Lake Worth, Fla. – Dr. Tunjarnika “Nika” Coleman-Ferrell, who has served as Palm Beach State College’s interim vice president of academic affairs since January, has been selected for the permanent role.

She was chosen after a nationwide search that drew over 60 applicants and was narrowed to three finalists. Her appointment was effective Dec.

1. Coleman-Ferrell has more than 23 years of varied higher education teaching and administrative experience, as well as a K-12 teaching background.


She joined the college in 1998 as a professor of teacher education at the Boca Raton campus and worked her way through the ranks to become department chair, associate dean of STEM and dean of academic affairs.

In fall 2018 she was appointed provost and dean of student services at the Palm Beach Gardens campus, and will continue to serve as provost until the college conducts a search and appoints a permanent replacement.

“It is a pleasure to have Nika serve on my executive leadership team in this capacity,’’ said PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D. “She has a deep passion for Palm Beach State, our students, and the communities we serve, and it is evident in her work and the achievements she’s already made.”


Coleman-Ferrell has served as a past chapter and statewide Association of Florida Colleges president and a past chair of AFC’s Administration Commission.

She has presented at several state, national, and international conferences on such topics as technology, professional development for teachers and administrators, and multicultural education.

Her work has helped her develop new PBSC community partnerships in Palm Beach County and strengthen others. A native of Riviera Beach, she took her first college classes at PBSC through a former summer program called Fast Break.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected to serve as the vice president of academic affairs,” said Coleman-Ferrell. “While collaborating with college administration I look forward to providing ongoing support to the students, faculty, staff and panther community at large. Together we will make it happen.”

She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology, master’s degree in public administration, an educational specialist degree and a doctorate in education from Florida Atlantic University.

In addition to serving on a host of committees at the K-12, college and university levels, Coleman-Ferrell currently serves on the board of the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, the board of the YWCA of Palm Beach County, and the Palm Beach County School District Academic Advisory Board.

She is a member of the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, the National Council on Black American Affairs and is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County.

She mentors young ladies through organizations such as the West Palm Beach Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, of which she is a member and past Education chair, the Max M. Fisher Boys and Girls Club, where she was a previous board member, and serving in the Family Life and Education Departments at her local church.