CCRP's Chief Policy Advisor Connie Stewart Receives Cal Poly's Distinguished Service Award

Connie Stewart, Chief Policy Advisor at the California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) and Executive Director of Initiatives at Cal Poly Humboldt, received the Cal Poly Humboldt President’s Distinguished Service Award on July 14, 2023. The award recognizes Connie, alongside fellow receipients College of the Redwoods President Keith Flamer, and Board Chair of the Cal Poly Humboldt Foundation, Robin Smith, for her "long and distinguished commitment to the campus and local community", writes Cal Poly Humboldt.

Connie spent 11 years as Executive Director of CCRP, leading our Center's commitment to informing policy, building community, and promoting the health and well-being of rural people and environments.

As host for the Redwood Coast Connect Broadband Regional Consortium, Connie works to deploy reliable, high-speed broadband to everyone in Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity counties. She also actively represents the community as part of several statewide initiatives. Connie was recently appointed to the newly formed California Transportation Commission, California State Transportation Agency, and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Inter-agency Transportation Equity Advisory Committee

Connie also serves on the Advisory Board of GoldenStateNet, which is funded through California State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Broadband For All” legislation. GoldenStateNet was selected by the California Department of Technology to manage the development, acquisition, construction, maintenance, and operation of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

Connie was a mayor and a member of the city council in Arcata for eight years. She also served for six years as a state legislative field representative for one of the largest rural districts in California.

Cal Poly Humboldt's Distinguished Service Award winners: Keith Flamer, Connie Stewart, Robin Smith

Cal Poly Humboldt President’s Distinguished Service Award winners: Keith Flamer, Connie Stewart, Robin Smith

Connie has received multiple awards for her work, including Humboldt County Women of the Year in 2016 by Sen. Mike McGuire, a Nonprofit Leader Achievement Award, a Rural County Representatives of California President’s Award, and an Innovations in Networking Award for Gigabit/Broadband Applications from the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California for championing efforts to bring broadband to rural communities. She credits her passion and advocacy for rural communities to her time at Cal Poly Humboldt. 

Connie continues to build her legacy and impact students by making a bequest commitment—a planned gift that allows donors to make the University a beneficiary in their will, retirement plans, life insurance policies, or other assets—of $350,000 to the University.

Recently, she was named one of the Notable Women of Humboldt County, a project of the Clarke Historical Museum in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, for her longtime commitment to the region. She continues to inspire and support students in their pursuit of careers that serve and build communities.

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