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    Respondia “Dia” S. Poole will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at CSUSB

    Poole has spent her career in public service, serving in all three branches of California’s government and with the County of San Bernardino. She has combined that work with volunteer service on the CSUSB Alumni Association Board and on the CSU Alumni Council, where she has twice led as president and chaired the council’s government relations committee. She was named Cal State San Bernardino’s Alumni Advocate of the Year in 2008.

    Poole credits her CSUSB bachelor’s degree, earned as a nontraditional student, for opening opportunities for meaningful state-level public service. Her acceptance into the prestigious California Capital Fellows program in Sacramento launched her career in California state government. She was a highly regarded senior policy consultant to two of the State Assembly’s presiding leaders. She received a gubernatorial appointment to deputy director of public affairs for the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the largest state civil rights agency in the nation.

    Poole’s state service culminated as a senior legislative advocate for the Judicial Council’s Office of Governmental Affairs. Her efforts were particularly significant for the Inland Empire, where the Superior Courts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties are the most under-resourced in the state.

    Poole’s volunteer service is equally impressive. She is known throughout the CSU system as a well-respected alumna whose unwavering volunteer leadership for more than 20 years has helped to strengthen the CSU degree, increase state and federal investments in students and academic programs, promote alumni engagement, and improve graduation rates.

    Her record of extraordinary volunteer leadership for the betterment of her alma mater and its students is extensive. Underrepresented students often lack accomplished professional role models, which makes her involvement as an Alumna Professor for a Day, a panelist for the President’s Scholars Leadership Symposium, and her workshops across disciplines to encourage students to apply for the competitive California Capital Fellows program, especially impactful.

    Dia also serves on the CSUSB Master of Public Administration advisory board, where she encourages public sector employees to enter the program. She also champions curricular developments that advance university, local government, and community-based partnerships.

    As a member of the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation Board’s Advocacy Committee, Poole joins the campus delegation annually in Sacramento and often in Washington, D.C. Her philanthropic support to the university is demonstrated by her legacy, or estate, gift to the university.

    “My life was forever changed by CSUSB and the opportunities it opened up to me,” said Poole. “It is why I have continued to volunteer here on this campus and with the CSU at large. It is such a tremendous honor to receive this recognition. I know that a CSU degree can transform the lives of all Californians who enroll. And if you are a nontraditional student? Don’t let that stop you. CSUSB administrators, faculty, staff, and students value the professional and life experience you bring with you.”

    “Conferring an honorary doctorate upon Dia, a double graduate of our university, in recognition of her profound impact and dedicated service to the people of California and the betterment of her alma mater would be a great honor for CSUSB,” said university President Tomás D. Morales.

    Poole is a two-time CSUSB graduate, with a B.A. in business administration and information management (1990) and an M.A. in communications studies (2023).