Lewis-Clark State College president Cynthia Pemberton has been selected as chair-elect for the Cascade Collegiate Conference’s Council of Presidents, conference officials announced Thursday.
Pemberton was selected at the council’s winter meeting on Tuesday. She will serve as chair-elect for two years and assume chair duties in the spring of 2024. Pemberton will succeed the current chair, Joe Womack, president of Bushnell University. As chair, she will also represent the CCC as the league representative on the NAIA Council of Presidents.
“LC State is proud to be a member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference,” Pemberton said. “Thanks to the good work of our Council of Presidents and current Council of Presidents Chair, Dr. Joe Womack, the chair-elect position will provide an opportunity for me to shadow strong leadership, and ultimately move forward seamlessly on behalf of the conference.”
Pemberton has served as president at LC State since July 1, 2018, becoming the third female president in the history of Idaho’s four-year public institutions. She becomes just the second female chair of the CCC council. Former Warner Pacific University president Andrea Cook was the first and served several years before her retirement.
Originally from Medford, Ore., Pemberton earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., in 1980, and later earned her master’s in interdisciplinary studies: physical education, psychology, and nutrition at Southern Oregon College (now university). She received her Ed.D. in education leadership at Portland State University.
Pemberton began her higher education career in 1984 at the University of Nevada in Reno and also taught at Truckee Meadows Community College. In 1989, Pemberton moved back to Oregon serving as assistant athletic director, head women’s and men’s swim coach, faculty and later senior women’s administrator for athletics at Linfield College in McMinnville.
She held a number of positions during 1998-2012, including associate and interim dean of the graduate school at Idaho State University. She served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Dickinson State University from 2012-16, and then was vice president for academic affairs at Colorado Mesa University for two years before accepting the LC State position.
Pemberton is a two-time Fulbright awardee. She spent a year in the Republic of Malta (2011-12) on a Fulbright Scholar award, and a month in the Kingdom of Jordan on a Fulbright Specialist award serving as an educational leadership consultant to Jordan University of Science and Technology.
Pemberton has conducted research, published and presented locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Her record of scholarly achievement includes two books, a chapter in an international adult learning compendium, over 30 refereed and/or limited review publications/proceedings, numerous invited publications, over 40 regional/national/international presentations, and well over 100 local/university and community presentations. Her 2002 book, “More Than a Game: One Woman’s Fight for Gender Equity in Sport,” was recognized with the Phi Kappa Phi Bookshelf Award in October 2002. Likewise, her 2012 book: “Getting There: Women’s Journeys to and through Educational Attainment,” received the Phi Kappa Phi Bookshelf Award, summer 2013.
"It is a pleasure working with Dr. Pemberton as a member of the council and I look forward to her term as chair," CCC commissioner Robert Cashell said. "Her background as a standout collegiate student-athlete, coach, and athletics administrator before her ascending to the executive leadership roles she has held on campus will serve our conference well."