Dr. Wendi S. Palermo is the Executive Director of Academics and Workforce for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS). She is a Registered Nurse and has over 16 years of full time experience in higher education at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to her full-time position, she serves as adjunct faculty in both Doctoral and Master programs at Northwestern State University.
Dr. Palermo earned an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 1999 & 2002 respectively from Northwestern State University. She continued her education and earned a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from McNeese State University in 2004 and then a PhD in Nursing Research from Southern University in 2011.
Dr. Palermo currently represents LCTCS on various statewide committees, works alongside industry partners and promotes innovative strategies to serve students. As a result, she led efforts to secure over $4M in external funding and resources to support LCTCS colleges for program expansion and telehealth services. Prior to her current position, Dr. Palermo served as the Dean of Nursing and Allied Health at SOWELA Technical Community College where she has been credited with opening new nursing and allied health programs and earning programmatic accreditation in record time. She has nearly a decade of programmatic accreditation experience as an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) site visitor, team chair and served nationally as a member of the Evaluation Review Panel (ERP).
Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Beauregard Parish Pregnancy Care Center, Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center (SWLAHEC) and is the Vice Chair of the Lake Charles District Nurses Association. In 2020, she was appointed to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing.
Her early research focused on vulnerable populations; specifically, infant mortality. As a multiyear recipient of the Creighton Owen Endowment, she developed and served as the Director of the Northwestern State University Leesville-Ft. Polk Cribs for Kids program and donated portable cribs to area families to prevent co-sleeping and promote a healthy sleep environment. She presented her program locally, regionally and nationally. Her current focus is bridging classroom to clinical by the use of simulation and exploring methods to close the digital divide for students who desire reliable high-speed internet. She is a multiyear recipient of the Louisiana Health Works Commission award in partnership with a colleague from Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.
She has been married to her college sweetheart for 21 years and they have 2 beautiful daughters.