Dr. Denise Wells, dean of the College of Health Professions at Wilmington University, has earned the 2021 DAWN Leadership Award. DAWN – an acronym for the Delaware ACE (American Council on Education) Women’s Network – grants its Leadership Award to a woman in higher education who has excelled in the industry and serves as a role model to its rising stars.
Before joining WilmU, Dr. Wells served as the director of nursing of a free-standing, ambulatory surgery center and a clinical faculty member at the Beebe School of Nursing.
She is a member of several boards and was recognized by Delaware Today magazine for excellence in nursing. During the Leukemia and Lymphoma Woman of the Year Campaign, Dr. Wells also earned the Citizenship Award. She has been an honorary guest speaker at nurse excellence ceremonies and commencements and devotes her personal time to several community organizations.
Dr. Wells holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Nursing and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership, all from Wilmington University. She received national certification as a certified nurse educator through the National League for Nursing.
“Recognition as a leader in higher education is a proud moment in my professional career,” said 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.”
Ashlee Youmans, an academic advisor at WilmU, was honored as a Rising Star. Youmans, who holds two master’s degrees and is working toward her doctorate, 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,” said WilmU 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.”