Miami Dade College can stand at the forefront of educational innovation | Opinion


When I was much younger, I read a poem by Robert Frost that spoke of bridging “avocation” and “vocation.” It spoke of how love and need can intersect to create purpose.

I’m sure I did not understand the philosophical debate within the poem back then, but as I reflect on my tenure on the Board of Trustees of Miami Dade College, Frost’s words seem elegantly haunting.

It has been the honor of my life to have served on the board, granted the privilege to lead as its chairman during one of the most important periods in the college’s history. I have always been passionate about learning and have always done what I can to advocate for access to a quality education for anyone — and everyone — in our community, regardless of finances, geography, or demographics.

I viewed my service on the Board as a continuation of my mission and fully embraced my role as chairman as much more than a highlight, but rather a convergence, of my passion with a profound sense of responsibility.

I was honored to serve alongside giving and talented leaders, whom I admire and respect. MDC’s board accomplished many great things and led the college during some challenging times, including the retirement of its visionary leader Eduardo Padron; the national search for his successor and subsequent naming of Madeline Pumariega as MDC’s new president — a very capable leader, alumna and the first woman to preside over the college; the always-present state funding constraints; and a worldwide pandemic that threatened our very existence.

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