Our nontraditional and graduate students are some of the hardest-working Tigers you'll meet. While they earn their degrees, most of them maintain other responsibilities, such as working full time or parenting. And their effort and execution don't falter in the classroom, whether that be online or in person.

Meet our class of 2023 Featured Tigers, leaders in all aspects of their lives!

Purity Anyango Ortiz ’23A
Purity Anyango Ortiz ’23A started her journey at Doane as a custodian in 2019. She now works in the registrar department and has her sights set on earning a Doctorate in Education from Doane.

Purity Anyango Ortiz ’23A
(She's also an admin assistant/registrar assistant at Doane!)

Born and raised in Kenya, Africa; relocated to the United States in 2018.

Master of Arts in Leadership

First off — congratulations! How do you feel as you head into the next phase of your life?
I feel amazing and I am proud of my educational achievement thus far. I am super excited to move into the next phase of my life.

What's your next step after graduation?
I am furthering my education by getting my Doctorate in Education, with an Emphasis on Leadership here at Doane University.

How has attending Doane prepared you for your next steps?
Honestly, I feel empowered by the education I have received in each of my master's classes and my thinking has improved greatly because I am living and experiencing a whole new culture and environment. This is really important for me in my doctoral journey which will eventually lead me to my career path as well as my journey to being a successful entrepreneur. I need to see things from different lenses if I want to succeed as a career woman and a successful businesswoman.

What do you consider the best part of your Doane experience?
First off let me start with the custodial department. When I started at Doane in 2019, I was a custodian. I am proud of that because I established great relationships with colleagues like Randy Bargman, Nazaria Ayala, Jean Semler, Dallas Underwood, Karen Harders, Larry Wood, and Curtis Poteet just to name a few. I will forever cherish the facilities department. Second, meeting Dr. Dana Miller in my first master's class (emotional intelligence) where she taught me the importance of being an emotionally intelligent leader/individual, and finally meeting my current boss Denise Ellis, Becky Hunke and Dr. Lorie Cook. As I was studying leadership, I saw how these women portray leadership using their own skills each with different personalities but with a goal of demonstrating true leadership.

What will you miss the most about being a Doane student?
I am currently pursuing my Doctorate, I am still a Doane student. When I complete my Doctorate I will provide you with an answer to this question. I will however miss my classmates. Luckily we can still connect via social media and one friend I met in class Jenei Skillet, is still here with me working at Doane.

Who was a major influence for you during your education here, and how have they helped you?
Dr. Paulvince Otieno Obuon, my one and only brother, is a proud Doane Alumni with a great track record that no one has beat yet. Coach Eddie Fye can attest to that statement. He helped me by bringing me to Doane so that I can further my education. Finally, my mom, my greatest cheerleader kept telling me the importance of having an American education. That's how she frames it. Hehehe

What is something you're proud of achieving or accomplishing while at Doane?
So far I am proud of earning my Master's degree in Leadership, I thank Doane for the tuition benefit for employees. I am proud of my personal transformation, I am proud that I became a mom while pursuing my Master's education and finally I am proud of my professional achievement and this wouldn't have been possible without the guidance of my boss Denise Ellis.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
To incoming students, change is very difficult but know that you have a great support system via your professors even if your family is far away. Embrace the change and use it as your weapon to succeed.

Finishing a degree is tough to begin with, but especially so in recent years — what has helped you overcome challenges you've faced along the way?
I identified my saboteurs and I did not let them overpower me. I am an ambitious young lady, my ambition gave me the courage to keep on studying. I am also futuristic, I follow through with plans that I have set. Lastly, I have a great support system, and that's my family. They all kept cheering me on.

Finally — what are you most excited about for your future?
I am excited because I now have a bright future thanks to my education. I am going to be a successful career woman and a successful entrepreneur.