President Honors Professor Sharon Elise
President Karen Haynes with Professor Sharon Elise at the 2014 Outstanding Faculty and Staff Awards Reception.
Dr. Sharon Elise, professor and department chair of sociology, receives the inaugural "Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Award."
In her time on campus, Dr. Elise has been a steadfast advocate for diversity and inclusiveness, often mentoring and supporting minority faculty members. Last academic year she led the Diversity and Multiculturalism Learning Community for faculty, providing lecturers and junior faculty with the constructs to better face and teach issues related to race, gender, sexual and other types of discrimination.
She was the initial driving force behind establishing the ethnic studies minor and the Social Justice Project. She was also CSUSM’s first Diversity Faculty Fellow. Her impact and influence are felt across campus, and students and faculty alike acknowledge her willingness to broach tough subjects and to shed light on social and racial justice and the effects of discrimination.
In her 22 years at CSUSM, Dr. Elise has taught 26 courses—including lower division, general education and graduate seminars—with an emphasis on diversity and inclusiveness. She empowers students to engage in their own explorations of race and to find their own voices.
“Sharon has made it possible for me as a scholar of color to maintain a hopeful perspective on where we are going as a university,” said one nominator. “I am not alone in feeling this way.”