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Conoley To Be Honored As Trailblazer

Published: March 16, 2015

CSULB President Jane Close Conoley will be one of the six California State University (CSU) women presidents to be honored as trailblazers at the Leadership California’s Legacy Leadership Awards on Monday, April 27, at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza.

Initiated in 2010, the Leadership California Trailblazer Award honors California women leaders who are pioneers in their field, exemplifying a spirit of exploration, passion and groundbreaking achievement that leads the way for others.

The other CSU presidents honored along with Conoley will be Mildred García, CSU Fullerton; Dianne F. Harrison, CSU Northridge; Karen S. Haynes, CSU San Marcos; Soraya M. Coley, Cal Poly Pomona; and Lisa Rossbacher, CSU Humboldt.

“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.”

Each of the six has been a notable voice of academic leadership, a groundbreaker and precedent setter in current and past roles, and a model of achievement for women leaders from every sector across our state.

They will participate in an interview session in advance of the awards, which will be moderated by Barbara Kaufman, who is an educator, executive coach and trusted advisor to leaders in higher education on leadership effectiveness. Each of the honorees will share highlights of their leadership story, career trajectory and sources of inspiration.

“I’m honored to receive a Trailblazer Award from Leadership California. It is especially gratifying to share the distinction with five accomplished and highly respected women who also serve as CSU presidents,” said Conoley. “I’m very proud to be president of Cal State Long Beach, and hope this accolade inspires and empowers young women in our universities and across the state to reach for the stars in everything they do.”

Conoley was selected by the CSU Board of Trustees in January 2014 as the newest president of CSULB and officially took office on July 15. She became the first woman to be appointed president of CSULB and the seventh president overall in the 65-year history of the campus.

Immediately prior to coming to CSULB, Conoley served as dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She also served from November 2012 to August 2013 as the interim Chancellor of UC Riverside.


Jane Close Conoley

Since 2006, along with serving as dean, Conoley was a professor of counseling, clinical and school psychology. Prior to her service at UCSB, she served as dean and professor of educational psychology at Texas A&M University (1996-2005) and associate dean for research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Teachers College (1989-94). In addition, she held faculty positions at Texas Woman’s University and Syracuse University.

Conoley earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of New Rochelle and a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Conoley is the author or editor of 21 books and more than 100 chapters, refereed journal articles and technical reports. Her areas of primary interest are interventions with children with disabilities—especially serious emotional disturbance and aggressive children and youth—and family intervention. Her most recent work investigates the application of the science of positive psychology to educational settings.