Vice President, Academic Affairs
Ed.D., Community College Leadership, The Roueche Graduate Center, National American University
J.D., Business Law, Levin College of Law, University of Florida
M.B.A., Marketing and Law, Warrington College of Business Administration, University of Florida
B.S., Secondary Social Science Education, College of Education, Florida State University
A.A., Liberal Arts, Florida State University
Aims Community College: What is a day in the life of a Vice President, Academic Affairs like for you?
Deb Kish: A day in the life of a VPAA is complex, interesting, and full of reminders of why we do what we do. We are in the business of changing students’ lives and we do that through education. My work centers around students and finding ways to enhance and support their learning. I am honored and excited to work with an amazing group of individuals who are committed to this ideal.
ACC: What makes Aims special/unique?
DK: Aims is a place were people matter and excellence is expected. Aims possesses a unique combination of being able to offer a personal touch with an eye towards innovation. I am drawn to Aims for its ability to be agile, focused and creative. My initial reasons for joining the Aims’ Team centered on the College’s impact to the community and this reason still applies today. As Aims enters its golden era, I am excited about being part of its story.
ACC: What makes a student successful?
DK: Persistence! *When I went to college for the first time, my mom told me the difference for those who finish is that they persist even when the deck was stacked against them. I heeded her words many times in my own educational journey, most recently when I went back to school again in my 40’s. She reminded me that persistence would be the key to my success. Often while pursuing my Ed.D., I’d think to myself, “This is too expensive, this is too time-consuming, this is not possible, this is taking too much time from my family,” and the list went on. My mom’s words stuck with me. I persisted. I graduated. So, in my mom’s words and in the face of adversity, I implore our students to persist! Aims has amazing resources available to students as they pursue their goals and I urge all students to take advantage of them to help them persist in their educational journey.
ACC: What is your proudest achievement?
DK: While I am a natural academic, I am not a natural athlete. Stepping out of my comfort zone and training for a marathon was a major undertaking and took serious commitment. So running over the finish line completing 26.2 miles at 4 hours and 28 minutes was a moment of immense pride I’ll never forget. Being able to cross the finish line was nothing short of pure will. Next to my children (who make me the proudest mom around and are my proudest achievement), this accomplishment tops my “most proud” moments.
ACC: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
DK: I enjoy hanging out with my family, traveling, reading, all water activities, good food and great company.
ACC: Best thing about being VP, Academic Affairs?
DK: The best thing about being Vice President, Academic Affairs is that I get to contribute to the great work our faculty, staff and administrators do to change students’ lives through education.