Saffold honored for promoting student leadership
September 18, 2009 -- J.E. (Penny) Saffold will be honored as Educator of the Year by the Golden Gate section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) for her work promoting student leadership and educational opportunities for students from minority backgrounds.
Saffold, who has served as vice president for Student Affairs since 1994 and dean of students since 1984, is the longest-serving vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students in the CSU. In addition to enriching the student experience outside the classroom, she directs a broad range of offices and departments on campus. Saffold oversees the offices of undergraduate admissions, enrollment management, financial aid, registrar, student health, University housing, educational opportunity programs, disability programs and resource center, athletics and University Police among others.
Saffold said she is especially pleased to receive the award because of what educator and NCNW founder Mary McLeod Bethune meant to her growing up.
"I am very honored to receive this award because it comes from the National Council of Negro Women, which has been a stalwart organization for the promotion of opportunities for African American women," Saffold said. "Mary McLeod Bethune and Dorothy Height were my 'sheroes' for many years and are renowned educators who provided educational opportunities for women."
Saffold's time at SF State has coincided with a 15 percent increase in the student population -- particularly among students with diverse backgrounds. Saffold's deft touch has aided the student experience and increased communication between students and the administration.
"The Student Affairs staff and I are available to students to help them through issues with academics or things outside the classroom," Saffold said. "Students are going to hit potholes, whether that's in the classroom or socially, but I'm here to help them through that."
In addition to her work on campus, Saffold was ordained in 1999 and is the Founding Minister of the Pyramid Center of Truth Inc., an affiliate of the Universal Foundation for Better Living, Inc. She is a member of the board of directors of the Universal Foundation for Better Living and serves as second national vice president as well as chair of its education subcommittee.
"Dr. Saffold has dedicated her career to developing leaders and making the college experience rich and rewarding for the full range of our diverse student population," President Robert A. Corrigan said. "This is a well-deserved honor and serves as an inspiration to our faculty and students."
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