As Professor of Business and History at the Osceola Campus of Valencia College in Orlando, I seek to enhance student learning outcomes in US History I, US History II, Latin American Humanities, Introductory Business, and Small Business Management.
In May, 2010, Whiskey Creek Press published DEATH BOOK, my adventure novel that blends mystery, romance, and history as an archaeologist travels through Honduras to find the lost Death Book manuscript – and another chance for love!
Valencia College has been an important part of my life. In the past, I have been Interim Provost of the East Campus (2003-2005), Dean of Social Sciences and Physical Education (1998-2003), and Director of International Business (1985-87).
From January 1992 through June 1998, I held the position of Director of Barry University's Orlando Center in beautiful Central Florida and Regional Director for a new site in Tallahassee. My previous academic experience includes 10 years in the History and Business departments at Bergen CC (NJ), and other administrative positions at Valencia and the University of Florida.
I received the Ph.D. and M.A. in History from SUNY-Stony Brook and an MBA in Marketing from the Hagan School of Business at Iona College (New Rochelle, N.Y.). My baccalaureate education at Union College (Schenectady, NY) provided the first opportunity to explore Latin America. I spent my junior year in Colombia and it changed my life! Five years in sales and marketing also took me to the Far East. A Social Sciences Research grant later took me to Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Leading a Fulbright-Hays Group Study Project to Honduras, Central America in 1993 was one of my most exciting adventures. I enjoyed sharing my love of Mayan archaeology, indigenous arts and crafts, and Latin American studies with 21 teachers. Cinematographer Paul Mitton and I produced a video, Honduras: Gateway to Central America, providing a cultural and historic overview of the nation.
My great grandfather Bernardo Beninati arrived at Ellis Island, N.Y. on June 29, 1903 from Contessa Entellina, Sicily. The Beninati clan has now been in the great USA for a century (and somehow the nation survives!). Contessa, 50 miles south of Palermo, is only about 15 miles southwest of Corleone, the home of Mario Puzo's mythical "Godfather." This village is the home of the Albanian "Arberesh" Sicilians who trace their heritage to the famous Skanderbeg, the Christian crusader who withstood the onslaught of the Ottoman Turks in the Eastern Roman Empire. His descendants found refuge in Sicily after the fall of Constantinople.
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My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org