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Walden Magazine // Feb 03, 2021

Accolades: Holding Ourselves to a Higher Standard

The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership

Esther Jackson

Dr. Esther Jackson ’18 | PhD in Education
Jackson served as a keynote speaker at the 2020 Association for Talent Development (ATD) Conference, where she presented “Times Are Uncertain, but Your Steps to Resilience and Innovations Shouldn’t Be.” She is a dynamic presenter whose topics have included adaptability, emotional intelligence, leadership development, and more. She is national advisor for chapters at ATD and a past president of the ATD Detroit chapter.

College of Health Professions

Dr. Betty Jean Ezell

Dr. Betty Jean “BJ” Ezell ’20, ’13 | MS in Health Informatics and Doctor of Public Health
Ezell was recently featured in the Citrus County Chronicle for her decision to come out of retirement and earn her doctorate in public health. At 70, Ezell believed her career in healthcare as a nurse and healthcare administrator was done—before the COVID-19 pandemic inspired her to change course. She currently oversees COVID-19 grants as a project officer with the Florida Department of Health.

College of Management and Technology

Roy Alston

Dr. Roy E. Alston ’10 | PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences
Alston co-founded diversitypop, a mobile app for organizations that delivers diversity training to people on the go. As one of 12 military veterans who created the app, Alston now adds the title of tech founder to a résumé that includes author, combat service veteran with the 82nd Airborne Division during the first Gulf War, and retired Dallas Police Department major.

Dominic Ford

Dominic Ford ’20 | Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Ford was named the executive director of human resources and community relations for the city of Thomasville, Georgia, in December. Prior to his appointment, he served as Thomasville’s safety, risk, and wellness manager. A resident of Thomasville along with his wife and seven children, Ford began his career with the city 15 years ago as a patrol officer with the police department.

Tammy Pitts

Tammy Pitts ’10 | MBA
Pitts has been named the director of communications for Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA). She has an extensive background in media relations and brand management, and most recently served as the communications editor for the dean of international studies and programs at Michigan State University.

College of Nursing

Ashley Holmstrom

Dr. Ashley Holmstrom ’18, ’12 | Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice
Holmstrom joined Medical City Frisco as the chief nursing officer in October 2020, after serving as assistant chief nursing officer at San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital Metropolitan. Her appointment follows years of experience in patient care and numerous nursing leadership positions throughout Texas.