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Walden Magazine // Jul 01, 2010

Celebrating 40 Years of Social Change

Celebrating 40 years of social change graphic.


A transformation takes place when you come to Walden. And there’s no better proof than looking at the graduates and faculty who are working to create change worldwide. Whether it’s advancing social and economic growth in developing countries, preserving art and architecture around the world, or providing that whisper of encouragement to help others reach their dreams, it is our tireless commitment to change that connects us. Past, present, and future.

Sharon Freeman


NAME: Dr. Sharon T. Freeman’98, PhD, Applied Management and Decision Sciences

CURRENT JOB: President and founder of Lark-Horton Global Consulting Limited; president and founder of The All American Small Business Exporters Association; president and founder of the International Foundation for Trade & Investment Skills Development

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: I work to promote the rights and freedoms of the disenfranchised—domestically and globally—focusing on women, immigrants, minorities, and youth.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: As an economic development specialist, I formulate strategies to help disenfranchised
populations around the world gain a voice. I also write and publish books on the topic, which helps raise public awareness and provides a voice to others working toward similar goals.

BIGGEST BENEFIT OF MY DEGREE: Earning a terminal degree signals to the world that I am the kind of person who goes all the way to complete something that I started, that I have reached the top of the academic ladder in my field, and that they can count on me to be cognizant of and to apply the scientific principles of inquiry that apply in my discipline.

HOW WALDEN CHANGED ME: Being able to complete the PhD program on time and in the manner expected of me gave me further assurance that I have what it takes to succeed academically—and in all endeavors of my choosing in my life.

BEST ADVICE I RECEIVED FROM A FACULTY MEMBER: Use the Walden experience as a platform to publish articles and look for ways to share the knowledge you have acquired within your community—socially, academically, and professionally. In other words, be a change agent—don’t just learn how to be one.


“Succeeding at Walden takes the same thing that succeeding in life takes: organization, discipline, the right tools, and the right attitude.”


NAME: Dr. Asoka Jayasena

CURRENT JOB: Faculty member in the School of Counseling and Social Service; independent consultant and researcher



“I work to improve the lives of women, children, and deprived community members in regions around the world.”

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I have helped make a significant difference In many people’s lives by specifically identifying their problems and bringing them to the notice of authorities. For instance, I’ve helped garment workers get better salaries and migrant women get better benefits.

BEST LESSON I LEARNED FROM A STUDENT: I was a bit nervous when I first started teaching, and I actually expressed my fears to one of my students. She reassured me that my style was fine and told me never to change it. It’s a simple thing, but hearing that from someone else—to just be who I am—gave me a lot of confidence.


Prince Augustine Ordu

NAME: Dr. Prince Augustine Ordu ’00, PhD in Health Services

CURRENT JOB: Chief operations officer with Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consulting Group, LLC; professor of business, Argosy University

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: I work to strengthen communities and promote unity and understanding around the globe through shared common interests and sustainable development projects.


Define your personal mission statement.

I founded the Clearwater Project in Nigeria, which works to bring clean, drinkable water to communities where before they had to walk 20 miles, barefoot, to reach a decent water source. Also, I provide counseling and donate money to the Atlanta Union Mission, which helps the homeless. I also provide leadership development counseling to Etche-America Foundation, Inc., which promotes unity and understanding between the Etche people of Nigeria and the U.S.

FAVORITE WALDEN MEMORY: Receiving the 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award from Walden was definitely a highlight.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Define your personal mission statement. Know what path you want to follow. Consult an expert in that path and research what it takes to be successful. Then, develop an action plan and execute it. Refine your goals and ask for help, as needed, but stick with your mission.


Russell FrutigerNAME: Brigadier General Russell L. Frutiger ’02, PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences

CURRENT JOB: Vice president of strategic development, Army Security Monitor Research

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: I strive to make the world a better place by taking care of my family—my biological family and my work family—and leading by example. Good role models produce even better role models for the next generation. Social change and stability start at home and spread through the workplace, producing a better society. I work to make a difference by setting a good example.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I create and implement business-development strategies across the human resources and information technology spectrums for the federal government.

BEST ADVICE I RECEIVED FROM A FACULTY MEMBER: Stay focused on the prize. Little setbacks are only a way to make the prize even better.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Thank a service member. They are leading social change around the world on your behalf.


“As a senior military leader, I thought I understood leadership fairly well. And I did—but not in a holistic way. My Walden degree gave me a broader understanding of what leadership is.”


Graphic showing different number numerical statistics.

NAME: Dr. Alan W. White ’95, PhD in Administration/Management

CURRENT JOB: President and chief executive officer of Alan White Associates, LLC, an international consulting business

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: I work to provide assistance to developing countries advancing social and economic growth.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I help to bridge the gap between North American and West African countries. Historically, it’s been extremely difficult for West African countries to attract direct foreign investment, but I’ve lived and worked in Africa and traveled to 31 foreign countries, so I have unique insight. I can help businesses in North America, specifically the U.S., understand that even though this region may be a bit unstable, there are great opportunities there for investments.

FAVORITE WALDEN MEMORY: I grew up in Indianapolis, a real Hoosier, in basketball country. Walden had a special relationship with Indiana University, and my graduation ceremony was held on that campus. To be able to come home and graduate and have all my family members—aunts, uncles, Mom and Dad, and especially my grandmother, who’d never graduated high school—come and see me graduate from Walden was a very special, emotional occasion for me. I was the first of any in our family who’d been able to get a doctorate.


“The best lesson I learned, from Professor Joseph Maloney, was to be realistic. I started off with this really large, grandiose idea for my dissertation and was, of course, quickly overwhelmed.”

Maloney encouraged me to scope it down to a topic that was more doable. ‘Right now,’ he’d tell me, ‘it’s important to have a dissertation you can complete, then you can build on it later as a professional. You can save the world after you graduate.’


Marvin Kelly
“Never listen to other people’s negativity.”

NAME: Marvin Kelly ’05, MBA

CURRENT JOB: Executive director of Texas Property & Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: I’m working to increase the levels of diversity in the insurance industry.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I’m creating insurance programs at historically black colleges and universities and at universities geared toward Hispanics and other minorities. There are only two other minorities in the entire United States who do what I do.

FAVORITE WALDEN MEMORY: Graduation. At the time, my son was 17, and I was receiving my degree. He stood in the front screaming, ‘All right, Dad! That’s what I’m talking about!’ And it was very loud. My son was more proud of me than I was of myself. That was a great moment.

WHY I REFER PEOPLE TO WALDEN: I believe very strongly in Walden’s social change mission. If you’ve been blessed with something, you have an obligation to give back. Not every program has that. People at Walden are trying to do more than get an education—they’re also trying to make a difference.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Never listen to other people’s negativity. Being a minority, in the position I’m in, I’ve really had to work hard. I’ve always been the first minority in whatever new position I’ve gotten. So, regardless of who you are and what you look like, you can always be the best at what you do and rise to the top. Don’t let people put you in a box.


Iris Yob

NAME: Dr. Iris M. Yob

CURRENT JOB: Associate director for teaching and learning, Center for Faculty Excellence


SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: I help promote excellence in teaching and learning at Walden by supporting faculty development.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: At many universities, the professors have to focus on advancing their careers through research and publishing. While this is also important at Walden, we keep the focus on students and teaching—and that can make a big difference to the students’ success.

FAVORITE WALDEN MEMORY: Years ago, I worked with one student here who was really struggling with her work. I was worried she’d never finish her program successfully, but we continued meeting for advising sessions together because she was so motivated. She did end up graduating, and it transformed her. She became more confident and articulate and later even went on to earn her doctorate.

“Now, she symbolizes to me what can happen to all of our students during their studies here. A transformation takes place.”


Georgia Gene-Berryhill

NAME: Dr. Georgia Gene Berryhill ’93, PhD in Education

CURRENT JOB: Professor of art history at the University of Maryland University College; documental photographer for art historians, archaeologists, and antiquity restorations

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I often travel to and work in places that don’t have the money, personnel, and other resources to record, restore, and maintain their cultures. In many instances, the locals don’t even know about their own history, so with my tools and knowledge as an art historian, I am able to open doors about their own countries’ histories.

BEST ADVICE I RECEIVED FROM A FACULTY MEMBER: When I told my department chair, Stanley Rothstein, I was having trouble getting started on my dissertation, he firmly said, ‘All it takes to start is just five minutes a day.’ That really got my attention. And you know how it is, if you sit down for five minutes, then you get involved with your work and before you know it, you’ve invested one, and then two hours into it. Now I think of that advice every time I have to tackle a big project.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Aim high. Years ago, I never would have dreamed that I could possibly get a Fulbright Scholarship, but I did—simply because I worked hard and applied for it. Shoot for your dreams, no matter how far off they seem.


“My aim is to record, archive, and work toward restoring architecture, wall paintings, frescoes, artifacts, weaponry, and other items across the world.”


Esperanza Suarez

NAME: Dr. Esperanza Suarez ’04, PhD in Education

CURRENT JOB: Adjunct professor, bilingual early childhood education, Universidad de las Américas, Quito, Ecuador

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: I work with future teachers, one by one, to help them realize that education can create global solutions.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I teach bilingual education, and I’m not just talking about English language versus Spanish language. Here in Ecuador, we have many Indian cultures with their own separate languages, and we need to be attuned to their needs, too. I help teachers see that giving students the right language tools can really help them to bridge cultural divides and be successful.

WHY I REFER PEOPLE TO WALDEN: I recommend Walden to a lot of older students because that’s the demographic there. It’s great to be studying with peers who are at your same experience level.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Degrees have to be based on a dream, a dream that needs to be sustained. It is hard work to maintain that dream. If you understand that up front—acknowledge that it will be hard but that you’re determined to do it anyway—it makes the journey easier.


NAME: Dr. Donald Grady ’97, PhD in Administration/Management

CURRENT JOB: Chief of police and public safety, Northern Illinois University; president of Grady Consulting Services

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: I have devoted my life to the development of socially healthy and humane institutions of policing. Fledgling democracies around the globe require visionaries capable of cultivating progressive paradigms of humane policing predicated on the enhancement of safety and security without compromising individual dignity. Our global well-being cannot be secured through repression, incarceration, or apartheid, but only through the efforts of ordinary citizens with the hearts of heroes.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: In addition to my duties as chief of police and public safety, I provide consulting services to various governments and national police executives or administrators around the world regarding the best practices in policing and methods they can use to cultivate a sustainable democratic institution of policing.

BIGGEST BENEFIT OF MY DEGREE: I now question the status quo and refuse to accept tradition as an excuse for the continuation of stale, outdated protocols or processes. That has allowed me to effectively compete for several senior-level national and international police executive or command positions.


NAME: Dr. Bernice Folz

CURRENT JOB: Teacher and advisor for The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership and the School of Management


SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: To me, positive social change means helping society and individuals—locally, nationally, and globally. We should think of everything we do as relating to the world around us.

“Persistence is always a winner. Don’t take the path of least resistance and give up.”

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: When you help students learn, it helps them professionally and personally—and that helps change not only the individual student, but also the individuals and communities they go on to work with in their careers and lives.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Persistence is always a winner. Don’t take the path of least resistance and give up. Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to. There are many ups and many downs in a doctoral journey, but you can succeed—and I’m here to help students do just that.


Jim Price

Dr. Jim Price ’03, PhD in Health Psychology

CURRENT JOB: Clinical prosthetist and orthotist for Faith Prosthetic-Orthotic Services, Inc.

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: My goal is to approach patient management from more of a holistic perspective, rather than just focusing on the nuts and bolts of patient care. I work to understand the emotional and social implications of what I’m providing.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I work with individuals who experience amputation. I design and fit prosthetics and orthotics for them and also provide gait training, which basically means teaching them how to walk with their new limbs. I’m not just providing patients with a medical device, I’m examining other aspects of their lives: what their goals are, what their past activity level was, and what their potential is for the future. I try to give the patient hope and something to look forward to.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Completing the Walden program—or any educational program—is only the beginning. It’s not a terminal degree. It’s an enlightenment that equips the scholar with an arsenal of tools that will let the recipient enjoy a more satisfying and enlightening career.

“I try to give the patient hope and something to look forward to.”


Kathleen Conlee-Griffin

NAME: Kathleen Conlee-Griffin ’06, MPA

CURRENT JOB: Director of program management for animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: I work to promote the mission of the Humane Society, which is to celebrate animals and confront cruelty. I oversee two animal-protection campaigns in the Animal Research Issues department and work on what are known as the ‘three R’s’: to ultimately replace animals in research and—until that day comes—to reduce the number of animals used, as well as to refine the research so that it causes the animals less pain and suffering.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I lead a campaign called Chimps Deserve Better that seeks to end the use of chimpanzees for invasive research and to retire them to sanctuaries. I used to work in a laboratory where I witnessed monkeys being treated poorly, so I understand firsthand what chimps in labs are forced to endure. These endangered animals can live to be 60 years old, and some live in laboratories their entire lives. I am very driven to get them out of labs and into the sanctuaries they deserve.

BIGGEST BENEFIT OF MY DEGREE: My advanced degree directly led to a promotion at work, but it also improved my policy work related to animal protection. It helped me better understand the importance of considering the perspectives of other stakeholders, how government works, and what factors must be addressed to successfully influence policy changes, among other things. A combination of degrees in science and policy has proven very beneficial to my career.

WHY I CHOSE WALDEN: I expected a flexible program that provided a challenge—and that is what I got. One of the surprising benefits was the experience of the other students. I learned a great deal from people in all levels of government, from local to federal, in different regions of the country, and worldwide.


NAME: Dr. Bruce Dart ’05, PhD in Health Services

CURRENT JOB:Health director at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, Nebraska

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: We’re working to bring healthcare access and equality to those in states of inequality.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: We have programs designed specifically to improve the health status of vulnerable populations. We reach out and proactively work with families in cultural centers, in rural populations, and in low-income areas and provide services that hopefully directly improve their health status.

HOW WALDEN CHANGED ME: Before I came to Walden, I don’t think I realized the full effect my work could have on other people, on society. Walden made me think on a much broader scale about what I was doing. The Walden program really took up, by several notches, my desire to help others with my work.

WHY I CHOSE WALDEN: I wanted to focus on learning, not running from classroom to classroom, and with Walden, I could make the time to really involve myself with the curriculum. It gave me the flexibility to pursue my degree on my own time.

BEST ADVICE I RECEIVED FROM A FACULTY MEMBER: One of my professors always told me this great line: ‘Stay in the now, but don’t forget where you’re going.’ Basically, he was reminding me to focus on the present, but keep the bigger picture out in front of me, so I wouldn’t forget my long-term goals.

“Knowing that I had that big carrot, my degree, out in front of me was really motivating, but staying focused on today made it all less overwhelming.”


NAME: Dr. Harold C. Cohen ’00, PhD in Health Services

CURRENT JOB: Senior project manager at System Planning Corporation, TriData Division

SOCIAL CHANGE MISSION: My goal is to influence the development and delivery of emergency-medical and fire-protection services to our citizens in the 21st century.

HOW I’M MAKING A DIFFERENCE: I look at how to integrate emergency-medical services better with the delivery of healthcare to both improve access and patient outcomes and to control costs. For fire-protection services, I help to advise municipalities using modern quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods on types of equipment, staffing, and technologies to improve fire prevention and reduce fire loss. I’m also very involved in helping to reduce work-related deaths and injuries of first-responders, such as firefighters and EMTs.

BIGGEST BENEFIT OF MY DEGREE: My degree has widened my perspective on how public safety impacts healthcare and community. It’s allowed me to further understand how emergency medical services is really the integration of public safety and public health.

FAVORITE WALDEN MEMORY: The access was incredible. I interacted with fellow professionals who had great ranges of perspective and faculty whose knowledge and experience allowed me to view things from a wider perspective. I grew to understand how my profession could effect social change.