San Francisco State University College of Ethnic Studies
43rd Anniversary and Annual Program
2012 Exemplary Leadership Awards
The annual Exemplary Leadership Awards are given to individuals and organizations who embody the social justice values of the movements that gave birth to the College of Ethnic Studies, and who continue to serve our communities today.
J.E. (PENNY) SAFFOLD, PH.D
Dr. J.E. Penny Saffold has served as Dean of Students since 1984 and Vice President for Student Affairs since June 1994 at San Francisco State University. In her over 34 years of experience as a Student Affairs administrator, she has always held close to her core promoting the education and leadership development of all students, including particular attention to insure that students who were traditionally excluded for reasons of race, gender, sexual identity, disability or any other reason were now included. Dr. Saffold earned her Ph.D. from St. Louis University.
As Vice President, Dr. Saffold oversaw the safety, student activities, counseling and psychological services, accommodations, access and retention, and general academic life of about 30,000 students a year. Of those, thousands of students have benefitted directly from her mentorship and guidance, and credit her personal intervention as critical to their academic and career success. Because of her success in student affairs she is called upon internationally to speak on student development, retention and leadership in diverse student bodies. She was honored with the American Association of Higher Education Black Caucus Public Service Award and the Golden Gate Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.’s Educator of the Year Award.
In addition, she is a leader in the local and national faith-based community. She was ordained in 1999, and is the Founding Minister of the Pyramid Center of Truth, Inc. (UFBL), an affiliate of the Universal Foundation for Better Living, Inc, founded by the renowned Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the UFBL as the Second Vice President and Chair of the Education Sub-Committee.