Bay Path University President Carol Leary to Receive Donna Shavlik Award at ACE2019
Published: February 20, 2019

ACE announced today that Carol A. Leary, president of Bay Path University in Massachusetts and author of Achieving the Dream: A How-to Guide for Adult Women Seeking a College Degree, will receive the 2019 Donna Shavlik Award.

The award will be presented at ACE2019, ACE’s 101st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, during the Women’s Leadership Dinner on Saturday, March 9.  

“2018 was a critical year for women in higher education. Carol Leary not only met its challenges head-on with her leadership of Bay Path, but she also widened opportunity for her students and prospective learners,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. 

In 1994, Leary became president of Bay Path, a private institution offering all-women undergraduate degree programs (on-campus and online) and co-educational graduate degree programs. Under her leadership, Bay Path became a university, established over 30 graduate and post-graduate degrees, and launched The American Women's College, the first all-women, all-online baccalaureate program in the nation. In honor of her tenth anniversary, the Board of Trustees at Bay Path established The Carol A. Leary Endowed Scholarship Fund for First Generation College Students.

Although neither graduated high school, Leary’s parents instilled in her the importance of education and a love of learning. With their support and encouragement, she attended Boston University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and later earned a PhD at American University (DC). This upbringing has made her an advocate for women, particularly those for whom circumstance and environment might hinder success.


From left to right: Christina Cutlip, senior managing director and head of National Advocacy and Federal Relations Liaison, TIAA; Sherri Lind Hughes, associate vice president, ACE Leadership; ACE President Ted Mitchell; Carol Leary, president, Bay Path University; Gailda Pitre Davis, director, ACE Leadership; Christina Proscia, managing director, Institutional Client Services, TIAA.

ACE established the Donna Shavlik Award to honor 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.

Teresa Younger, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, will give the keynote address at the Women’s Leadership Dinner (tickets required), which is sponsored by TIAA. 

2019 ACE State Network Leadership Award

The 2019 ACE State Network Leadership Award will be given to the ACE Women’s Network - Ohio (ACE WNO). The award will be accepted by Shanda Gore, ACE WNO state co-chair and executive director, University of Toledo, and Robin Selzer, ACE WNO state co-chair and associate professor, University of Cincinnati, at the Women’s Network Reception just prior to the Women’s Leadership Dinner at ACE2019.


From left to right: L. Jay Lemons, president and senior consultant, Academic Search; Gailda Pitre Davis, director, ACE Leadership; Shanda Gore, state co-chair and associate vice president, University of Toledo; Robin Selzer, state co-chair and assistant professor and program director, University of Toledo;  Karen Schuster Webb chair, WNEC, and president, Union Institute and University; Shawn M. Hartman, vice president and chief operating officer, Academic Search.

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.

“I am honored to present the ACE Women’s Network - Ohio with the 2019 ACE State Network Leadership Award,” said Gailda Pitre Davis, director of ACE Leadership. “Ohio happens to be one of the earliest active states in the Women’s Network. Activity waned in the late 80s, but last year they celebrated 20 years of renewed and noteworthy activity.”

With an engaged executive board working actively with Selzer and Gore, four regional coordinators around the state, and institutional representatives, the ACE WNO has had a significant impact on women in higher education in Ohio. Last year the ACE WNO experienced its second consecutive sold out Annual Conference, with more than 200 attendees participating in workshops, panel discussions, networking, and other professional development events. Recently the Network continued to grow its social media outlets; re-energized its institutional representative outreach; and established a secure archival system. 

Four state-wide ACE WNO professional awards recognize individuals who have contributed to the advancement of women colleagues or provide scholarships to support participation at conferences or workshops, membership in professional organizations, and other opportunities for professional development. 

Click here to visit the ACE2019 website for more information and to register. Join the conversation on Twitter at #ACE2019Philly.

MEDIA CONTACT: Krsiten Carmen ? 202-939-9554 ? kcarmen@acenet.edu

Correction Feb. 20, 2019: The original release stated that President Leary established the scholarship fund.