Deborah F. Stanley to Receive 2022 ACE Donna Shavlik Award
February 16, 2022

Also focused on advancing women leaders in higher education, the ACE State Network Leadership Award goes to Higher Education Resource Services

ACE is proud to announce that Deborah F. Stanley, interim chancellor of The State University of New York (SUNY) and former longtime president of SUNY Oswego, has been selected to receive the ACE Donna Shavlik award.

Throughout her career, Stanley has focused on campus climate, career development, and mentoring initiatives aimed at expanding the pipeline of women leaders.

“Deborah for decades has served as a role model to future women leaders and, even more significantly, has demonstrated an indefatigable commitment to taking action to ensure that many more women can follow her path to the top,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “Deborah’s unwavering dedication to advancing women in higher education exemplifies the spirit behind the ACE Donna Shavlik award.”

March 5 at ACE2022: Tom Fitch, managing director, Storbeck Search; Judy Sakaki, president of Sonoma State University; Deborah Stanley, president of SUNY Oswego; Thasunda Brown Duckett, TIAA CEO; Sherri Hughes, ACE assistant vice president of Community Strategy and Engagement; ACE President Ted Mitchell.

ACE 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, campus climate, and mentoring.

Stanley began serving as interim chancellor of SUNY, the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, on Jan. 15, 2022. She previously served for 25 years as president of SUNY Oswego. Early in her tenure as president she approved the Women's Studies major, which has continued to be a popular major and is now called Women and Gender Studies. She also establish the SUNY Oswego Women's Center, whose mission is to provide education, support, and advocacy to the Oswego community. 

Stanley’s lifelong commitment to mentoring is deeply personal. She was a married mother of two young children when she enrolled full-time as an undergraduate at Syracuse University (SU) in the 1970s. After completing her degree in four years, she went on to earn a Juris Doctorate at SU's College of Law. During this time, she developed a deep appreciation for the role of faculty members, especially her female professors who took an interest in students' unique circumstances. Since those early days and throughout her career, President Stanley has embraced her role as a mentor to women throughout the academy. 

2022 ACE State Network Leadership Award

The recipient of the 2022 ACE State Network Leadership award is Higher Education Resource Services (HERS), which was founded in 1972—2022 marks their 50th anniversary—to create and sustain a diverse community of women-identified leaders through leadership development programs and other strategies. 

The ACE State Network Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding and innovative program sponsored by an ACE State Network or by a college or university that helps advance or support women or women's issues in higher education.

“HERS for a half century has been a groundbreaking and innovative force to increase the number of women leaders at colleges and universities across the country,” said Sherri Lind Hughes, ACE assistant vice president of community strategy and engagement. “HERS is an invaluable resource for women leaders seeking to advance to the highest ranks of higher education.”

In 1976, HERS, whose president is Gloria D. Thomas, launched the first HERS Leadership Institute, which has served more than 6,000 women across 1,200 institutions. In 2016, Next Stages Next Steps was added to offer a dedicated career development workshop focused on guiding mid-late career women through the executive search process of a specific senior leadership role. 

March 5 at ACE2022: Andrea Silbert, EOS Foundation president; Judy Sakaki, president of Sonoma State University; Gloria D. Thomas, president of Higher Education Resource Services (HERS); Sherri Hughes, ACE assistant vice president for Community Strategy and Engagement; Derrick Anderson, ACE senior vice president of Learning and Engagement.

Over the past two years, HERS has expanded to include five new programs to serve women at all career stages, and the HERS Network was launched to keep participants connected beyond completing a program.  

The Donna Shavlik Award and State Network Award will be presented next month at the Women’s Leadership Dinner during ACE2022, ACE’s annual meeting that will take place in San Diego from March 5-7. For More information about how to register for the ACE Women’s Network Leadership Conference and purchase a ticket for the Women’s Leadership Dinner, click here.

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