Alumnus and professor credits PBSC for boosting his confidence
When Palm Beach State College alumnus Dr. J. Marc Davis moved to Boca Raton from Washington, D.C., in his early 30s, he had been out of school for 12 years.
“It began to weigh on me that I started something and did not finish,” said Davis, who today is a professor and chair of PBSC’s Student Life Skills Department on the Boca Raton campus. “Moreover, I was a dad. I wanted to be a good example. I couldn’t rightfully advocate for education and have given up myself.”
Davis applied to Florida Atlantic University but didn’t get accepted. He admits he wasn’t a great student in his earlier life.
“I was a bright child, but I lacked a work ethic,” Davis said.
His disappointment quickly turned around, however, when he was told he could attend PBSC, a college that would help him prepare academically and had great instructors.
Not only did Davis eventually get accepted into FAU, but he also enrolled with a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship thanks to the support he received at PBSC.
“PBSC set me apart because it made me ready for the next step,” said Davis, who graduated from PBSC with an Associate in Arts degree in 2003. “The individual attention I received gave me strength and confidence. It laid a foundation.”
Davis graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2005 with a degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership in 2008.
Following in his footsteps was his daughter, Kelcie, who graduated from PBSC in 2014 and FAU in 2019.
After graduating high school, Kelcie, who is now a Broward County School teacher, attended a university out of state, but transferred to PBSC.
“I convinced her and her mom that PBSC is as good a school as any,” Davis said.
Davis’s desire to learn went beyond FAU. In June 2022, he graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration and Curriculum Design.
He was recently inducted into two societies: the Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology and the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society.
Davis says during his time at PBSC, there were many professors who made an impact on him. However, one stood out: former history professor and dean Leonard Bruton.
“Professor Bruton took me under his wing. He let me know it’s okay to not be perfect,” Davis said. “He taught me how to be a scholar. He gave me a safe place and inspired me to dedicate my life and profession to educating and helping students.”
While at PBSC, Davis also served as the Boca Raton campus Student Government Association president; was president of the Florida African American Student Association for two years; was a member of the Political Forum, Black Student Association, Florida Junior Community College Student Government Association, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology at Nova.
“I would still like to expand my knowledge, expand my teaching repertoire, and perhaps practice as a professional counselor one day. Personally, I’d just like to keep growing.”
In recognition of Palm Beach State College’s 90th anniversary, the weekly Alumni Spotlight Series showcases the College’s role in preparing generations of graduates to achieve success in myriad careers and give back to their local communities.