As the daughter of a teacher and a preacher, Elaine M. Cole knew that she would live a life of service to her community. She wanted to pursue a career that allowed her to travel, meet other people and understand different cultures. She received a Bachelor of Science in business administration and human resource management from Robert Morris University in 2003, and a Master of Science in executive leadership from Champlain College in 2017. In her career, she spent 17 years as a travel agent and supervisor with U.S. Airways from 1990 to 2002, and eventually decided to join the Social Security Administration in Pennsylvania. Ms. Cole became a public affairs specialist for the Social Security Administration and has been serving in this position for 10 years.
In her current position, Ms. Cole supports the administration by responding to media inquiries relating to Social Security programs. She supports 27 field offices and their servicing communities in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Throughout the year, she coordinates and serves as a speaker at more than 400 exhibits, and assists stakeholders with Social Security program policies and rules. She also educates various audiences such as staff, administrators, and students at universities and colleges, and maintains affiliation with the NAACP. For her efforts, Ms. Cole was presented with the Women of Excellence Award by the New Pittsburgh Courier in 2019.
Other accolades to her name include a Social Security Administration Regional Commissioner’s Citation in 2016 and Apprise Partnership Awards, which she received yearly from 2013 to 2018. She was presented with the Achieva Community Partner Award, was recognized by the National Honor Society in 2004, and received the Black Student Union Achievement Award from Robert Morris University for three consecutive years from 2002 to 2004. Earlier in her career, she was honored with the U.S. Airways Minority Professionals Chairman’s Registration Award and the U.S. Airways Minority Professionals Chairman’s Communication Award in 2001, the United Way Helping Hand Award in 2000, the U.S. Airways Customer Service Quality Award in 1996, and the U.S. Army Civilian Activity Award in 1995.
A member of the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church herself, Ms. Cole’s mother was a teacher and her father was a preacher. From a very young age, she knew that she would live a life of service to her community. Ms. Cole attributes her professional success to her faith and the support of her family. Looking toward the future, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree and begin teaching at the college level, making a difference in the lives of students. She is the proud mother of two wonderful children.