Candlelight vigil to honor slain College employee
The murder of Palm Beach State College staff member Dacota Stewart-Dick in her Parkland home Sunday has sent shock waves through the College community, as employees and students struggle to cope with the tragedy.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, for students, faculty and staff to honor the memory of Stewart-Dick, PBSC First-Year Experience program manager. The vigil will take place in the MLK Plaza, Lake Worth campus. Grief counselors also have been made available through the College Counseling Center and the Employee Assistance Program to support co-workers and students as needed.
Stewart-Dick was stabbed to death in what the Broward County Sheriff’s Office described as a domestic dispute that turned deadly. Her husband, Alrick Brown, is facing a murder charge.
Stewart-Dick joined the College three years ago to launch the FYE program, which provides support for new students in making the transition to college life. As the first person in this role, she was charged with starting up and launching FYE activities and resources College-wide.
She is being mourned by colleagues as a caring person who always put the needs of students first. “Dacota was a perfect fit to lead the FYE because she truly cared about students and worked very hard to help them succeed. She was very professional, but always friendly and welcoming. She will be greatly missed,” said Dr. Grace Truman, director of College Relations and Marketing.
A career educator, Stewart-Dick came to PBSC after serving for eight years as coordinator of the Science, Technology and Research School Early College Program at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She also served for six years as coordinator of the New York Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation, based at Brooklyn College and funded through a National Science Foundation grant. Earlier in her career, she was assistant director of undergraduate advising at Florida International University and assistant to the dean of academic affairs at York College, CUNY.
She earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from Baruch College and her bachelor’s degree in accounting from York College.
Survivors include her daughter, son, mother, grandchild and two stepdaughters.