Madeline M. Pumariega became the Florida College System (FCS) Chancellor in August of 2015. FCS serves more than 800,000 students at 28 colleges throughout the state. Madeline most recently served as president of the statewide non-profit Take Stock in Children. She lead all facets of the organization, from working with a team of professionals and an active Board of Directors to overseeing the organization's management and operations, fundraising and development efforts, as well as strategic partnerships and legislative affairs. Take Stock in Children (TSIC) is a Florida statewide non-profit organization, focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education that leads to well-paying jobs. TSIC has helped over 22,000 students living in poverty successfully complete high school and move into post-secondary education and career.
Prior to joining Take Stock in Children, Madeline spent 20 years growing her career at Miami Dade College (MDC), most recently serving as President of the Wolfson Campus. She is regarded for her work in developing innovative approaches to support academic progress and student success, ensuring that thousands of youth can access and complete college. Pumariega was instrumental in establishing Take Stock in Children's largest affiliate, at MDC, which is currently serving 600 youth. Pumariega has also been instrumental in supporting workforce programs by leveraging key partnerships in the community. One such partnership during her time at Miami Dade College, through its Hospitality Institute, provides culinary certification that fills the workforce need and creates employment opportunities.
Pumariega's volunteer activities include serving on the board of City Year Miami, serving on a steering committee for The Miami Foundation, and membership in the International Women's Forum. She is a member of Leadership Florida Class XXXIII and was a Kellogg Fellow for the League for Innovation's Expanding Leadership Diversity in Community Colleges, which is an innovative program focusing on leadership development and capacity building as a change agent for communities.
Amelia (Amy) Bickel received a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Psychology in 2011, and a Master’s of Educational Leadership (Higher Education) in 2013 from the University of Central Florida (UCF). She is currently working on her Educational Doctorate (EdD) at the University of Alabama.
In her current role, she works with the UCF PRIME STEM program- a Federal TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) grant providing wrap-around services to first-generation, low-income, and students with disabilities. Her current and previous research has focused on the role of mentoring, STEM retention, undergraduate research, and career-related interventions for first-generation and low-income students. Her professional interests are impacting the access and success of the aforementioned populations.
Dr. Naomi R. Boyer, Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives & Innovation/ CIO, holds a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary education and is responsible for facilitating a wide variety of tasks for Polk State College. She is responsible for all institutional technology and the departments of Instructional Technology & E-Learning, Infrastructure Technology & User Services, and Enterprise Systems and programming. Also, she cultivates STEM pipeline projects, fosters K-12 partnerships, works on new academic program development, and facilitates international initiatives.
She has over fourteen years of experience in post-secondary administrative roles and has professional experience in K-12, State College, and University organizations. Through her work, Dr. Boyer has been instrumental in the initiation of educational robotics and administratively supports a team in the implementation of competency-based education. Her role at the College is dynamic, as she is tasked with new initiatives and projects as they emerge.
Kathy Carr has been the Executive Director of the Education Foundation of Osceola County for sixteen years. The Foundation is the School District’s foundation and provides programs, funding, and scholarships for teachers and students. Prior to this, she worked for both the School District and the Board of County Commissioners.
Kathy has a marketing degree from the University of Kentucky. “Go Cats!” Her work experience includes marketing, public relations, grant writing and non-profit management.
Ms. Carr has been an Osceola County resident for 30 years and is married to Craig Carr, the District’s Environmental Science Resource Specialist. Their oldest son, Kyle (a recent Gator grad) is a third-year science teacher at Harmony High School. Their younger son, Kevin is a freshman at Harmony High School.
Matt began his career as a commercial litigator. In 2009, Matt left the practice of law and formed two real estate start-up companies: Broadway Real Estate and StoreRight Self Storage. Broadway owns and manages a portfolio of over 500,000 s.f. of commercial and multi-family space. StoreRight Self Storage owns and operates twelve Class A self storage facilities located throughout Central Florida, consisting of over 700,000 s.f. of storage space.
Matt has also been active in the local community, currently serving on the Board for the Lakeland Chamber, Co-Chair of the Talent Pipeline Team and Operating Board Member for Polk Vision, Honorary Chair for March of Dimes, and Lakeland’s Charter Review Committee. Matt also recently served as the Chairman for Ignite Lakeland, Treasurer and Board of Directors for the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority, Board of Directors for the Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency, and Board for Girls, Inc.
Braulio Colón is Vice President, Florida Student Success Initiatives at Helios Education Foundation. Braulio works in conjunction with the Foundation's community investment team to identify partnership opportunities and implement the Foundation's strategic student success initiative goals in Florida.
Before joining Helios, Braulio was Executive Director for ENLACE Florida an organization based at the University of South Florida (USF) that engaged communities for higher education by promoting program and policy development designed to influence systemic change and improve college-preparation, access, and completion rates for limited-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students. Under Colon’s leadership, ENLACE evolved into the Florida College Access Network (Florida C.A.N.!), a statewide network that catalyzes and supports communities to improve college and career readiness, access, and completion for all students.
Braulio has also previously served as the Southwest Regional Director for the Florida Department of Education Office of External Affairs and Communications and as General Manager for Public Relations and Partnerships for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.
Braulio earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Africana Studies and a Masters of Arts in Public Administration from the University of South Florida.
Dr. Jesse Coraggio is the Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Services at St. Petersburg College (SPC). He joined SPC in 2006 and has been tasked with increasing levels of responsibility since that time. Jesse has contributed greatly to the success of various strategic College Initiatives such as the Seminole Community Educational Ecosystem, the Pulse BI Consortium, the Moving the Needle Conferences, the creation and deployment of the college’s Academic Pathways, Guaranteed Academic Schedule, and the implementation of Program-Based Academic Standing.
He is a former President of the Florida Association for Institutional Research (FAIR) and serves as the current Chair-Elect of the Council of Instructional Affairs (CIA). His work has been published, and he has presented papers and presentations at more than 70 conferences, including the Association of Institutional Research, American Educational Research Association, National Council on Measurement in Education, and DREAM.
Jesse is from Clearwater and is a graduate of St. Petersburg Junior College. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in Measurement and Research, also from the University of South Florida.
Ivonne Díaz-Claisse is the founder, President, and CEO of HISPA, Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement. Under her leadership HISPA has recruited close to 2,000 volunteers, conducted nearly 500 HISPA Role Model Program sessions and has hosted 19 Youth Conferences. In 2011, HISPA extended its programs to San Antonio, Texas, in 2013 to New York City, and in 2015 to Florida.
Díaz-Claisse is an active HISPA Role Model herself, leading by example and having shared her educational and career experiences with thousands of students nationwide. She has spoken at AT&T, ETS, J&J, Ogilvy, Novartis, Merck, Microsoft, UPS, Verizon and Viacom, among other companies. She has also spoken at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers and Princeton universities, and at many national conferences including the College Board’s “Préparate: Educating Latinos for the Future of America,” and the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute.
Paul Dosal is the Vice President for Student Affairs and Student Success at the University of South Florida. In that position, he is responsible for directing the university-wide student success initiative, a strategic campaign to raise retention and graduation rates, boost student satisfaction, minimize financial indebtedness, and prepare all students for success in their careers or graduate and professional schools. Under his leadership, the university has made remarkable gains in undergraduate student success, raising the six-year graduation rate from 51% to 68% while also eliminating the achievement gap by race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. As the leader of a newly consolidated unit, he is forging a team that touches on all aspects of the student experience, including Enrollment Planning and Management, Undergraduate Studies, Dean of Students, Housing and Residential Education, Health and Wellness, and Career Services.
Dr. Dosal is also a Professor of Latin American History at the University of South Florida, specializing in the modern history of Cuba and the Caribbean region. He is the author of four books, including Comandante Che, a study of the military career of the legendary Latin American revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, and Doing Business with the Dictators, a history of the United Fruit Company in Guatemala in the early 20th century.
Born and raised in Tampa, he is a fourth-generation descendant of Cuban immigrants who settled in Ybor City in 1889. He earned his B.A. in International Politics at St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He received his M.A. in Latin American Studies and Ph.D. in History at Tulane University in New Orleans. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of South Florida, he taught for nine years at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
As a lifelong resident of Tampa and Plant City, Mark began his career in technical and career education in 1990 as an automotive technology teacher at Erwin Technical Center in Tampa. Since that time he has served career, technical, and adult education as a district curriculum resource teacher; Supervisor of Industrial and Technology Education; Assistant Principal for Technical Programs at Tampa Bay Technical High School in Tampa; Director of Career, Technical, and Adult Education in Osceola and Orange Counties; and most recently as the Executive Director of Career, Technical, and Adult Education for Pinellas County Schools.
Mark has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Technical Education and a master’s degree in Career and Technical Education from the University of South Florida. He is certified as a Vocational Director and an automotive technology teacher.
Dr. Christine Koehn currently serves as the Executive Director for the Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation where she oversees regional and national grantmaking in the areas of education, health, arts and culture. She has extensive experience in the grantmaking arena with more than 20 years in primarily leadership roles, most recently providing the oversight of programmatic investment at the United Way of Palm Beach County.
She is a results-driven executive whose expertise includes the facilitation of partnerships and collaboratives, identifying and addressing service system issues, and executing large-scale research and evaluation projects. Her areas of focus are health care access for the underserved, community health and well-being, academic achievement, child abuse and neglect prevention, and arts and culture.
Dr. Koehn holds a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology from the Florida International University. She has been published in professional journals and books and has presented at national conferences on many subjects. She also currently serves on national and local boards and committees, such as the National Center for Family Philanthropy Issues Advisory Committee, Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners Citizens Advisory Committee, and Palm Beach County Education Funders Collaborative.
Dr. John Meyer holds a DBA in Management He has served in public and private education for over 16 years. He also has over 20 years of business and leadership experience where he owned and operated privately held automotive ventures, conducted corporate training, and practiced managerial consulting. His areas of academic interest include person-organization fit and the relationships that organizational and occupational cultures have on human behavior and, by extension, the success of organizations. His areas of personal interest include almost everything automotive.
Dr. Meyer is an active researcher and author on the Workforce Now project. He believes that Workforce Education has never been more significant and appropriate than it is today and he passionately looks forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to continue to grow Florida SouthWestern State College’s School of Business and Technology while keeping its programs academically rigorous, applicable, practical, and professional.
Kathy McDonald is the Network Partnerships Manager for the Florida College Access Network (FCAN), and co-author of Creating Your Life Collage: Strategies for Solving the Work/Life Dilemma (Three Rivers Press). She has been in adult learning and leadership development for the past 16 years and has led workshops for Fortune 500 companies including Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Accenture, and for leading conferences including Working Mother magazine's Work/Life Congress. Prior to joining FCAN she grew enrollments for Eckerd College, Villanova University and Florida Tech and held increasing levels of responsibility in finance and marketing at Oracle and Kraft Foods.
Kathy has appeared on CBS's The Early Show, and Fox News and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and the LA Times. She is a Certified Leadership Coach and holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Maggie Miller is a lead field trainer representing the Florida career planning system MyCareerShines, powered by Kuder® Maggie works with state superintendents, principals, administrators, counselors, resource specialists, and teachers on how to meet goals, frameworks, and standards for career and education planning and exploration. She leads training sessions for workforce and adult education staff members on how to assist adults with career planning and leads training for college advisors and faculty members on how to assist students with college and career planning.
Prior to joining Kuder, Maggie served as an inclusion facilitator and professional developer with the Florida Inclusion Network. Previously, she spent 16 years as a fourth-grade teacher with Polk County public schools in Lakeland, Florida. During this time, she was named the 2006 Disney Teacher of the Year and received the 2009 Exemplary Science Teacher Award for Polk County.
Maggie is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education from Florida Southern College and a master’s degree in education, curriculum, and instruction from Grand Canyon University. She is an executive board member of the Central Florida Autism Institute and executive board member and scholarship chairperson for Lakeland Sister Cities International.
Dr. Paul Nagy serves as Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning. His division has functional responsibility for strategic and tactical planning, academic and non-academic program review, grants management, institutional research, information management & reporting, and SACS accreditation. Prior to his service at Hillsborough Community College he worked in the Provost’s Office at the University of Florida; Durham Technical Community College in Research Triangle Park, N.C.; and the state department of community colleges in Raleigh, N.C.
Paul has presented at numerous national, regional, and state conferences and served as president of the North Carolina Association for Institutional Research. His Ph.D. is from North Carolina State University in Educational Research & Policy Analysis. His doctoral research led to development of an artificial neural network to project enrollment for the North Carolina Community College System. He is also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Institute of the League for Innovation in the Community College and The Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.
Keith Oswald, a twenty-two year employee of Palm Beach County School District, has been privileged to hold the following titles: Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal of both elementary and high school; Restructuring Administrator; Assistant Superintendent, Safety & Learning Environment, Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning; Area Superintendent and presently, as the Chief Academic Officer.
As Chief Academic Officer, Mr. Oswald’s areas of responsibility are the Divisions of Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Access; Professional Development; Teaching & Learning. Mr. Oswald holds an Associates of Humanities, Liberal Arts; a Bachelor of Science, Exceptional Education and Elementary Education; Masters of Education, Educational Leadership; and Education Specialist, Educational Leadership.
The Chief Academic Office ensures that quality academic programming and initiatives are offered to all students as part of a mission to increase academic achievement, graduation rates, and ensure students are college and career ready.
Kathleen Plinske serves as Campus President of the Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. Prior to joining Valencia in 2010, Plinske began her career at McHenry County College, a community college in her hometown of Crystal Lake, Illinois where she served in a number of different roles, including Interim President. Actively involved in her community, Plinske has served as Board Chair of the Education Foundation of Osceola County and as President of the Rotary Club of Lake Nona. She has also served on the Board of CareerSource Central Florida, the Osceola Center for the Arts, Junior Achievement of Osceola County, and the Lake Nona Education Council.
She was named 2012 Woman of the Year by the Orlando Business Journal in its 40 Under 40 competition, and in 2014 received the Compadre Award from the Hispanic Business Council of the Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce and the Don Quijote Hispanic Community Champion Award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. Plinske was selected as an Aspen Presidential Fellow in 2016.
Yalitza Torres is a principal at Jerome Dunn Academy School No. 9 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She has been serving the Elizabeth community for fourteen years. Yalitza holds a Master’s degree from Kean University in Educational Leadership and an undergraduate degree from New Jersey City University. Yalitza has served as a Bi-lingual teacher, Dean of Discipline, and Vice-Principal.
Yalitza is involved in multiple organizations including the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), Elizabeth Administrator and Supervisors Committee (EASC), the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), and the International Elizabeth Lions Organization. Yalitza believes that all children can learn; each at their own pace and in different ways. She believes that with hard work and perseverance we can support students to achieve excellence.
Dr. Aysegul Timur joined Hodges University in 2000, and she currently serves as the dean of the Johnson School of Business and chair of the Business Administration programs. Dedicated to educating aspiring business professionals, her areas of expertise include business policy and organizational development, quality control, statistics for strategic planning, health, and international economics.
Her career at Hodges began in 1999, serving as a teaching assistant in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Introduction to Business. Since then, Timur has served as an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, full professor, vice chair of the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program and director of the Business and Public Administration graduate programs at Hodges.
Timur holds membership in Leadership Collier Foundation, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce – Opportunity Naples and Steering Committee member, SCORE Leadership Council, The Journal of American Academy of Business Editorial Advisory Board, Clute Institute, Southern Economic Association, International Health Economics Association, American Society of Health Economists, Naples Council on World Affairs, WorkforceNow research team member, APEX Circle – Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.
In her spare time, she enjoys contributing to the community by volunteering with Junior Achievement of SW Florida; Leadership Collier Alumni Association; GCHS, NAP Academy, Engineering Program Advisory Board; and Collier County Public Schools Business Plan competition; speaking at civic organizations and participating in chamber of commerce and other community organizations’ research projects.
Becky Youngman has served as a teacher and administrator in the School District of Palm Beach County for 31 years. In her current role as Manager for College Readiness initiatives, Ms. Youngman oversees programs that support a college going culture and promote students' post-secondary success. Since 2008, Ms. Youngman has been responsible for leadership in expanding and improving student participation and performance in accelerated coursework. Ms. Youngman also plays a key role in coordinating Palm Beach County’s district-wide school day SAT test administration.
Ms. Youngman has also served as an educational leader in many roles within state, national and international organizations. As a representative of the Florida Foreign Language Association and member of the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL-NCLIS), Ms. Youngman served as a lobbyist for language education issues. Ms. Youngman has also served as a workshop leader, assessment writer, examiner and advisor for the International Baccalaureate Organisation. Since 1998, she has presented at local, state and national conferences and workshops.
Ms. Youngman holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in French, an Educational Specialist’s degree in Gifted Education, and was a National Board certified teacher. In 2010, Ms. Youngman was bestowed a knighthood in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French Government. She is currently a candidate for an Educational Doctorate degree.
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