Dr. Sunita "Sunny" Cooke has been chosen as the recipient of the 2020 Pacific Regional Chief Executive Officer Award by a national community college leadership organization.
In the five years Dr. Cooke has been Superintendent/President of MiraCosta College she has sought to make the college more future-focused by anticipating trends and needs of the District and the community it serves. She has been a smart, focused, thoughtful leader and now is receiving well-earned recognition from her peers for her open and inclusive approach.
“I am truly humbled by this honor. Awards such as this really are recognition of the tremendous team we have at MiraCosta College. My gratitude goes to our remarkable team of classified professionals, faculty, and administrators who work tirelessly to ensure every student succeeds at MiraCosta College,” comments Dr. Sunny Cooke.
The award will be presented during the 51st annual Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Leadership Congress, which will take place virtually on October 5–8, 2020. The ACCT Leadership Congress is a professional development network of community college leaders and trustees focused on sharing experiences and expertise.
Dr. Cooke was nominated for this prestigious award for her devotion to increasing access and student success while relentlessly focusing on eliminating equity gaps. This has led MiraCosta to be recognized as a national Leader College by Achieving the Dream. The college courageously looks at data, sets goals, reflects on progress, includes student voices and focuses on ensuring historically marginalized students are achieving success in their higher education and career goals. It is this sustained focus on becoming a model of diversity, equity and inclusion, and in community development that have been instrumental in MiraCosta's continued success and selection for this recognition.
Board of Trustees President Rick Cassar notes, "It cannot be overemphasized that Dr. Cooke has become a recognized leader. She has had a major impact at the local, regional, state, and national level on how we think about and implement programs to meet existing and emerging workforce needs.” Vice President of the Board Dr. David Broad indicates that, “She also devotes an enormous amount of her time developing the next generation of college presidents through efforts at the state and national level.”
About MiraCosta College
The MiraCosta Community College District has served the coastal North San Diego County area for over 80 years. More than 21,000 credit students per semester in over 70 disciplines enroll in associate degrees, university transfer and workforce readiness certificate programs. The college also serves a wide spectrum of educational needs in the region ranging from programs for adult education, basic skills, and ESL to a California Community College pilot program offering the nation’s first baccalaureate degree in biomanufacturing. MiraCosta College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).