San Marcos,
11:54 AM

President Haynes Honored as Trailblazer by Leadership California

News Release by Margaret Chantung

Six CSU women presidents honored – the first time the award has been given to a group of female leaders 

Dr. Karen Haynes, president of California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), is one of six California State University (CSU) women presidents who will receive the Trailblazer Award from Leadership California in recognition of groundbreaking achievements and leadership in academia.

Initiated in 2010, the Trailblazer Award is awarded annually to women who are pioneers in their fields. This year marks the first time in Leadership California’s history that six women have been selected to receive the award as a group. The six honorees will be recognized at the Legacy of Leadership awards ceremony on April 27 in Los Angeles.

According to Leadership California, the annual awards celebrate “women of influence who exemplify a spirit of exploration, passion and groundbreaking achievement that leads the way for others to innovate and succeed.”

“The recognition is a richly deserved honor for an accomplished group of academic leaders who have dedicated their professional and personal lives to the service of all people in California” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “As mentors, CSU’s six women presidents serve as exemplary models for women leaders in higher education and beyond. We, as a system, laud them for their commitment to transforming their campuses, our state and the nation.”

“With higher education in the forefront of state policy issues and as a desired goal of many of California’s people, the opportunity to honor the women leading higher education in our state could not be more relevant and timely,” said Pamela Hemann, executive director of Leadership California.

Haynes is CSUSM’s third president, serving in the role since 2004, and the senior female president in the CSU system. Under her leadership, the University has become a first-choice campus for the region, with a particular focus on serving educationally-at-risk student populations such as former foster youth, veterans and Native Americans. Fifty-two percent of the 2014 graduating class were the first in their families to earn a four-year degree; and well over half of the student body identifies as being a minority. Dr. Haynes’ commitment to public higher education is helping CSUSM transform the lives of students and families throughout Southern California.

“During my 30 years in academic leadership positions, I have experienced that one of the most rewarding aspects of being a leader is the opportunity to mentor and inspire the next generation of women leaders,” reflected Haynes. “While my generation has trail-blazed a path of ‘firsts’ for women, the next generations must remove the ‘token’ aspect of these achievements and make them the norm. For this to occur, I believe that it is our duty, and our reward, as female leaders to inspire and mentor those who will come after us.”

The five other women CSU presidents who will be honored are:

  • Soraya M. Coley—Cal Poly Pomona
  • Jane Close Conoley—CSU Long Beach
  • Mildred García—CSU Fullerton
  • Dianne F. Harrison—CSU Northridge
  • Lisa Rossbacher—Humboldt State

About Leadership California

Leadership California is a network of over 1,500 accomplished women dedicated to advancing leadership roles of women in California. This diverse network comes from the California Issues & Trends Program, which graduates 65 women each year with new understanding of complex global, national and state issues. Leadership California partners with corporate, academic, government and community organizations to support its mission and to include women leaders in its programs, which offer unique learning opportunities. Leadership California empowers and prepares women to advance their leadership role in impacting business, social issues and public policy.