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All in the (‘Canes) Family


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    By Steve Pierre
    UM Communications

    From left are Michelle, Josh, and Kelsey Valencia

    From left are Michelle, Josh, and Kelsey Valencia

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 5, 2017)—Michelle Valencia has seen not only her career at the U grow since she started as a full-time employee in 1989, but also her son and daughter. “They spent much of their earlier years at Canterbury Preschool and around the Coral Gables campus,” Valencia, now the director of publications at the School of Law, said about Josh and Kelsey, both UM students. “Since they were young, they both really wanted to come to UM as students—it was their dream.”

    As Josh, a senior, and Kelsey, a freshman, make the most of their UM education, Valencia is grateful for her own student experiences, and the tuition remission benefit she can share with her children. A double ’Cane, she earned her undergraduate degree in journalism and English in 1988, and joined the University staff the following year, initially working with University Advancement in various roles before joining the School of Law in 2008.

    Her employment not only allowed her to further her own education at little cost—she earned her master’s in higher education through the tuition remission program—but imbue her children with the ’Canes spirit and traditions from birth.

    “We are very much a ’Canes family and they grew up learning to bleed orange and green,” Valencia said. “They knew they wanted to come here and knew what a blessing tuition remission would be, especially for a school of this caliber.”

    Kelsey began her classes in the School of Nursing and Health Studies this fall, while Josh, who is studying motion pictures, has taken advantage of the opportunity to study abroad.

    As Valencia continues her career at UM and her children work toward their degrees, she encourages her colleagues to learn about the opportunities tuition remission may open up. “I think everyone should look into it, whether it is for themselves, their kids, or even a spouse. It is truly an amazing benefit.”

     

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