Madeline Pumariega: Hialeah native is chancellor of Florida College System
Madeline Pumariega, born and raised in Hialeah, proudly reports she’s a product of the public school system here. Her higher education began at the formerly named Miami Dade Community College, where she later returned to work as an academic advisor and eventually serve as dean and then president of Miami-Dade College – Wolfson Campus.
So Ms. Pumariega feels right at home in her new position as chancellor of the Florida College System. She said her time at Miami Dade College and having gone through the state college system gives her a deep understanding of the challenges students face as well as the opportunities and type of resources they need.
Ms. Pumariega describes her responsibilities as chief executive officer of Florida’s 28 state colleges, overseeing each one. These schools are open access, which is central to the excellent opportunity they provide, she said, but also the challenge for ensuring the colleges have the resources necessary for students to complete their degrees.
Since starting the job in September, Ms. Pumariega says, she feels even prouder of the college system in Florida than she already did. She said it is responsive, high quality, affordable, a pathway to success, changing lives and making dreams become reality.
Throughout her career, Ms. Pumariega has served in advocacy roles for youth. She said her tenure as president and CEO of Take Stock in Children, an organization that helps break the cycle of poverty through education, was a privilege. As a board member of City Year Miami, she emphasizes we should feel hope for the future when young adults are giving a year of their life to serve in inner-city schools.
In addition to caring for her daughter and maintaining close ties with her family, Ms. Pumariega is beginning research on her doctoral thesis. People often ask how she balances things. She said she never achieves balance – it’s more how she’s balancing each day.
Miami Today reporter Susan Danseyar interviewed Chancellor Pumariega at Miami Dade College – Wolfson Campus.
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