March 17, 2021

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Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales Honored with California Legislative Women’s Caucus Woman of the Year Award

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Community Colleges Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, who has earned accolades for her steady leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and her tenacious advocacy for students, has been honored with a Woman of the Year award.

Daisy GonzalesDr. Gonzales was selected for the award by Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and was honored during a March 15 virtual presentation in Sacramento recognizing outstanding women in leadership sponsored by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. Kounalakis also serves as a member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

“I am so proud to honor Dr. Daisy Gonzales as my 2021 Woman of the Year,” said Lt. Gov. Kounalakis. “Dr. Gonzales has dedicated her career to achieving equity, and promoting access and support for underserved students. Her effective and compassionate leadership as Deputy Chancellor of the California Community Colleges is a model for us all. Our state is lucky to have Dr. Daisy Gonzales leading the way to ensuring that all Californians have the opportunity for a brighter better future.”

Dr. Gonzales in the past year has led the California Community Colleges’ efforts on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; played a pivotal role in launching the Chancellor’s Call to Action; served on the California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Task Force; and participated in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. She also sits on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

“Dr. Gonzales is the second highest administrator at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. She is an amazing champion for California Community College students and for equity throughout the system,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “She is a tireless advocate for improving student outcomes and one of our systems most recognized champions for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I cannot think of someone more deserving of this honor.”

A former foster youth, Dr. Gonzales’ responsibilities as deputy chancellor center on implementing and tracking the commitments and goals outlined in California Community Colleges’ Vision for Success.

Dr. Gonzales developed her reverence for education after being inspired by her K-12 teachers. After earning a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Mills College, she paid that passion forward as an elementary school teacher. A conversation with a homeless student during her time as a lecturer at UC Santa Barbara helped her realize her true calling of promoting access and support for underserved students. She has dedicated her career to education research, state budget policy development and public policy design.

Prior to joining the Chancellor’s Office, Dr. Gonzales was the principal consultant for the Assembly Appropriations Committee responsible for subject matter expertise, analysis and political strategy in the areas of higher education, K-12 education and jobs and economic development. She is the Co-Founder of the California Community Colleges Women’s Caucus.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.