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Who’s News: 12/31/21


Cal State San Marcos announced the appointment of Dr. Viridiana Diaz as the university’s next vice president of Student Affairs. The vice president oversees 32 departments and 190 employees dedicated to supporting student success across the student life cycle, from pre-matriculation to graduation and beyond. Diaz currently serves as associate vice president for Strategic Student Support Programs at California State University, Sacramento.


• North County students receiving the Colgate University Dean’s Award with Distinction include: Gabriella Pacula of San Diego, a graduate of Torrey Pines High School who is a neuroscience major; Reagan Whittle of Encinitas, a graduate of La Costa Canyon High School and environmental studies major; Tanner Gates of Oceanside, a graduate of El Camino High School and neuroscience major; Alexander Pistorius of San Diego, a graduate of Torrey Pines High School and political science major; Audrey Ponder of Rancho Santa Fe, a graduate of Canyon Crest Academy and molecular biology major; and Caneel Young of Rancho Santa Fe, a graduate of Canyon Crest Academy and psychology major.

• Students on the Scholastic Honor Roll Fall 2021 at Oregon State University included Sydney C. Templin and Gavin C. Flowers of Encinitas; Ashley J. Brewer, Adeline R. Hull, Reese L. Severson and Cadi van Zyl of Carlsbad; Jesse K. Yu of Del Mar; Margot K. Trogde of Escondido; Viktor D. Medvinsky and Mick R. Shipman of Oceanside; Emma C. Dudley of Rancho Santa Fe; and Brianna D. Noble of Vista.

• North County graduates from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln included Jessica Anne Pentlarge, of Oceanside, College of Education and Human Sciences, Bachelor of Science in education and human sciences with distinction, and Diana Katherine Reyes McGraw, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Bachelor of Science in fisheries and wildlife.


The Aspen Institute has named MiraCosta College as one of the 150 entities eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, a national award honoring achievement and performance of America’s community colleges. The colleges selected for this honor stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success, as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds.


The city of Vista and the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence have partnered for a free cyber awareness and security education program that will be available to all Vista small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The virtual program is anticipated to begin in January 2022 and last for 90 days. The program educates small businesses about how to protect themselves from cyber-attacks, hacks, network weaknesses and more.


The MiraCosta College Board of Trustees elected a new President and Vice President during the regularly scheduled board meeting Dec. 16. Anna Pedroza will assume the role of president and Frank Merchat as vice president. Board President Pedroza will preside over the Board meetings beginning Jan. 27. Pedroza, first appointed to the MiraCosta College Board of Trustees in September 2017, represents Area 1, which currently includes Del Mar and Carmel Valley.

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