Soria Colomer has been named the inaugural Patricia Valian Reser Faculty Scholar
By Maia Farris
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s College of Education has gained its first endowed faculty position fund through the gift of College of Education alumna Patricia Valian Reser through the OSU Foundation and appointed Dr. Soria Colomer, associate professor and education doctoral program chair, as the inaugural holder. The endowment is one of 15 new endowed faculty position funds across seven colleges funded by $13.8 million in donations through the Provost’s Faculty Match Program.
“I’m grateful for visionary donors like Pat Reser who make it possible for the university to extend its reach,” said Edward Feser, provost and executive vice president. “Endowed funds support the work of exceptional faculty in their roles as scholars, teachers and community partners, benefiting the state and world the university serves. Dr. Colomer embodies this mission in action.”
College of Education Dean Susan Gardner said the endowment will benefit the college as a whole, highlighting the important work that is happening within the college. Endowed faculty position funds often support critical research that provides solutions for the community at large, she added.
“This endowed scholar position will provide Dr. Colomer with the opportunity to grow her research and disseminate it more broadly,” Gardner said. “As professor of dual language and bilingual education, Dr. Colomer has proven herself to be a dedicated changemaker and scholar, whose commitment to transforming the educational landscape for marginalized youth and to exploring schooling communities through the lens of language, identity and bilingualism helps forge the path forward in education. In addition to her accomplished research, Dr. Colomer is a valued teacher, leader and colleague within the college.”
Reser earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from OSU in 1960 followed by a master’s degree in special education from Portland State University. She taught in Forest Grove and Hillsboro before retiring from the Beaverton School District. She now serves as board chair of Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc., a family-owned, international company with facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. In recognition of her decades of volunteer leadership at OSU, she received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2019 and the OSU Foundation’s Lifetime Trustee award, its highest honor, earlier this year.
Through her philanthropy, she has established endowed faculty position funds in many disciplines, including science, business, the arts and education.
“As our collective understanding of human development and learning grows, I believe it is vital that OSU continues to explore and disseminate how best to prepare our students to be educational leaders,” Reser said.
As the Patricia Valian Reser Faculty Scholar, Dr. Colomer will hold the position for a three-year period, receiving $10,000 each year to support her research and outreach efforts.
“It is imperative that the College of Education increase its capacity to develop skilled and brave teachers, counselors and learning leaders who reflect the rich diversity of our society. To attract these future educators and give them the best possible start in their careers, we need strong faculty who can involve them in groundbreaking research about how to engage students in learning and make a difference in their communities,” Gardner said.
“I am grateful for all the ways Pat Reser invests in Oregon State University, as both a volunteer leader and with her philanthropy,” said Shawn L. Scoville, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation. “It is impossible to overstate her impact on all areas of the university’s mission, and above all, she is a teacher, who I and the entire OSU community have been fortunate to learn from.”
Gardner said she hopes the fund will be a springboard for further support that will continue to bring dividends to the college, its faculty, students and communities for perpetuity, and that the endowment is more meaningful considering its namesake.
“A College of Education alumna herself, Mrs. Reser has made an impact in so many ways throughout her lifetime,” Gardner said. “Serving as a teacher leader in all levels of the K-12 system in Oregon, an influential businesswoman and a generous philanthropist, Pat has shown what it means to give back professionally, personally and philanthropically. She serves as a model for all of our education community.”
Learn more about endowed faculty positions at Oregon State and their visionary donors.