Meet Our HSCA Ambassadors

The HSCA Ambassadors program began in the fall of 2016. Ambassadors were selected from current ninth and tenth grade HSCA scholars. HSCA Ambassadors are responsible for welcoming new HSCA scholars to the academy, recruiting new ninth and eleventh graders into the program, and to support scholars at their high school. You can meet our scholars by visiting the HSCA Ambassadors page

What is the HSCA?

The Health Science Collegiate Academy provides an opportunity for students to earn their high school diploma and Associates degree at Lake-Sumter State College simultaneously.   The program focuses on curriculum within the health sciences and includes hands-on career exploration activities at South Lake Hospital and early exposure to college-level STEM courses needed to excel in health sciences careers.  

Academy Benefits
  • Experiential, hands-on learning activities
  • Internship opportunities at South Lake Hospital
  • Offers a fast track program to earning a college degree in a health field
  • Students earn college credits towards an associate’s degree
  • Completers are prepared for all Florida state colleges and universities
  • LSSC graduates are guaranteed admission to UCF though DirectConnect
  • No LSSC tuition or admission application fees

Now with two program options! 

Four-Year Program (9th Grade Start) is a four-year commitment for students who are entering the 9th grade. Students have an accelerated 9th and 10th grade year and then attend LSSC full-time for their 11th and 12th grade years. Students will earn their Florida High School diploma and can earn an Associates in Arts. 

Two-Year Program (11th Grade Start) is a two-year commitment for students who are entering the 11th grade for those rising sophomores who have proven to be academically ready for the challenging curriculum of the HSCA program. Students will attend LSSC full-time for their 11th and 12th grade years.  Students will earn their Florida High School diploma and can earn an Associates in Arts. 

Meet Our Staff
Face Picture of Ryan Tomasiewicz
Dr. Ryan Tomasiewicz

is the Director of the Health Sciences Collegiate Academy since its founding in 2015. Previously, he was the Assistant Director for Honors in the Division of General Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ryan holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he researched strengths-based approaches in university 101 courses. His scholarly interests and research agenda examine the integration of strengths-based approaches in higher education. Dr. Tomasiewicz can be reached at

Latisha McCray

is the HSCA Academic Program Coordinator and will be responsible for assisting HSCA students with their academic and career goals while in the HSCA. Latisha has worked in academic support and student retention roles for the last ten years, most recently as the program coordinator of an academic support community at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to UT Austin, she worked at the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine as a coordinator of academic support services. Mrs. McCray can be reached at

Face Picture of Latisha McCray
Picture in OR of Doctor Helping Student
Face Picture of Latisha McCray
Image of HSCA South Lake Logo

The Health Sciences Collegiate Academy (HSCA) is a unique industry-school (workforce meets education) partnership among Lake-Sumter State College, South Lake Hospital, Lake County Schools, Montverde Academy, and the University of Central Florida. The HSCA was founded in 2015 with our first class starting in the fall of 2015 which will graduate in spring 2019. 

Tamela Mankewich, RN

is the HSCA Simulation Program Coordinator and is responsible for the experiential learning on campus as well as the hospital experience at South Lake Hospital for the students.  Tamela has worked as a registered nurse for the last 19 years in areas to include labor and delivery, critical care, cardiac catheritization, medical/surgical, and school nursing.  Mrs. Mankewich may be reached at