2017 Conference

2023 Conference Attendees

The Way Up XXXI Conference

"Women in Higher Education: Engaging, Aspiring and ...."

November 2-3, 2017

For over 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 2, 2017

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

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Barbara Decker,
President, Mercy College,
Des Moines, Iowa

"Meaningful Leadership: Transforming Our Relationships"

10:45-12:00pmContributed and Invited Sessions I
 Recognition Awards
 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

Entertainment:  Seven Piece Band from Dowling High School; Directed by Steve Holland.



Banquet Speaker

Dr. Kris De Welde
Director of Women's and Gender Studies and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology.
College of Charleston, South Carolina

"The Fictions and Failures of Self-Empowerment for Women Leaders in Higher Education"

** Sponsored by the University of Northern Iowa

Silent Auction winners announced

 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Special Event:   After Hours: Activities at the Marriott!   Plan to attend special activities planned for The Way Up attendees after the Thursday evening Banquet.   From 7:30 - 9:00 PM on Thursday, November 2.  Check back for details.

Friday, November 3, 2017

7:30-8:30amBreakfast Buffet
8:45-10:00amContributed and Invited Sessions IV
10:15-11:30amContributed and Invited Sessions V

Closing Speaker

    Dr. Linda Allen
    President, Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo

    "Leading and Work:  What’s Purpose got to do with it?”

1:30pmConference Completed

The 2017 Way Up Conference will be held at The Des Moines Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, downtown Des Moines.   (Note: the conference location has changed.)

You may wish to view the Des Moines Marriott website.

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

Parking options.

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

Des Moines Marriott Downtown
700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines  Iowa

The 2017 Way Up Conference will be held at the Des Moines Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, downtown Des Moines.  (Note: the conference location has changed.)

You may wish to view the Des Moines Marriott website.

NOTE:  Unfortunately, the room block at the Marriott is full and no longer available.  They may have rooms at the regular rate.  

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

Or you can call 1-515-245-5500 to reserve your room and indicate that you are with The Way Up Conference.


Rooms are only $129/night through October 20, 2017.

Note: The $129 rate is also available for Friday, November 3 for a  "Shop Til You Drop" special rate for The Way Up conference attendees.

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

Thursday, November 2, 2017

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

Dr. Barbara Decker,
President, Mercy College,
Des Moines, Iowa

"Meaningful Leadership: Transforming Our Relationships"

This session will engage participants to lead purposeful lives in their professional and personal interactions with others. Meaningful Leadership recognizes the value of the human potential through work, home, and social relationships formed throughout one’s life. The program will be guided by profiles of women in higher education whose leadership styles have effectively influenced and fostered development and growth within their respective colleges and universities. Key attributes of Meaningful Leadership will be shared to develop and shape relationships which are intentional, inspiring, and promote integrity and respect for others. A personal reflection describing how our life experiences can contribute to and transform our relationships into a Meaningful Leadership style will be offered. Through an interactive process, this session will provide a mutually, beneficial opportunity to explore and assess current relationships, while advancing quality, meaningful collaborations with others.

Dr. Barbara Decker was appointed as the second President of Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines in April 2006.   Under Decker’s leadership, Mercy College has expanded facilities, increased the breadth and diversity of academic programming, and strengthened the ministry as a Catholic college.  During her presidency, Decker honored Mercy College through the establishment of three separate endowment funds.  President Decker graduated from Drake University with a bachelor’s degree in history and sociology, followed by a master’s degree in public administration and a doctoral degree in law. She was admitted to the Iowa State Bar in 2000. Her scholastic honors include Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Alpha Alpha (a national honor society for public affairs and administration).  President Decker is a recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Master of Public Administration Alumnus Award from Drake’s College of Business & Public Administration and received the Robert D. Ray Ambassador Award from the Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs in 2006.               



12:00-1:30 pm   Lunch


The Way Up Scholarship and Recognition Awards:

* Carol Rocklin Kay Memorial Scholarship
* Eunice A. Dell Memorial Scholarship
*“Iowa Community Colleges Support The Way Up” Scholarship

* Recognition Award

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


Dinner Speaker

Dr. Kris De Welde
Director of Women's and Gender Studies and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology.
College of Charleston, South Carolina

"The Fictions and Failures of Self-Empowerment for Women Leaders in Higher Education"

** Sponsored by the University of Northern Iowa

Our Thursday Banquet speaker will address organizational complexities that often encumber academic women’s advancement in their careers and into leadership positions.  She will discuss why individual empowerment approaches to women’s leadership are appealing, but also part of the problem.  In addition to heeding helpful advice to advance our own careers, women leaders should be aware of the structural constraints that impact many women, and especially multiply marginalized women.  With a focus on organizational approaches that attend to intersectionality, Dr De Welde  will share intervention strategies that serve to advance individual women, as well as provide opportunities for broader equity and more inclusive academic justice.

Currently, Dr. Kris De Welde, Ph.D., is Director of Women's and Gender Studies and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology at the College of Charleston.  She most recently served as Associate Dean of University-wide Programs and Faculty Engagement and Professor of Sociology at Florida Gulf Coast University. She earned her doctorate at the University of Colorado, Boulder in Sociology with a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies.  Her research interests include intersectional inequalities in higher education, reproductive rights, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Dr De Welde’s co-edited/ authored book (with Andi Stepnick of Belmont University) titled Disrupting the Culture of Silence: Women Navigating Hostility and Making Change in Higher Education (2015), received a 2015 Choice award for Outstanding Academic Title. She has presented at dozens of professional and academic conferences, including delivering the keynote address for the Women in Academia Conference (2016).

De Welde was awarded the 2016-2017 Sociologists for Women in Society Feminist Activism Award for her sustained commitments to social justice within and beyond the academy. She has organized and facilitated workshops on diversity/inclusion/justice concerns in higher education over the last ten years.   De Welde teaches a variety of courses including Gender Studies, The Family, Sociological Theory, Qualitative Research Methods, Foundations of Civic Engagement, and specialty courses on Interdisciplinary Gender Perspectives, Gender in STEM fields, and the Sociology of Food.  In her free time she enjoys cycling, yoga, the beer her husband makes, and her ridiculous cats.


Friday, November 3, 2017

11:30 - 1:15 pm Lunch

Closing Speakers:

Dr. Erika Kirby &
Dr. Sherianne Shuler
Professors of Communication Studies
Creighton University, Omaha

“Go Forth and Set the World on Fire: Passion and Inspiration amidst Everyday Routines"

For many of us, conferences bring a sense of energy and focus that are so motivating…and then it is hard to keep up that passion and enact those plans for action when we leave the conference "bubble" and return to our daily lives. Dr. Erika Kirby and Dr. Sheri Shuler will offer some ideas-and seek ideas from participants as to how to move toward action and stay inspired once The Way Up conference has commenced.

Erika Kirby (Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2000) and Sherianne Shuler (Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1998) are faculty in the Department of Communication Studies at Creighton University. They both study and teach on issues of organizational communication with a focus on gender and social justice. For Erika, that has led to publishing scholarship on work-life "balance" and diversity, and she also teaches classes on power and privilege. For Sheri, that has led to publishing scholarship on emotion and representations of women, and she also teaches classes on leadership.

Thursday, November 2

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

Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Students on Campus During a Time of Uncertainty

Annique Keil, Executive Director, Global Engagement and International Programs, Drake University
Lee Seedorff, Senior Associate Director, University of Iowa
Catherine Schaff Stump, Professor/ ELA Coordinator, Kirkwood Community College

A panel discussion addressing the issues facing immigrant and refugee students during this time of changing immigration laws and attitudes.  How can students feel safe, welcome, and engaged on campus in this new and sometimes frightening political arena?  How can faculty and administration be supportive?  How are international students responding?  Are these changes affecting enrollment?  Time will be allowed for Q and A from the audience.    Click here for their presentation.


Growth Mindset: Setting the students up for success

Ms. Latricia Hylton, Math Coordinator, Academic Learning Cente
Ms. Raquel Zuniga, Retention & Academic Advsior, College of Education Student Advising
Ms. Kathleen Peters, Academic Learning Support & Retention Coordinator, Academic Learning Center
University of Northern Iowa

Three presenters will share how they created a pathway for undergraduate student success using advising, classroom instruction, and support services. This collaborative approach integrated their different personal and professional experiences, techniques, and philosophies to empower students with varying intersectionalities to develop and function with a growth mindset. Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in activities geared toward identifying resources and strategies for creating a pathway for student success.  Click here for their presentation.


Mothers Are Leaders: The Strategies and Skills Needed to Maintain Balance

Colette Atkins, Dean of Business and Information Technolog
Brooke Strahn-Koller, Dean of Social Science
Jennifer Bradley, Executive Dean of English and Art & Humanities
Kirkwood Community College

Kimberly Battle-Walters Denu writes: "Every mother is a leader—whether she is in the workplace or at home. However, those mothers who also lead outside of the home have an opportunity to provide a unique perspective of leadership in the workplace, due to their roles as mothers, and the distinctive attributes and skills that mothers bring." Join three academic mother-leaders to discuss the book Mothers Are Leaders edited by Kimberly Battle-Walters Denu and Janet S. Walters. The book offers insights on flexibility, prioritizing, mentoring, strategic leadership, change, nurturing, defining reality, authenticity, and preparation and training. You do not have to have read the book to join this rich discussion.


Gaining Confidence in Addressing Poor Behavior

Kacy R. Webster, M.Ed. Kaplan University- Market President – Iowa

Learning how to confidently communicate with others about the behaviors that negatively impact you and negatively impact your organization's success takes skill. Come learn more about the SBI technique and let's practice. Whether it is Peer-to-Peer, Supervisor-to-Employee; Employee-to-Supervisor or Faculty-to-Student, this technique will help you begin to master the art of interpersonal communication while minimizing conflict. Come prepared to engage, laugh and address this serious topic!


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

The Dos and Don’ts of Advocacy as an Employee of an Institution of Higher Education

MJ Dolan, Executive Director, Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT
Gary Steinke, President, Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Steve Ovel, Legislative Consultant
Kimberly Heffernan Moss, Board and Governmental Relations Coordinator, University of Northern Iowa

From funding to policy, legislative decisions are made that dramatically impact higher education in Iowa. In this “advocacy 101” session, panel members share their advice and answer questions about how you can make an impact on public policy and stay within state and federal laws.


We Need Engaged Citizens: How to Embed Civic Mindedness into All Areas of Higher Education

Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson Assistant Dean for Student Life & Director of Civic Engagement, Buena Vista University
Dr. Julianne Gassman Associate Professor,Director of Engagement, University of Northern Iowa
Emily J. Shields Executive Director, Iowa Campus Compact

This program session will highlight the civic mission of institutions of higher education and outline examples of how institutions embrace civic action and embed it into the institution’s strategic plan. Participants will learn how to tailor their discipline, teaching and profession to support the development of civic-minded graduates. All professionals on campus will learn how to connect their work to better their communities.  Click here for this presentation.


Lead From Where You Are

Marybeth C. Stalp, Professor of Sociology and Department Head of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology
Joyce Morrow, University Registrar
Lisa Riedle, Professor of Technology and Department Head of Department of technology
University of Northern Iowa.

In today’s work world, careers are less linear than ever before, with multiple options facing workers (and women workers) at every turn. How does one manage one’s career in this environment with so many possibilities? These panelists from the University of Northern Iowa provide three different paths within academic leadership, all commonly sharing the thread of conceptualizing careers not in ladder form, but as Sheryl Sandberg states in her book, Lean In, careers are “a jungle gym” with many possible paths, some up, down, some sideways, but all important. Additionally, the panel will focus on how these panelists learned to “lead from where you are” to get used to how leadership “feels” and to help one see oneself as a leader, broadly defined.


Negotiate Like a Woman: Getting What You Want (and Deserve)

Dr. Sarah Fisher Gardial, Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, Dean & Professor of Marketing

In this session, we will explore the salary differences that exist between men and women and consider at least one factor that we can control: our negotiation skills. Negotiating is not something women naturally do, but it can be learned. A step-wise process to improve salary and other negotiations will be presented.  Click here for Dr. Gardial's presentation.



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

Higher Ed in These Turbulent Political Times: Why can't we get over it… 

Rekha Basu, Des Moines Register opinion columnist, distributed nationally by Tribune Content Agency
Dr. Naomi DeWinter, President, Muscatine Community College
Gwennette C Berry, Assistant to the President & Chief Diversity Officer, University of Northern Iowa

A panel discussion of our current political climate from fake news to use of social media from an inside and outside perspective.  Why is the climate of the country and climate on campus obsessed with what is happening politically and not getting past it?  What is the role of Higher Ed in these turbulent times and how does one navigate through all this stuff?  Is it a time of bridges or barriers for women?  What has been the roll of the media in all of this?  Time will be allowed for audience participation in Q and A.


Get some Grit:  Promoting Resilience with Today’s College Student

Melissa Sturm-Smith, Drake University

From the Harvard Business Review to the latest NASPA blog,  resilience is a hot topic.  In this session, participants will examine the concept of resilience, consider its relationship to student success and persistence, and learn about strategies being employed across a range of institutions.  Participants will also have the opportunity to learn from each other – sharing practices in place at their institutions and challenges faced in addressing this issue. 


Succumb, Survive or Thrive: Leading Through Financial Droughts Determines the Outcome

Suzette Radke, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Buena Vista University

Colleges and universities facing financial challenges continue to headline the higher Ed news. Far too often, the dollar amounts are the focus without due consideration to our human capital. This interactive session will focus on a holistic view of leading during financial challenges--budgeting, staff reductions, planning for and following up on the necessary changes. In particular, focus will be given to how to work with our human capital (the people) when budget cuts are necessary.


Putting your Strengths to Work

Kate Sojka, Director, On Iowa! Program
Emily Kleinmeyer, HR Administrator,
University of Iowa

The Clifton StrengthsFinder is an assessment and set of tools, backed by extensive world-wide research by Gallup Inc., that identifies your talents and provides customized results highlighting what makes you unique and powerful. It is “the language to live the life you were meant to.” In this session we will explore the theory and foundation behind StrengthsFinder and start you on the path to success “by turning your talents into strengths” (Gallupstrengthscenter.com). If you have taken the assessment prior to the conference please bring a list of your top five strengths to this session.  Click here for this presentation file.


Friday, November 3

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

Engaged by Day—Connected by Night: Technology Trends in Higher Education

Nikki Buzzell-Garnica,District Program Developer for Education, Education Department Coordinator & Instructor, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges

Engage, connect and build lasting relationships with your students in and out of the classroom from Padlet to Plickers to Zooming and Tweeting.  Participants will discover ideas they can put to use immediately upon return to their classroom.  Content for this session will be delivered through a cooperative learning environment approach, in which participants interact not only with the facilitator, but other participants as well.  All are encouraged to bring an electronic device (i.e. laptop, tablet, iPad, smart phone) to practice new ideas with others.


Climate of Higher Education in Iowa

Anne Howsare Boyens, Provost, DMACC-Urban
Jeneane Beck, Assistant Vice President for External Relations, University of Iowa
Mark A. Nook, President, University of Northern Iowa
Jeff Charis-Carlson, Higher Education reporter, Iowa City Press-Citizen

What is the current landscape of higher education in Iowa and what changes are on the horizon? In this session, the panel will explore what challenges and opportunities face higher education in Iowa. Time will be allowed for Q & A.


Navigating the Way: Roundtable Session for Women of Color

Melissa Payne, Dean of Students, Kirkwood Community College

Women of Color in Higher Education offer unique contributions to their institutions, professions, and communities. Come together with other women of color for a time of team building, networking and support. Consider and wrestle with key questions facing women of color in higher education and come prepared to share the ways you manage to juggle the challenges and leverage the opportunities.


Start where you are: How little changes can have a big impact on your career

Chrystal Stanley, PhD, Drake University

For many of us, work is a requirement, until we discover the opportunity that allows us to follow our passion. We’ve all read advice on how to be more efficient and harder working in the office. But ultimately, our happiness is just as important as the documents we draft and the spreadsheets we email out. So, how do we effectively walk the line between being professionally productive and personally happy, and how might this impact our career? This session just might have the answers.   Click here for Crystal Stanley's presentation.



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

Brag and Steal

This is an opportunity to for conference attendees to share their best practices or come back to the office with a new bag of tricks! Best Practices can be related to the topics of professional growth, academics, administrative, student affairs, or current topics in higher education. We are limited to 5-10 minutes per topic. Not interested in bragging? Don't miss this opportunity to steal some ideas that might spark a conversation or a new whole new initiative. Space is limited to 10 topics and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Please email Sarah Freestone at freestone@swcciowa.edu with a brief description of your best practice if you plan to attend this session to BRAG. All are welcome to STEAL! https://www.smore.com/xtvur


Authentic Leadership

Dr. Dawn Bratsch-Prince, Associate Provost for Faculty, Iowa State University
Dr. Ellen Kabat Lensch, Vice Chancellor of Economic & Workforce Development, Eastern Iowa Community College
Dr. Regina Matheson, Associate Vice President for Academic Grants and Sponsored Programs, St. Ambrose University

Three experienced leaders will briefly describe how they have maintained their personal style as they have navigated the various leadership positions they have held. They will discuss the difficulties of remaining true to oneself (and therefore being authentic). They will give their ideas about whether the percentage of women administrators in colleges and universities can increase given the current higher education climate in our country.


I Love My Job! Impacting Employee Attitudes

Dr. Jane Bradley, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Hawkeye Community College

As the need for qualified employees in higher education grows, it is more important than ever to develop and retain our talented employees. Hawkeye Community College engages employees in many ways to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. Practices of employee engagement at Hawkeye will be shared and attendees will participate by the sharing of best practices for employee engagement at their own institutions.


That would have been the perfect response!

Melissa Payne, Dean of Students, Kirkwood Community College

Participants will explore options for navigating the professional world without being trapped in the two places women often find themselves: being stereotyped as the shrinking violet who needs to be taken care of or being stereotyped as the aggressive “bitch” who must be managed. Through identifying options, role playing and exploring identity, participants will answer this question: how can I be assertive in a way that gets my point across, leaves my colleagues feeling respected, and allows me to be authentically me?


The following four 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!


Kaplan University

Kaplan University

Kaplan University's Mission Statement:  Kaplan University is an institution of higher learning dedicated to providing innovative undergraduate, graduate, and continuing professional education. Our programs foster student learning with opportunities to launch, enhance, or change careers in today’s diverse global society. The University is committed to general education, a student-centered service and support approach, and applied scholarship in a practical environment. 
Iowa campuses are located:  Des Moines (www.kaplanuniversity.edu/des-moines-iowa.aspx); Davenport (www.kaplanuniversity.edu/davenport-iowa.aspx); Cedar Falls (www.kaplanuniversity.edu/cedar-falls-iowa.aspx); Cedar Rapids (www.kaplanuniversity.edu/cedar-rapids-iowa.aspx); Mason City (www.kaplanuniversity.edu/mason-city-iowa.aspx)
Nebraska Campuses are located:
Lincoln (www.kaplanuniversity.edu/lincoln-nebraska.aspx); and Omaha ( www.kaplanuniversity.edu/Omaha-nebraska.aspx)



TIAA's Mission Statement:
    Put the Customer First.
    Value our People.
    Act with Integrity.
    Deliver Excellence.
    Take Personal Accountability.
    Operate as One Team.

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.

Allen College

Allen College

Allen College is committed to preparing competent healthcare professionals through educational programs of excellence, to developing a diverse community of learners and faculty, and to promoting community service, scholarship, and lifelong learning.

Delta Dental Logo

Delta Dental

Delta Dental of Iowa is dedicated to improving the health and smiles of the people we serve.

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.

St. Ambrose logo

St. Ambrose University

St. Ambrose University — independent, diocesan, and Catholic — enables its students to develop intellectually, spiritually, ethically, socially, artistically and physically to enrich their own lives and the lives of others.

Central College

Central College

Central College is a residential liberal arts college dedicated to helping students discover and develop their greatest potential. Guided by its ecumenical Christian tradition, the college community engages in vigorous, open inquiry in pursuit of academic excellence.  The College nurtures the development of the mind, while fostering spiritual and emotional maturity and physical well-being. Central integrates career preparation with the development of values essential to responsible citizenship, empowering graduates for effective service in local, national and international communities.

Coe College

Coe College

It is the mission of Coe College to provide students an education of superior quality that aims at preparing them for life following graduation. Our reason to exist as an institution is to ready students intellectually, professionally, and socially to lead productive and satisfying lives in the global society of the 21st century. As such, our success as a College will be measured according to the success of our graduates.

Grinnell College

Grinnell College

When Grinnell College framed its charter in the Iowa Territory of the United States in 1846, it set forth a mission to educate its students "for the different professions and for the honorable discharge of the duties of life." The College pursues that mission by providing an education in the liberal arts through free inquiry and the open exchange of ideas. As a teaching and learning community, the College holds that knowledge is a good to be pursued both for its own sake and for the intellectual, moral, and physical well-being of individuals and of society at large. The College exists to provide a lively academic community of students and teachers of high scholarly qualifications from diverse social and cultural circumstances. The College aims to graduate individuals who can think clearly, who can speak and write persuasively and even eloquently, who can evaluate critically both their own and others' ideas, who can acquire new knowledge, and who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.

Loras College

Loras College

Our commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition - Loras College is a Catholic, diocesan college explicitly oriented to promote service of both church and world through encouraging all members of the community in development of their “diverse professional, social and religious roles.” The college strives to be a community demonstrating the highest standards of the Catholic intellectual tradition and welcoming all people into a dialogue to promote core values of truth, respect, responsibility, excellence and service.

Morningside College logo

Morningside College

The Morningside College experience cultivates a passion for lifelong learning and a dedication to ethical leadership and civic responsibility.

Mercy College of Health Sciences

Mercy College of Health Sciences

Mercy College of Health Sciences prepares graduates for service and leadership in the healthcare community by integrating its core values with a professional and liberal arts and sciences education.

Waldorf University

Waldorf University

Waldorf University seeks to be an engaging community of learning and faith where relationships are formed and opportunities for learning and service abound. Our mission is to educate the whole person emphasizing integrity and equipping students to succeed and to serve the communities where they live and work.


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 11 - Sunday, Nov 12, 2017
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday;  10 a.m. - 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 8th 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.

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



The Color Purple
Des Moines Performing Arts - Civic Center

October 31 - November 5, 2017 
Admission & Schedule:  Varies

 THE COLOR PURPLE is the 2016 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival! Hailed as “a direct hit to the heart” (The Hollywood Reporter), this joyous American classic has conquered Broadway in an all-new "ravishingly reconceived production that is a glory to behold” (The New York Times) directed by Tony winner John Doyle.

Click on this link to the Center's website.

Funny Bones Comedy Club

West Des Moines

Most businesses intend to enter a new market with a bang. When The Funny Bone Comedy Club and Restaurant arrive in a city, however, the sound heard was uproarious laughter. Co-Founders Mitch Kutash and Gerald Kubach opened the first Funny Bone in Pittsburgh, PA after Gerald became enthralled with a comedy show. Years later, The Funny Bone has invaded over 25 markets and is still expanding today

The Funny Bone, has been bringing nationally-recognized humorists to these clubs for over 30 years. Such superstars as Jerry Seinfeld, Rosanne Barr, Tim Allen, Drew Carey, Jim Breuer, Kathleen Madigan, John Pinette, DL Hughley, Gabriel Iglesias, Josh Blue, Ellen Degeneres and Dave Chappelle have dazzled crowds with their comedic genius. The Funny Bone also continues providing the freshest up-and-coming comedians, as well as developing local talent.

The Funny Bone is a recognized pioneer in accommodating diverse community needs. From hosting numerous charitable functions, to being the gathering place for various corporate outings and meetings, to holding children's comedy and magic shows, The Funny Bone Comedy Club and Restaurant has etched a permanent mark in comedic history.

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Other Des Moines Area Events

Stage West Theatre Company
Olsen-Larsen Art Gallery Exhibit
Sunday Tunes @ Summerset Winery
Swing Dancing



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

Other Attractions like these may be found at: