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Southern California Campus Hosts Leadership Awards Event in Collaboration with University of Phoenix Alumni Association and Workforce Solutions

In-person awards event honored contributions of alumni leaders in the region

The University of Phoenix Southern California Campus held its fourth annual 2022 Leadership Impact Awards event on March 10, in collaboration with the university’s Alumni Association and Workforce Solutions team.

The first in-person event since the beginning of the pandemic, the event was attended by University of Phoenix alumni and notable organizational leaders from employers in the Southern California area. An inspirational keynote address on “Servant Leadership” was delivered by Dr. Jim Ghormley, former Southern California Director of Academic Affairs for the university. Ghormley was also recognized as the first 2022 Distinguished Alumni and Forever Phoenix award recipient.

Forbes reported that University of Phoenix is the number one university with alumni working in Fortune 500 companies. Our alumni are leaders, innovators, game changers, and fighters, and we are extremely proud to celebrate them at this awards event,” stated Raghu Krishnaiah, chief operating officer of University of Phoenix.

The awards event recognized 18 award recipients among a field of 300 nominees in categories including:

  • Dr. Coby Webb, recipient of the Grand Impact Award, recognizing a University of Phoenix alumni who has exemplified the mission of University of Phoenix and has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, a commitment to educational development, and a passion for community engagement. Webb has served in law enforcement for 28 years and is the only female bloodhound trainer and handler affiliated with the National Police Bloodhound Association. She is the founder of “Find ‘em Scent Safe,” a proactive scent collection and storage system that facilitates search and rescues. Webb also promotes the concept of having therapy dogs live with police and first responders to reduce stressors and to provide emotional support to victims and/or witnesses of crime during interviews, a practice that has seen increased implementation.
  • Darlene Valadez, Nicole Fejeran, Ruby Gill, Shonna Rossler, Dallas Verdusco, Cleon “CJ” Joseph, and Arifa Aboobucker, recipients of the Rebel with a Cause Award, presented to organizational leaders who have been nominated and selected as being change agents, innovators, and who have consistently challenged the status quo in spirit of setting the pace for the next millennium through higher education at their employers.
  • Sonia Sabado, Anchulee Raongthum, Dr. Iman Schrock, Gwendolynne Cole, Esther Ong, Tatania Minguet, Darlene Scafiddi, and Reuben Merkes, recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award, recognizing outstanding alumni who have used their education to excel professionally, provide inspirational leadership to others, and provide service to their community.
  • Rogelio Ruiz and Dr. Anthony Rodriguez, recipients of the Rising Phoenix Award, presented in recognition of the achievements of alumni who have overcome adversity to significantly improve their lives and the lives of others through higher education; and
  • Tariq Jouzi, recipient of the Southern California Distinguished Faculty Partner Award, presented to a university faculty member who consistently created a dynamic, collaborative, and positive learning environment in the classroom and also promoted and supported student growth, engagement, and continuous learning at university events and within the community.

Over 300 Nominations were submitted from alumni across the region, and a selection committee comprised of University of Phoenix leaders selected individuals that most exemplified the award criteria.

To learn more about the accomplishments and community of University of Phoenix Alumni, visit the Alumni Chronicles blog.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit

The @UOPX Southern California Campus held its 4th annual Leadership Impact Awards event, recognizing 18 award recipients among a field of 300 nominees, in collaboration with the university’s Alumni Association and Workforce Solutions team.


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