4 Female College Presidents That Make the Grade

Women take the helm at four area colleges


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pamela edington anne carson daly

Dr. Pamela Edington of Dutchess Community College (left) and Dr. Anne Carson Daly of Mount Saint Mary’s College

When it comes to appointing women as college presidents, the Hudson Valley is outpacing the nation. In the span of a little more than a year, three of our community colleges and one private four-year college have helped to close the gender gap by appointing female presidents. According to a 2013 study released by Colorado Women’s College, just 24 percent of women hold leadership positions in higher education while, according to the American Council on Education, 57 percent of college and university students are women.


Related: Meet Dr. Pamela Edington, Dutchess Community College’s First Female President


Dr. Pamela Edington (read her bio here) isn’t the only female college president in the area, though. Dr. Anne Carson Daly, who had previously served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, took the helm at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Newburgh in July 2014, and, since then, she has helped develop new academic programs in the fast-growing fields of criminology and physician-assistant studies. She is leading the launch of a new strategic plan to increase enrollment, and has already improved the freshman-retention rate — at 81 percent, it is well above average. A new fundraising campaign will create scholarships for deserving students from the Nora Cronin and San Miguel Academies in Newburgh, creating deeper relationships with the local Catholic schools.

In the span of a little more than a year, three of our community colleges and one private four-year college have appointed female presidents

In January of this year, Westchester Community College hired Dr. Belinda S. Miles, citing her reputation as a passionate advocate for community-college accessibility and student success. Previously, she served as provost and executive vice president of Access, Learning, and Success at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio.

According to Achieving the Dream, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping community college students, nearly two-thirds of all college students who enroll in community colleges test below college-ready in math and/or English. Dr. Miles moved swiftly to join the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network (comprised of 200 institutions of higher education), and is also expanding K-12 partnerships in order to increase college readiness, making it more likely that community-college students have the skills they need to succeed.

belinda s. miles kristine young

Dr. Belinda S. Miles of Westchester Community College (left) and Dr. Kristine Young of SUNY Orange

The most recent hire is Dr. Kristine Young, who began her tenure at SUNY Orange (campuses in Middletown and Newburgh) in June. Previously, she served as vice president for academic services and chief academic officer at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois.

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