Relay for Life – Basketball Tournament

This past Saturday, Florida National University participated in their first basketball tournament against the City of Hialeah. The main purpose of the game was to help raise money to support the fight against cancer. The following teams participated in the basketball game: Fire Department, Police Department, General Employees, Parks and Recreation, and FNU. The FNU players gave a valiant effort in front of a cheering crowd of staff and students.

Even though FNU did not win, the event was a success and it brought the school community together for this great cause. Many thanks to Lorena Rogel for her hard work to make this event happen and Jelenny Hernandez who helped complete the team with students from her Honor Society.

In other news, the Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics to return to the finals for the second year in a row. The Heat faced Oklahoma City this past Tuesday, June 12th in a best of seven series to determine the NBA champions.

Relay for Life Charity Basketball Game

The Relay for Life Basketball Game will take place this Saturday, June 9th, 2012. The game will take place at Bucky Dent Basketball Gymnasium located at 2250 West 60th Street, from 12:00pm – 3:30pm. The following are the teams that will partake in the Basketball Game for the City of Hialeah: Fire, Police, General Employees and Parks and Recreation vs. Florida National University staff, faculty, and students.  Join us for this great cause!


In other news, the Miami Heat look to take a 3-2 game lead over the Boston Celtics in tonight’s game at 8:30 pm. Chris Bosh will make his return to the court and hopefully help lead the Miami Heat to victory. 

Nursing Pinning Ceremony

The Nursing Pinning Ceremony for the nursing graduates of SOUTH 0412 took place this past May 31st, 2012 at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Hialeah, FL.  The nursing graduates were very emotional and full of joy knowing that this was one of their final steps in becoming a Registered Nurse.

Nevertheless, they were all aware that this was only the beginning of a long journey ahead of them. They shared their feelings about their fellow classmates and professors. As they were walking towards the stage to receive their graduating pin, a quote of their preference was read out loud. Friends and family members were able to see the graduates on stage pledging to the nurse pledge while the room was dim and being lightened only by the graduates’ candles.  It was a beautiful experience to share this moment with our RN students finally graduating and being recognized for all their efforts.


A Change of Mind: Business Communication Course

I have never been too interested in taking online classes; although, it would have been more convenient, I just felt the interaction with the instructor would be lost.  I was of the opinion that taking online classes would be like teaching myself, thus I always felt that it would be better if I had someone explaining things to me face to face than just communicating through a computer. 

My perspective about online education quickly changed after taking the Business Communication course with Mrs. Barcena in the Winter Term A.  The professor set up the course in units not in weeks, which gave us ample time to complete the assignments and to receive feedback from her.  In unit I, we learned about effective communication at work.  We worked on different scenarios on how to resolve conflict in the workplace.

In unit II, we learned how to convert negative messages into positive messages.  Also, as part of our assignment we had to open a Facebook account, upload a professional picture of ourselves, post statuses looking for employment, and add professional pages as friends related to our field.  In unit III, we learned how to write business reports, proposals, and presentations. We also learned about how to improve telephone skills. 

A part of this unit assignment was to call our professor and leave her a message.  The messages consisted of a job opening that we had recently applied to and send our resume; we had to follow up with a voicemail to check the status of our application because we hadn’t received a response from the employer. 

In the last assignment unit IV, we learned how to do job searches, resumes, cover letters, and interviewing.  A big part of this assignment was to find three different job openings related to our major, write a cover letter for each job opening, create a resume that could be used for the three job openings and lastly, we had to go to a mall and try on some professional clothing suitable for an interview.

This course sounds like a lot of work but it really was one of the best courses I have taken at Florida National College.  I learned from how important communication is in general to the importance of dressing appropriately for a job interview.   This course was well prepared and structured.  We received timely feedback from the instructor in every assignment.  It only took to have an excellent professor teaching this course to change the perception I had of online education.

Esteemed Graduates – Congratulations!

Florida National College held their Commencement Ceremony this past Sunday, May 6th, 2012. Among the esteem graduates, the following are worth mentioning:

Diaris Fernandez and Gilberto Rodriguez is a couple from Puerto Rico who graduated from the Dental Technology program and opened a Dental Laboratory in Puerto Rico.  Florida National College would like to congratulate them for their efforts in the dental community they serve.

Yusnier Gutierrez, Florida National College’s Salutatorian at this past graduation and founder of the Mu Zeta Chapter Criminal Justice Honor Society at FNC, is currently working with the Broward Sheriff’s Office as well as contributes greatly to the private security community as a private investigator.

Carmen Guerrero graduated from the Criminal Justice Bachelors program and is currently working with the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Stolen Vehicle Unit as a Records Technician.

Congratulations to the Class of 2012!

The Florida National College Commencement Ceremony was held on Sunday, May 6th 2012. The celebration was held at the James L Knight Center in downtown Miami followed by a Graduation Banquet at the Hyatt Regency Miami. Graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff all came together to celebrate the academic accomplishments our students have worked so hard to achieve.

One of the most important and memorable milestones is graduation day. It is a pivotal point in which a new chapter of life begins. The graduates were fortunate to have three amazing speakers to inspire and motivate them on their new journey.  Jessie Alabre, Associates in Science Nursing was the Valedictorian , Yusnier Gutierrez ,Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice was the Salutatorian and the guest speaker was Alumni Yuneymis Diaz Gomez, Associates of Arts in Paralegal Studies.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  Thomas A Edison.  Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it. On behalf of the Academic AdvisingOffice we congratulate the Class of 2012!


The Mu Zeta Times!

Dear Members and Friends,

Please click on the link below to check the fourth issue of our newsletter: The Mu Zeta Times.

The Mu Zeta Times is the official newsletter of the Mu Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.

This newsletter is designed to inform you of all chapter activities, future plans, and feature news that is important to you! Employment information is now available. Scholarship information will be available in future issues. This newsletter is also designed to inform our families, friends, sponsors, and associates of the Mu Zeta Chapter accomplishments.

Feedback on The Mu Zeta Times is encouraged! 

We hope you enjoy it!

3rd Annual Mu Zeta Chapter Induction Ceremony

The Annual Honor Society Induction Ceremony was held this past Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 at Florida International University.  Induction of new members into the National Honor Society is one of the most important traditions associated with any National Honor Society and is an important event for the student, the chapter, and the school.  

The induction ceremony was conducted by the national advisor, national and local chapter officers and members of the local chapter.  Thirteen students were inducted, ten were FIU students and three were FNC students. 

The inductees enjoyed a night of celebration with family, friends, and colleagues.  Florida National College congratulates all inductees and sends best wishes to the FNC students who got inducted:  Nathaly Almonte, Margarita Landa, and Gustavo Omana.

If you are interested in joining the Criminal Justice Honor Society at Florida National College, please contact the Chapter Advisor, Jelenny Hernandez at (786) 364-9564 or email at


Trace Evidence Collection and Preservation Training

“Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as a silent witness against him.  Not only his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, the glass he breaks, the tool mark he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits or collects.  All of these and more, bear mute witness against him.  This is evidence that does not forget. “ – Professor Edmond Locard.

This past Saturday, April 21st, the students of the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies programs at Florida National College participated in a Trace Evidence Collection and Preservation training sponsored by the Gold Coast Forensic Association of West Palm Beach.  The Gold Coast Forensic Association was formed in 2003 by a group of Forensic Investigators to enhance the level of training on Florida’s Gold Coast.  The associations numbers in approximately 100 members and is growing on a daily basis. The member’s of the association’s expertise extends to Crime Scene Investigators, Medical Examiners Investigators, Latent Fingerprint Examiners, DNA Laboratory Scientists, Firearms Examiners, Detectives, Police Officers, and Educators and Students.

The Trace Evidence Collection and Preservation training was held at the West Palm Beach Police Department and it included topics such as fingerprints, small evidence, hair and fiber, body fluids and alternate light source examinations.  The participating students were able to cast footprint and fingerprint impressions, dust for fingerprints, collect small fiber, analyze blood, semen, and urine through alternative light source equipment, and determine various substances through chemical enhancements. 

If you are interested in participating in upcoming trainings you must be enrolled in the criminal justice or legal studies programs and preferably hold membership in the Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society chapter at Florida National College.  For more information, contact the Chapter Advisor, Jelenny Hernandez at (786) 364-9564 or email at

Is What You Say at Work Protected by the First Amendment?

By: Florida National College Professor, Joseph S. Giannell, Esq.

Is what you say at work protected by the First Amendment? The answer to this question depends on the situation. The United States Supreme Court recently handed down a decision that helps answer this question for government employees. In the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos, the Court held that when public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, their statements are not protected by the First Amendment. However, when public employees make statements outside their duties, then that speech may be protected by the First Amendment.

So what does this all mean for college students that decide to work for the government after graduation? Basically, the extent of you First Amendment rights will depend in large part on your job description. For example, if a state attorney paralegal as a part of his/her job duties has a meeting with an attorney, anything that the paralegal says at that meeting is not protected by the First Amendment. On the other hand, if the paralegal were to write a letter to a newspaper complaining about government budgeting and waste, all of that speech would be protected by the First Amendment because it is not a part of a paralegal’s duties to write letters to newspapers.

So why is it important to have your speech protected by the First Amendment as a government employee? When speech is protected by the First Amendment, your employer cannot discipline or retaliate against you for things you say that are considered protected speech. However, your employer could discipline you for unprotected speech because when government employees engage in speech pursuant to their job duties, they are technically speaking for the government, so the courts allow public employers to have the ability to control what their employees say in these situations. The bottom line is that anything you say pursuant to your job duties is unprotected speech and can be regulated by your employer; however, if you say something outside of your job duties, your speech will likely be protected by the First Amendment and your employer cannot hold that speech against you.