Page 18 - William Woods University - Summer 2013

SUMMER | 2013
History Made; WWU
Awards First Doctorates
By Mary Ann Beahon
Julie Dill
Amy James
made history in
December when they become Dr. Julie Dill
and Dr. Amy James. They were the first
persons to receive doctorate degrees from
William Woods University.
Dill is superintendent of Johnson County
R-VII School District in Centerview, Mo.,
and James is principal of Southern Boone
Elementary School in Ashland, Mo. They both
started working toward their doctorates in
educational leadership in August 2010.
This was even before WWU was
approved by its accrediting body, the Higher
Learning Commission (HLC), to offer the
degree. It was a leap of faith on the part of
the educators who believed so strongly that
William Woods would be accredited that they
were willing to start classes even before the
approval came.
I chose WWU because it really made
sense,” Dill said. “I am an adjunct faculty
member and have been involved with WWU
for the past five years and really had a sense
of the successes of their programs. The cohort
model is a great idea and provides an added
network of professionals you can reach
out to.”
She added, “I was impressed with the
quality education William Woods University
offers for working professionals. The doctoral
program has afforded me a wonderful
opportunity to grow professionally and
personally. They really do provide a
solid program for today’s educators.”
William Woods University has been
offering master’s degree programs since
and added an education specialist
program in 2003.
Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett
president, likes to point out, William Woods
serves the largest population of graduate
students earning principal and superintendent
certification in Missouri, and graduates hold
more than 500 school administrative positions
within the state.
This speaks about the long-standing
quality of our academic programs, particularly
the graduate programs for educators,”
Barnett says.
William Woods promotes its programs as
being flexible and compatible with work and
family life. James is a good example
the program works.
I have a family of four girls and my
husband; my girls are 15, 12, 10, and 7,”
James said. “This program worked great
for the non-traditional student. Class once
a week and homework or writing my
dissertation on the weekends. You do have to
really want the Ed.D. to make it through the
program. You must have self discipline and
personal drive.”
Dill, too, feels the program was a good fit.
My family and I knew that for two years,
every Thursday night, I had college. As I
started working on my dissertation this
summer, my family really supported me with
time to read, write, and develop my research.”
James is honored to be one of the first to
graduate with a doctorate.
I absolutely love WWU and am proud
to say that I am one of the first to receive the
doctorate from here. WWU has been great
through all of my graduate programs, and
I made it a goal of mine to graduate in
December of 2012.”
Dill said she was only able to reach her
goal with “the terrific family support and the
guidance of
Dr. Michael Westerfield
president and dean of the WWU Graduate
College and her committee chair.
Dr. Westerfield was a tremendous support
throughout this process. I really felt he truly
cared about my work. My committee was a
great team for me,” she said.
I have realized that anyone’s dreams can
be achieved through persistent hard work. I
am a very goal-oriented person. I give 150
percent to everything I do in life, and this
time that effort has really paid off. I am very
proud to be one of the first doctoral graduates
for William Woods University.”
What we're
Photo by Mary Ann Beahon
Left to right: Amy James and Julie Dill