Program Success April 2015 Magazine | Page 17

While an undergraduate student at Hunter College in New York , Dr . Barbara Darby ' s aspiration was to become a Professor of Nursing . In May of 1979 , after working as a staff nurse in critical care units at health care facilities in New York , Pittsburgh and Jacksonville , Dr . Lois Gibson , Director of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at then , Florida Junior College , hired Barbara as an Adjunct Nursing faculty and as it is often said , the rest is history . Not only did Barbara achieve her aspiration , she began a 36-year journey of positively influencing and impacting the lives of those entrusted to her care in the various leadership roles she has held since her employment at the College . The focus of Dr . Darby ' s professional career at Florida State College at Jacksonville is captured by the vision statement adopted during her tenure - " Changing lives ... one student at a time ."
Dr . Barbara Darby ' s appointment by Dr . Steven R . Wallace to the position of Campus President for the North Campus and the Nassau Center of the College on April 7 , 1998 , marked a first for this leader . She became the first African-American woman to hold the senior leadership role for a Campus and Center at then Florida Community College at Jacksonville . As she reflects on her seventeen years in the role , when asked what is her legacy , she smiles and states that it is the family atmosphere she nurtured among employees , as well as their demonstrated commitment to work as a team to increase access to higher education for thousands of citizens in Northeast Florida through new programs with state of the art resources , excellent customer service , high performance and strong community outreach programs and events .
In excess of $ 43.5 million in new construction and upgrades of facilities occurred under Dr . Darby ' s leadership , including the Criminal Justice Center on the North Campus , the Betty P . Cook Nassau Center and the Red Bean Technical Center in Nassau County . In 2011 , enrollment reached a high of 7,700 students , nearly double the number in 1998 . More than twenty new instructional programs were added in a number of disciplines including certificate , associate in science and bachelor degree programs in health , culinary arts , funeral services and personal care . Funding to support programs and students was achieved through more than $ 7.2 million in grants .
Dr . Barbara Darby was an adjunct faculty member for sixteen years and taught full-time for seven years in the disciplines of nursing and education . With her team , support services were provided for the underserved population with grants and partnerships including Upward Bound , Nursing Diversity , Perkins Sparsely Populated Region , 21st Century Academy , City of Jacksonville Emerging Business Certification Program , Aetna Insurance company Associate Degree Nursing Partnership , VITAS Hospice partnership , and the River Garden Home CNA to Practical Nursing partnership .
Dr . Darby ' s leadership is reflected in the ongoing professional development of her employees . Her programs of recognition and celebration of excellence among employees at the campus and college wide levels were well received . During her tenure , initial or continuing accreditation status was achieved for eighteen specialized programs .
Dr . Barbara Darby was highly visible in the community promoting the College through service on numerous Boards and sponsoring special programs like the Family Literacy Fair , Summer Camps , Holler for a Dollar Halloween Event and the Center for Life Long Learning .
Dr . Darby with husband and mentor Dr . Ezekiel Bryant and his wife Christella
Dr . Darby with faculty & staff at faculty member ' s wedding
Dr . Darby with Executive Dean Dr . Brenda Simmons and Actor Clifton Davis
Dr . Darby with mother Mrs . Bethy Anderson 1966
Front Cover Feature Dr . Barbara Darby President Florida State College at Jacksonville Business , Education Jacksonville , Florida April 2015
President ' s Cabinet at Dr . Bioteau ' s Investiture Ceremony
Dr . Darby delivering commencement address at Ribault High School Graduation