Atlantic Cape Community College Dean Patricia Gentile is leaving at the end of the year to become president of the North Shore Community College of Danvers, Mass.
The prospect of leaving ACCC after more than 22 years in various roles has her "excited and sad," Gentile said. "The people here are wonderful, but I'm looking forward to this new challenge." She indicated this new venture would not have been possible without the encouragement of her husband, George Ditzel, and family, which includes five adult children and seven grandchildren.
Starting as an adjunct instructor in the business department of the college in 1991, Gentile became a full-time employee as director of job readiness and continuing education operations in 1999 and, in 2005, she became the dean of continuing education and resource development at the new campus in Cape May Court House, as well as executive director of the Atlantic Cape Foundation. She became the first full-time dean of the Cape May County campus in 2009.
A native of Philadelphia, Gentile, 60, said she is not forsaking Cape May County, where she and her husband have a home in Sea Isle City.
She says with pride that in 2010, just five years after the new campus opened, the student enrollment exceeded 1,400, up from 749 students in Cape May County. And, working with the Atlantic Cape Foundation, she has seen the amount of endowments and scholarships triple for students attending Atlantic Cape Community College.
There have been many accomplishments for Gentile along the way, but she was particularly pleased with the remedial program offered by ACCC for area students who did not have sufficient skills in math and English to enter college. That program has allowed many students to attend ACCC who otherwise would have been excluded. And she notes that the installation of solar panels on the periphery of the college's parking area is just about complete and will provide a major part of the campus' energy needs when in full operation.
At North Shore Community College, Gentile will be overseeing three campuses which serve 26 cities and towns in Massachusetts. She brings a strong academic background, as well as experience, to the job. She has a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in business administration with a joint major in finance and public policy and management from Penn's Wharton School of Business, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and higher education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.