February 25, 2022

Mesa College President Dr. Pamela Luster Receives Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award

By Office of Communications

Dr. Pamela Luster - San Diego Mesa College President

Monterrey, CA - Today, the Association of California Community College Administrators [ACCCA], announced that Dr. Pamela Luster, President of San Diego Mesa College, was awarded the 2022 Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award. Dr. Luster was recognized based on her outstanding career and significant contributions to the mission of the California Community Colleges.


"Dr. Luster is a true champion of equity and basic needs,” stated Sara Goldrick-Rab, President and Founder of The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. “She not only supports audacious initiatives at San Diego Mesa College, but steers committees and taskforces to promote the implementation of best practices and advocating for local and state funding. Dr. Luster has been an instrumental partner of #EquityAvengers who work together to impact equity in California Community Colleges as well as nationally.”

Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award

Association of California Community College Administrators

In the words of Dr. Gilkerson "Dr. Luster is the woman in the arena: doing the work, motivating others, striving despite setbacks to believe that our systems and colleges can do better on behalf of our students and communities. I believe she exemplifies the spirit of the late Harry Buttimer’s commitment to integrity, compassion, leadership, collegiality, and contributions to the profession and our system."


Since 1986 the Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award has recognized the outstanding achievements of the Chief Executive Officer--either the President, Superintendent-President or Chancellor who leads a California community college institution.


The Buttimer Award is a prestigious, statewide recognition established by ACCCA to honor the late Harry Buttimer, former Chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District, and a leading voice in California for the modernization of operating principles and practices, and fair funding of its community colleges.  This historic award not only symbolizes the history and evolution of the community college movement in California, it is an icon for the very leadership qualities Harry was known for--integrity; principle; compassion and resilience, as well as meaningful contributions to one’s colleagues, the profession, the institution and the community that the college serves.


“I am honored to have been nominated and to receive the Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award from ACCCA, stated Dr. Pamela Luster. Racial Equity, basic needs, and inclusive spaces that create access to successful outcomes for students have been the primary focus of my career, and this recognition confirms that purpose. My thanks to Dr. Ashanti Hands and Dr. Keith Curry for leading this effort, and I am grateful for support from my esteemed and dedicated colleagues, including Dr. Carlos Turner Cortez, Dr. Keith Curry, Dr. Daisy Gonzales, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Dr. Luke Wood, Dr. Larry Galizio, and Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson – every one of whom shares my passion and committment to our work.



The ACCCA is the foremost member-supported professional organization for administrators and managers of California's 114 community college campuses and their district offices. Established in 1975 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of administrators, the ACCCA seeks to provide its members with services, benefits, products and programs that will enhance their professional lives.


About Mesa

San Diego Mesa College is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college committed to access, success, and equity. We honor those commitments as a diverse community of students, faculty, professional staff, and administrators who collaborate to foster scholarship, leadership, innovation, and excellence in an inclusive learning environment. By promoting student learning and achievement that leads to degrees and certificates, transfer, workforce training, and lifelong learning, we empower our students to reach their educational goals and shape their future.  Among the largest community colleges in California, Mesa College serves 30,000 students per year, 25% of whom are full-time. Mesa offers nearly 200 associate degree and certificate programs and is one of 15 California community colleges offering a four-year baccalaureate degree. Mesa ranks as San Diego’s top transfer institution, is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution and a Military Friendly School, serving more than 3,500 veterans and their families.

Tags: Awards, Pamela Luster, President Pam, Buttimer, President