Kelli Stargel, a former state Senator, has joined Florida Polytechnic University as senior advisor for strategic relationships, a role designed to help the science, technology, engineering and math institution broaden its statewide impact.
Stargel will lead efforts to develop and manage and leverage statewide relationships and partnerships to further Florida Poly’s goals and mission.
Her work is aimed at maximizing engagement opportunities with industry partners, donors, business and community leaders and other constituent groups across the state.
“Since the beginning of my political career, I’ve watched this University grow and meet its mission of educating people in STEM fields, which are vitally needed in our state,” Stargel said. “I’m excited about the work happening at Florida Poly, and I want to be a part of it.”
Stargel has long been an advocate for Florida’s youngest state university. As a Senator, she worked to secure more than $20 million in state funding for the school’s state-of-the-art Applied Research Center, which opened last year.
“In the past, I helped to fund and then let people take those funds and develop them into amazing things. Now, I get to be on the other side in a very different role of support,” Stargel said. “I’ll be able to tell the story of what Florida Poly brings to the state, so that others get to be just as excited about what this University can do for Florida.”
Stargel will work directly with Florida Polytechnic University President Randy K. Avent.
“Kelli has been a powerful supporter of Florida Poly from the beginning, and we are honored to have her come on board,” Avent said. “With her help and experience, we’re confident the University will increase its reputation and impact through valuable relationships across the state.”
Stargel was first elected to the Senate in 2012. She previously served two terms in the House. She’s lived in Lakeland, where Florida Poly is located, for more than 30 years.