having (she makes air quotes) “experienced and caring faculty and staff, and career-relevant programs”, which you know is something almost all schools will say… FVI has a truly unique atmosphere. It’s unlike most schools I have been at. At Miami or Miramar, there is an authentic concern for the students and each other. It feels good to be here. It’s fun to be here. It’s a great feeling to know that these hallways and classrooms will be filled with students soon and that not much longer after that we will be cheering for the first graduates from Miramar at a graduation ceremony. Yes, as you can tell by my going on and on about this, excited is absolutely the right word.
Wendy’s 25-year career in higher education has allowed her to meet and motivate thousands of students, develop courses and training programs, manage academic departments, and hire and coach faculty. As a professor, she has taught courses in career development, psychology, communication, cultural diversity, sociology, and ethics. Her passion to see others succeed led her down the path of post-secondary academic management after witnessing the positive effects that a strong vocational training program can have on a student’s career choices and future professional success. Wendy earned her graduate degree in Psychology from Saint Thomas University in Miami, FL and her undergraduate degree in Communication from Mercer University in Macon, GA. She is a Florida native, an avid photographer, and is known for uninhibited singing and dancing whenever she thinks she is alone.
You can email Wendy at WHancock@fvi.edu