Rice has long been an active volunteer, not only at MiraCosta College, but through her church and various nonprofit organizations, including the North County African American Women’s Organization and the North San Diego County NAACP. She is a passionate ambassador for affordable higher education and a relentless advocate of equity, and she is known for going out of her way to help others identify their strengths and identify opportunities to positively impact their community.
“Cynthia is an exceptional leader at our college and in our community who is determined to make a difference in the lives of young people,” said MiraCosta College Superintendent/President Sunita “Sunny” Cooke. “Every person who meets Cynthia remembers her favorably. Her intellect, determination, drive, and passion have made her a formidable champion for all students, but particularly for those students who feel marginalized or forgotten. I could not think of a more suitable recipient for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award.”
A former Associate Dean of Student Services at MiraCosta College’s San Elijo Campus, Rice was named MiraCosta College’s first Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement in July of 2017, a position that gave her direct oversight of the MiraCosta College Foundation, governmental affairs and advocacy, and college public relations and marketing.
Rice earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from National University and a master’s degree in international relations, with an emphasis in peace and conflict studies, from Alliant International University, which was called United States International University at the time. She first came to MiraCosta College in 1991 to start the Institute for International Perspectives. She also served for a while as director of educational programs at the Carter Center in Atlanta before returning to MiraCosta in 2011.
This is the latest of numerous recognitions. Among Rice’s previous honors was the North San Diego County NAACP’s Salute to Women of Color Award and the NAACP President’s Award.
About MiraCosta College
The MiraCosta College District has served the coastal North San Diego County area for over 80 years. More than 17,000 credit students 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).