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(LAKE WORTH, Fla. – May 18, 2017) Dr. Velmarie Albertini has joined Palm Beach State College as the new dean of curriculum.
She has 20 years of teaching and leadership experience and comes to the College from Barry University, where she has worked since August 2016 as associate dean of academic and student affairs. She replaces Susan Bierster, who has filled the role on an interim basis for the last two years following the promotion of Dr. Ginger Pedersen, vice president of information services.
Albertini was chosen for the position after a nationwide search that drew 255 applicants. She will oversee the Academic Services department and the Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College.
“I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to join the team,’’ said Albertini. “I have long admired the mission and the vision of the College. I appreciate PBSC’s historical connection and unwavering commitment as the institution of “first choice for so many people in the Palm Beach County area.”
As part of her new role, Albertini will focus on furthering the implementation of “guided pathways” designed to help students stay on track to complete their degree or certificate.
College leaders have said the need is even greater with legislation approved by lawmakers this month that, if signed into law, would change some of the metrics upon which community colleges are judged for performance-based funding. They include basing the completion rate of full-time students on two years rather than three and measuring community colleges on how students perform after they complete their degree and transfer to a university.
Albertini, a native of Jamaica who was raised in New York, says she’s up for the challenge to help students succeed. “I really believe in the transformative value in education, and I believe in education being accessible. It could impact the lives of individuals, their families, communities, the nation and the world.”
Prior to Barry University, Albertini worked for three years at Florida Polytechnic University in administrative roles. These include ombudsperson, where she worked to resolve issues and concerns related to policies and procedures for Florida’s 12th public university, which was only in its second year of operation when she arrived.
She served as a professor of social sciences and social work from 2008-2013 at Southeastern University in Lakeland. She also served as department chairperson and associate professor in the School of Ministry at Palm Beach Atlantic University from 2003-2008 and as assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University from 2001-2003.
While wrapping up her master’s degree at Florida International University in the mid-1990s with her mind set on a career in social work, she was offered an opportunity to work for the university as the coordinator of student services, a position she held from 1994 to 2001. During that time, she also served as interim graduate program coordinator for three years. She “fell in love with education’’ and has worked in the field ever since.
In addition to the M.S.W., she holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of New Rochelle in New York and a Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. in Comparative Sociology from FIU.
She is married to Guy Albertini, PBSC information security officer, and they have two adult children.
Serving 48,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida's first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.