Job Description: Marielena joined the Broward College family in April 2014 as the Vice President of Student Affairs & Enrollment. In this role, she provides leadership to the district Registrar's Office; Financial Aid; and the district departments of Disability Services, Athletics, Student Life, Title IX, Policy, and Enrollment Management. She works closely with the campus Student Deans to provide admissions, registration, and advising services to students. Beginning on April 1, 2016, she will be leading the Grants department, Institutional Research, Developmental Education, International Education, and Academic Affairs on an interim basis while the search for the Central Campus President is conducted. As VPSA, she serves as the official College Ombudsman – the advocate for all students to ensure that they have a positive experience at Broward College along their journey to completion.
Work History: Prior to joining Broward College, she served as the leader for Curriculum and Instruction for the Broward County Public School (BCPS) District for grades K – 12 and the district's Adult Education programs. Her tenure at BCPS includes: Principal of Fort Lauderdale High School; Assistant Principal and Math & Science teacher at South Plantation High School. She was also a teacher at American Heritage Upper School and at the Institute for Math and Computer Science. Prior to her career as an educator, she worked as an engineer in the water and wastewater industry following her Mechanical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. Her training in education includes a Master's in Math Education from Nova Southeastern University, and a Specialist and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion: A South Florida native, Marielena was raised in a community that values diversity. It was not until she moved out of the state that she realized that not every community embraces the differences in race, culture, sexual orientation, and physical/emotional exceptionalities present in America. Having these disparate experiences has heightened her appreciation of diversity and her commitment to ensuring that our students have the opportunities to authentically interact with faculty, staff, and peers of varying racial, ethnic, cultural, gender identity, religious, and disabilities.
Did you know? Marielena studied ballet for 16 years and begged her parents to audition for Julliard? Her dream career was to dance professionally and ultimately own a ballet studio. Having put up her pointe shoes after her freshman year at Georgia Tech, she now enjoys deep-sea fishing, bass fishing, the beach, and reading; and plans to obtain her captain's license within the next year.
Marielena is the mother of two children: Conner (21) is a junior at Louisiana State University (LSU) studying Petroleum Engineering; and Allie (18) will be joining the freshman class of Florida State University (FSU) this summer as a Pre-Med student. Additionally, she and her husband Lance live in Lake Worth with their French Mastiff, Harley; their Pit-bull, Gator; and their talking parrot, Cowboy.
Favorite Quote: "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." – Charles R. Swindoll. She has always remembered this – in personal and professional life – and considers it an important tool to having a happy and successful life.