Soraya M. Coley, president of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, has been selected to receive the 2023 Donna Shavlik Award from the American Council on Education. She will be honored at the Women’s Leadership Dinner at the American Council on Education’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
The American Council on Education established the Donna Shavlik Award to commemorate the long and outstanding service of Donna Shavlik, former director of ACE’s Office of Women in Higher Education. Presented annually, the award honors an individual who demonstrates a sustained commitment to advancing women in higher education through leadership and career development.
“Throughout her decades-long career, President Coley has demonstrated a sustained and continuing commitment to the advancement of women through actions or initiatives enhancing women’s leadership development,” said Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education. “President Coley’s unwavering dedication to advancing women in higher education exemplifies the spirit behind the ACE Donna Shavlik award.”
Dr. Coley has spent nearly her entire career in the California State University system, rising from lecturer to a tenured faculty member, department chair, dean, provost, and president. She is the first woman and first African American scholar to serve as president of Cal Poly Pomona.
Before being named president of Cal Poly Pomona, Dr. Coley was provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Bakersfield. Earlier in her career, she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alliant International University and as dean of the College of Human Development and Community Service at California State University, Fullerton.
Dr. Coley is a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where she majored in sociology. She holds a master’s degree in social planning and social work and a Ph.D. in social planning and policy from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.