Dereck Skeete was born and raised in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad West Indies where he completed his primary and secondary education. The youngest of 4 children, Dereck migrated to the United States in 1987 where he developed and honed his skills as a professional carpenter, with a strict focus on the installation and refinishing of hardwood floors. In a quest for wanting more than being a carpenter, Dereck then enrolled at Medgar Evers College, pursuing an Associate’s degree in Science, and later went on to the City University of New York Bachelor of Arts/Science (CUNY BA/BS) program. While completing his undergraduate degree, Dereck had an opportunity to participate in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA GISS) inaugural summer internship in 1994. He said being a part of the NASA GISS program was a welcoming experience because he was able to witness first-hand how scientists focusing on different aspects of earth and environmental science problems were able to work collaboratively on attempting to solve said problems.
After completing his BS degree in Mathematical Physics, Dereck then entered graduate school on a full fellowship to work towards a Masters of Engineering degree. While at Penn State, he received several academic awards including the Minority Engineer Award. Dereck completed his Doctoral studies in Environmental Science with a focus on the impact of large scale development in urban environments. Dr. Skeete has taught Chemistry and Environmental Science at Medgar Evers for 17 years, and Mathematics at Empire State College for 2 years, and Chemistry at Bronx Community College for 1 year while being involved with different research projects. During this time, Dr. Skeete has mentored over 100 students, some of whom went on to earn their Masters and Doctoral degrees. “My greatest joy is seeing my students succeed beyond Medgar Evers College.”
At present Dr. Skeete is the Dean of Enrollment Management at Medgar Evers College. Prior to serving as the Dean of Enrollment Management, Dr. Skeete served briefly as the Dean of Students. As Dean of Students he was able to work closely with faculty members in responding to needs of students in order to promote academic success. He says that “serving as a Dean gives him a first-hand opportunity to be fully engaged and better understand the educational and social needs of the students whom he works and interacts within and outside the Medgar Evers College Community.”