The Way Up

Developing Women Leaders to Enhance Iowa Higher Education

Keynote Speakers - 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

9:45-10:30 am  Opening Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Penelope Wills
Yavapai College (Arizona), President

"Merging Personal and Professional through Lessons Read"

In August 2011, Dr. Penny Wills became the ninth president of Yavapai College.  She came to Arizona from Northeast Iowa Community College where she served as President for the previous seven years. Her professional experience includes various leadership positions in higher education at the state, regional, and national levels.  Her expertise in such fields as student development, assessment, planning, quality improvement, and community partnerships is well respected.  Dr. Wills’ career has allowed her to be a valued member of communities across the US. … Ohio, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Georgia, Iowa, and now Arizona.

Being a first generation college student is a point of pride for Dr. Wills.  She holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Michigan State University; an M.S. in Counseling from Miami University, OH; and a B.S. in Education from the University of Cincinnati.  Her professional accomplishments are many, including being selected for higher education institutes at Harvard University; serving in leadership positions in professional associations such as AACC, NASPA, and ACE; and teaching in various professional colloquiums across the country.  She is leading Yavapai College during these challenging times in higher education as she sees the importance of strengthening academic excellence, increasing accountability to the community, and economic development for the region and state.

During her Keynote address, Dr. Wills will share some excerpts from select “reading for pleasure” books that have shaped her success as a college president.  Professional publications are not the only written source for one’s career development.  Dr. Wills will tell us we learn best when we’re most relaxed and are open to new insights.


12:00-1:30 pm   Lunch

The Way Up Scholarship and Recognition Awards:

* Carol Rocklin Kay Memorial Scholarship
* Eunice A. Dell Memorial Scholarship
* Recognition Award

5:30 - 7:00pm   Evening Banquet with Dinner Speaker

Dinner Speaker

Dr. Erika Kirby
Creighton University (Nebraska)
Chair and Professor of Communication Studies and the Director of Women's and Gender Studies

"Empowerment, Agency, and “Balancing” Working and Personal Life"

Dr. Erika Kirby is Professor of Communication Studies at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she has been since 1998.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in organizational communication, and she studies the everyday intersections of working and personal life, emphasizing how differing social identities (especially gender) assimilate into and collide with organizational structures. Erika teaches organizational communication courses and courses related to communication and social justice. She co-edited Gender Actualized: Cases in Communicatively Constructing Realities with Dr. Chad McBride and has published in numerous outlets in her discipline, including two recent book chapters in the Handbook of Conflict Communication and the Handbook of Organizational Communication. Erika is Past-President of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender and the Book Review Editor for Women and Language.

In this evening keynote presentation, Dr. Kirby brings in the literature on work-life “balance” from several areas (including her discipline of communication studies) in order to talk about how work-life empowerment can come from taking on agency—not only in our choices about how to manage work-life issues, but also how we talk about those issues. In particular, she emphasizes the power women (and men) enact over each other in how they talk about work-life choices. It can be effortful for women in higher education to balance the responsibilities and desires of working and personal/family life. But there are some strategies that we can enact in order to feel more in control. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

11:30 - 1:15 pm Lunch

Closing Speaker:

Dr. Angela Franklin
Des Moines University (Iowa), President

"Servant Leadership in a Purposed Life"

Dr. Angela Walker Franklin, who became Des Moines University’s 15th president in the spring of 2011, has worked in higher education for more than 20 years. Previously, she was executive vice president and provost at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where she oversaw academic and administrative departments. She served as acting president during the summer of 2009 and held a professorship in Meharry’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.  Prior to her role at Meharry, Dr. Franklin held several positions at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, including, vice dean, associate vice president for academic and student affairs, associate dean for student affairs, director of counseling services and assistant professor of psychiatry.

A former American Council on Education Fellow (2001-02), Dr. Franklin is also a 2004 protégé of the Millennium Leadership Institute which is sponsored by the Association of State Colleges and Universities in preparing the next generation of leaders in higher education. She also participated in the 2008 Prospective President’s Workshop of the United Methodist Church affiliated Schools.

Since becoming the 15th President of Des Moines University (DMU), Dr. Franklin has completed a new strategic plan, beginning with updating the university mission and vision statements. She has reorganized several administrative units and embraced change in restructuring the university clinic to become a better resource for the training programs as well as the surrounding community.  Dr. Franklin has become actively involved in the Des Moines Community, now serving on the boards of the Science Center of Iowa, Bankers Trust and The Greater Des Moines Partnership.   In January 2013 she was named chair of the American Heart Association Go Red For Women movement in Des Moines.
During this final Keynote presentation, Dr. Franklin will share her personal journey to the Presidency with a focus on a philosophy of leadership, lessons learned, and a dogged determination to find purpose!

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