Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani, Ph.D., became the fifth president of Tidewater Community College in July 2012. Her experience as a community college president includes extensive work in strategic planning, expanding and diversifying college enrollment, and exemplary fundraising and public advocacy campaigns.
Dr. Kolovani led the development of the TCC strategic plan, “One College, One Voice, One Future,” in 2013, which focuses the college on key areas of workforce development, academic excellence, student success, efficient use of resources and philanthropic growth.
Since becoming president, she has worked to expand TCC’s presence in local high schools through dual enrollment and in area businesses through the Center for Workforce Solutions. Under her leadership, TCC partnered with the YWCA South Hampton Roads to provide licensed child development centers on all four of TCC’s campuses.
She advocates for TCC’s role in Hampton Roads’ higher education and workforce training through her memberships on a variety of boards and organizations, including the Rotary Club of Norfolk; Hampton Roads Alliance; Virginia Beach Vision; Downtown Norfolk Council; Greater Norfolk Corporation; Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce; the Urban League of Hampton Roads, Inc.; and the Board of Governors at Town Point Club in Norfolk.
In 2015, Dr. Kolovani joined the board of Opportunity, Inc., the Hampton Roads Workforce Investment Board.
Before coming to TCC, Dr. Kolovani was president and superintendent of Napa Valley College in Napa, California. Under her leadership, the college received federal recognition as a Hispanic Serving Institution, receiving a $3.8 million Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grant as a result.
For 13 years, she was president of Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) in Pennsylvania. In that time, she initiated several international educational endeavors in China and Europe; developed and implemented the college’s strategic and master plans; and secured appropriate funding and support for the college’s operations and new programs. During her tenure, the HACC Foundation became one of the largest community college foundations in the nation, with endowments and investments of more than $42 million.
Previously, Dr. Kolovani held leadership positions at Elgin and Highland community colleges in Illinois and Genesee and Jamestown community colleges in New York.
She served on the board of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education for five years and was on the board of the National Institute for Leadership Development for Women in Community Colleges.
Dr. Kolovani has received numerous honors, including Inside Business' Women in Business Award and YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 2016; the American Association for Women in Community Colleges’ 2013 Mildred B. Bulpitt Woman of the Year Award; and the 2000 Carolyn Desjardins President of the Year Award.
She is a proud recipient of the 2007 Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award for Peace from Morehouse College, and she was given the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction in 2002 by Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year colleges.
Dr. Kolovani holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in German and comparative literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Pädagogische Hochschule in Heidelberg, Germany. She is trilingual in English, German and French and is taking online classes to achieve Spanish proficiency.
In her downtime, she likes to work in the garden, practice yoga and Tai Chi, play golf, read and spend time with her family.