By Marya Jones Barlow and Kim Lamb Gregory

Sara Miller McCune, Mark S. Lisagor

An academic publishing pioneer and a humanitarian dentist are the eighth and ninth recipients of honorary doctorate degrees from CSU Channel Islands.

Sara Miller McCune  —  founder and executive chairperson of SAGE Publishing, an independent academic and professional publisher based in Thousand Oaks  —  was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters at the eighth annual SAGE Student Research Conference on May 14.

Camarillo dentist Mark S. Lisagor received his honorary degree on stage during CI’s May 21 commencement ceremonies.

Both McCune and Lisagor were nominated by President Richard R. Rush based on their longstanding support for CI and their contributions both locally and globally as business and philanthropic leaders.

McCune’s generosity enabled the SAGE Undergraduate Research Symposium, which allows CI undergraduates to conduct and present research on critical issues that extend beyond the community. SAGE has been a key sponsor of the President’s Dinner and Business & Technology Partnership Leadership Dinner, hallmark fundraisers that support scholarships and programs.

Since she founded SAGE in 1965 at the age of 24, McCune has grown the company into a leading international publisher of academic and professional books, journals, references and electronic media. SAGE employs 600 people worldwide and publishes more than 300 academic journals a year. Among her numerous initiatives supporting the arts, education and social issues, McCune is founder of the McCune Foundation, the McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy and Miller McCune magazine.

“I am truly honored to receive an honorary doctorate from an institution that has a global vision, yet is so engaged with our local community,” McCune said. “Since its founding 14 years ago, CSU Channel Islands has lived up to its very noble mission of putting students at the center of the educational experience. This focus has had a profound impact not only on individual students, but on the Channel Islands community and far beyond.”

Lisagor is a founding partner of the Childrens Dental Group, which led the way to provide pediatric dental care in child-friendly, spaceship-themed offices in Ventura County since 1977. A supporter of CI since 1998, Lisagor has served as a founding member of CI’s Legacy Society, a board chair for the CI Foundation and has consistently dedicated his time, professional expertise and financial support for the betterment of CI.

Lisagor is widely known for his philanthropic work at home and abroad. Four to five times a year he leads volunteers to impoverished countries to provide dental care to children and families who lack access. Within Ventura County and the state, he has generously donated his services to charitable and leadership roles, including serving as president of the American Society of Dentistry for Children in Southern California, past chair of the Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo and dental consultant to the Ventura County Infant and Maternal Oral Health Care Program, to name just a few. 

“This recognition is especially meaningful to me because it comes from a very unique place, whose mission statement begins with ‘placing students at the center of the educational experience,’” Lisagor said. “This is the culture of CI.”

© Spring 2016 / Volume 20 / Number 01 / Bi-annual