Thursday, September 26, 2013

District chancellor wins award from community college marketing association

Chancellor Cindy L. Miles
Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, has been recognized by a national organization of community college marketing professionals for her leadership in communications and advancement of the East County college district.

Miles accepted the Pacesetter award Sept. 26 from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations at its regional conference in Tempe, Ariz. As the award winner for the region covering five western states and the Pacific islands, Miles will be one of seven area winners eligible for the national Pacesetter award when the marketing organization meets in March 2014.

The award is the second honor this year for Miles, who has served as the district’s chancellor for 4 ½ years. Last month, Miles was selected as the top chief executive officer for two-year colleges in the nine-state Pacific region of the Association of Community College Trustees, an organization representing more than 1,200 community colleges nationwide. The national award recipient among the five regional winners will be announced Oct. 4 at the ACCT Leadership Congress in Seattle, Wash.

“These awards demonstrate what we’ve known all along – that Dr. Miles is an excellent chancellor who is deeply committed to advancing our district and encouraging the success of every one of our students at Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges,” said Bill Garrett, president of the district Governing Board.

The Pacesetter award recognizes Miles’ efforts to create the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, a single foundation that represents both colleges in the district. The unified foundation, created in 2011, better focuses and strengthens the district’s fundraising efforts instead of two separate college foundations that were competing for money.  The foundation held a fundraising event in March called Give the Dream that netted more than $80,000 for a program that provides emergency scholarships to students who face a sudden financial crisis.

Miles also created a new Advancement and Communications department for the district, which places the district’s foundation, communications and auxiliary, its grants organization, under the oversight of a new associate vice chancellor. John Valencia, formerly executive director of the San Diego Oceans Foundation, recently began serving in the associate vice chancellor position.

The nomination for the award also noted Miles’ leadership toward the passage of Proposition V, the district’s $398 million bond measure, by East County voters in November 2012. Working on her own time, Miles led the district’s volunteers in a low-budget bond campaign. The measure was approved by more than 58 percent in an election when other better-funded school bond measures failed at the polls.

“I’m very pleased that this award recognizes all that our district has done to communicate with the public about all of the amazing things our colleges are doing,” Miles said. “I believe in the vision of our district to transform lives through learning, and I want to do everything I can to be accountable to our community.”

Miles has also worked to advance community colleges in California and nationwide through her service on numerous committees. She serves on the American Association of Community College’s 21st Century Initiative, formed in response to President Obama’s call to increase the number of community college graduates by 2020. In 2012, she served on a committee that selected Brice Harris as the chancellor of the California Community Colleges.

Miles received her doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin; a master of science degree in secondary and higher education from Texas A & M University-Commerce; and a bachelor of arts in biology from the University of Texas at Austin.