Aspiring engineer selected new PBSC student trustee
Jesse Pulliam, an aspiring engineer who took his first college classes while a high school senior, has been named the new Palm Beach State College student trustee for the 2015-16 academic year.
The Jupiter resident and 2013 William T. Dwyer High School graduate was chosen by a committee after an application and interview process open to all PBSC students with at least a 3.0 grade point average and at least 24 credit hours completed. Nine students were interviewed for the position.
Pulliam will attend his first District Board of Trustees meeting Aug. 11, serving as the voice for the College’s nearly 48,000 students. He will be the 15th student to serve in the position and the first to serve alongside Palm Beach State’s new president, Ava L. Parker, J.D., who took the helm July 1. Trustees created the nonvoting student position in 2001 as a way to get students’ perspectives on College issues and policies.
“Jesse is a great choice for the student trustee position, and we are looking forward to working with him,’’ said John W. Dowd III, chair of the District Board of Trustees who served on the selection committee, which also included a former student trustee and representatives from the faculty and staff. “He did a lot of research and demonstrated his interest in the role by attending a board meeting and talking to the outgoing student trustee about the position. He will provide a fresh student voice and keep us in touch with the needs and desires of our diverse student population.”
Pulliam, who has served as a Supplemental Instructor for chemistry and now works as a tutor for the Student Learning Center, said he is excited about the opportunity, especially on the cusp of new leadership at the College. “Change is very exciting. I’m very interested in the process of making these big decisions. This is going to be a time where things are going to be in motion, and that should be interesting.”
Pulliam, who also works as a facilitator for Team Solutions, a South Florida company that specializes in team building and professional development through experiential learning, said he wants his role on the board to be a “two-way street.”
“I hope to meet lots of people, gather their ideas and bring that to the table when the Board of Trustees makes decisions,’’ he said. However, he added, “I would also like to inform the students of what’s going on and why decisions are being made.”
Pulliam, who began at PBSC as a high school dual enrollment student and just completed his Associate in Arts degree, plans to continue taking math and science courses until he transfers to a university in a year to complete his bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Pulliam said he developed a deeper understanding and appreciation for what Palm Beach State does to help students after leading study sessions as an SI leader and serving as a tutor, two services that also helped him excel in his classes.
“Palm Beach State has done a lot for me, and I wanted to do something more substantial to give back to the College,” said Pulliam, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. “What really inspired me to apply for the student trustee position was the fact that not only have my needs been accommodated, but this is an institution that accommodates tens of thousands of other people’s needs. It’s such a diverse community of needs that are met, so it really inspired me to want to give back and serve the students who I hope are having similar experiences as myself.”