Throughout her long career in education, Madeline Pumariega has focused on breaking down barriers for both students seeking access to college and for professionals who want to follow her leadership. This week, she will break another glass ceiling as she takes the place of the first woman president of Miami Dade College, the largest community college in the United States.
Ms. Pumariega, who was born and raised in Hialeah, has a long history with college, where she began her undergraduate career as a basketball player, before graduating with a degree from the University of St. Louis. Thomas and a Master of Science from the University of Florida Atlantic. After graduating, she returned to Miami Dade College as an academic advisor and continued to work there for 20 years, eventually serving as president of the Wolfson Campus.
After leaving, she took the position of executive director of the non-profit organization Take Stock in Children, which focuses on breaking the circle of poverty through education. The goal of creating paths to success for first-generation and low-income students, Ms. Pumariega said, is still on her mind as the new president of the MDC.
It is no stranger to give her an example, Ms. Pumariega was the first female and Latin American person to be appointed Chancellor of the Florida College System in 2015. She oversaw 28 state and local colleges across Florida in that role before becoming executive vice president and past of Tallahassee Community College. her latest position.
As an athlete, Ms. Pumariega said, she left everything on the field. As a professional, she said, she is driven by the same passion and work ethic. While she may be the first woman to hold not one but two prestigious positions in the Florida educational community, Ms. Pumariega said she will not be the last.
Miami Today reporter Kyle Henseler spoke with the new president.
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