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Press Release:


FAU’s PROPEL Program Hosts Special Guest Speakers

DAVIE, Fla. (March 18, 2013) – Florida Atlantic University’s Principal Rapid Orientation and Preparation in Educational Leadership (PROPEL) program within the College of Education recently kicked off the 2013 spring semester for its second cohort of students with two guest speakers at FAU’s Davie campus.

PROPEL’s apprenticeship class recently hosted guest speaker John Pisapia, Ph.D., professor of leadership studies from the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology within the College of Education. Pisapia spoke on principles and tactics from his 2009 book titled, The Strategic Leader: New Tactics for Globalizing a World, which also is used as a textbook by the apprenticeship class. In addition to teaching at FAU, Pisapia is a Fulbright Scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Scholar-in-Residence at the Chinese-American Center, also located in Hong Kong.

Invited guests included current participants from Broward County Public Schools’ Intern Principal Program – a program designed to prepare assistant principals and district administrators for principal positions in Broward.

PROPEL’s Action Learning class also hosted presenter Desmond Blackburn, Broward County Public Schools’ chief school performance and accountability officer. Blackburn presented the students with a problem scenario that they have been charged to research and then render recommendations as part of their class project. In addition to participating in Action Learning student’s research, Blackburn worked as an adjunct professor for the Leadership 2 course offered as part of the  PROPEL program during its first cohort of students.

PROPEL is the result of a $3.5 million grant awarded by the Florida Department of Education in December 2011 for its innovative approach to a principal preparation program. PROPEL’s major focus this year is to evaluate its program so to be sure it is aligned with its original goal to build an educational leadership program that improves student achievement by implementing research-based strategies and concrete evaluative measures centered on job-embedded experience to facilitate qualified teachers to become successful principals. Data is currently being collected through focus group interviews which should be analyzed and findings reported by year’s end.

For more information about guest speakers, contact Boris Bastidas at 954-296-1077 or For more information about PROPEL, contact Daniel Reyes-Guerra at 954-236-1654 or


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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