University of Phoenix Recognizes Inspiring Alumnae Who Overcame Challenges to Further Their Education and Improve Lives

These achievements highlight progress women have made in the world
and their contribution to society

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#WeRise–In celebration of Women’s History Month, University of Phoenix
recognizes its female students, alumnae, faculty and staff for
contributing to the advances made by women in all areas of life, work
and study. University of Phoenix remains committed to its ongoing
efforts to support the progress of women and their advancement both
personally and professionally.

“Women all over the world have made incredible progress in societal,
educational and workplace acceptance over the past few decades,1
including many of our alumnae who are breaking barriers and overcoming
challenges to improve their lives and those of others,” said Angie
William, Ed.D., University of Phoenix dean of Multicultural Affairs &
Diversity. “The increase of women pursuing a degree in higher education
is a testament to these achievements, as women are more likely than
their male peers to earn a bachelor’s degree by the age of 29; however,
there is more work to be done to improve opportunities for women related
to pay equality and leadership.”2

This Women’s History Month, University of Phoenix recognizes a few of
its inspiring alumnae who are realizing their dreams and accomplishing
their goals despite many obstacles. The University highlights their
successes using higher education as the foundation for further

Dawn Wilson, Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice/Human Services,
2013; Master of Science, Administration of Justice and Security/Law
Enforcement, 2016

Wilson worked in the criminal justice field for more than 20 years,
starting her career as a police officer, and ultimately earning the
title of Criminal Investigator for the Navajo County Public Defender’s
Office in Holbrook, Ariz. She then started her own business when she was
informed her position would be eliminated due to funding constraints.
She launched her practice, Wilson Investigative Services in 2016.
Through her journey, she empowers other women to fight for their goals.

“When I was growing up, there were not many women in law enforcement, so
I made it a goal of mine to become a police officer. When one dream
ended, another began,” said Wilson. “My bachelor’s and master’s degrees
from University of Phoenix have helped me learn the concepts I need as a
business owner. I went through three degrees while working full-time and
raising a brain-injured child as a single mother. This proves women can
do anything they set their minds to.”

Kelisa Wing, Educational Specialist Certificate (Leadership,
Curriculum and Instruction), 2015; Master of Secondary Education, 2011;
and Doctorate of Education (in progress)

Wing is an 8th grade English Language Arts teacher, mother of
two and a veteran who served in the U.S. military for six years. Her
husband is also a veteran. Wing has been named the 2017 Department of
Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year in recognition of her
significant contributions to children’s education, especially those with
ties to the military.

“As women, we face unique challenges bound by society to our gender.
However, our education gives us the power to make a difference in a
world where we sometimes are not given honor,” Wing said. “I am an
advocate of higher education and University of Phoenix because of the
support they showed me throughout the completion of my degrees.”

Jenna Leahy, Master of Educational Administration and Supervision,
2014 and a Forbes 30 Under 30 2017 recipient

Leahy is the co-founder and co-CEO of Casa Academy, a tuition-free
charter school that opened its doors in 2014 to serve disadvantaged
kindergarteners through third-graders in Central Phoenix, Ariz.
Previously, she taught in West Africa and Mexico while completing her
undergraduate education, and saw first-hand how the lack of access to a
quality education can make a significant difference in a child’s life.
Leahy received a Teach for America full scholarship, which she used to
complete her Master of Education in Administration and Supervision at
University of Phoenix in 2014. Leahy has also been recognized to Forbes
30 Under 30 this year and reflects on how her education prepared her for
an entrepreneurial role at the early age of 25, enabling her to impact
children’s lives.

“I am very grateful to University of Phoenix. At the time I was pursuing
my degree I was traveling to Chicago, New York and San Francisco
preparing to open CASA. It was neat being able to get into my hotel room
every night to learn what it took to run a school. I believe we need to
invest more in women so that they can be better prepared for positions
of leadership,” Leahy said. “As women we sometimes don’t take risks
because we feel we’re not qualified. We need to stop thinking like that
and tell ourselves ‘I am capable of doing this.’ I could have stopped —
thinking I was too young or because most of my counterparts were male,
but I’m working on moving on.”

Women comprise 66 percent of the student body at University of Phoenix,
where they have access to flexible academic options that may enhance
career opportunities. Additionally, 57 percent of University of Phoenix
faculty are women who have professional backgrounds in a variety of

About the University of Phoenix 2015 Academic Annual Report

The 2015 University of Phoenix Academic Annual Report (AAR) provides a
detailed and methodologically sound snapshot of the University, and an
outline of areas for future progress. Within the AAR, there is insight
into the University’s vision and approach to higher education, as well
as the characteristics of our students, our academic programs and our

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is innovating to help working adults move
efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world.
Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive
learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal
aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo
Education Group, Inc., University of Phoenix serves a diverse student
population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree
programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as
online throughout the world. For more information, visit

University of Phoenix Annual Academic Report (2015):


University of Phoenix
Angela Heisel, 602-557-8650