Coley 'making a difference' for children

Soraya Coley, PhD (sw) '81, welcomed the 14th Dalai Lama to California State University at Fullerton in June. Dean of the College of Human Development and Community Service there, Coley said that the Dalai Lama "was inspirational in light of the unprecedented shifts in the demographic landscape of our public schools, the community and in the state. He challenged us to find creative solutions for assuring that all of our children reach their potential and achieve their dreams." An audience of 1,100 people came to hear his talk, "Cherishing Harmony with Diversity: Education in the New Millennium."

Coley was named one of "10 Women Making Orange County a Better Place" in a recent edition of OC METRO magazine. "I grew up with the expectation that you are part of something bigger than yourself," she was quoted as saying. As dean, her biggest priority is teacher education. "There's an urgent need to increase the number of credentialed teachers to improve the opportunities for all children," she said. She is optimistic about the future of community service as a vocation: "Different entities and people can find different ways to contribute to the community. One can mentor a child, participate in offering an after-school program, or donate money or resources, all depending on one's inclination and ability."

The Orange County chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners presented Coley with the Education Advocate Award in 1999 in recognition of her role at the university and as a volunteer in the community.

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