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Provost's Bio

Sylvia Alva, a dean at Cal State Northridge, has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Cal Poly Pomona. She begins her new post on Aug. 3.

Alva is the dean of the College of Health and Human Development at CSUN. She has been part of the California public higher education system for more than three decades, since her undergraduate years at Cal State Los Angeles.

Under her leadership, Cal State Northridge established the doctoral degree program in physical therapy, which graduated its first cohort in 2015. To address workforce demands, four new master’s programs were established: assistive technology and human services, an online speech-language assistant program, health administration graduate certificate, and the online delivery of the master’s in public health.

In addition, she assisted in developing a $22 million National Institutes of Health grant proposal that was funded to build the research infrastructure to prepare more diverse and underrepresented students to enter the biomedical fields.

She was the co-principal investigator on a $2 million grant from the Department of Education to increase the success and completion rates of Hispanic and diverse students in the college’s graduate programs. She also formed a partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and Campanella Foundation to offer scholarships and Dodgers’ spring training internships for physical therapy students.

Prior to working at Cal State Northridge, she held numerous administrative posts at Cal State Fullerton, including associate vice president for undergraduate programs. She was also the founding director of the Fullerton First Year Program and served as the director of the Academic Advisement Center.

Alva received her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from UCLA.