Inspiring Women in Leadership

Guest Correspondence

The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota will celebrate Women in Leadership Day on our Bradenton Campus with female leaders from around our community at a reception Sept. 28. The event honors the contributions of the women in our community who are leading in local government, higher education, and corporate environments in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The event also recognizes the first time in SCF’s history that women simultaneously occupy leadership positions as the college’s President and of its two boards. I am proud to host the event as SCF’s sixth president alongside Tracy Knight, chair of our District Board of Trustees, and Dorothy Korszen, chair of the SCF Foundation Board of Directors.

Tracy, who has served as a trustee since 2017, is the first female chair of SCF’s Board of Trustees in more than 50 years. She provides a strong and consistent voice focused on student success and the strategic vision of SCF as the trustee strategic plan advisor. Tracy is also an invaluable ambassador, representing SCF across our region at college and community events. Trustees are residents of Manatee and Sarasota counties who are appointed by the governor to provide local governance for the college. Trustees govern on behalf of the public and ensure that the college meets community needs. They are also advocates and protectors of the college.

Dorothy exemplifies our “grow our own leaders” philosophy. A director for 10 years and now the president of the board of directors, she attended Manatee Junior College and is a long-time supporter and fundraiser for SCF. Under her leadership, the foundation is beating its annual fund-raising goal by 86 percent. The Foundation’s directors are leaders in the business and civic sectors of Manatee and Sarasota counties who contribute their expertise and help connect SCF to the region’s philanthropic community.

Trustees and directors fill a vital role in the success of our college and to help our foundation achieve its goals. These unpaid volunteers are leaders in our community and help cement the bond between our college and the two counties we serve. I am grateful to all those who volunteer to support our institution.

SCF also features many outstanding women who serve as leaders throughout the college. We are successful because we focus on the best person for the job, demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our workforce.

My goal is for our students to see themselves when they enter the classroom or an office. With a student body that is more than 63% female, we must set the example for students and demonstrate that women can achieve success through hard work, merit and commitment. Our female students see strong role models every day on our campuses.

SCF is a community-based college. The future leaders of our college and community are on our campuses today. We want to inspire and grow those leaders from our female and under-represented populations so they will be our future governmental representatives, corporate leaders, non-profit directors and quite possibly, trustees or board members for our institution.

I am very excited to celebrate Women in Leadership Day on Sept. 29. While we will enjoy our time focusing on the accomplishments and contributions of female leaders in Manatee and Sarasota counties we also have an eye on the future and those leaders that we hope to inspire through our actions.

Dr. Carol Probstfeld is President of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.

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