Dr. Amelia Phillips has been named one of this year’s 100 Inspiring Women in STEM, an award presented by Insight Into Diversity magazine. A tenured faculty member at Highline College, Phillips earned the national recognition for her teaching, mentoring and leadership in the computer science field. STEM fields include science, technology, engineering and math.
“Dr. Phillips is everything a college could ask for in a STEM faculty member,” said Jeff Wagnitz, who is vice president for Highline’s Academic Affairs division. “She is an exceptional scholar, campus leader, industry liaison and role model for students. It’s an understatement to call her award ‘well deserved.’”
Phillips was one of only seven recipients from two-year colleges and one of four from the state of Washington. Most award winners represent four-year colleges and universities.
A recognized expert in the field of digital forensics, Phillips often speaks and serves as a panelist at conferences and events in the community and on campus.
“This award is being presented as a tribute to 100 women whose work and achievements not only encourage others in their individual STEM fields, but also inspire a new generation of young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight Into Diversity.
Phillips mentors female students on campus and has taken several to the annual Women in Cybersecurity Conference. In 2014, she took four students, and in 2015, she and five students presented a joint session with Brigham Young University. For Highline’s new Women in Cybersecurity club, she serves as the adviser.
Her many achievements include co-writing one of the leading computer forensics textbooks in the country and a textbook on e-discovery; serving as director of the Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition; and designing certificate and AAS programs for community colleges in e-commerce, network security, digital forensics and data recovery. Phillips led Highline’s development of an applied baccalaureate in cybersecurity and forensics, one of the college’s first four-year degrees.
Phillips began teaching computer information systems courses in the late 1990s and has been an instructor at Highline College since 2002. She was chair of the college’s Pure and Applied Science division for six years. A woman of color, she serves as an inspiration to women and underrepresented students in STEM fields on a campus that serves 16,500 students a year and is the most diverse college in the state, with 70 percent students of color.
Phillips “is truly an inspiration to all of us who are working so diligently to make a difference in the lives of all women and other underrepresented individuals,” said Pearlstein.
A Fulbright Scholar, Phillips graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned her M.B.A. from University of Phoenix. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Computer Security in 2013. She was one of the nation’s first to earn such a degree at one of the first universities to offer the doctoral degree.
Phillips is recognized in the September 2015 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.