Every year, the Des Moines Business Record celebrates the work of women who have made a difference with its “Women of Influence” awards. According to the publication’s website, recipients have “devoted their lives to doing things most wouldn’t. They’ve spent countless hours on various boards and they’ve blazed a trail either personally or professionally for other women to follow.”
No surprise, given her career, accomplishments and contributions, that DMU President Angela L. Walker Franklin, Ph.D. , was one of seven Women of Influence this year. Shown in the photo above with Business Publications chair Connie Wimer and Carole Chambers, director of strategic partnerships, President Franklin was praised by her nominators for becoming involved in the central Iowa community, for serving as a role model for young women and for giving her time to lead and serve on several local boards and initiatives since becoming DMU’s 15th president in 2011.
“An engaged life of service begins with a clear and genuine desire to step outside of self and think of the
collective ‘we,’ not ‘me,’” President Franklin said in accepting the award Aug. 7. “This has been somewhat
instinctive given my background as a trained psychologist and just who I am, a small-town girl from South Carolina who learned about service from wonderful parents who stressed excellence in all that I do, with an essential ingredient of integrity.”
Early in her DMU tenure, President Franklin led a campus-wide effort to revise the University’s mission and vision, and she supports programming and curricula that enhance students’ and employees’ cultural competency. She brought together leaders of several regional health care organizations to form the DMU Clinical Collaborative, to increase and enhance training opportunities for students and serve the area’s health care needs.
President Franklin also led efforts to bring La Clinica de la Esperanza to the DMU Clinic. A partnership with UnityPoint Health, La Clinica serves thousands of Hispanic and Latino patients. Under her leadership, DMU’s wellness program renewed its status as the only program in the nation to earn the platinum-level Well Workplace Award, the highest distinction of the Wellness Councils of America.
Her community activities include serving as chair, in 2013 and again this year, of Des Moines’ “Go Red for Women,” a campaign of the American Heart Association to reduce heart disease among women. She also is a member of the boards of the Science Center of Iowa, Bankers Trust and the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
In 2013, the African American Museum of Iowa selected President Franklin to receive its History Maker Award. In May 2014, President Franklin was one of two recipients of the Inspire Award of the Des Moines chapter of Dress for Success, an international nonprofit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.