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Student Trustee, 2014-15: Patricia Medina

Congrats to Spring 2015 PBSC Graduates

May 19, 2015

Hello my fellow graduating Panthers,

We did it! After all of our hard work searching for parking two minutes before class started, we finally made it to graduation. Congratulations to you all!

I know some of you who graduated last week are still in high school and still have another graduation to attend; we are so proud of you. It takes a special person to be so young and have such foresight and focus, and I look forward to seeing all that you accomplish.

Patricia Medina at graduation with Dr. Gallon

And to all those who may have spent close to a decade to complete your degree – I am so proud of you. You worked harder than anyone to make your dream come true. You worked full-time jobs and took part-time classes. You raised families and had obstacles that some of us have not had, but you still did it and we are so proud of you.

For those of you who took my route and waited 20 plus years to get back – we finally did it! Doesn’t it feel good? I am proud to count myself among you.

Some of you came straight out of high school and this was your only option, but you are finishing on time and I am proud of you, too. Now when I say only option, it may be how you first felt, but little did you know it was the best option. I am so glad that this was the only school open to me, because it has changed my life. My fellow Panthers, I hope you took full advantage of everything Palm Beach State College had to offer.

Because of the Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College, we saw Shakespearean plays performed on a stage built to copy the original theatre where his plays were performed. Thank you, Professor Brahlik and Marcella.

Because of Dr. Gallon’s vision of civic engagement, we debated a bill on the Florida Senate floor in Tallahassee. Thank you, Professors Randolph and Sizemore, Dean Van Der Velde and Ms. Barbara Pippin Cohen.

Because of Dr. Russell’s vision for a Study Abroad program, we were able to apply practical knowledge from what was learned in class to our experience in the middle of a rain forest in Costa Rica. Thank you, Professor Duff and Aylim de Chazal.

I attended journalism conferences in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco where I learned the craft of journalism from journalists. I went to Nashville, TN, and learned multimedia journalism hands on. I had an internship with CBS 48 Hours, and I went to Orlando and asked a question at a press conference held by Trayvon Martin’s parents (Sybrina and Tracy). Thank you, Professor Sharon Martin.

Because of the TRiO program creating a debate team, I learned to think critically, reason analytically, communicate effectively and find my voice. Thank you, Ms. Speed.

And because of our Foundation and the donors of our Foundation, I was able to focus on my education and become a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship recipient. Donors, thank you for helping make our education possible. You choose to give to your community college and have benefited generations. Thank you for your generosity. I would also like to thank the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for this incredible gift to my family and me. It means so much to us, and I promise to use my education to give back to others as you have done for me.

I have been able to take advantage of every opportunity at our school because of my family. So families, I want to thank you so much for being there for us. You stood by us, supported us, motivated us and inspired us to keep going. Thank you so much for that. Besides the birth of my children, my marriage to my incredible husband, Frank Medina, who is also a student at PBSC, and my bonus children and grandchildren, PBSC has given me some of the greatest experiences in my life.

Student Activities made sure something was happening on each of the campuses just about every week, and they worked so hard to ensure a full college experience. The Student Learning Center helped us polish our papers, and the Career Center, along with my advisors at TRiO, helped find me create a blueprint for my future. The administrators provided us the perfect environment to blossom, and I am thankful to them.

I would like to thank Dr. Gallon and the Board of Trustees for creating the Student Trustee position and allowing me to be the voice of the students; it was an eye- opening experience. I would also like to thank Dr. Gallon for his 18 years of service. Dr. Gallon’s vision of completion has led to over 75,000 students graduating from Palm Beach State College. I have seen him working hard for us in Tallahassee, and there is no question of students being his top priority. Thank you, Dr. Gallon.

I want to thank the provosts for making each campus as wonderful as they are. What all of our provosts share – what one feeling that is the same on every campus – is a love for the students. I also want to thank Security for keeping us safe and Facilities for keeping our campuses beautiful.

But my biggest thank-you is to the professors at PBSC. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” That to me describes what our professors do.

PBSC has incredible professors who are dedicated to your education and growth, because believe me – it’s not for the money. They have challenged us, motivated us, mentored us, pushed us when we needed it, helped us think critically, helped us become seekers of knowledge, taught us to question, and they cared about us because they are looking at us as the future. I have been so fortunate to have had professors, whose classes I was not even a part of, help me when I had questions. That started during my first semester. So to all of our professors, I would like to give a heartfelt thank-you. I am here because of all of you.

Now, I have to mention a few people by name and give them an extra thank-you. They are my mentors and inspiration, and they are the reason I plan to come back here and teach one day.

Professor Tomas Pena: My biggest fear, and what kept me out of school for so long, was math. My freshman year I was lucky enough to be placed in developmental math, and you helped me so much. You were patient and taught me something I never understood before. Thank you.

Dr. Chandra: You made science seem so simple and made me look at the world through different lenses. Thank you for being such an incredible professor who always goes above and beyond for all of his students.

Professor Martin: We have been through so much together. Thank you so much for pushing me – whether I always wanted it or not. You have taught me so much and I am grateful.

Dr. Scheffer: I wasn’t lucky enough to take a class with you, but you still took time to mentor and inspire me. I thank you for always having your door open and helping me see the possibilities.

Dr. Anderson: You have done so much for me and changed my life in so many ways. As the faculty advisor for PTK, you lead by example, and with you as the advisor, I know this world will be a better place. It already is because you are part of it.

Dean McNeal, Dr. Moore, Ms. Kelly and Mr. Bryant: Thank you so much for always making time for me, giving me advice and working so hard for the students. You are the heart and soul of the Belle Glade campus.

Everyone at TRiO: You have given and supported me so much, even if I was not a part of your direct program. I am in awe of all you do, and I thank you so much for all you do.

Ms. Speed of SSS TRiO: There are no words to describe the incredible spirit you are. You are kindness and love, strength and hope, friend and family. You have been with me since I started here and have helped me in so many ways. Thank you.

Finally, I would like to thank Ryan Donovan for helping with this blog. I wish I had more time to write this year. Ryan did try to get more from me but this was a crazy year!

Impacting our Communities: Current Students and Alumni

February 10, 2015

I was recently contacted by a PBSC alumnus about an organization he volunteers with in Palm Beach County. It got me thinking…we really do have outstanding alumni! Whether you’re a current PBSC student or an alum, know that the College applauds you for sharing your time and talent for charitable causes. If you aren’t currently volunteering for a worthy cause, give it some thought!

I’d like to give a quick shout-out to the alumnus I mentioned above, Pitt T. Maner III. He’s working to help bring awareness and support to the Palm Beach County Food Bank, a non-profit organization that rescues, collects and distributes food to agencies that help feed the hungry. Mr. Manner mentioned to me they have some upcoming events at the Food Bank, and one of the big ones (Empty Bowls 2015) is this week on Feb. 13th and 14th. Check out the Foodbank website for more information if you’re interested! One of the facts that got my attention when I visited their site is that 64,000 children in Palm Beach County are at risk of going to bed hungry every night.

Visit your campus Student Activities office today if you’re a current student and interested in finding out about volunteer opportunities with various local organizations!

Ushering in 2015!

January 12, 2015

Hello fellow Panthers,

Happy New Year! Hopefully you are settling into your classes and are on track for a successful semester. This is my final semester at Palm Beach State College, and after attending December’s graduation ceremonies, I realize how close I am to my goal of completion. It was not easy, but I am nearing the finish line and will graduate in May. For this post, I am going to share the top five reasons I am graduating with a 3.8 GPA.

  1. The Student Support Services TRiO program, and Ms. Speed, my advisor in particular. They were so supportive and helped me every step on the way. They helped me find my major, ensured I took all the right classes, took me on college tours, and helped revise my applications. They also created a debate team which taught me so many valuable skills and memories which I will carry with me for a lifetime. If you’re interested in learning more about TRiO and eligibility, click here. Whether it’s SSS TRiO or another program — get involved!

  2. Every professor I ever had at this school, and all the professors I did not have a class with but who still took the time to help me on my journey, from my freshman year forward. I learned so much from all of them; they are true servant leaders and go above and beyond the call of duty.

  3. The Student Learning Center, the Career Center, Financial Aid, Registration, Advising, and the Library. I have spent time at all of these resources on various campuses, and they have helped me so much. Spend time at each one; they are here for your benefit.

  4. The administrators who do more than just set policy, especially those individuals who help students who seek advice, assistance, or just someone to listen. They also help provide innumerable opportunities for growth. I have seen what they do on the various campuses and am inspired.

  5. Student Activities which builds fellowship, sponsors events, manages clubs, and brings the students closer to school. I have enjoyed every club and event I was able to participate in.

I must give an honorable mention to my peers and my family. They have pushed me when I needed it and supported me when I was down. PBSC is an amazing college, and I am looking forward to an exciting semester.


Put Your Game Face On: It’s Finals Time!

December 8, 2014

Hello fellow Panthers,

It’s finals time! Are you ready? If you need academic help, please make sure you go to the Student Learning Center on your campus to get last-minute tutoring. Before you take your final, make sure you:

  • Review the syllabus to see what the final is going to cover.
    Is it cumulative?
  • Review all your notes — definitely helpful for the big day.
  • Get plenty of rest the night before. It’s harder to remember information when you are exhausted.
  • Eat breakfast on the day of exams
  • Breathe!

Your professors have prepared you for this, and I know you will do well. Tell everyone you know you will be unavailable for the next week and a half so they don’t worry. Get some snack food, get in your comfortable clothes, and study. You can do it!

On a side note, the president of our school, Dr. Gallon, is retiring in June. The school is holding listening sessions this week on each campus. Come out and let your voice be heard. The schedule is as follows:

Dec. 9
Belle Glade Campus
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center

Dec. 10
Palm Beach Gardens Campus
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Lake Worth Campus
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Boca Raton Campus
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Once again, please come out and let your voice be heard. This affects the future of your school. Who do you want to lead Palm Beach State College? What qualities should the new President have?

Back to the Blog After Illness

December 8, 2014

Hi fellow Panthers,

I apologize for the delay in writing blog posts. I became very ill and have been working on getting better and making up school work. I had the misfortune of having mono, and it has been the hardest 2 ½ months of my life. I tell you about my illness, because it could have been prevented had I taken some basic precautions. Here are some things to avoid:

Do not share water, coffee, or any drinks with anyone.
Do not share utensils with anyone.
Do not share a cigarette or anything similar with anyone.

I did not know a friend of mine had mono and did one of the above. Now, I will do my part and warn others. Take care of your health and don’t worry about offending a friend; it is not worth the risk.


Florida Channel Video About Palm Beach State College

December 3, 2014

Blog readers,

When you have a chance, check out this video The Florida Channel put together about PBSC! You’ll see some familiar faces. They did a nice job highlighting a number of programs PBSC offers us!

Get Energized About Spring Term Electives

October 2, 2014

What electives are you saying “Yes” to for the upcoming Spring Term?

I have been fortunate enough to sample a variety of classes that were not necessarily in the areas of study I am pursuing, but they’ve made an impact on my growth at Palm Beach State College.

My top 5 elective classes are as follows:

  1. SLS classes
    • Strategies for College Success class
    • Leadership Development
    • The lessons learned in these classes apply to everyone,
       and you will use everything you learn.

  2. Public Speaking – This class will help you:
    • Feel more comfortable speaking in front of people
    • Prepare for speeches, presentations, and meetings
    • Stand out in the job market
    In a saturated job market, it is important to have marketable skills, one of which is public speaking.

  3. Introduction to Human Services
    • It taught me the importance of helping others and understanding others’ perspectives.

  4. Developmental classes
    • Just because you no longer have to take them, does not mean you do not need them.
    • Taking the developmental math class helped me understand math concepts for the first time.
    •It will prepare you for your other class.

  5. Study Abroad classes
    • You will have a life-changing experience.
    • You will learn about yourself, as well as another country.

I have to give honorable mentions to two Honors classes, the Honor’s Research Process, taught by Dr. Dilgen, and Knowledge Through the Ages. Although they are required for the gold diploma, I would have taken them if they weren’t necessary. The professors of these classes provided the tools and forum for true growth and knowledge. These classes alone are worth getting into the Honors College.

Upcoming Movie Night

September 25, 2014

I am hosting an Honors College movie night tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 26). It is open to all students. The information is as follows:

Honors Movie Night – Recount
Starring Kevin Spacey. IMDB Storyline Description: A chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. presidential election and the subsequent recounts in Florida.

When: Friday, Sept. 26, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Where: Lake Worth Campus, CBP 103 (campus map)

Join us for snacks and popcorn!

For additional information, please contact Steve Brahlek.

Just a reminder… PBSC is promoting a great voting resource (Turbo Vote) on the college website to help you register to vote/update voter registration, get absentee ballots/vote by mail and receive voting date reminders. Check out my blog post about this topic!

Conquer the Stress: 5 Ways to Get Through Fall Semester

September 15, 2014

Hi Panthers,

I don’t know about you, but I have two papers due next week, as well as two exams, and a presentation. It is starting to get real! Take a deep breath and repeat after me, “I will get through this.” You may feel stressed like the woman in this photo, but trust me — you’ll feel better if you take advantage of some of the free services available on our campuses.

stressed out students studying

Fortunately, we have so many resources at school to help us tackle our assignments. Here are my top 5 things to help get you through the semester:

  1. Computer Lab – PBSC provides computers for students to use.
  2. Student Learning Center – They have tutors in just about every subject, and they are there to help you — for free. They will also read over your papers and give you feedback. It really helps.
  3. The Library – You will not find a better place on campus to get help with research. The librarians rule!
  4. Your Professors – They have office hours — use them. They can help answer any questions you have and can provide you with great advice.
  5. Your Fellow Classmates – They are in class with you and may have a better understanding of certain assignments than you do.

I hope that helps everyone. Don’t forget to stop me and say “hi” if you see me on campus!

Attend Club Rush on Your Campus!

September 2, 2014

Hi fellow Panthers,

It’s my favorite time of the school year—Club Rush!

Club Rush (for those who may not know) is when all the clubs come out and introduce themselves to potential members, and Student Activities offers giveaways. Some of the great giveaways I have from past events:

  1. A personalized mug
  2. A personalized license plate
  3. A personalized sign
  4. T-shirts
  5. A caricature

I have more, but I try to keep my lists to top fives.

There is also:

Free food

  1. A great party atmosphere
  2. Information on all clubs
  3. A chance to make friends
  4. A way to connect with your campus

I have been to Club Rush events on every campus, and each one does a great job. I will be at the Rushes on all of our campuses, so please feel free to say “hi” when you see me! I already had a great time at Belle Glade’s.

I hope to meet you at your campus Club Rush! They are as follows:

(See official events calendar)

Lake Worth

  • Sept. 16, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Sept. 17, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Sept. 18, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Palm Beach Gardens

  • Sept. 15, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 16, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 17, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Sept. 17, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 18, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Sept. 18, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Boca Raton

  • Sept. 10, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Sept. 18, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Sept. 18, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Great Voting Resource Currently Promoted on the PBSC Website

September 2, 2014

Hi fellow Panthers,

After I posted my blog, I looked at the website and noticed something new – TurboVote. I have heard people say in the past, “My vote doesn’t count.” Just some important facts you should know about voting:

  1. This year we will vote for Governor and Congress member. Your vote will affect the follow:
    • Financial aid
    • Education
    • Student loans
    • Environment
    • Immigration
    • Gun control/2nd Amendment rights
    • Taxes

  2. The 2000 Presidential Election had major controversies in Florida.
    • Voters were denied the right to vote – their names were purged from the voter roll.
    • There is debate about whether all votes were counted.
    • The Supreme Court ultimately decided who was president.
    • The Supreme Court ruling only applied to Bush v. Gore.
    • It all began in Palm Beach County, Florida.

  3. The Supreme Court recently struck down part of the Voting Rights Act.
    • It covered nine southern states, preventing them from changing their election laws without federal approval.
    • Two hours after it was struck down, Texas began making changes to their election laws.
    • Alabama, Mississippi and Alabama began making changes as well.

  4. Voter ID laws:
    • In Florida, you need a voter ID card, along with a government issued photo ID, with the same name in order to vote.
    • The will effect older voters or people who married and changed their name.

Whether you vote, or not, it affects us all. PBSC has provided easy access to vote, get registered and get updates. It is too late for the primary, but NOT TOO LATE for the general election. Now it’s your turn — get registered, and vote!

Welcome & Top 5 Resources That Helped Me

August 20, 2014

My name is Patricia Medina, and I am honored to be the 2014-2015 Palm Beach State College student trustee.  I am very active on the Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, and Boca Raton campuses, and will be spending more time on the Belle Glade campus, with my first official visit during club rush on August 27th.  If you see me, please feel free to say “hi” and let me know what’s on your mind!

When I first started at Palm Beach State College, I went to the school website,, and looked around the site to see what I could learn about our school.

Besides finding classes and teacher evaluations, here are the TOP 5 Resources I found that helped me:

  1. The Honors College
    • small class sizes (15 students max)
    • distinction at graduation (gold medallion)
    • a stamp on your diploma (showing universities your more vigorous course work)
    • trips (Honors College conference, Shakespeare tour)

  2. The Career Center — They can help you (the list is endless):
    • select a major
    • career
    • find a job, practice interviewing, create resumes
    • connect you with a mentor

  3. Scholarships
    Foundation scholarships are available for the fall, spring, and sometimes summer semesters. Who doesn’t need more money?

  4. The Library — Need to complete a research paper with journal articles? The library provides you with access you cannot imagine. They also provide quick links to help you find what you need.

  5. The Event Calendar — We may not be a University, but we do have fun events! You name it; there is always something to do.
    • club events, sporting events
    • workshops, transfer and job fairs

Those are my top five on the school website. I do have to give an honorable mention to TRiO. I found them on the website and knew I had to join. They are the best program at PBSC and have helped me tremendously. Have fun exploring everything the website has to offer!

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