Cal State Monterey Bay sophomore Regan Porteous has been selected to receive a CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. She and the other award winners were honored on Sept. 24 at the CSU board meeting in Long Beach.
The award is among the highest student distinctions in the CSU and is accompanied by a scholarship. Awardees must demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. Many of the honorees have prevailed in the face of disability, language and cultural barriers, intense personal loss or homelessness.
“CSU trustees’ scholars have defied the odds, rising above circumstance to become leaders among their classmates and exemplifying the CSU mission of access to a quality higher education,” said Chancellor Timothy White.
Regan’s father was sentenced to life in prison when she was an infant. Much of her childhood was spent behind barbed wire and guard towers as she and her family visited him nearly every Sunday. She faced the obstacle of not having a father involved in her daily life; she also encountered low expectations of children in her circumstances.
She overcame it all, set goals for herself and is now an accomplished and poised woman, a dean’s list student majoring in psychology, and a varsity athlete.
At the request of a district attorney in her hometown of Lodi, she has shared her story with students in continuation schools to help them cope with similar circumstances.
She currently volunteers for the university's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which includes participating in youth clinics, reading to elementary school children, and collecting food for the Salvation Army.
Upon graduation, Regan plans to earn an advanced degree so she can help children in circumstances similar to those she experienced as a child.
More than 437,000 students attend the 23 campuses of the CSU system. Only one student from each campus is honored with the Trustees’ Award. The program began nearly three decades ago with scholarships endowed by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. In 1999, the generosity of current and emeritus CSU trustees allowed the program to expand.