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Nicholas A. Colafella 

Nicholas A. Colafella

Nicholas A. Colafella, Ph.D., was appointed as a Member of the Commission on December 27, 2004. Dr. Colafella served as Vice Chairman of the Commission from January 28, 2013, until being elected Chairman of the Commission on January 16, 2015.

Dr. Colafella was a Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1981 to 2002, serving the 15th Legislative District (Beaver County). As a Member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Colafella served as the Democratic Chairman of the House Insurance Committee (1992-1998), and the House Education Committee (1999).

During this time period, Dr. Colafella also served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Council of Higher Education, and the State Board of Vocational Education. From 1969 until 1980, Dr. Colafella served as the Dean of Continuing Education and Community Service for the Community College of Beaver County as well as its Director of Evening Education. He also served as a business instructor at the same institution, and previously served as a high school business teacher at Center High School and Northwestern High School.

In 1992, Dr. Colafella was recognized as the Outstanding Legislator of the Year by the College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania, and he was named Man of the Year in 1982 by the Upper Beaver Valley Jaycees.

Dr. Colafella has devoted substantial efforts toward community involvement, including his service as Chairman of the Beaver County Drug and Alcohol Commission, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Beaver Valley Hospital Advisory Committee, Board Member of the Pennsylvania State University Beaver Campus Advisory Committee, and the Beaver County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Agency.

From 1956 to 1958, he served in the United States Navy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, where he published his dissertation entitled “A Study of Voluntary Support for Pennsylvania Community Colleges.” He received his M.A. in Education from Duquesne University and his B.S. in Education from Youngstown State University.