SAN MARCOS – California State University at San Marcos (CSUSM) held its annual Report to the Community on Thursday, Feb. 4, with nearly 600 business and civic leaders attending the first-ever virtual format.
The signature award of the event, the CSUSM Community Partner of the Year Award, which honors community partners who have engaged with CSUSM over the years, was presented to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency.
“While there is no doubt that this pandemic has presented innumerable challenges, it has also come with opportunities to engage and enhance key partnerships,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego public health officer. “My work and mission… has always been guided by the goal of helping all communities attain their full potential and well-being, and the pandemic has not changed that.”
President Ellen Neufeldt, who started at the university in July of 2019, then delivered her first-ever Report to the Community, highlighting the innovative work being done on campus by students, faculty and staff.
She praised the university’s faculty and staff for quickly transitioning to online learning in a matter of days while making sure each and every student had the tools and resources they needed to be successful online.
Neufeldt also spoke about the challenges of racial injustice that arose this year, emphasizing the need for ongoing work and partnerships to address these injustices.
“There must be no doubt CSUSM is a university of and for our region, and that means all aspects of personal identity are welcomed, celebrated and valued, from race to ethnicity to religion, ability, sexual and gender identity,” Neufeldt said. “This is a commitment you can count on me to lead in partnership with all of you.”
Neufeldt thanked the North San Diego County Branch of the NAACP and the North County African American Women’s Association, as well as the Chicano Federation for their partnerships and commitment to CSUSM students, faculty and staff.
She also highlighted CSUSM’s role in offering students the chance for social mobility.
“Higher education is a launching pad toward higher economic status, and regional public universities like CSUSM are truly the proud vehicles of lower and middle-class social mobility,” Neufeldt said. “In fact, I am proud to share that we were recently ranked 28th nationally out of almost 1,500 colleges and universities in the Social Mobility Index – which measures the extent to which a university educates more economically disadvantaged students at lower tuition and graduates them into good-paying jobs.”
The report concluded with an encouragement to the CSUSM community to nurture its future leaders and help all students reach their full potential.
“We are here. We are charting the course, and, with you, we are leading the way,” Neufeldt said.