New associate dean joins Palm Beach Gardens campus
Dr. Linda P. Lebile, whose higher education career includes stints in Asia, Texas and Africa, has joined Palm Beach State College as an associate dean of academic affairs at the Palm Beach Gardens campus.
“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime to make a difference in the lives of our students,’’ said Lebile, who has been making the rounds, getting to know faculty, staff and students since starting Aug. 20. “My goal is to help students complete their college education and graduate with skills to allow them to be productive citizens with prosperous lives because they need to make a difference not just in their lives but in the lives of others, and I think the community college will allow them to do that.”
Lebile, a North Carolina native who has lived most of her adult life in Houston, was chosen after a nationwide search to replace Dr. Robert Gingras, who retired last year. She comes to PBSC from the Community College of Qatar in Doha, where she served for six years, including three as a faculty member of sociology, criminology and student success before being promoted in 2014 to department chair of Humanities and Social Sciences.
In her new role, she oversees more than 40 full-time professors and more than 80 adjunct faculty members in the areas of humanities, social sciences, arts, English, business, paralegal and Student Life Skills.
“We’re happy to have her onboard. She is a great listener and observer and is committed to building a team environment,’’ said Edward Willey, dean of academic affairs. “She brings a good level of energy and commitment, recognizing that she has such large and diverse departments.”
Lebile was among a second group of Texans hired by the Houston Community College System in early 2012 to go to Qatar to teach in the state’s first community college established two years prior. It was established as part of a five-year partnership between Houston Community College System and the Qatar Foundation under the oversight of the Qatar government. The school began with 300 students and has since grown to more than 4,000, according to Lebile. As department chair, she managed and supervised a multicultural and multilingual department of 40 faculty members. She also chaired the college’s fourth humanities conference which, according to published reports, drew delegates from more than 14 countries. “I had an amazing experience, but I was away from family,” she said.
Prior to Qatar, she worked as an adjunct professor of sociology for Lone Star College System in Tomball, Texas for three years and completed a one-year presidential internship in the Office of Instruction while pursuing her doctoral degree. Her education career also included stints as a middle school teacher assistant and other higher education internships as she pursued her graduate degrees.
Lebile lived in Africa from 1994 to 1999, where she taught college-level English as a Second Language to American Embassy officials, Nationals, post-secondary students and business professionals for the American Cultural Center in the Chad and Niger Republic in Africa. After earning a bachelor’s degree, she initially started her career in business, but her teaching experience in Africa led her to switch gears and return to graduate school back in the United States to pursue her love for teaching and higher education. She developed a specific passion for community colleges. “I love the community college because of its open access. It creates social equity and social mobility for our students.”
Lebile holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business education from Norfolk State University, a Master of Arts degree in Counseling/Sociology from Prairie View A&M University in Texas, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.