2013 Conference

2023 Conference Attendees

The Way Up XXVII Conference

"Women on the Way Up: Inspiration and Empowerment"

November 7-8, 2013

For nearly thirty years, women in the State of Iowa have hosted The Way Up Conference to assist women in higher education institutions as they continue to develop their leadership and administrative skills and expertise. The conference has always been designed to provide value for presenters and participants as well as networking opportunities for all.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

 Book Table & Other Vendors
 Continental Breakfast
Welcome: Conference Planning Committee

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Penelope Wills
Yavapai College (Arizona), President

"Merging Personal and Professional through Lessons Read"

10:45-12:00pmContributed and Invited Sessions I
 Recognition Award
 Scholarship Awards
1:45-3:00pmContributed and Invited Sessions II
3:15-4:30pmContributed and Invited Sessions III

Complimentary Social Hour; Cash Bar

Silent Auction



Keynote 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"

Silent Auction winners announced


Friday, November 8, 2013

8:45-10:00amContributed and Invited Sessions IV
10:15-11:30amContributed and Invited Sessions V

Closing Speaker

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

"Servant Leadership in a Purposed Life"

1:30pmConference Completed

The 2013 Way Up Conference will be held at the West Des Moines Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, West Des Moines, Iowa.

You may wish to view the Marriott website.

The Marriott is a 100% smoke-free facility. See the hotel front desk for information about any outdoor smoking areas.
The West Des Moines Marriott Hotel and Conference Center offers free wireless Internet access throughout the conference center.


See the Lodging Link for the conference rate for guest rooms.

The 2013 Way Up Conference will be held at the West Des Moines Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, West Des Moines, Iowa.

You may wish to view the Marriott website.

A limited block of rooms is reserved at the West Des Moines Marriott. To  make your reservations, please visit the Marriott website.
Enter dates for your stay; select  "special rates and awards"; and use the group code wucwuca to make your  reservation.

Rooms are only $104/night through October 23, 2013.

Note: The $104 rate is also available for Friday, November 8 for a  "Shop Til You Drop" special rate for The Way Up conference attendees.

The West Des Moines Marriott Hotel and Conference Center offers free wireless Internet access throughout the conference center.

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!

Thursday, November 7

10:45 – 12:00      Contributed and Invited Presentations I

Charting your course:  Aiming for Leadership Positions

    Jane Bradley, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Hawkeye Community College
    Vicky Smith, Vice President of Administration, Mount Mercy University
    Gloria Gibson, Provost & Executive Vice President, University of Northern Iowa

Attend this session to discover the path these panel members have traveled to attain their current positions at the Vice-President level.  Other topics will include budget management, salary competitiveness, the search process and negotiating with the new employee

Networking for Success

    Tammy Stegman, Career Coordinator for Marketing and Management, Iowa State University

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking.  More people are hired simply by being in the right place at the right time. You will benefit from the tips shared in this session whether you are looking for a different career or just want to improve your professional interactions with others through effective networking. Join us in this program to learn different methods to take the hard 'work' out of networking and put you in that right place. 

International Students:  Studying,  Living, and Engaging in American Higher Education

    Panel Moderator:  Carol Williams, Director of Multicultural Student Engagement, Buena Vista University

Participants will have the opportunity to hear from current international students attending area colleges and universities-their experiences, challenges, and lessons learned. Carol Williams, Director of Multicultural Student Engagement will facilitate this interactive conversation with students and participants. 

From the Special Honorary Lecturers to the Invisible Faculty Members: Let's talk Adjunct!

     Anna Conway, Professor, DMACC

During the first part of the twentieth century, American colleges and  universities invited part-time faculty to teach on their campuses in order to increase the prestige of the school and attract new audiences to participate in higher learning. Today these educators are known as "nonregulars," "sessionals," (Hess, 2004) "scholar gypsies" (Pratt, 1997) "the invisible faculty," (Gappa & Leslie, 1993) "second-class citizens," (Wallin, 2004a) "freeway flyers" and  "missing in action," (Banachowski, 1996). Currently there are a lot of forces on a college campus, especially community college campuses that hinder continuity, inhibit a sense of common purpose and mission, and thwart the professional development of adjunct professors. In this session we will look at the current situation with part-time faculty and discuss the professional needs of  today's adjunct faculty. The presentation will also showcase a new special training program for adjunct faculty developed by Dr. Anna Conway that is taking place at DMACC and involves the use of Teacher Work Sample methodology.


1:45 – 3:00        Contributed and Invited Presentations II

Leading Change in Higher Education:  It is Not Always Like Herding Cats

    Laura Douglas, Provost, DMACC, Urban Campus

It is easy to think that change never comes easy in institutions of higher education. However, there are many times that opportunities for incremental and transformational cross our paths. This session will help you understand how to recognize opportunities for change and how you can embrace them to take your institution to new heights.

Exploring Your Potential for Growth

    Deb Oliver, MBA Program Director, Mount Mercy University

"Potential is one of the most wonderful words in any language,"  John Maxwell 
To reach your potential, you must grow.  To grow, you must be highly intentional, growth doesn't just happen.  Do you have a plan for YOUR personal  growth?  In today's world of whirlwind activity, we often short change our own development.   Attend this session to unlock the key to true intentional growth based on John Maxwell's book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

Mentors: Those Who Truly Make a Difference

    Corly Brooke, Professor Emeritus, College of Human Services, Iowa State University

Participants will identify strong mentors in both their personal and professional lives.  The importance of building strong collaborations and connections, especially for women,  will be shared.   Marian Wright Edelman's book, Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors, will provide a framework for establishing the value of identifying mentors who take the time to teach us the value of education, excellence and service.

Blending Curricular with Co-Curricular -- Lessons Learned

    Sherri Erkel, Director of First Year Experience, St. Ambrose University;
    Brooke Oehme, Coordinator of Volunteerism and Service Learning,  Mount Mercy University; 
    Faye Finnegan, Internship and Career Services Coordinator, Loras College

Research shows the benefits to student learning and development of blending the curricular with the co-curricular, which can be done in a variety of ways.  Panelists will explain these benefits and share ways in which their institutions have achieved this blend of learning. Panelist will also share lessons they have learned during implementation of their various initiatives.


3:15 – 4:30        Contributed and Invited Presentations III

Social Styles: Yours and Theirs.  You mean we don't think alike?
    Kristin Hutson, Chaplain, Coe College

In this interactive session, participants will first complete an inventory and learn their social style.  Participants will then discover how other social styles perceive and experience people with our style.  Finally, we will consider how our awareness of one another's social style might predict how we work with one another, serve our students, and lead our teams.  This session promises to be engaging and revealing as we open ourselves up to our strengths and our blind spots as leaders.

She Matters Report: 2012 Status of Women and Girls in Iowa - An Update

    Terry Hernandez, Executive Director, Chrysalis
    Diane Ramsey, Executive Director, Iowa Women's Leadership Project (IWLP)
    Dawn Oliver Wiand, Executive Director, Iowa Women's Foundation

Last year, the Iowa Women's Leadership Project (IWLP) provided an overview of our state in presenting SHE MATTERS: 2012 Status of Iowa Women and Girls report.  In 2011, over fifteen different organizations around the state of Iowa embarked on SHE MATTERS to update and inform all Iowans about the current status of women and girls in Iowa, their challenges and their achievements. IWLP has now launched Phase II of the SHE MATTERS project, and offers an interactive online tool for you to track information on women and girls in your own community, county, or region.  Take this opportunity to learn how the SHE MATTERS mapping tool will help you access maps and data for your research and/or work in educating females in Iowa.

Dialogue Matters: Facilitating Conversations About Race

    Sherri Erkel, Director of First Year Experience, St Ambrose University

Participants will learn about various approaches to dialogues on race in and out of the classroom, why conversations on race are an important part of higher education, and strategies for applying dialogue techniques to improve the campus climate for diversity.

Effective Teaching and Learning Strategies

    Corly Brooke,  Professor Emeritus, College of Human Services, Iowa State University

An interactive overview of seven principles of good practice that emphasize building connections between students and focus on shifting the focus from didactic teaching to engaged learning.  Participants will identify key characteristics of effective teachers.

Friday, November 8

8:45 – 10:00       Contributed and Invited Presentations IV

Challenges of Creating a Universal Disaster Plan for a Large Campus.

    Panel Moderator: Blake Mikesell, Director of Public Safety, Mount Mercy University

This session will be a panel discussion that will focus on the universal challenges campuses face which could include a school shooting, chemical disasters, the occurrence of fire or tornado, missing student, etc.  The session will include the lessons learned from a 2013 mass disaster drill conducted jointly in Cedar Rapids by Mount Mercy University and Mercy Hospital.  A presentation will include the challenges of the exercise, as well as the reaction from the community and administration.    

Women, Values and Ethics in the Workplace

    Nancy Hauserman, Williams Teaching Ethics, Iowa State University

We will explore the ways in which the values of many women tend to support ethical behavior in the workplace but may be in conflict with the norms within Higher Education.

Paying for College Without Mortgaging the Future

    Roberta Johnson, Director, Office of Student Financial Aid, Iowa State University

It is no secret that college costs have increased and obtaining a degree is more expensive than ever before.  Explore some of the dynamics behind this phenomenon as well as tools to assist tomorrow's college students (and their parents) plan for this worthwhile investment.

Attaining a Doctorate:  You can do it!

    Allison Ambrose, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean, St. Ambrose University,
    Sherri Erkel, PhD, Director of First Year Experience, St. Ambrose University,
    Lori Jarmon, MS, Currently a doctoral student at Iowa State University in Educational Leadership Policy Studies at the School of Education, 
    Deb Oliver, PhD,  Director of MBA program, Mount Mercy University,
    Shannon Juergens, DBA, Assistant Professor, Grandview University

Attaining a doctoral degree is a rewarding experience and very achievable. These panelists will share their experiences of earning their doctorate degrees, which occurred in a variety of ways for each of them, including types of programs and stages of their careers.  There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.


10:15 – 11:30      Contributed and Invited Presentations V

Lean in Education:  The Tool that Keeps on Giving

    Anne Howsare -Associate Provost, DMACC Urban Campus
    Bonnie Slykhuis, Lean Consultant, DMACC

Learn how using Lean process improvement tools can help new managers develop to be better leaders and existing managers to be proactive.  In this session, hear how DMACC Urban campus has transformed their environment to be more efficient and student focused.

Power Up! Creativity and Innovation for Personal Growth

    Celina Peerman,  Adjunct Faculty, Mount Mercy University

With today's pressure-filled balancing acts, creativity and innovation can often be lost.  Recharge in this session with a variety of tools and techniques to apply to daily life at home and work.  Be your best "you" using new questions and perspectives to challenge the status quo.  Find new insight into the creative process and move beyond the myths of innovation.

The Current State of International Women Students

    Nadia Korobova, Associate Director of International Students and Scholars, University of Northern Iowa   

This session will highlight statistics, successes, and challenges that women international students face in today's higher education climate.

Seize the Teachable Moment: Ways to Effectively Address Oppressive Behaviors in the Classroom 

    Victoria DeFrancisco  Professor, Communication Studies, Coordinator UNI Campus Coalition Builders, University of Northern Iowa

Those of us in leadership roles tend to fear those moments when someone in the group makes a comment or behavior that is oppressive to members of other groups. Instead of fearing and possibly ignoring those moments, DeFrancisco suggests these are the necessary opportunities for growth and change. She offers strategies on how to "seize the teachable moment" in ways that do not further alienate the speaker or potential recipients of the abusive act, but instead invite the speaker/learner into dialogue and relationship. The strategies are based on the facilitator's years of teaching interpersonal, intercultural and gender communication, and conducting diversity inclusion workshops. Her approach is informed by feminist pedagogy, social activism scholarship, and the National Coalition Building Institute's approach being implemented at her institution.

The following scholarships and awards will be presented at The Way Up Conference. Click the links for more details about each recognition:

The Way Up Conference Thanks You for your Sponsorship!


Buena Vista University Logo

Buena Vista University

Buena Vista University's Mission Statement: We develop students for life long success through innovation and imaginative academic and professional preparation.

Iowa Coordinating Council

The Iowa Coordinating Council for Post High School Education is composed of representatives of the Presidents and Trustees of public and private colleges and universities in the State of Iowa. In addition, the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, the Iowa Department of Education, and Iowa Public Television are members.

UIOWA logo

University of Iowa

Mission: In pursuing its missions of teaching, research, and service, the University seeks to advance scholarly and creative endeavor through leading-edge research and artistic production; to use this research and creativity to enhance undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, health care, and other services provided to the people of Iowa, the nation, and the world; and to educate students for success and personal fulfillment in a diverse world.

ISU logo

Iowa State University

Mission: Create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place. We must prepare the leaders of our nation and the world. To make the world a better place, Iowa State will call upon its great strengths in student-centered education, global collaboration, and transformational basic and applied research. Iowa State will lead in developing more sustainable ways to produce and deliver safe and nutritious food, water, materials, and energy; integrate the protection of plant, animal, and human health; and care for our environment. We will design tools and infrastructure that will create entrepreneurial opportunities. The major changes sweeping the world are creating extraordinary opportunities for Iowa State to capitalize on its land-grant mission and be at the forefront in addressing our common, global challenges.

UNI logo

University of Northern Iowa

The University of Northern Iowa provides transformative learning experiences that inspire students to embrace challenge, engage in critical inquiry and creative thought, and contribute to society.

Drake University

Drake University

Drake's mission is to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship. The Drake experience is distinguished by collaborative learning among students, faculty, and staff and by the integration of the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation.


Des Moines Area Community College

DMACC provides quality, affordable, student-centered education and training to empower Iowans of all ages and backgrounds to pursue life's opportunities and achieve their career dreams.


Eastern Iowa Community Colleges

The Eastern Iowa Community Colleges deliver high-quality education and training that prepare a skilled workforce, provide affordable access to higher education, and build and strengthen our communities.  The Eastern Iowa Community Colleges will be the first choice for education, training, and partnerships that strengthen Eastern Iowa.

HCC logo

Hawkeye Community College

Hawkeye Community College is a globally informed community of successful lifelong learners.  Hawkeye Community College will be recognized for educational excellence, exceptional student services, and responsiveness to diverse communities.

IHCC logo

Indian Hills Community College

Indian Hills Community College changes lives by inspiring learning, diversity, social enrichment, and regional economic advancement.


Iowa Central Community College

Iowa Central Community College promotes intellectual discovery, physical development, social and ethical awareness, and economic opportunities for all through an education that transforms lives, strengthens community, and inspires progress.

ILCC logo

Iowa Lakes Community College

Mission Statement: To provide opportunities for quality lifelong learning and promote economic development for our communities. Campuses in Algona, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Spencer and Spirit Lake.


Iowa Valley Community College District

Iowa Valley Community College District is committed to providing quality learning experiences, ensuring student success, responding to diverse community needs, and building community partnerships.

Kirkwood Logo

Kirkwood Community College

Kirkwood Community College identifies community needs; provides accessible, quality education and training; and promotes opportunities for lifelong learning 

Northeast Iowa Community College

Northeast Iowa Community College

Northeast Iowa Community College provides accessible, affordable, quality education and training to meet the needs of our communities.

Northwest Iowa Community College

Northwest Iowa Community College

Northwest Iowa Community College is a progressive learning college rapidly responding to the changing needs of our global community.


Southeastern Community College

Southeastern Community College provides accessible, quality programs and services which promote student success and economic vitality.   Southeastern Community College, a visionary leader in lifelong learning, embraces diversity, transforms lives, strengthens communities, and inspires individuals to excellence.


Southwestern Community College

Southwestern Community College exists in order that Area XIV community members have opportunities to gain skills and knowledge sufficient for successful employment, higher education achievement, or adult and continuing education.

Western Iowa Tech Community College

As a comprehensive community college, our mission is to provide quality education and to economically enhance the communities we serve.


Art on the Prairie, Perry, Iowa

Saturday, Nov 9, 2013 - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday;  Noon - 4 p.m. on Sunday
Admission: Free

Want to enjoy a remarkable weekend filled with art and culture? Take a drive to Perry, Iowa for the 4th annual Art on the Prairie festival.  The Festival is a nonprofit event, free to the public and facilitated by a dedicated volunteer team. The festival is located in seven buildings brimming with art, music and poetry, all within walking distance in downtown Perry.  Over 100 artists, musicians, poets, authors, and performers will gather to present their work. All participants are from Iowa and display a wealth of different talents and wares. Art on the Prairie is a collaboration of creativity that layers art, music, and words from a foundation of small town community spirit and ingenuity. The unique setting of historical and contemporary buildings encourages people to explore and seek a new experience around every corner. Art on the Prairie hosts artists of a variety of media: pottery, painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, fiber arts, letterpress, glass, and more.  Over 70 hours of live acoustic unplugged music will fill our venues for the two day event.

A full schedule and detailed information regarding artists, musicians, youth activities, speakers, and performers are available at www.artontheprairie.org.



Wicked at Des Moines Performing Arts - Civic Center

Oct 30–Nov 10, 2013
Various times
Admission: depends on date and time

WICKED is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. WICKED tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.  Declared “The Best Musical of the Decade” by Entertainment Weekly and “A Cultural Phenomenon”
by Variety, WICKED is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman.


John Morgan at the Funny Bones Comedy Club

West Des Moines
Nov 6, 2013 - Nov 9, 2013

Got a question? Problem? Need advice? The "Ragin'' Cajun" is here to help! Get your head out of the dark and help yourself with John Morgan''s Comedy Therapy. WAY cheaper than a shrink and definitely more affordable than an attorney!


Other Des Moines Area Events

Stage West Theatre Company
Olsen-Larsen Art Gallery Exhibit
Sunday Tunes @ Summerset Winery
Swing Dancing
West Des Moines Funny Bone Comedy Club



Prairie Meadows Casino
Iowa State Capitol
Science Center of Iowa
State Historical Museum
Jordan Creek Town Center

Other Attractions like these may be found at: