March 2018

Palm Beach State College President Ava L. Parker, J.D., has been tapped to receive a Women on the Move Award from ONYX Magazine, marking the latest in a series of honors for her leadership and service in higher education.

Parker is among 31 of Florida’s most impactful and influential women of color who will be recognized by the Orlando-based publication during an awards luncheon at 11:30 a.m. March 15 at the Alfond Inn in Winter Park. In keeping with the National Women’s History Month theme, “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” the event will highlight women who have shattered the glass ceiling in their professions and persevered against all odds, according to the magazine’s leaders.

“These powerful and innovative achievers are contributors to a thriving economy every day,” said Richard “Rich” E. Black, ONYX Magazine’s publisher, CEO and editor-in-chief. “Our sponsors and other supporters are pivotal to making Women on the Move one of the most prestigious events to recognize women of color across Florida.”

Parker made history when she became PBSC’s first female president in 2015. She is the fifth president of the institution established in 1933.

“It is an honor to be recognized by ONYX Magazine and to be in the company of such distinguished and outstanding women. All of the honorees have demonstrated their commitment to excellence, responsible leadership and service,’’ Parker said. “I am proud to be a part of this group.  Many thanks to ONYX for recognizing the great work that women do throughout the state of Florida. Today I am standing on the shoulders of the outstanding people that I work with at Palm Beach State College and the dynamic women in higher education who have sacrificed to ensure academic excellence for all students. ”

Since taking the helm, Parker has worked to help raise the profile of PBSC, further positioning it as an innovative leader of excellence in higher education. Under her leadership, the College opened its fifth campus in Loxahatchee Groves last year and earned gold level in the Florida College System’s performance-based incentive program.  The South Business Journal also named Parker this month as one of its 2018 Power Leaders in Education.

For more information about Women on the Move, visit

Serving 49,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida's first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.

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