Women’s History Month pays tribute to the numerous achievements of women, both past and present. To honor Women’s History Month this March, Columbia Southern University would like to recognize the achievements of 10 students and alumni who have excelled in their respective fields. While this is not a comprehensive list of their accomplishments or contributions to society, we ask you to join us in praising them for their outstanding efforts.
Alexander is a safety compliance officer for the Oklahoma Department of Labor. She earned her bachelor’s in occupational safety and health from CSU in 2019. In her lifetime, she has achieved success in many areas of her life, including returning to school and earning her GED after dropping out in seventh grade.
Sgt. Anderson was awarded the Easley (South Carolina) Police Department Officer of the Year and American Legion Officer of the Year in 2016. She also was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Law Enforcement Professional Award by CSU (as Ashley Williams). In her spare time, Anderson volunteers for Meals on Wheels, United Way and other local charities. She graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s in criminal justice administration.
Burrell began her career at ICP Systems in Atlanta as a technical writer. After years of hard work, she is now the organization’s vice president and chief operating officer. Burrell earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from CSU in 2016.
In 2013, Connolly became the first female fire captain in the history of the Bend (Oregon) Fire & Rescue Department. She began her career in 2000 as the department’s first female firefighter and has since moved up in rank over her 13-year career. Connolly is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officers program at the National Fire Academy and continues to excel in her post. Currently, she is the battalion chief of administration at the Bend fire department. She holds a 2021 master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in emergency services management.
Davis is the office manager for Prodisee Pantry, a faith-based food pantry based in Baldwin County, Alabama. She and more than 50 volunteers work daily to fill boxes of food for area residents in need. A true community engagement project, the pantry—along with help from numerous volunteers, organizations and local businesses—has provided more than 2.5 million pounds of food to 24,548 families in 2020 alone. Davis graduated in 2020 with a degree in business administration.
Humberd works for the Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department and the Burkburnett Volunteer Fire Department in Texas. A 2018 Outstanding Fire Service Professional Award winner, she serves as firefighter and EMT and leads a Fire Explorers program at the Burkburnett department where she helps shape the lives of young men and women interested in firefighting. Humberd is also a 2020 graduate with a bachelor’s in fire administration with a concentration in fire investigation.
After completing Southeast Missouri State University Law Enforcement Academy in 2003, Osborne was a firearms instructor and defensive tactics instructor. She was the first female to join her department’s tactical team. In 2017, Osborne transitioned into a career in firefighting, where she became the first and only female firefighter for the Nixa Missouri Fire Protection District. Osborne is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in emergency services management.
Southerland works as an emergency communications officer with Clayton County (Georgia) Fire & Emergency Services. She is a member of law enforcement who has worked on more than 1,000 child exploitation cases at the local, state and federal level. She completed her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration in 2020. Among her achievements include the 2018 Outstanding Law Enforcement Professional of the Year Award from CSU and the 2020 Clayton County Chamber of Commerce Merit Award winner for her dedication and efforts in fighting human trafficking.
Thomas is a full-time customer service representative for Knight Abbey printing in Biloxi, Mississippi. In addition to her career in print media, Thomas is also a longtime caregiver for her sister and brother, both of whom have mental disabilities. She began pursuing her MBA in 2010 and fulfilled her dream of earning her degree in 2019.
In 2018, Woolf did something no other woman had done before: She competed in an Ironman triathlon dressed in full turnout gear. While not out to set a record, Woolf did this to raise awareness for post-traumatic stress disorder among firefighters. She also served as a campaign manager for Rescue4PTSD through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation from 2017 to 2019. The veteran firefighter began her career in firefighting and emergency services in 1997 and is currently using her knowledge and experience as a risk control specialist in Ohio. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership in 2014 and associate degree in fire science in 2019.
We are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of these 10 remarkable women and countless others who have made history. If you’re interested in having your story featured, email Communicator@ColumbiaSouthern.edu.