Dr. Nish Earns Prestigious Award

Southwestern College Superintendent/President Earns Prestigious Award
PRSA-San Diego/Imperial Counties awards Nish the Diogenes Award 

        Southwestern College Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish has been given a regional award for her candor and transparency in dealing with the controversies surrounding the college’s construction bond. 
        The San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter of Public Relations Society of America presented Nish with the Diogenes Award last week for demonstrating a commendable understanding of the need for candor regardless of any potential negative outcomes in the media. 
        Nish was recognized for tackling contract procurement processes surrounding the Proposition R construction bond measure. Former Governing Board members and former Southwestern College employees are currently under indictment as part of a far-reaching District Attorney investigation. 
        “Within a week after assuming the presidency, Nish contracted with my agency—Reliance Public Relations—to serve as interim public relations counsel for several months,” said Bill Gay in his nomination application. “It was immediately clear to me and my associate, Susan Giller, that Melinda Nish was a CEO who understands the value and role of a public relations professional.” 
        With the full support of the Southwestern College Governing Board, Nish put a halt to a controversial construction project pending an external review of the college’s business practices. When the external review was completed, Nish and the Governing Board held a news conference outlining the measures Southwestern College was taking to get back on track. 
        This summer the governing body overseeing accreditation for the college commended Southwestern College for the extent it had taken to rectify and improve institutional practices.
        In accepting the award, Nish said the improvements were possible because of an open and honest governing board willing to tackle the big issues surrounding the construction projects. 
        “I want to thank the Governing Board for their support during that difficult time,” Nish said. “Southwestern College has implemented many processes that make us a much more accountable institution. 
        “I accept this award on behalf of all Southwestern College employees and their hard work,” Nish said. 
        The award is named for Diogenes, the Greek philosopher who carried a lamp in search of an honest man.

S/P Dr. Nish carries lamp award from PRSA 
 Diogenes Award: Southwestern College Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish carries the lamp of honesty and openness presented to her by the Public Relations Society of American, San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter.
 Dr. Nish accepting the award
 Dr. Nish accepting the award at the PRSA, San Diego/Imperial Counties celebration.
 Group photo at PRSA awards
 Southwestern College Governing Board and leadership share in celebrating Dr. Nish’s award.