Uva C. Coles

Mel Heifetz
Alice Bast

Associate Vice President, Civic & Global Engagement, Widener University

Prior to her role at Widener, Uva served as Vice President, Institutional Advancement and Strategic Partnerships at Peirce College where she oversaw workforce innovations, strategic partnerships, career services, marketing and communications, and volunteerism/social responsibility. She also served as an Executive Advisor for Peirce’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. Uva’s earlier positions included other executive and leadership roles with Peirce College, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and progressive roles with QVC, among other organizations.

U va’s most recent career accomplishments include an appointment to the Kenney administration’s workforce delegation to Germany; designing Peirce College’s career center-- developed around the needs of first-generation adult learners; and creating Peirce’s signature Women in Leadership annual event featuring local and regional C-suite executives. A workforce and career development thought leader, Uva has served on the City of Philadelphia’s Workforce Steering Committee and she has also co-chaired the education sub-committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s Roadmap for Growth Steering Committee.

In 2018, Uva served as a board member with the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia where she participated in the Workforce Equity initiative and co-chaired the 2018 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange Conference. She was also the recipient of the Social Innovations Award for her leadership in leveraging higher education as a poverty disruptor in underserved communities.

Currently, Uva serves on the boards of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Awards, and West Oak Lane Charter School. She is also a member of the Philadelphia Global Identity Advisory Board led by the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce. Uva is an alumna of the Philadelphia African American Leadership Development Forum ’17, the Preeminent Growth Collaborative ’16, and LEADERSHIP Philadelphia ’11.

A seasoned higher education executive, professional speaker, trainer and writer, Uva’s work has been featured in numerous publications including the Philadelphia Business Journal, Philly.com, Forbes.com, U.S. News Weekly, Al Dia News, Generocity, and Metro, to name a few.

An Afro-Latina native of the Republic of Panama, Uva resides in Wilmington, Delaware with her husband and their two sons. Uva has a Master’s degree in Business Management from Wilmington University and a Bachelor’s in English from Claflin University.