February 27, 2024

Celebrating Dr. Marcia Bedasse: Adjusting to Fulfill God’s Divine Purpose 

Dr. Marcia Bedasse black history month feature

PBA News

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8  

 This scripture has been a guiding light for Dr. Marcia Bedasse, Dean of Education and Behavioral Studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University. “God instilled in me a passion for the underserved,” shared Dr. Bedasse. “Micah 6:8 keeps me grounded while reminding me to be alert to the needs of God’s people.” 

 As we celebrate Black History Month, individuals like Dr. Bedasse remind us of the power of dedication, faith, and the impact one can have on the community if we follow the purpose and passion God lays on our hearts.  

 Shifting from a Dream of the Courtroom to the Classroom 

 Born and raised in Jamaica, Dr. Bedasse’s initial ambition was to become a lawyer and contribute to developing her country of birth. Little did she know that her path would take her from that dream to dedicating decades of her life to uplifting others through education.  

It was while completing an internship at a law firm in Miami that Dr. Bedasse realized that her true calling was teaching.

“After university, I taught kindergarten, and I discovered that teaching was my purpose,” she said. “Throughout much of my teaching career, I served in high-poverty schools with diverse populations. It was then that my heart for the underserved grew. Serving diverse families who struggled taught me to seek to understand, to meet people where they are, and humility.” 

A Calling to PBA 

 Dr. Bedasse’s professional journey is a testament to the idea that sometimes, we do not find our purpose—it finds us. Her role at Palm Beach Atlantic University was not something she sought out, but as she calls it, a divine intervention. 

  The alignment of this opportunity with her inner call for a career shift nudged her to apply.  

“The job at PBA found me,” she shared. When I was working with the Palm Beach School District, I got a call from a friend who told me that PBA had a position in the education department. I thanked him and told him I would think about it. Simultaneously I was feeling the call to take my career in a different direction. After prayer and discussion with my family, I decided to apply and was honored to join the School of Education and Behavioral Science team as my hope was that this would be an opportunity for me to, with God’s guidance, influence a broader base of teachers as they embarked on their journey to touch the lives …[across] economic and racial boundaries.” 

 Purpose and Impact  

 Dr. Bedasse’s career at PBA is marked by growth and transformation, not just for herself but for the institution. Three years after joining PBA, she was asked to step into the role of Dean of Education and Behavioral Studies. She sees it as a privilege, allowing her to positively influence countless lives.

“That was and still is the motivation in taking this role,” she added. There is much work to be done in changing lives, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to do that work.” 

Under her leadership, her team has achieved state reaccreditation and is engaging with the community through various programs to ensure the impact of their work is deep and lasting.

“The contributions made in my time here at PBA could not have been possible without the efforts of the team I am privileged to serve alongside,” said Dr. Bedasse. “I am most proud of the willingness of our team to embark on growing and changing. We are implementing structures to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in responding to current needs; we have been successful in gaining state reaccreditation and also in submitting documents for new accreditations.”  

As she reflected on her professional journey and the path it has taken, Dr. Bedasse provided this advice to students and young professionals.

“My advice would be to steep yourself in the Word of God. I have found it to be the best guidebook. Know your “Why,” and be true to that why. Live curiously [and] be intentional in seeking to learn and grow. Lastly, take time to rest, recharge and reflect.” 

 Early Influences and Inspirations  

 It’s Black History Month, and we could not round out our interview questions without asking where Dr. Bedasse has found inspiration for her own personal and professional growth. She cites the influence of those unknown to the world but who were her personal mentors.

“They are not famous people,” she highlighted. “They were people who helped shape my life. One such person was my high school headmistress at the Convent of Mercy Academy Alpha in Kingston, Jamaica, Sister Mary Bernadette Little. Sister Bernadette reminded me often to live out our high school motto, Ad Verum et Bonum, ‘To the Good and True.'”  

She also shared that her great-grandmother taught her from an early age what it means to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27. And, of course, there was the influence of her father. “He instilled a sense of confidence, empowered me to be a risktaker and challenged me to give of my best in everything I do,” she said.   

 For Dr. Bedasse, Black History Month is not just a time to acknowledge but to celebrate African Americans’ invaluable contributions to the country’s development.

“Tim Hatcher notes that “{W}hen we celebrate it gives us a way to feel good about ourselves, and our accomplishments,” she said. “When we celebrate we are reinforcing something important to us. Without it, we simply maintain the status quo…” 

 Dr. Bedasse stands as a beacon of purpose and change, embodying the spirit of Black History Month in February and throughout the year. We salute her unwavering commitment to education and community service.

Follow this link to learn more about Dr. Bedasse and the School of Education and Behavioral Studies. 


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