Russell to retire at end of fall term

Dr. Bernadette Russell, Palm Beach State College’s vice president of e-Learning and Instructional Technology and Boca Raton campus provost, is retiring Dec. 18, capping a 30-year career in higher education.

She has led the campus for 13 years, and she assumed leadership for e-learning collegewide five years ago. A national search is underway for her replacement, who will lead the campus as provost and dean of Student Services.

The College recognized Russell for her service at a recent District Board of Trustees meeting.

As leader of the more than 9,000-student campus since 2007, Russell placed a deeper focus on enhancing the quality of the teaching and learning experience. She garnered more support and involvement from business and community leaders and helped secure, for example, a scholarship for students from the Rotary Club. She implemented such initiatives as a Technology Summit and Study Abroad program, as well as Women of Distinction events that recognized students and women in the community. She pushed for new entrepreneurship certificate and degree programs at the College. Under her leadership enrollment in online classes rose 43% even before the pandemic.

“For over a decade Dr. Russell has been a tremendous asset to the College, our students, and the community. She has been a strong advocate for the College in the Boca Raton community, and she has created a caring family atmosphere on the Boca Raton campus. Her commitment to academic excellence has been a common thread throughout her service to the College,’’ said PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D. “As we prepared to respond to the pandemic, her leadership on the e-Learning and instructional technology front really helped us through an unprecedented transition from in-person to remote learning this summer. I wish her well in her retirement. She will be missed.”

In 2019, she received the inaugural Anchor Award from Best Foot Forward for her support of the Boca Raton-based nonprofit organization that provides academic support and advocacy for foster care students.

Russell said she has had an enriching life at PBSC and has enjoyed working with the faculty and staff. “I am very proud of the work done at the College —where it is right now and where it is going. I know that e-learning will be an important segment of the institution.

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7 comments on “Russell to retire at end of fall term”

  1. Congratulations Dr. Russell! The college is better because of all of your contributions. I wish you health and enjoy your well deserved retirement.

  2. To: Dr. Russell From Arthur Garcia 11 Dec 2020
    Congratulations on your retirement after so many years as Provost of the Boca Raton Campus. I am sure you had many rewarding successes in your many ventures in developing evolving programs at the Boca Raton Campus. I credit you with having inspired me to introduce robotics into my engineering classes. at PBSC. My last classes at Boca Raton were in the Fall of 2013. I transferred to the lake Worth Campus in the Spring of 2014 as a consequence of a number of personal circumstances that had to do with the commute and health problems where I had to be closer to my home. I continued at the Lake Worth Campus until the Fall of 2018 when I finally had to stop teaching because of increasing health problems. I miss teaching and I miss the philosophical meetings I had with you when I had classes at Boca Raton. Now with the corona virus disrupting all college programs is a prudent time to retire from the academic world.

  3. Thank you, Dr. Russell for the creation, innovation, and leadership of the Instructional Design Technology (IDT) Department. I truly appreciate all that you have done for me since you brought me on board and for the IDT department. Enjoy every moment of your retirement.

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