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Leading in Times of Challenge with Dr. Mary Chapman

Dr. Mary Chapman Headshot

Dr. Mary Chapman is vice president emeritus of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). She is the first woman to serve as DMACC Urban Campus Dean and helped open the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, where Greater Des Moines (DSM) residents are connected with job training and career opportunities to improve their financial situations.  

Dr. Chapman’s rewarding career has included leadership opportunities to help meet student needs and become involved in the DSM community through nonprofits like Urban Dreams. She has worked on various strategic planning initiatives involving the Science Center of Iowa and the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, as well as the Capital Crossroads vision plan. Dr. Chapman discusses leadership tips during the latest Leading in Times of Challenge podcast.

Dr. Mary Chapman Leadership Tips

For Dr. Chapman, challenges always arise in funding for education, as well as enrollment and student achievement. She discusses the challenge of finding a way to connect students to opportunities and services across the college and within the DSM community. Dr. Chaman found that bringing people together and breaking down the isolation of students required identifying the issue and who would be the key stakeholders to help solve the problem. She met with those key stakeholders to get their buy-in to address the issue at hand. At that time, she says they utilized technology to address and reduce the additional amount of time and work it would take for staff members to become involved and fix the issue. 

Dr. Chapman says that it takes a lot of listening to all parties involved in making change and getting buy-in for that change. You have to keep repeating why an issue is important and where the value lies in solving it in a certain way. She says to acknowledge the contributions and experiences of your employees and stakeholders. Build up your relationships by cutting through the noise and understanding where others might be coming. This will allow you to demonstrate that you hear their concerns. Dr. Chapman says you can only be responsible for yourself. Decide what you are committed to and what you can act on in the space that you’re in.

Listen to the entire podcast by clicking here.

The Leading in Times of Change podcast is brought to you by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and hosted by Mike Jefferson. The podcast features community leaders from across Greater Des Moines (DSM). To listen to more Partnership podcasts, click here

Leading in Times of Challenge

Leading in Times of Challenge is a podcast featuring Greater Des Moines (DSM) business and community leaders.