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Education Notes

June 14, 2019
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Hodges University celebrates 30th commencement

Hodges University held its 30th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, June 9, at Hertz Arena. The Class of 2019 consisted of 480 students who earned masters, bachelors or associate degrees, or a professional certification.

Students represented 15 states in the U.S., and over 40 countries worldwide.

Dr. John Meyer, president of Hodges University, told the graduates, "I know you are as proud of your accomplishment as all of us at Hodges University are. You have achieved what many others have not, and now your degree is yours forever. My brief message to you is this. Please do not stop learning. Consider today the beginning, not the end of your education."

The student speaker for the ceremony was Audrey Spataro, who earned her master of science degree in clinical mental health counseling. The guest speaker was Mike Boose, director of human resources and organizational development at Arthrex.

Hodges University, a regionally accredited, private nonprofit institution founded in 1990, prepares students to leverage higher learning in their personal, professional and civic endeavors. With over 10,000 graduates having a 93 percent rate of continued success in careers, Hodges is recognized for developing programs that are uniquely designed and delivered to serve a diverse adult learner population. With campuses in Naples and Fort Myers, Florida, Hodges provides flexible day, evening and online classes taught by world-class faculty for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Hodges is also designated as a Hispanic serving institution, and is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). More information about Hodges University is available at

Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Foundation awards six grants to SWFL schools

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which concentrates its philanthropic efforts exclusively on education initiatives, recently issued six grants totaling $1,908 to Lee County teachers to enhance classroom learning.

The grants will provide supplemental materials and supplies for classroom activities, including science, art, music and general instruction. A common theme in the grants is hands-on learning, which research studies pinpoint as a critical strategy to engage young learners and foster a love for a learning.

Teachers from Gladiolus Learning and Development Center, Orange River Elementary, Colonial Elementary and Villas Elementary in Fort Myers, as well as Trafalgar Middle in Cape Coral, received grants through the Foundation's latest distribution.

The Chamber Foundation focuses on education by providing college scholarships, grants for teachers, entrepreneurial education, internships and mentoring initiatives.

The six projects funded through the latest round of grants include:

Orange River Elementary

Project: Oh Me! Oh My! Is that a Butterfly?

Description: Hands-on birding and butterfly activities to learn about species that fly

Teacher: Sidonia Todd

Award: $399.89

Colonial Elementary

Project: Stemtastic Fairy Tales

Description: Hands-on, problem-solving STEM activities tied to children's books

Teacher: Tracy Gregory

Award: $247

Villas Elementary

Project: Designing Water Filters

Description: Enhance knowledge of water cycle and water pollution

Teacher: Tina Blythe

Award: $493.77

Gladiolus Learning and Development Center

Project: Exploring Music and Movement

Description: Music equipment and materials to enhance multi-sensory learning

Teacher: Darlene McConnell

Award: $246.93

Gladiolus Learning and Development Center

Project: Art in the Classroom

Description: Painting easel to develop artistic fundamentals, motor skills and creativity

Teacher: Omarya Beauchamp

Award: $249.75

Trafalgar Middle School

Project: Life Lessons

Description: Cleaning, cooking and art supplies to learn about managing life at home

Teacher: Kimberly Sass

Award: $269.98

About the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

Serving Lee County and surrounding areas since 1989, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a business organization of professionals who support and promote a progressive, sustainable community. The Chamber represents nearly 800 businesses, professionals and individuals throughout Lee County, providing opportunities for members to participate in a variety of meaningful networking, educational and community- and business-focused programs and events. The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is located at 2310 Edwards Drive in downtown Fort Myers.

For additional information regarding membership opportunities or events please call 239-332-3624 or visit

For the latest news and updates, follow the Chamber on Facebook at or Twitter at @FtMyersChamber.

Florida Gulf Coast University names vice president for advancement

Florida Gulf Coast University President Mike Martin recently named Katherine "Kitty" Green as the vice president for advancement and executive director of the FGCU Foundation. Green has served as president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties since 2010. She begins her new role at FGCU June 24.

As the vice president for advancement and executive director of the FGCU Foundation, Green will serve as the university's top fundraiser, develop programs and initiatives to move the university forward with internal and external constituents, conduct major capital campaigns, and grow the alumni base of support.

In her new position at FGCU, Green will oversee a team of fundraising professionals who concluded a successful $125 million capital campaign in 2017. She will also lead the marketing and communications, advancement services, alumni relations and special events departments as well as WGCU Public Media.

Among the top fundraising priorities waiting for Green are The Water School, the proposed Center for Entrepreneurship building, the soon-to-be-opened Student and Community Counseling Center, scholarships and other student success initiatives.

In addition to Green's announcement, Martin also promoted Bill Rice to senior associate vice president for university advancement.

For information about FGCU advancement, visit



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