Current Leadership and Rising Star Award Recipients


DAWN Leadership Award Recipient


 Dr. Erin J. DiMarco

Dr. Erin J. DiMarco is a Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Wilmington University with direct administrative responsibility for the areas of Financial Aid and Student Payment as well as providing assistance and counsel to all members of the executive team and other leaders throughout the university. As the Chief Operating Officer, she oversees all daily operations and ensures all programs and initiatives align with the university’s missions, core values and culture. Dr. DiMarco received a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University, a Master of Science degree in Health Care Administration from Wilmington University (then College), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Neuroscience from the University of Delaware.

Her career at Wilmington University began in 1995 when she joined the Office of the Registrar as a Registrar Assistant. As her responsibilities increased, her role as a University-wide leader also expanded. Recognized as an innovative change agent, she led numerous process streamlining initiatives which benefited students and staff at every site. She joined the Administrative Cabinet as the Assistant Vice President for Academic Support Services in 2010 and was promoted to Vice President for Academic Support Services in 2011. In July of 2015 she was promoted to Senior Vice President and in July 2017 she was promoted to Chief Operating Officer.

Dr. DiMarco is affiliated with a variety of professional organizations and councils. In 2013 and 2017 she served as a Team Evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Better Business Bureau since 2009, currently serving as its Secretary on the Executive Board.

Dr. DiMarco resides in Hockessin, Delaware, with her husband Bernie and their three children – Anthony, Lilianna, and Dominic.

DAWN Rising Star Award Recipients

Mary Allen

Mary Allen serves as director of communications for Widener University, overseeing communications and media relations work for the university’s three campuses in Chester and Harrisburg, PA., and in Wilmington, DE. She began her employment with the university 12 years ago as public relations officer for Delaware Law School, where she was responsible for all proactive and reactive media work, web writing and social media content production and planning. Her love of courts, politics and legal affairs was inspired during her previous career as a newspaper reporter, which included stints at The Capital in Annapolis, MD and The News Journal in Wilmington, DE. While covering federal courts in Wilmington, she was granted a fellowship at the University of Maryland’s prestigious Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. Her work has been honored by the National Federation of Press Women, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Maryland Bar Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY and will complete her master’s of science in management, public administration from Wilmington University next summer. She is a member of CUPRAP: The Association of Communicators in Education; the Delaware Press Association and served four years on the Board of Directors of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government. She lives in Middletown, DE with her husband and two sons.

Sarah Diehm

Sarah Diehm is the International Recruitment Coordinator at Goldey-Beacom College. She graduated from Penn State University, where she completed her B.A. in Integrative Arts. She has been with Goldey-Beacom since February 2013, and works in graduate international admissions. Her primary responsibilities include helping the over 1,000 graduate international students through the admissions and visa processes, as well as educating them on immigration rules and procedures. Sarah is also a Student Exchange and Visitor Program Designated School Official (DSO).

Sarah is an extremely conscientious worker. Her organizational and problem solving skills are unparalleled. She always ensures that her students are well informed and have all of the details they will need to succeed. She rarely makes mistakes and runs a tight ship, supervising three others in her office. Her standards remain high and she shows great strength in her assertiveness. In addition to the hard work Sarah puts into international admissions, she is also a strong team player, always available to assist with undergraduate college fairs, and assist admissions any way that she can. Her sense of humor is infectious and keeps the office happy when the work gets heavy.

Dr. Sherri Niblett

Sherri L. Niblett Johnson is an Academic Counselor and CARE Team Coordinator at Delaware Technical Community College Owens Campus. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Delaware State University with a research specialization in sexual assault awareness and prevention on college campuses. Her broad interests are involved with inclusion, social justice, and acceptance among the population as a whole, as well as the importance of promoting a safe environment for all citizens seeking higher education. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Niblett has seen what abuse and assault can do to students who are trying to succeed.

Dr. Niblett considers her two sons, Brodie & Logan, and her niece and nephew, Darian & Rhett, as her inspiration to help make a difference in the world. Dr. Niblett has led the implementation of a collegewide sexual misconduct survey, and is using this survey to help develop prevention and awareness campaigns throughout the College. She is also a graduate of Delaware Tech and Wilmington University, and uses these connections to collaborate on statewide projects regarding Delaware institutions of higher education.

Dr. Niblett has served as the NACADA, Global Community for Academic Advising, State of Delaware Liaison, and is currently the 2018 NACADA Region 2 Conference Co-Chair. Dr. Niblett hopes to be able to use this forum to showcase the many initiatives being implemented through our higher education systems. Her leadership in this arena has brought together many colleges and universities throughout Delaware, and its surrounding states, to provide professional development that is relevant to the region. Dr. Niblett was fortunate to have been raised with a strong family support system; however, she understands sometimes we, as educators, advisors, and administrators, often need to be the support for our students.

Felicia Quinn

Felicia Quinn began her career at Wilmington University in December of 2015. She serves as the Director of the University Information Center where she manages a staff of 14 representatives. In this role, Felicia’s primary focus is to deliver a memorable student experience in an efficient and consistent manner.

In a short time, Felicia has accomplished a great deal in her role. She collaborated with the Information Technology team to configure new call software technology which was successfully implemented in September 2016. Since the implementation, the University Information Center has fielded 75,000+ calls. She continues to study historical data to project volume and regularly evaluates internal processes to find ways to improve operational metrics.

Felicia and her staff are currently developing a knowledge base that will serve as the primary location of all business processes. She has spent a great deal of time designing a structured new hire training program for her department and is currently leading the development of a continued education program focused on quality control reviews and key performance metrics. Felicia is very mindful of the student and wants the student to have an overall positive experience at Wilmington University. In addition, she is passionate about helping others and wants to ensure that students find the support they are seeking. Felicia completed her MBA in May 2017 from Wilmington University.

Lieutenant Joi Simmons

Lieutenant Joi Camille Simmons has over 10 years of law enforcement and supervisory experience. She has served as a police officer since 2008, beginning as a patrolman and moving up to a progressive number of posts that culminated in her promotion to her current rank of lieutenant. During her Police career, she served as a community relations officer, shift commander, field training officer, certified instructor, a patrol commander and lead sex crimes investigator. She was instrumental in developing the Delaware State University Life Center, and serves the Delaware State University campus community through tireless service. Prior to her Delaware State University police career, Lt. Joi Simmons served as an educator at Newark High School from 2004-2008.

Her extensive law enforcement background from her years with the Delaware State University Police includes areas such as leadership, training, physical fitness, defensive tactics, community policing, officer wellness, professional standards and many other responsibilities. Lt. Simmons earned her bachelor’s degree in health and human performance from Delaware State University, and will be a graduate from the prestigious Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University in November of 2017. Born in Bronx,NY and raised in Newark NJ, Lt. Joi C. Simmons is a 1997 product of Arts High School in Newark, NJ.

Lt. Simmons has served on executive details for prominent individuals and has been the recipient of the following awards during her tenure as a police officer: Vice Presidents Choice Award, Expert shooter, Police Officer of The Year, Investigator of The Year, Community Up-Lifter Award, and Delaware State Police Academy-Physical fitness Award.