For more than 40 years, Patricia Dixon has embodied the commitment, heart, and vision of educational leadership and success. Dixon was among the first American Indians to graduate from the University of San Diego’s College for Women.
Dixon with her colleagues co-founded, developed, and sustained one of the oldest American Indian Studies departments in the United States. Her department ran an innovative program, for many years, which had generational learning: five year olds to age 80 participated in an annual summer program with an integrated curriculum of native culture and western academics. She has also taught and developed courses at San Diego State University and Alliant University.
In addition to her work as a faculty member at Palomar College, Pauma Tribal member Dixon has been an advocate for tribal leadership and education. She’s served on Pauma’s Tribal Council, for more than twelve years with four of those years as the Tribal Chair. She has also served as President to the Sherman Indian High School Board, served as a member of the United Indian Women’s Club, and the Institutional Review Board for the Indian Health Consortium. Dixon helped create the Luiseño/Cupeño Intertribal NAGPRA coalition, and was a Senate appointment to the California State Curriculum Commission. She is the current chair of the Department of American Indian Studies & American Studies at Palomar College; chair of the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians education committee, vice-chairwoman on the Board of California Indian Legal Services, a member of the Rincon Indian Health Center consortium, and a board member for the Native American Advisory Board for California State University, San Marcos.
Dixon has established tribal libraries, expanded Palomar College Courses to rural reservations, guided tribal policy-making and informed state and national educational advancement.
Dixon’s greatest achievement is still being learned from her recently deceased mother, Lorena Majel Dixon, to take joy in what you do, to serve humbly, but to fight courageously for those whose voices are not heard.