Dr. Lisa Gunderson

Since high school, when she was recognized as the Most Spirited, to USC’s Black Student Union as a person who will make a difference, Dr. Gunderson has received numerous awards and recognition from the community, universities, and high schools for her work and spirit.   They include:

Who Did Your Hair (WDYH) Making History Award for excellence in the African-Canadian business community. (November 2017)

African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island (AHAVI) Entrepreneurial Award for her “outstanding role in business activity and employability to strengthen and to promote growth of the Canadian economy and of her status as a role model in engaging immigrant women in the business community.” (February 2013)

Faculty Association of California Community Colleges Full Time Member of the Year Award for her leadership at the campus or district level that benefits faculty. FACCC is a statewide professional membership association that advocates for all 112 California Community College faculty who teach 2.5 million students a year. (February 2012)

Franklin High School Wildcats Recognition Award for work at the high school. (May 2011)

“Someone You Should Know Award” A student generated award honoring professors for their work on behalf of students with diverse abilities. (December 2010)

Associated Student Government’s Humanitarian Professor of the Year Award that represents a professor who has exhibited dedication and commitment to the 23,000 students at Sacramento City College. (May 2009)

NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Excellence Award. This United States national award honors individuals who have demonstrated teaching and leadership excellence in institutions of higher education. (Spring 2009)

Psi Chi (National Psychology Honor Society) Teacher of the Year Award (twice) and an outstanding professor honor. Loyola Marymount University (1999-2003)


In July of 2009, Sacramento City College received the prestigious statewide John W. Rice Diversity Award for their work on the Cultural Democracy Initiative (CDI). Dr. Gunderson, along with 5 of her colleagues comprised the CDI executive committee. CDI attempts to institutionalize the process of creating an educational environment that recognizes, respects, and shows sensitivity to the cultures represented on campus. One of the major activities undertaken was to sponsor Beyond Diversity Workshops and Courageous Conversations from February 2006 to August 2008. The Beyond Diversity workshops provided opportunities for administrators, faculty, staff, and students to recognize and examine their own cultural perspectives and presumptions and to understand how those factors influence the ways that they interact with those whose cultural backgrounds are different than their own. Dr. Rice’s daughter, former secretary of state, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, presented the award to the recipients in Sacramento California.