Tenecia Waddell-Pyle, BSCJ’16, has had a career evolution. She worked in corrections and was a police officer when she began classes at O’Neill IUPUI. But she knew an O’Neill Criminal Justice degree would lay the groundwork for the next phase of her career.
“O’Neill’s programs focus on practical skills that both genuinely prepare students to enter the criminal justice field and enhance the wisdom of seasoned veterans like myself,” Waddell-Pyle explains.
She soon found her courses would prepare her for more than her current career. In fact, they would lead her down an entirely path toward making a difference.
After leaving her role as a police officer, Waddell-Pyle used her previous experience and her O’Neill education to become the director of crisis intervention services at Mental Health America, creating, developing, and managing training programs to guide her colleagues to better serve others.
Waddell-Pyle soon realized just how diverse her O’Neill degree truly was.
“Being at O'Neill taught me tangible skills, how to think more deeply, navigate spaces with practical experience, and how to create change systemically,” she says.
Those systemic changes were where Waddell-Pyle’s mind—and career—moved next.
Six years after earning her O’Neill degree, she’s now in a career dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion as the first DEI director at MyPath—an organization providing educational, therapeutic, and community supports for children and adults with disabilities, mental health issues, and other significant needs.
“The marriage between my years in law enforcement, my education, and my lived experience has helped me to create and change systems,” she says with a smile. “I want to stay in this DEI space and see how I can grow here while helping others. Evolution of self is a beautiful thing.”