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Securing America’s Future:

The Power of Liberal Arts Education

Dana R. Wright

First Deputy Chief of Police, Cook County Sheriff’s Office (IL); Executive/Leadership Coach and Business Owner, Wright Vision Consulting, LLC
Benedictine University (IL), Class of 2010
Dana R. Wright is 1st deputy chief of police at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Chicago, Illinois. She has nearly 15 years of law enforcement experience and several years of administrative and executive leadership experience with one of the largest sheriff’s offices in the nation. Previously at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Wright served as bureau chief of human resources, deputy chief of staff, and executive director of training.
 
She launched Wright Vision Consulting, LLC in June 2013. In that role, Wright mentors and coaches young girls and other women in law enforcement in their personal and professional lives, helping them reach their fullest potential.
 
Wright is a graduate of the highly competitive FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, after being selected as the first female in her organization’s history to attend. She was named by Diversity MBA magazine as one of the Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders and is a recent recipient of the Benedictine University 2013 Alumni Service Award.
My life’s experiences and academic journey have not been traditional or typical, but the results have been very satisfying. What I experienced at Benedictine University is often hard for me to describe because I gained so much from my time there. I believe that as a result of the quality liberal arts education I received at Benedictine, I am a well-rounded, college-educated adult with a zest for life and great plans to use the humanities, arts, and critical-thinking lessons I acquired in the classroom to make my mark on the world in a positive way.

My liberal arts education allowed me to explore and see things from many angles; it allowed me to be creative and stretch my limits.

Initially, I came to the classroom with passion—but a bit of uncertainty. Fortunately, Benedictine’s exceptional curriculum and dedicated professors lead me to realize potential I had no idea existed. The courses planted seeds that I saw manifest as I progressed through my studies, worked within student teams, and completed assignments. My liberal arts education allowed me to explore and see things from many angles; it allowed me to be creative and stretch my limits.
 
My classroom experiences were immediately translatable into action and are the reason I was able to excel and be noticed within my work organization. I saw results immediately and was given responsibilities and positions I don’t think I would have been recognized to receive if I hadn’t learned to be more assertive and use the gifts that my coursework allowed me showcase.
 
Today, in my position of leadership, I often recall lessons learned and apply them as I guide my teams and encourage them to become stronger leaders and to make better decisions. I am more confident in my decisions and abilities and try to serve as a mentor to those coming through the ranks with a vision and a dream to be where I have been fortunate to be. Launching my first business definitely is a result of my experience at Benedictine and the education I received. I am determined to help others achieve and realize the potential they are capable of experiencing through my coaching services at Wright Vision Consulting, LLC.
 
Although I may be biased, I would not hesitate to encourage a parent or a student looking for a great liberal arts education to consider Benedictine University, because I truly believe that the curriculum and the professors were the conduits that helped me find my voice, direction, and purpose.
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