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Conoley Receives NAACP Award

Published: November 3, 2015

CSULB President Jane Close Conoley received the Higher Education Award from the NAACP Long Beach Branch. The award, which recognized Conoley’s exceptional work in education, was presented during the branch’s 36th Founders Celebration Dinner and Awards Presentation and 75th Anniversary Gala event held at the Hilton Long Beach Hotel on Oct. 22. Along with honoring the organization’s history and recognizing area individuals, the annual event generates funds for a number of programs supported by the NAACP’s Long Beach Branch, including CSULB’s MESA Schools Program.

“I am honored to receive the Long Beach Branch NAACP’s Higher Education Award and humbled to be among such accomplished and inspiring awardees,” said Conoley. “The recognition of my work serves as confirmation that education makes a profound difference in the lives of individuals and the well-being of communities.”

Conoley was selected by the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees in January 2014 as the newest president of CSULB and officially took office on July 15 of that year. She was the first woman to be appointed president of CSULB and the seventh president overall in the 66-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.

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.

Along with Conoley, others receiving awards at the event included Christopher Steinhauser, Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent, K-12 Education Award; Lori Farrell-Harrison, director of finance for Huntington Beach and a Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, Zelma A. Lipscomb Award; Matais Pouncil, Dean of Student Services at West Valley College, Ernest McBride, Sr. Award; Alice Robinson, community service and homeless advocate, Lillie V. Grisby Award; Victor Parker, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Founders Celebration Award Area: Business; Justin Rudd, founder of the Community Action Team, Community Unity and Service Award; Maiya Meek, Long Beach Branch NAACP City Council Youth President, Youth Leadership and Service Award; Richard Gaylord, Past President of the National Association of Realtors, Lifetime Achievement Award; and Dr. Robert Nagourney, Medical and Laboratory Director, Rational Therapeutics, Trailblazer in Medicine Award.

–Shayne Schroeder