Sonya Malunda joined the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) as the consortium’s eighth president on October 2, 2017.
Throughout Sonya’s career, she has demonstrated her ability to bring diverse groups together to find common ground, identify goals, and collaborate to achieve significant, tangible results. Under her leadership, collaboration continues to be the keystone of the ACM’s mission since its founding in 1958.
At the ACM, Sonya has worked collaboratively with the Board of Directors to reimagine the consortium’s value proposition for members, creating a new strategic framework and developing more than ten new initiatives including faculty fellowships, student experiential programs, and cooperative admissions programing. During the pandemic, Sonya built consensus among the 14 colleges on a shared set of priorities, resulting in the ACM creating virtual professional development programs on student mental health and online course design and teaching. Sonya also oversaw the development and launch of the consortium’s anti-racism initiative, which includes data collection, cohort-based programming, and virtual workshops reaching hundreds of faculty and staff.
Prior to her appointment at ACM, Sonya’s career included experience in government, banking, and higher education, capped by nearly 20 years at the University of Chicago, most recently as Senior Associate Vice President for Civic Engagement. Sonya was one of the architects of the University of Chicago’s model of civic engagement and also developed college pipeline programs, formed connections to faculty-led community research projects, cultivated student engagement opportunities, and managed local and state government relations. Among her many accomplishments, Sonya led the community engagement effort to secure the siting of the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side. She also led the development and launch of the Civic Leadership Academy, an interdisciplinary leadership development program for emerging leaders in Chicago’s nonprofits and local government.
A native of Memphis, TN, Sonya’s passion for intellectual challenge and collaborative engagement was nurtured as an economics major at her alma mater, Spelman College, a small, private, liberal arts college in Atlanta. She also earned a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management with a concentration in Real Estate and Organizational Behavior.