Poinciana Campus Leadership Team

Campus President

Kathleen A. Plinske, Ed.D.
Kathleen A. Plinske, Ed.D.
Campus President, Poinciana and Lake Nona Campuses

Message from the Campus President

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Jennifer Robertson

Jennifer Robertson

Executive Dean of the Poinciana Campus

Dr. Robertson currently serves as Valencia College’s executive dean of the Poinciana Campus. Prior to this position, she served as the director of the Study Abroad and Global Experiences office at Valencia and executive director of the Florida Consortium for International Education since 2011. Dr. Robertson has a master’s degree in business administration and just completed a doctoral program at the University of Central Florida in educational leadership. She has lived and worked throughout Latin America and owned a language school in Puerto Rico prior to coming to Florida. Dr. Robertson is fluent in Spanish and is currently studying Portuguese to better serve our Central Florida communities.


Mary McGowan

Mary McGowan

Director of Student Services

Mary earned her Associate in Arts degree at Valencia College. She transferred to University of Central Florida to complete her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, as well as a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. She has worked at Valencia since 2007, starting as a Student Leader. Her other previous roles at Valencia include Administrative Support Specialist, Academic Advisor, Answer Center Advisor, and New Student Orientation Coordinator.


Amaris Vasquez

Amaris Vasquez

Manager, Community Outreach

Dr. Vasquez currently serves as the Community Outreach Manager for Valencia's Poinciana Campus and Professor of Latin American Humanities. Prior to Valencia, she served as an Hispanic/Latino Outreach and Retention Advisor and Professor of Strategies for Success in Georgia, Professor of Latin American Studies in New York, and Northeast Affiliate Coordinator for UNIDOS (former NCLR) in Washington, D.C. Dr. Vasquez is a New Jersey native of Dominican descent and has traveled the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean to best address Hispanic/Latino community formation and its role in U.S. higher education. Dr. Vasquez has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from St. John's University, a master's degree in Latin American and Border Studies from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a master's degree in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies from the University at Albany-SUNY. In 2016, Dr. Vasquez earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Research, and Counseling at Louisiana State University.


Charminta Brown

Charminta Brown

Manager, Learning Support Services

Charminta attended Wesley College and earned a bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Mathematics, and received her graduate degree at Florida international University (FIU) where she earned a master's degree in Higher Education Administration in 2015. She worked at FIU for five years and served in versatile roles such as a Graduate Assistant, Academic Advisor, Manager, and Instructor. Charminta was born and raised in New Jersey. She has experience working in departments such as Career Services, Academic Advising, and Academic and Career Success.


Brenda Baralt

Brenda Baralt

Executive Assistant

Brenda is an alumna from Valencia College. She began her role as Executive Assistant with Valencia in January 2017. She has a rich background in the Hospitality and Human Resources field of over 10 years. Brenda is fluent in the English and Spanish language.


Luz Ruiz Mercado

Luz Ruiz Mercado

Staff Assistant

Luz graduated with an AA in Medical Administration and AA in Billing and coding in Valencia College in 2015. She started working for Valencia in the Security Department in 2015 and began her role as Staff Assistant with the Poinciana Campus in May 2017. Luz is currently enrolled in the BAS: Business Organization Leadership program in Valencia to obtain her Bachelor Degree in Administration. She has a background in the Hospitality field of over 10 years. Luz is fluent in the English and Spanish language.