Head Shot of Cynthia Pemberton
Cynthia Pemberton


Introducing the new Vice President for Academic Affairs

Bold. Complex. Interesting. Words used to describe Colorado Mesa University by newly hired Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Pemberton.

“My impression of CMU and its trajectory is that it’s nothing short of bold,” Pemberton said. She was also drawn to CMU’s size; it’s big enough to be “complex and interesting”, yet small enough for faculty and staff to work directly with students.

Pemberton joins Colorado Mesa after holding the position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dickinson State University in North Dakota. 

While working, writing books, research projects and countless seminars have kept Pemberton busy, she still finds time to enjoy the great outdoors. As a self-proclaimed “mountain girl,” a big attraction to joining the team at Colorado Mesa is the quality of living. Pemberton will be able to continue swimming, hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding and rock climbing between helping students excel academically.

Pemberton’s passion for the outdoors led her to travel the world including trips to: Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Her world travels included the coveted U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award granted for Malta in 2011. As that year's only Fulbright Scholar for Malta, she taught in the University of Malta’s education studies program and conducted workshops for teachers on issues concerning education equity, diversity and social justice.

Authoring numerous publications including two books, More Than a Game: One Woman’s Fight for Gender Equity in Sport and Getting There: Women’s Journeys to and Through Educational Attainment. Earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Southern Oregon College and her doctorate from Portland State University in educational leadership, Pemberton’s education and past experiences have equipped her to take on the challenges of academic affairs.

In her new position as vice president of academic affairs, she will oversee 13 departments and various academic support units.

In a message from Pemberton located on Colorado Mesa’s website she states, “Student-by-student, through education we can and do make an important difference to individuals, as well as to our community, state, region and the broader social good.”

Media Contact

Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations


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