Vice President of Student Affairs
Dr. Lorena Checa was born in Uruapan, Michoacán Mexico. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 8 and became first in her family to attain a college degree. She earning her B.A. in Literature and Writing Studies from California State University San Marcos, she has gone on to earn her Master of Arts in Education & Multicultural Counseling from San Diego State University, an M.B.A. from California State University San Marcos, and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a focus in Higher Education Administration from the University of San Diego.
Dr. Checa has served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Cal State San Marcos since 2013. In that role, she provides leadership and oversight for the Division of Student Affairs, which encompasses Enrollment Management Services, Student Development Services, Student Academic Support Services, and Student Life. Previously, Dr. Checa has worked as Associate Vice President for Student Academic Support Services and Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Services at Cal State San Marcos, Assistant Dean of the School of Education at University of San Diego, and has held a variety of other higher education positions throughout her career.
At Cal State San Marcos she has been a committed advocate for underrepresented students and has worked diligently to create institutional structures that support the success of all students, particularly first generation, low income, and minority students. In 2014 the San Diego YWCA presented her with the annual Tribute to Women & Industry Award (TWIN) in recognition of her achievements in leading student support efforts at CSUSM. Dr. Checa’s dedication to clearing the pathway to success for students of all backgrounds is a reflection of her guiding philosophy that those who succeed with the support of others have an obligation to reach back and help those who follow also be successful.
As evidence of that philosophy in action, during her tenure at Cal State San Marcos, Dr. Checa has overseen the construction of CSUSM’s new Student Health & Counseling Services building, its new University Student Union, and the development of several student engagement centers such as the Black Student Center, Latin@ Student Center, DREAMER Resource Office, Veterans Center, and ACE Scholars Services for Former Foster Youth. She has also provided leadership in securing over $15 million in funding to support CSUSM student success through grants and private donations. These funds have expanded personal and academic support services for Veteran, former foster youth, low income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority students that have changed their lived and had a positive impact on their communities.