Philanthropists of the Year

FY16/17 - Sheri Wright

Sheri has been a lasting payroll contributor, giving over $28,000 during the past 14 years! Her support through payroll giving and the recent establishment of the Wright Smith Family Study Abroad Scholarship reflects her personal values and her family background of lifelong educators, her grandmother teaching for over 30 years and two sisters who are teachers. Her endowment supports students who qualify for the study abroad program offered at MiraCosta College, a passion Sheri holds dear, as one of the best experiences during her undergraduate education was her junior year spent studying at the University of Leeds in the UK and traveling throughout Europe.

FY15/16 - Dr. Thao Ha

Sociology professor, Dr. Thao Ha, an enthusiastic and engaging professor impacting students every day in the classroom, gives generously from her own pocketbook. She began giving almost from the day she arrived on campus by signing up for payroll giving and by occasionally dropping off a check in the Development and Foundation Office. In addition to her personal giving, Dr. Ha is a leader in encouraging her colleagues to give either through payroll giving or by encouraging them to buy jewelry that she designs and sells, with all of the profits going to support MiraCosta College and its students.

FY14/15 - Dr. Richard Robertson

Dr. Robertson’s philanthropic nature started during the last year of his undergraduate studies when he needed money to help pay for books, transportation and living expenses. The scholarship he received made it possible for him to quit a dish washing job and concentrate on his senior project. Today, he is “paying it forward” by helping to fund scholarships for current college students.

FY13/14 - Dr. Mohammed Rajah

Mathematics professor Mohammed Rajah, has given more than $100,000 to fund student scholarships since his tenure began in 1975.  Rajah, a staunch believer in financially supporting scholarships, campus programs and Medal of Honor awards is known in his department for encouraging others to join him, as his department has the highest payroll giving participation rate on campus.  Hundreds of students have benefitted from his generosity.

FY12/13 - Steven Deineh

Librarian Steven Deineh is the inaugural recipient of the MiraCosta College Foundation's Philanthropist of the Year Award. He played a primary role in the fundraising efforts to successfully endow the GSA Club and Trans* Pride scholarships and is currently leading the fundraising efforts to endow the Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) scholarship. Of the Trans* Pride scholarship he stated, "I am extremely proud of, and grateful for, the generosity of MiraCostans and our community that helped us to endow the first ever scholarship in higher education focusing on transgender and gender nonconforming students!"