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Ponciano tapped for NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program

HenryPonciano-150x225Henry Ponciano, assistant dean of student services at Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens, is among only 20 higher education administrators throughout the country selected this year for the Leadership Fellows Program sponsored by the National Community College Hispanic Council and the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

The program is designed to develop a pool of highly qualified Latinas and Latinos who aspire to move up the ranks in higher education. Components of the Leadership Fellows Program include two training seminars, including one scheduled for September in Scottsdale, Ariz. The first seminar was held in San Diego in June. The fellows will also prepare an individualized professional development plan, engage in a mentoring relationship with a Hispanic community college leader and participate in online activities in between sessions.

Ponciano said he is excited about the opportunity and honored to have been nominated by Dr. Maria Vallejo, provost of the PBSC Lake Worth campus, who will serve as his mentor for the Leadership Fellows Program. “I greatly appreciate Dr. Vallejo’s confidence. I could benefit from this opportunity. I could bring back positive things and work on things for the College.”

Ponciano, who was promoted to assistant dean a year ago, began his education career in 1997 working as a live-in counselor with the Talent Development program at the University of Rhode Island. The program helped first-generation college students during the summer after their senior year get acclimated to college. He has worked in various academic advising positions at Palm Beach State, Florida International University, Broward College and Nova Southeastern University since 1998.  He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Rhode Island.

NCCHC is an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges, a national organization that has provided leadership to the community college movement for the past half century. The Council, established 29 years ago, works to promote the educational interests and success of the Hispanic community and emphasizes access, equity and excellence for students and staff in community colleges. One of the first ventures was to offer a leadership development program, with support from the Ford Foundation. Of the original 72 fellows, more than 15 are now community college presidents, and many others have moved to positions of increased responsibility as executive level administrators.

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