Welcome to the First Year Experience

Cornerstone Faculty

List of all Cornerstone Experience Faculty


Dr. Eileen DeLuca
Dean, College and Career Readiness

The SLS 1515 Cornerstone Experience course is designed to help students become self-reliant learners who use critical thinking to achieve academic and career success. Students who have completed SLS 1515 have reported the positive impact of the relationships they have developed with their professor and the other students.  We hope that you too will establish positive relationships that will provide a network of support as you navigate the college experience.


Whitney Rhyne
Director, New Student Programs

I think the first year is critical to your success as a student and I am so excited and proud to be part of the First Year Experience (FYE) program. Students who are connected and engaged on campus do better academically and persist at higher rates. To help you achieve success we offer a variety of workshops, events, and community activities. We have the friendliest staff on campus and encourage you to stop by with any questions no matter how small. We have Peer Mentors and Academic Coaches that are ready and willing to help you. Check out our FYE Programming webpage and stop by to see us in building Q room 127. I look forward to connecting with you soon and often!


Dr. Martin Tawil
SLS 1515 Professor and Lead Faculty

The Cornerstone Experience is a very important course for students because it provides them the following key skills:

  1. Time management (how to balance your personal and academic life)
  2. Critical thinking skills (how to use critical thinking to find the right career and enhance your life as a whole)
  3. Becoming a better student (how to navigate and find the services you need to be successful)
  4. Connecting to Florida SouthWestern State College (how to build social as well as academic connections to Florida SouthWestern State College)

Overall, this course gives students the foundation needed during their first semester to be more successful in college. Your SLS 1515 professor and Florida SouthWestern State College can help guide you to a better future!


Professor Myra Walters
Chair, Speech and Communications
Speech Professor
SLS 1515 Professor

The SLS 1515 Cornerstone Experience course is important for all students because they not only learn about skills that they need to acquire to be successful in the college environment but they develop skills that they need to be successful throughout life.


Dr. Rebecca Gubitti
Developmental Mathematics Professor
SLS 1515 Professor

The SLS 1515 Cornerstone Experience course is a course where each individual truly gets the opportunity to learn about themselves: how they think, how they learn, how they view/handle success and failures, and how they can achieve their goals. Students learn how to change their perception of “obstacles” into “challenges and opportunities” that they can, and do, turn into success stories. Facilitating and watching students become “engaged, embraced and empowered” by learning is priceless!”     


Professor David Hoffman
Business Professor
SLS 1515 Professor

My advice to first year students is this:

  1. Attend every class and arrive on time.
  2. Give your best effort on assignments and turn them all in on time.
  3. Get to know your professors and let them get to know you.
  4. Learn to enjoy every aspect of your college experience.


Professor Freida Miller
SLS 1515 Professor

The very best part of teaching SLS 1515 is helping the students to start being independent critical thinkers. It is awesome to see these FTIC students learn about themselves, set goals, apply new study skills, and take an active part in campus life.


Professor Kathy Clark
SLS 1515 Professor
Chair, Social Sciences
Economics Professor

The SLS 1515 course is designed to enhance student success. Students will be introduced to many skills such as time management, learning styles and how to think critically. All of these skills, once learned, will help students succeed in college.


Professor Kelley Newhouse
SLS 1515 Professor and Lead Faculty (Collier Campus)

The SLS1515 Cornerstone Experience course is specifically designed to help first-year students develop skills necessary for academic, career, and lifelong success. Throughout the course, students have the opportunity to strengthen critical and creative thinking skills, build effective written and oral communication skills, reflect on and apply learning in various contexts, and collaborate with others. By engaging in course activities and assignments, students will deepen their understanding of their own learning styles and preferences.


Professor Mike Nisson
Professor of Criminal Justice and
Cornerstone Instructor

The SLS 1515 course provides an insight for students in understanding what motivates them, exploring their personality and their major in college.   The students are introduced to different learning styles and taught how to manage their time. They also learn how to communicate effectively and think critically.

The students are given the opportunity to locate and use resources that the college provides for them through the Passport assignment. The students are taught how to be successful in life and both the instructor and other students share successful experiences.  Failure is not an option.  The value of the course content can last an eternity for the student.  The Student receives knowledge; applying it in the real world is when they receive the true understanding of the lesson.