Claremont, Calif. (October 8, 2015)—Pitzer College names Dr. Virginia Kelsen, executive director of college and careers at the Chaffey Joint Union High School District, as the recipient the 2015 Pitzer College Core Values Award.
Kelsen has been influential in increasing the college-going culture among students from underrepresented backgrounds at Rancho Cucamonga High School, where she most recently served as principal, and throughout Southern California’s Inland Empire. She works to provide more college and career opportunities to prepare students for life after high school. Chaffey Joint Union High School District, the fourth largest high school district in California, graduates 6,000 students each year. Eighty percent of the district’s 25,000 high school students are from underrepresented demographic groups.
“Virginia is a true representation of Pitzer’s core values. We are excited about our continued partnership with Virginia and her staff at Chaffey Joint Union High School District,” says Jamila Everett, Pitzer College’s interim vice president for admission and financial aid.
Kelsen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Master of Arts degree in educational administration, and a Master of Arts degree in pupil personal services, all from Azusa Pacific University. In 2011, Kelsen received her PhD in urban leadership from Claremont Graduate University.
Pitzer’s annual Core Values Award was created in 2013 by the Office of Admission to recognize a high school educator whose work exemplifies the College’s core values of social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning, student engagement and environmental sustainability.