Fall 2014: Term 1



Dear Students and Colleagues,


Rosemary Link, Associate VP for Academic Affairs

How can fall be here again so quickly?  The maple trees are turning and the colors are fabulous on my walk to work each day.  This is truly a refreshing time of cooler nights, bright crisp leaves in our path and a new academic year.  I hope you feel new energy for learning as I do every September.

We have much to celebrate in our division of Continuing and Graduate Programs. As you will read in this newsletter, the Ankeny campus is moving 3 miles west to Prairie Trail.  We are delighted to be the new neighbors in DMACC’s back yard.  We are planning a welcome center for students and new offerings to meet the needs of those planning a four year Bachelor of Arts degree.  You will be receiving a list of events, but keep in mind the October 28th Speaker Series at the new campus (more details given below) featuring James Autry and Sally Pederson.

As you read you will note that we are adding new two-credit courses that have been requested by our community, including Extreme Weather, Crime and Technology and Personal Finance. We welcome hearing from you if you and your colleagues have work related topics that you would like us to consider for a course offering or new degree program.

Last spring we began our own Continuing & Graduate Programs Alumni Board and we offer congratulations to our new President, Susanne Gerlach and Secretary, Ann Powell.  A representative of this group will sit on the College’s Alumni Board.  Thank you to the members currently serving. You will be hearing from Susanne in the near future and please let her know your interest to serve. We are grateful to Andy English, Director of Alumni Relations, for his support of adult learning and his help organizing the group.

Another of our developments is the expansion of non-degree earning “Continuing Education Credits” through workshops and intensive courses.  These include courses in healthcare administration, innovation, education (license renewal for teachers), world languages, debate and music.  Explore our website to see more.

This newsletter also celebrates our students.  Congratulations to Katherine Willcox who graduated Summa Cum Laude.  Katherine is a recipient of our Thirty Over 30 award and is building her career while contributing to her community and mothering two teens…it sounds familiar to many of you I am sure.  Take pride in this productive multi-tasking and know that a degree is one of the key determinants to a better career and better future.

Thank you for joining the Simpson community and best wishes for a successful year,

Rosemary Link

We’re Moving!

Ankeny Campus Rendering

You may have already heard the news that the Ankeny campus is moving to a new location in the Prairie Trail Development this fall. We are very excited for this move as it will provide an advising and welcome center, five classrooms, a conference room, and computer laptop stations. The new space will be utilized by students and faculty during the evening and is available for meeting and event rental during business hours.

According to Simpson College President, Dr. Jay Simmons, “The move is responding to demand for more space and for the reality that people earn better when they have a bachelors degree.” Only 25% of Iowans currently have an associate or BA degree, representing a serious gap between demand of employers and supply of degreed candidates. Rosemary Link, Associate VP also comments, “Given the growth of Ankeny, the timing is perfect. We are excited to be Ankeny’s liberal arts college.”

The campus, located at 1450 SW Vintage Parkway, is currently under construction and is quickly coming together. Classes will be held in the new space before the start of Term 2 in October.

We invite you to check out our new digs on Tuesday, October 28 for an open house and Simpson Speaker Series event featuring James Autry and Sally Pederson (see additional details below).

Famous Iowans Will Speak at Ankeny Open House

James Autry and Sally Pederson

James Autry and Sally Pederson

We are delighted that James Autry and Sally Pederson have agreed to offer their insights on leadership as part of our fall Simpson Speaker Series at the new Ankeny campus on Tuesday, October 28th. This event will also be an open house for the public and the Simpson Community to tour the new Ankeny campus.

James Autry is the former president of Meredith Corporation and the author of several books including The Servant Leader: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance. His wife, Sally Pederson was Iowa’s 45th Lieutenant Governor from 1999-2007. Prior to her time in office, she helped found The Homestead, a living and learning center for Iowans with autism.

Please  join us for hors d’oeuvres and networking with friends and colleagues at 5:30pm, followed by an engaging presentation at 6:00pm. The new Ankeny campus is located just east of State Street at 1450 SW Vintage Parkway.

This is a great opportunity to visit the new Ankeny campus, network with the Simpson community, and hear two of Iowa’s most inspiring and motivational speakers.

Autry and Pederson book coverThe couple will be available after the event for a book signing with copies of their newest publication, Choosing Gratitude 365 Days a Year.

RSVP by calling 515-309-3099.


Two-Credit Courses Now Available

In response to community interest, we have recently begun adding two-credit courses to the Continuing & Graduate schedule. These courses offer a flexible, affordable option for community members and alumni to take coursework relevant to their career or passions for professional development purposes.

Two-credit courses offered this year include:

  • Personal Financial ManagementEvening Weekend & Graduate Student in Classroom
  • White Collar Crime
  • Extreme Weather
  • Crime and Technology

If you or someone you know would like to register for one of these courses please sign up online.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Katherine Willcox

Katherine Willcox fam photo

Katherine Willcox graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors and has been inducted as a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society. She is an officer of Alpha Sigma Lambda, a member of National Association of Professional Women, recipient of Simpson’s Thirty over 30 Award, and a single mother of two teenagers. We hope you will be as inspired by her story as we are.

SC: You are very involved in your community. Tell us a little bit about what motivates you: 

KW: My inspiration comes from helping others achieve a goal whether it seems small, like a meal for a hungry child or large like realizing homeownership for the first time. My employer is wonderful about encouraging employees to be active in their community. There are regularly sponsored Habitat for Humanity builds in the greater Des Moines area, plus a current five-state homebuilding initiative within our region. My additional volunteerism usually begins with bank sponsored events or through church. One of my favorites is Wildwoods Hill Ranch for all that they do for kids. Other charities I support include The United Way, The Freestore, YESS – Youth Emergency Services & Shelter, Easter Seals, Meals from the Heartland, and Goodwill Industries.

SC: Many of our students are parents; do you have advice or words of encouragement for parents working for a degree?

KW: Like many adults, the idea of going back to school was daunting. I had not taken a course in years. I was worried that I would be lost jumping into junior level courses so I retook a basic course for no credit. I found it was not hard to work it into my busy schedule, so I signed up for two courses the next semester. I was amazed that I could keep up with two. So, hey, I signed up for three courses the next semester. Okay… so I am an admitted overachiever.

SC: Was there anything specific that prompted you to finish your degree?

KW: I had always intended to finish my undergrad degree at some point, but I really wanted to be out of school before my oldest son went to college. My advice to anyone who wants to go back to school is similar to having kids – there is no “best” time. You can plan for it, but the perfect day may never come. If it is something you want, then jump in with both feet. If you make mistakes along the way, learn from them and move on. Consider it part of the process rather than letting them defeat you.

SC: How has your experience at Simpson impacted your life?

KW: My time at Simpson gave me relevant knowledge and the courage to engage colleagues on a more professional level. I was painfully shy of public speaking. I am grateful that Simpson forced me to face those fears and become proficient at getting a message across in a group setting. Additionally, it allowed me to set a great example for my children – learning is a life-long experience and you are never too old to improve yourself.

Continuing & Graduate Programs Installs Alumni Board of Directors

The Simpson College Alumni Office is excited to announce the establishment of the Continuing & Graduate Alumni Board of Directors.  This board is charged with serving the Continuing & Graduate alumni community while fostering lifelong connections with one another and with Simpson College.

Current board membership includes:

Susanne Gerlach ‘07, President

Sarah Davitt ‘11

Ann Powell ‘13, Secretary

Jessica Hazelton ‘13

Howard Berger ‘12

Renee Parsons ‘12

April Betzer ‘09

Drew Primrose ‘08

Lori Card ‘10

Katie Truetken ‘12

Katie Craven ‘12

We are looking to expand our board by 11 members.  If you, or somebody that you know, may be interested in serving on the Continuing & Graduate Alumni Board of Directors, please contact Andy English, Director of Alumni Relations at andy.english@simpson.edu for more information or complete the nomination form at http://simpson.edu/alumni/alumni-nomination/.

Announcing New EMERGE Innovation Immersion Program

On August 28, The Des Moines Business Record featured the following article in the Business Record Daily PM newsletter:

Simpson College today announced its EMERGE Innovation Immersion program, a nine-week course designd for rising business leaders to hone innovative skills by working with a startup in a laboratory-type workplace.

The program begins Oct. 17 and provides students with 108 “lab” hours and four continuing education credits. The first class will follow directly after the I/OWA Conference in downtown Des Moines, with lab sessions held at both Simpson’s West Des Moines campus and Gravitate, the downtown Des Moines coworking space at 206 Sixth Ave., which will house the startup selected for the course.

The class will consist of 18 to 24 rising business leaders who have experience in one or more of the following categories: human resources, finance, governance and strategic management, operations, marketing and communications, and research and development. Class members will work in teams by discipline and then come together periodically for overall learning and assessment of progress.

Learn more about the program on our website.

Take Advantage of Career Services

  • Need to have your resume updated?
  • Wonder what employers  are looking  for in your resume and cover letter now?
  • Having problems navigating the online application process?
  • Honing your interviewing skills?

The Career Services team at Simpson is a staff of experienced career professionals eager to provide you with the guidance and resources  to answer your questions and meet your career development needs.  Career trends and  employer demands change constantly, which creates challenges for the job seeker in this competitive market.  Our team works with employers and is active in organizations to remain current as well as meet the needs of students and alumni of all ages, experience, and majors.

Give us a call at 515-961-1667 or email us at careers@simpson.edu – we’ll meet with you at your campus or in our offices in Indianola.

Join us for these upcoming events:
Speed Practice Interviews:  October 20th, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., Hubbell, Kent Campus Center, Indianola

Graduate School Fair: October 22, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Hubbell, Kent Campus Center, Indianola

Business & Communications Fair:  October 29th, 12:00 – 2:00 pm., Hubbell, Kent Campus Center, Indianola