COCOA, FLORIDA – The prestigious Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership fellowship was awarded to Dr. Dedra Sibley of Eastern Florida State College on Oct. 11. Sibley is one of 15 national administrators who have received this honor in 2016.
Sibley is the associate provost of Eastern Florida State College’s Cocoa campus. She has also been the associate provost on the Palm Bay campus and associate provost for eLearning programs. In her current role, she is instrumental in the implementation of academic programs on the Cocoa campus. She also works actively to assure students have the support that they need.
When asked the professional importance of this honor, Sibley told the Florida Record, “In continuing in this career path I want to make sure I understand the challenges that executive administrators face as we strive to give students the best collegiate experience to reach their academic goals.”
John J. Glisch, associate vice president of communications for Eastern Florida State, told the Florida Record, “It’s a great honor for the college. Dr. Sibley is among our best and brightest and the fellowship will provide her an opportunity to grow even more.” Gilsch went on to say that this fellowship will be a benefit to the larger student populace as well: “Dr. Sibley is very much a people person, so the knowledge she gains will be passed along to students in many ways.”
By participating in the program, Sibley said she hopes to gain “exposure to new concepts and best practices in higher education from other professionals and experts from around the country.”
She believes that this is not just an honor for her but a benefit to the college. “Any time an administrator is learning and developing new tools to better serve our students, it enhances the academic environment and the learning process,” Sibley said.
Gilsch agrees “The Lakin Fellowship is highly respected and having one of our educators selected speaks to the high quality education we provide for our students,” he said.
The Lakin Institute says it “is designed to prepare senior-level executives for positions as community college chief executive officers and has graduated the highest number of African-Americans who have gone on to CEO positions over any other leadership institute in the United States.”
The Lakin Institute opened in 1994 and, since that time, has seen more than 200 fellows attend.