Gail A. Cole-Avent, PhD

Gail A. Cole-Avent, PhD

Board Member

For more than two decades, Dr. Gail Cole- Avent has served as a leader and instructor in higher education institutions and Affiliated organizations across the nation. Her experiences and understanding of varying institutional, geographical and community needs has framed her outlook on the unique opportunity and responsibility that a university has to advocate for and support student success.

At California State University San Marcos, Dr. Cole-Avent was appointed to an inaugural role as the Associate Vice President of Student Life in July 2018. Since that time, she has established a collective vision and integrated operations among 10 departments, focusing on enhancing student success, contributing to retention, and redefining high-impact student engagement and the campus experience.

Externally, she holds several professional leadership roles. She serves on the NASPA AVP Steering Committee. In addition, she holds the position of Vice Chair for the Golden Key International Honour Society Board of Directors as well as the Chair of the Finance Committee. For the past eight years, she has taught at the masters and doctoral levels, in adjunct faculty and lecturer appointments, at the University of Miami and the University of Georgia.

Dr. Cole-Avent has presented on myriad research topics, including comprehensive crisis management, leadership development for career advancement, technology fluency, and collaborative identity culture center initiatives. 

She earned her bachelor’s in speech from Northwestern University, Master of Education from UCLA, and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Georgia. ICF Professional Coach candidate. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, North San Diego County Chapter, and serves as the Director, Programs for the San Diego Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Recently she received two outstanding honors: John Muir High School Alumni Hall of Fame and the San Diego Business Journal’s Top 50 Black Leaders of Influence.