Barbatis selected a PTK Distinguished Administrator

Dr. Peter Barbatis, Palm Beach State College vice president of student services and enrollment management, has received a 2017 Distinguished Administrator Award from Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for his support of the organization as well as initiatives to help students succeed.

Dr. Peter Barbatis, wearing the Phi Theta Kappa stole presented to him, is congratulated by Dr. Bernadette Russell, vice president of e-learning and provost of the Boca Raton campus.

He was among 24 college vice presidents, deans or directors presented the award during PTK Catalyst, the society’s annual convention held in Nashville April 6-8. He is the only Florida administrator to receive the award. “It’s a big honor because almost every chapter nominates somebody,’’ said Barbatis. “It’s very humbling.”

Since joining the PBSC administration in June 2012, Barbatis has supported the College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapters. He has motivated PTK students to serve on various committees, bridged more opportunities for access to college leaders, including the president. He has attended the last three international PTK conferences and presented a workshop. He also has led or supported numerous initiatives to remove stumbling blocks for students working to achieve their educational goals.

Under his watch, the College began opening student services offices on the Saturday before the start of the fall and spring term, allowing students to complete everything they need to enroll in classes. The College also began opening student services offices on some days during the two-week winter break to help students get prepared for the spring term.

He has supported and implemented strategic scholarships for students who need assistance completing their degree or certificate, an initiative that has helped boost the College’s completion rate. He has advocated for additional mental health counselors, textbook affordability and partnered with Academic Affairs to ensure the right courses are being offered for students to graduate on schedule.

Barbatis, a New York native who was raised in Orlando, says he personally experienced being a traditional student when he headed off to the University of Florida to pursue his bachelor’s degree as well as a non-traditional when he pursued his graduate degrees while juggling the responsibilities of being a husband and father. Therefore, he said, he “has a heart,” in particular, for non-traditional students managing the demands of school with outside commitments. He has taken a closer look time at the start times of new student orientations, for example, to ensure non-traditional students are also considered in the scheduling decisions.

Barbatis has served as a community college administrator for 25 years in Florida, Texas, California and New York. Prior to coming to Palm Beach State, he was vice president for student development/enrollment. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in counselor education from UF, as well as a doctorate in higher education administration from Florida International University.


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