Inspirational Latina Engineer Serves as Broward College President

Marielena (Marie) DeSanctis

Meet Marie DeSanctis a 2016 Hispanic Woman of Distinction with leadership in education and STEM.


“If you Google well-known Latinas you will unequivocally find that every single one has not only achieved success for their God-given talent but also has had a significant impact through their philanthropy and self-sacrifice.” - Marielena "Marie" DeSanctis, Ph.D. President – Central Campus, Broward College

Dr. Marielena DeSanctis serves as the President of the Central Campus of Broward College. Marie (as she likes to be called) joined the college in April, 2014 and she brings almost six years of experience as an engineer and 16 years of experience in K-12 education. Prior to joining Broward College, Marie served as the Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction for Broward County Public Schools, as Principal of Fort Lauderdale High School, as Assistant Principal at South Plantation High School, and six years of experience as a math/physics teacher.

Marielena "Marie" DeSanctis, Ph.D. She has served as a committee member and leader of several professional organizations including State President of the Florida Association of School Administrators. As an engineer, she worked in the field of water and wastewater.

Fluent in Spanish and English, Marie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology; a Master’s Degree in Math Education from Nova Southeastern University; and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.

Prior to recently being named Broward College’s Central Campus President, she served as the college’s Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment. In that capacity Marie directed and oversaw a variety of departments and tasks including the admissions and enrollment of students, student records, disability services, student athletics and activities and the accurate disbursement of approximately $148 million per year of student financial aid. She also served as the college ombudsman for Title IX compliance and served as Interim Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs – leading International Education, Institutional Research, Grants and Curriculum Services.

She has been a member of Leadership Broward, received the College Board Inspiration Award, was a Broward County Principal of the Year finalist and received a Center for Digital Education K-12 Best of the Web Award among many other honors.

Marie, a Cuban-American, is married to Lance DeSanctis, she is a mother of two college-age children, Connor and Allie, and lives in Palm Beach County.

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In the coming weeks Latin Business Today will we share the amazing stories of the 2016 Hispanic Women of Distinction Honorees. 

2016 Hispanic Women of Distinction Honorees

For more information, visit Hispanic Women Of Distinction or (954) 709-1622.

About the author

Phyllis Cambria

Phyllis Cambria is a freelance writer based in South Florida with an international roster of clients. As a retired, award-winning event planner, she co-authored several party planning books and has written or been the subject of articles for numerous local and national print and online publications. Phyllis writes online and print content on a wide-array of subjects including entertaining, show business, etiquette, weddings, restaurant reviews, travel, relationships and marketing materials.