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Leading with Distinction

Dr. Denise Wells

College of Health Professions Dean Dr. Denise Wells received the DAWN 2021–2022 Leadership Award, which is granted to a woman who has excelled in the field of higher education and served with distinction as a role model for rising stars in her organization and beyond. Dr. Wells accepted her award in October, at DAWN’s virtual ceremony that brought together colleagues from neighboring colleges and universities.

DAWN, the acronym for Delaware American Council on Education Women’s Network, grants its Leadership Award to women in higher education who demonstrate progressive leadership within their organizations or have had a demonstrable, positive impact on a department, unit, or university.  

“Recognition as a leader in higher education is a proud moment in my professional career,” says Dr. Wells. “Wilmington University has provided me the platform to encourage others toward achieving their own goals, and my colleagues have always welcomed the enthusiasm I bring to the table to accomplish that feat. I have been blessed to have positive, strong women in my life, starting with my mom and sister. I find joy in paying it forward, empowering others toward becoming the best versions of themselves.” 

The October event also honored Wilmington University Rising Star Award winner and academic advisor Ashlee Youmans, who holds two master’s degrees and is working toward her doctorate. Youmans was selected for her strong work ethic and exemplary student service. She also has served in the Army National Guard.

“We celebrate Dr. Wells’ distinguished career and are delighted that DAWN has honored and recognized her dedication and talent with this meaningful award,” says Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne Harmon. “We also extend our congratulations to Ashlee Youmans, who is deeply committed to serving our students. Both women are role models in the higher education field and exemplary representatives of the Wilmington University community.”

—Maria Hess

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