Industry leaders appointed to College of Applied Studies Dean’s Advisory Board

The College of Applied Studies at Wichita State University has appointed four distinguished professionals to its Dean's Advisory Board. They are Alicia Sanchez, Amy Williams, Ed O'Malley and Kyle Ellison.

All four individuals bring a wealth of expertise and experience to enhance the strategic priorities and academic pursuits of the college.

Alicia Sanchez, Spirit AeroSystems' Global Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) manager, will focus on fostering inclusivity on the Dean's Advisory Board. Holding an MBA from Friends University and pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education leadership at Wichita State University, Sanchez is committed to community service, having chaired the Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and currently serving as a commissioner for the Kansas Human Rights Commission and a City of Wichita District Two Advisory Board member. Recognized for her contributions, she has received numerous accolades, including being named the 2019 Wichita State University Young Alumni of the Year and a Leader in Diversity and Inclusion. Her dedication to diversity, inclusion and community engagement is evident in her achievements.

Amy Williams, director for Global Community Relations (CSR) and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Spirit AeroSystems, brings a rich background in corporate social responsibility and DE&I strategy to the Dean's Advisory Board. With vast knowledge in CSR and DE&I leadership across multiple industries, including agri-food, retail, and aviation and defense, Williams has demonstrated expertise in strengthening company brands and fostering inclusive work environments. Williams serves on the boards of the Wichita Public Library Foundation, the Wichita Community Foundation, Via Christi Foundation and co-chairs the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce's DE&I Advisory Council. Williams holds an MBA from Newman University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management from Wichita State University.

Ed O'Malley, president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation, brings a distinguished career in leadership and community development to the Dean's Advisory Board. With 15 years of experience at the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC), O'Malley has been instrumental in fostering leadership for stronger, healthier and more prosperous Kansas communities. Prior to his tenure at KLC, O'Malley served two terms as a state representative in the Kansas Legislature and gained experience in the private sector. O'Malley holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Kansas State University and has pursued executive education programs at esteemed institutions such as the U.S. Small Business Administration's Emerging Leaders Streetwise MBA program, Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Kyle Ellison, born and raised in Wichita, brings a deep understanding of grassroots organizing, community-building, and youth leadership to the Dean's Advisory Board. Ellison was recently named the Founding Director of Khan Lab School Wichita, which is set to open inside the Wichita Learning Lab in fall 2024. With experience in leadership roles in telecommunications, startups and nonprofit organizations, Ellison has demonstrated his commitment to youth development and community empowerment. Recognized for his leadership and community impact, Ellison has received accolades such as the Wichita Business Journal 40 Under 40 and the Wichita NAACP's H.N. Sims Excellence in Education Award. Ellison holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in communications from Wichita State University.

"We are thrilled to welcome Alicia Sanchez, Amy Williams, Ed O'Malley, and Kyle Ellison to the College of Applied Studies Dean's Advisory Board," said Dean Dr. Jennifer Friend. "Their diverse backgrounds, wealth of experience and strong educational connections will provide invaluable insights as we continue to enhance our programs and initiatives to better serve our students and community."

The CAS Dean’s Advisory Board is a diverse group consisting of 30 leaders with a purpose to support the mission, vision and values of the College of Applied Studies, while also advancing the college and Wichita State University’s strategic priorities. 

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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