Polk State to inaugurate Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti as College’s 5th President

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Winter Haven, November 8, 2018 — Polk State College will inaugurate Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti as the institution’s fifth President on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, with an investiture ceremony at 4 p.m. in the Winter Haven Campus Health Center, 999 Ave. H N.E. The public is invited and encouraged to RSVP to Kristie Tapley at 863.297.1071 or ktapley@polk.edu.


Falconetti assumed the role of President in July 2017, bringing nearly two decades of service in higher education administration at the state and national levels to Polk County’s local state college.


“I am honored to serve Polk County, and I am thankful to Polk State for welcoming me with open arms. I am thrilled to work together in moving our institution forward into a successful future for our students, faculty, staff, and greater community,” Falconetti said. “Student success is our success, and I am excited for this very special event, which will allow our institution to continue transforming lives through the power of education and philanthropy.”


While the investiture ceremony is free to attend, the Polk State College Foundation is accepting donations to Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti’s Scholarship fund to benefit students. Donations may be made online at foundation.polk.edu/inauguration.


“This is a phenomenal opportunity to give students the gift of a quality higher education, while honoring Dr. Falconetti and celebrating Polk State’s bright future under her extraordinary leadership,” said Ashley Bell Barnett, Polk State District Board of Trustees member and Treasurer of the Polk State Foundation Board of Directors.


Falconetti holds a bachelor’s degree with specializations in Communications and Education Cognate from New York University, and both a master’s degree and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. Additionally, she completed an endowed post-doctoral fellowship in Community College Leadership with the University of Texas at Austin.


Falconetti began her career as an academic advisor and has served in a variety of roles focused on areas including student services, academic affairs, economic development, resource development, and institutional research. She has also served at the national level as the Special Assistant to the first Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges in Washington, D.C.


Prior to being named President of Polk State, Falconetti served as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Virginia Western Community College, and as the Executive Director of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, Inc.


“The College is incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Falconetti, whose experience and energy has greatly impacted our institution in just her first year,” Polk State District Board of Trustees Chair Dan Dorrell said. “We are excited for the continued growth of Polk State under the leadership of Dr. Falconetti, who has proven her great commitment to our institution and the greater community.”


Falconetti currently serves on the boards of the Central Florida Economic Development Council, CareerSource Polk, Polk Vision, Lakeland Economic Development Council High Skill Initiative, Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, Winter Haven Economic Development Council, Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, and Winter Haven Hospital.


“I am deeply devoted to serving our community and Polk State College,” Falconetti said. “I extend my sincerest thanks to students, faculty, staff, the District Board of Trustees, alumni, donors, and everyone who makes a Polk State education possible for our students. Remember – student success is our success, and I could not be more thrilled to work in partnership with the community to ensure access to affordable, quality higher education in Polk County.”


About Polk State College


Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools.


Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.