Shawn Whalen Joins College Futures Staff as Senior Program Officer

Nov 05, 2015, 11:00 ET from College Futures Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- College Futures Foundation announced the appointment of Shawn Whalen as Senior Program Officer. Shawn brings extensive experience in higher education as both a faculty member and university administrator to the lead role he will play in strategy development, planning, and oversight of the Foundation's grants related to higher education attainment.

"As our grantmaking strategy evolves and we focus increasingly on the pipeline to and through bachelor's degree completion, Shawn's dedication to better student outcomes and his deep experience in California higher education will help us do more for the students we serve," said Julia Lopez, president and CEO of College Futures Foundation. "We are glad to have him as a key member of our team."

"I am so pleased to join the staff at College Futures Foundation at what promises to be an exciting and important moment in higher education. I have lived in California most of my life and worked for many years as a teacher and administrator, and I am deeply invested in what happens to our students," said Shawn. "If we are going to make college success an option for every student and meet the state's need for many more bachelor's degrees, we need to foster a climate of creativity and improvement that can produce greater achievement for all of our students. I look forward to working with our grantees and partners in higher education."

Prior to joining the Foundation, Shawn held the position of chief of staff to the President of San Francisco State University, where he served as a member of the senior leadership team, facilitated institutional partnerships, and advised the president on academic policy, student achievement, and strategic planning.

Shawn is Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at San Francisco State University. As a faculty member, he was active in university governance and served three terms as the Chair of the Academic Senate. He also directed nationally ranked speech and debate programs at two institutions and is a past president of intercollegiate debate's national governing body, the Cross Examination Debate Association.

Shawn received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from San Diego State University and completed Ph.D. coursework at the University of Utah.

About College Futures Foundation
College Futures Foundation operates on the beliefs that a vibrant future for California's economy and communities requires more bachelor's degrees, and that every student in California should have the chance to succeed in college. College Futures works to increase opportunities for low-income and underrepresented students by removing barriers to college degrees. Established in 2005, the foundation awards nearly $20 million in grants annually. Together with its grantees and partners, College Futures works towards more graduates for a thriving California. Visit

Logo -


SOURCE College Futures Foundation