Rest well, faithful servant
H. Marlene O'Toole, an award-winning former Florida lawmaker, education advocate, nonprofit leader, and former IBM manager died Jan. 30, leaving a legacy of a distinguished career serving Beacon College and playing mentor, cheerleader, and supporter to students. READ MORE
Lean on Me
Despite an apparent malaise in graduation nationally, some experts say there remains a silver lining: Colleges that invested in expanding their student success services held steady in terms of graduation during covid. That’s good news for Beacon College, which for years has invested in student success services such as learning specialists, tutoring, mentoring, counseling, and career guidance. READ MORE
The doctor is in
Beacon College was featured in a segment on "Health Uncensored with Dr. Drew," a new national TV series hosted by popular TV personality Dr. Drew Pinsky. The show focuses on health and medical topics and aired in January on Fox Business Network. The segment featured interviews with students, parents, President George J. Hagerty, and a discussion between Drew and Alex Morris-Wood, vice president of program development and global partnerships. Click the image to watch the segment.
Stacking hardware
Continuing its award-winning run, Beacon College’s monthly PBS show “A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity” in January scored gold (and silver) in the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards. The international awards competition honors mission-driven work that improves and uplifts the world. READ MORE
Love, international style
This is a love story about two bookworms from opposite sides of the world. Beacon College boasts a handful of married couples working on campus, but to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re profiling one couple’s extraordinary international love story. READ MORE
Career future shock
At a time when more than half of college graduates say artificial intelligence makes them question whether they are ready for today’s workforce, Beacon College is using AI to help students and alumni beat the odds. READ MORE
Getting away from it all
In its never-ending push to support students’ academic journeys, the college has opened a new Sensory and Mindfulness Room at its Counseling and Wellness Center. The 324-square-foot room will serve as a quiet space for students who might need to get away from the hectic college life. READ MORE
Stepping back into time to a world of wizards and wenches, elves and fairies, and knights and daze (from liberally flowing mead) may not immediately strike one as a scholarly pursuit. Yet, for the members of the Dungeons and Dragons club at Beacon College, their bold campaign to the Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire proved the perfect marriage of revelry and research. READ MORE 

Psyched up
Five Beacon students had their research projects accepted for poster presentation at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference this month at the University of North Florida.

Aliyah Tucker, Emily Woodhouse, Luis Munoz, Melony Orbach, and Michael Wang will be presenting their research at FURC during the conference that runs Feb. 16-17. FURC is one of the largest multidisciplinary research conferences in the country and invites Florida undergraduate researchers to submit their findings via poster. Along with important conference presentation experience, FURC offers some of the best networking chances with fellow academics and graduate programs nationwide, as well as workshops and other professional development opportunities.
Additionally, Orbach and Munoz's research projects also were accepted to the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference in Chicago in April, while Orbach's research project also was accepted to the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Conference in Denver in April.
All’s (science) fair
Beacon students showed their research chops in December during the college’s Research & Technology Fair. The event featured 54 project submissions and 71 student presenters. Students showcased their coursework, including research papers, case studies, analyses, book reports, and more via posters, PowerPoint presentations, etc. You can review the Research & Technology Fair booklet, which includes a brief abstract of each student’s project, and you can view photos from the Fair here.
Career homerun
With a relentless drive, Travis Hunter '03 set out many years ago to make his childhood dream come true: to work on the business side of a professional baseball team. That dream became a reality when he landed a job with a minor league team halfway across the U.S. READ MORE.
Strokes of genius
Emily Marra '22 won the Laurel award in Gallery 4%'s Unreal & Non-Representational - 2 art contest. Hundreds of artists participated, displaying a diverse range of art based on unreal and non-representational concepts. Marra was recognized for her acrylic painting, "Ebb and Flow." Gallery 4% is a San Franciso-based gallery that holds periodic juried art competitions online to highlight and support talented artists and their creativity.
Alumni Updates
Submit your Beacon College alumni updates, news, weddings, births, career changes, etc. for consideration in the next issue of the "Lighting the Path" newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you! EMAIL US
lt takes two
Darryl E. Owens, associate vice president of communications and engagement, was featured with his wife Sherri in Lake & Sumter Style magazine's "2023 Power Couples" spotlight. The feature recognized couples who live and/or work in Lake County that are active in community service and/or serving the community in their professional roles. READ MORE
Knockout stories

Beacon psychologist Dr. A.J. Marsden was featured with her husband Matt on episode 73 of "The Quiggin’ Out MMA Podcast." On this episode, the Marsdens discuss the Bellator acquisition and separation from the organization Matt has been a part of for over a decade and one that A.J. has been a part of for about half that time. They discuss life after Bellator, some of the amazing sights and sounds they were able to experience, and more.
Photoshop it
As a graphic design maven, Brittany Strozzo is well-versed with photoshopping unwanted elements out of photographs. But during the winter holiday season, she was able to photoshop, so to speak, herself into the culture of the United Arab Emirates during her time serving as a teacher for Project Discovery. READ MORE
Chapter and verse
Gretchen Dreimiller, director of library resources, had her proposal “Creating a Comforting, Welcoming Environment for All” selected for inclusion in the upcoming book, "Supporting Neurodiverse Students in Libraries." The chapter will provide practical tips for librarians looking to make changes to their library spaces to better serve the needs of neurodiverse learners.
Wild about whimsy
Senior instructor Christopher Irving will chair a panel discussion in March on his paper, "The Whimsy of Utopia: Examining the Playfulness of Tomasso Campanella's 'City of the Sun'" at the 45th International Conference for Fantasy of the Arts in Orlando, Florida.
Short stuff
Dr. Nicki Nance, associate professor of human services, published her short fiction story "Dust Covers and Other Lovers" on Fanstory. You can read the story HERE
Dr. Gilbert Franco published the peer-reviewed article "The Impact of Productivity Standards in Psychotherapy" in Frontiers in Psychology, 14.
You can review the article HERE
"Beacon Salon Speaker Series"
December's Beacon Salon Speaker Series presentation featured Beacon humanities professor and author Dr. William Nesbitt and his presentation on “The Beats: Poets and Provocateurs.” The Beat Generation originated in the 1950s and principal members include Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Diane di Prima, Amiri Baraka, and Gregory Corso. Censorship and media coverage galvanized the movement. Click on the image to view the presentation.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity"
December's "A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" focuses on neurodiversity and sports. On this episode, we visit a Virginia school for dyslexic learners and Beacon College and see students strive as vigorously on the soccer field or basketball court as they do in the classroom. National experts share the playbook for helping kids who learn differently find success and belonging in organized sports. And you’ll meet Difference Maker, Gary Payton II, an NBA champion who is scoring points for spotlighting his dyslexia and showing dyslexic youth how to fastbreak to success. Click on the link to watch the episode.
January's "A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" focuses on demystifying dyscalculia. On this episode, we visit a Pennsylvania school where students with dyscalculia get a feel for math … by touch … and the use of their other senses. National experts share strategies that add up to math achievement for pupils with dyscalculia. And you’ll meet Difference Maker Giselle Mota, a workforce futurist for whom a past discovery ignited her accomplished present. Click the image to watch the episode.
December 2023

Beacon Men's Blazers vs. Johnson University
Click the image to watch the replay.

Beacon Lady Blazers vs. New College
Click the image to watch the replay.
January 2024

Beacon Lady Blazers vs. Florida State College at Jacksonville
Click the image to watch the replay.
Beacon Men's Blazers vs. United International College
Click the image to watch the replay.
February's Beacon Salon Speaker Series features National Review editor Rich Lowry and his presentation "Lessons from Lincoln."
Lincoln was a proponent of markets, individual achievement and personal responsibility. He embraced economic dynamism and development. He rejected populist demagoguery directed at corporations and banks and, in fact, worked as a lawyer for the biggest corporation in the state, the Illinois Central Railroad. He warned against class warfare and made working for your own living — and not off the work of others — one of his bedrock principles. Without understanding these fundamental commitments of Lincoln, you can’t understand him as a figure or the DNA of the Republican party. REGISTER NOW! 
Helping St. Nick
During the Christmas season, department stores hire extra help. This year, Santa got a helping hand from would-be elves in the form of Beacon College student ambassadors. They conducted a holiday toy drive to benefit kids throughout Lake County. Led by student ambassador sponsor William Gledhill, director of recruitment and outreach, the campaign involved the ambassadors crafting an Amazon wish list for donors to consult which yielded 100 new toys wrapping the toys late night during finals week, and hand-delivering to several area schools and childcare programs near Beacon.
“One kind word can warm three winter months.”
Japanese proverb