San Marcos, CA (September 27, 2023) – Palomar College was presented with the CSU San Marcos (CSUSM) Community Partner of the Year award during the university’s Report to the Community on September 26, 2023.  The CSUSM Community Partner of the Year Award honors community partners who have engaged with CSUSM over many years in ways that have supported student success, community growth and development with an enduring focus on justice and inclusion.

Dr. Patricia L. Prado-Olmos, CSUSM Chief Community Engagement, introduced the award and recognized the unique opportunity Palomar students have to pursue both their associate degree in nursing and their Bachelor of Science in nursing concurrently at CSUSM.  This innovative approach allows students to expedite their journey, accelerating their entry into the workforce while also enhancing their career prospects.

The award was presented by CSUSM President Dr. Ellen Neufeldt to Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey, Superintendent/President of Palomar College.  Dr. Rivera-Lacey accepted the award on behalf of the Palomar College Governing Board, staff, and students.  She stated her appreciation for Dr. Neufeldt’s heartfelt mindset of inclusion and collaboration, and exemplary leadership.  She said, “it is leaders like Ellen who provide all educators an opportunity to change the trajectory of lives, and this is the type of leadership that truly matters for the betterment of our society.”

In recognizing Palomar College, Dr. Neufeldt stated, “Superintendent/President Star Rivera-Lacy and the faculty and staff at Palomar are raising the educational attainment of our region while simultaneously contributing to the economic development and prosperity of our communities.”

MiraCosta College and Mt. Jacinto College also received Community Partner of the Year awards at the event.