Senator Leyva Honors Cal Poly Pomona President Dr. Soraya M. Coley as 2022 “Woman of the Year”

Monday, April 18, 2022

SACRAMENTO – Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) is proud to announce that she has selected Cal Poly Pomona President Dr. Soraya M. Coley as the 2022 “Woman of the Year” for the 20th State Senate District.

Serving as the first female president of the of the university, Pomona resident Dr. Coley has truly distinguished herself as a strong advocate for students and other members of the Cal Poly Pomona community, as well as the greater Inland Empire region.  Prior to assuming the university presidency, Dr. Coley served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University – Bakersfield.  Dr. Coley earned an A.B. degree in Sociology at The Lincoln University, a M.A. degree in Social Planning and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. degree in Social Planning and Policy at Bryn Mawr College.

“Since President Coley arrived at Cal Poly Pomona, she has certainly been an unrelenting and passionate advocate for students, staff, faculty and the community,” Senator Leyva said.  “My office has worked closely with her and the polytechnic university throughout her tenure and we have built a strong relationship that I know has served the Cal Poly Pomona community and my entire Senate district and region well during all these years.  Whenever my office calls upon President Coley to partner on one of our many projects and efforts, she is always there.  From delivering a keynote address to hundreds of young women at my first Young Women’s Leadership Conference in Chino to working with us to expand educational opportunities for Cal State students, I can think of no more deserving person than President Soraya Coley to recognize as ‘Woman of the Year’ for 2022.”

Dr. Coley offered her appreciation for the recognition, as well as noted the importance of continued advocacy and support for women in California.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition from Senator Leyva, who is herself a fierce advocate for women and women’s issues,” said President Soraya M. Coley. “Women are essential to our society and our economy, and if the last two years have shown us anything, it’s the need for more holistic support to women, from their physical and mental well-being, to policies that provide protection for their work, not only in the workplace, but as caregivers. How women fare will have great repercussions on our society.”

Below are some highlights of the work that Senator Leyva’s office has accomplished and participated in with Cal Poly Pomona under President Coley’s leadership:

  • Dr. Soraya M. Coley delivered the keynote address at Senator Leyva’s first Young Women’s Leadership Conference held in March 2015 at the Chaffey College Chino Community Center.
  • In March 2018, Senator Leyva held her fifth Young Women’s Leadership Conference at Cal Poly Pomona’s AGRIscapes where the Senator highlighted the College of Agriculture’s programs including its well-known Animal Science program.Approximately 200 students had the opportunity to tour the student-run farm store, as well as explore some of the farmland. 
  • Senator Leyva has attended Cal Poly Pomona’s well-known annual Pumpkin Fest and most recently visited with her granddaughter in October 2021.Cal Poly Pomona has also donated leftover pumpkins to the Senator’s office to be distributed to low-income families in the district in time for Halloween.
  • Senator Leyva’s office has also partnered with Cal Poly Pomona on Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) events.
  • Professors from Cal Poly Pomona have participated in and presented to students at the Senator’s ‘Career Day with Connie’ events at various middle schools throughout the 20th State Senate District.

Senator Leyva recently recognized Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya M. Coley as “Woman of the Year” at a ceremony in Chino.