Alumni Profile: Talisha Mills '05
This month’s alumni profile highlights the distinguished academic accomplishments of Talisha Mills ’05 Ph.D., LMSW, ACHP-SW. Mills started at the College’s former Collingdale campus in the Act 101 program, not sure of her path in the classroom. “I was originally a business major sitting through finite math pondering why zeros and ones were so important. I took a sociology class as an elective with Professor Butch Slaughter, and I loved the course,” says Mills. “I went back and took another elective the next semester and walked into my academic advisor’s office asking for a change in major from business to sociology.”
Mills graduated from the College with high honors in the summer of 2005 before transferring to Temple University to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Sociology, which she received in 2007. Her educational journey continued to Widener University for a Masters of Social Work in 2012, and last year she earned her Ph.D. in Psychology with an emphasis in Cognition and Instruction from Grand Canyon University. It was during this experience that she met Associate Professor of Nursing Susan Scalzi, who is also a current student at Grand Canyon University.
Mills’ passion is to help doctoral students as a dissertation coach. “I aim to assist other students with their independent learning that is crucial, especially for those in online programs who are often isolated.” She even started her own company, Flourishing Phoenix Dissertation Consulting, LLC (www.facebook.com/FlourishingPhoenixDC), and is available to help others who look to one day have Dr. in front of their name.
Mills’ research was key to her current job as a renal social worker. “My dissertation was on the underutilization of hospice service by African Americans. I examined the perceptions of social workers and nurses regarding hospice services to see if differences existed by race. Results showed that the race of the provider made a statistically significant difference in their perceptions, therefore I was able to conclude that non-physician medical providers have a responsibility for equity in care at end of life. I have made it my mission to spread the word and I would love to branch out internationally one day.” She encourages any student looking to begin the dissertation process to reach out and contact her for both encouragement and professional guidance.
As she thinks back to her time at the College, she recognizes several faculty members who were instrumental in helping her along the way. “I can’t thank the staff of Act 101 enough for helping me right from the start. I owe so much to people like Lametha Northern, Rose Dozier, Professors Slaughter, Linder and Baker. I also can’t forget those awesome helpers in the Math Lounge.”
As an academic coach, Mills offers advice to those returning to the classroom. "Just keep going and if you are just not getting it…it may be that you are in the wrong major. Consider other program options before walking away." We hope you are inspired after reading her story and follow her remarkable path in the future.
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