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Building Belonging Through Community


To foster DEI, whether it is in higher education or the workplace, people need to feel like they belong. An environment of belonging is created when individuals experience deep connection, they feel their ideas, thoughts, and contributions matter, and they can show up authentically. This paper is part 3 of a 3-part series on belonging addressing belonging from the perspective of students, staff and faculty, and community. This paper discusses the diverse strategies employed by University of Phoenix in collaborating and connecting with our local, regional, and national communities to cultivate a sense of belonging and provide stakeholders opportunities to connect through a supportive network. 

Building Belonging Through Community

Building Belonging Through Community


Alisa Fleming

Alisa Fleming, Ph.D., is an academic leader with experience in higher education administration, business, teaching, and consulting. As Director of Institutional Assessment at University of Phoenix, she sets the direction for institutional assessment efforts and those that extend beyond academics, including the administration of major surveys, gathering, reporting, and dissemination of data. She received a Ph.D. in Business with a specialization in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University. Her research interests include leadership, ethics, employee behaviors that contribute to healthy workplace culture. She holds a Certified Diversity Professional® credential from the Institute for Diversity Certification and a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace certificate from the University of South Florida.  Dr. Fleming has a passion for inspiring others to action which has led to service roles in her organization and outreach within nonprofits and youth-based organizations in her local community. 

Jelisa Dallas

Jelisa Dallas, MSEd., is the Program Manager for Recognized Student Organizations for the Office of Educational Equity at the University of Phoenix. With over twelve years of experience working in education, Jelisa has designed and implemented innovative resources and programming for student development and engagement in private, non-profit, and public institutions. Jelisa holds a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace certificate from the University of South Florida. She currently serves on of the board of the University of Phoenix African American Council for Excellence (employee resource group) and Warren/Youngstown Urban League Young Professionals.