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McLeod Mortuary

1919 East Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA

OBITUARY

Susan Elizabeth Mitchell

February 19, 1952June 4, 2019
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It is with a heavy heart that we communicate the passing of Dr. Susan E. Mitchell, Administrator Emerita, who retired from CSUSM in 2007 after over 30 years of service to the CSU. Dr. Mitchell was known for her tireless commitment to students and the University, unquestionable ethical leadership, and genuine caring for all around her. Susan passed away unexpectedly on June 4; she was 67 years old.

Prior to her 11 years at CSUSM, Susan had a longstanding career with San Diego State University Housing and Residence Life; in her final role, Susan served as the Associate Director for Residential Education. During her tenure, Susan was credited for shepherding the development of an intentional educational component of student housing with a focus on academic support and holistic student development. She was passionate about student leadership development and is fondly remembered by many former students with whom she kept in touch via social media some 30 years after their graduation.

In 1996, Susan accepted the charge to develop student housing at CSUSM from a leased portion of an off-campus apartment complex to our University Village Apartments (UVA). Along with two campus colleagues, Susan was an architect of one of the CSU’s first public-private partnership housing ventures, UVA, approved by the Board of Trustees in 2001. After serving as the Director of Housing & Residential Education, Susan served as Interim Dean of Students, Senior Director of Health, Counseling and Disability Support Services, and in 2003, she was named the founding Associate Vice President for Student Academic Support Services (SASS). Among numerous contributions to student success, Susan guided the development of services for former foster youth, what is now ACE Scholars Services, led the implementation of a hybrid academic advising model, provided needed infrastructure for the Centers for Learning and Academic Support Services, and partnered with colleagues in Academic Affairs to create intentional support interventions which increased the retention of first year students. Susan was recognized by Student Affairs with the Sandra R. Kuchler Employee of the Year Award in 2003.

Susan earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of San Diego in 1994. In 1995, Susan’s dissertation entitled, Creating Campus Climates that are Free from Sexual Harassment: Implications for Leaders in Higher Education, was recognized by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA, a leading Student Affairs professional association) with the Melvene D. Hardee Dissertation of the Year Award which recognizes one study in the nation as the best emergent scholarship in the field.

Susan was a dedicated daughter, sister and aunt, a mentor to many she led, and a steadfast friend quick to listen and lend support, and share her keen sense of humor that seemed to appear when least expected. A Celebration of Her Life is scheduled for Monday, June 17, 2:00 pm at the First United Methodist Church of Escondido, 341 S. Kalmia Street, Escondido, 92025. The Mitchell family is finalizing arrangements with the University to establish a scholarship in Susan’s name and requests memorials be directed there. More information will be forthcoming on the scholarship.

Services

  • Celebration of Life Monday, June 17, 2019

Memories

Susan Elizabeth Mitchell

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Janice Johnson

September 14, 2019

Susan and I have been friends from SDSU through CSU San Marcos and into retirement. I so regret not seeing her more often. My condolences to her wonderful family. She loved you all so much. This is so sad and such a shock. I have been recovering from knee replacement and missed this sad news.
Janice Johnson

Mike Hoctor

June 17, 2019

I regret I cannot be with you today to celebrate Susan’s Life, but I fell in my yard yesterday and wrenched my back so
I don’t feel I can drive today..

Debbie Pace

June 13, 2019

High school buddies...glad we had some times like this together, although they were few and far between. Precious memories now.

Debbie Pace

June 13, 2019

College roommates catching up. Wonderful memories that I truly cherish now.

Mike Hoctor

June 13, 2019

Susan and I worked together at SDSU from her undergraduate Resident Advisor position in Maya Hall in the early 1970’s through -program advising and her amazing contributions as Associate Director of Housing and Residential Life. She was a pillar of our department. We remained friends through her years at CSU, San Marcos and retirement. She was always a tireless advocate for students and is well regarded by them. My condolences to her close-knit family and all her loved her. We all will miss her.

Erica Xavier

June 12, 2019

Charlene Chew-Ogi

June 12, 2019

Our condolences to Susan's family...40 years ago, I attended a California housing officers workshop in Asilomar, Susan was my roommate. Both at the beginning of our careers, late night discussions about what the future would hold. Susan was a lifelong colleague and friend. She contributed so much to the profession. My husband and I will miss her as so many others who she touched...a wonderful spirit.

Colleen Daley Brown

June 11, 2019

I have such memories living on Stewart Street next door to the Mitchells.
I reconnected with Susan a few years ago and her sweetness came accross even through the internet.
May God comfort the family in their time of grief knowing that she is in the arms of her Savior.

Anissa Heard-Johnson

June 8, 2019

Susan Mitchell was one of themost profound influences in my career. Her dedication. her work ethic were unparalleled. She made me want to be better at everything. I’m so grateful that Facebook gave us opportunities to stay connected for 30 years.

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