DMACC West Campus Provost Uses Moon Shot Experience to Enhance Learning

​DMACC’s faculty and staff help students pursue and plan for a lifetime of success, literally helping them shoot for the moon.

Dr. Anthony PaustianDr. Anthony Paustian, Provost of Des Moines Area Community College’s West Des Moines Campus and founder of the annual Celebrate! Innovation Week (ciWeek), is one such example.

His most recent book, A Quarter Million Steps: Creativity, Imagination, & Leading Transformative Change is on bookstore shelves now.  The book draws inspiration from the epic story of the Apollo Moon Program and from Dr. Paustian’s own life experiences. Through personal conversations, astronauts who have all traveled to the moon provide personal insight and context to Dr. Paustian’s work, including the Foreword which was written by Apollo 15 astronaut, Alfred Worden.

Pautian uses this subject matter to teach and inform, launching from space travel to leadership, as it outlines the many small steps it takes to create success in life. Dr. Paustian uses the imagery and innovation of the Apollo Program’s achievement as a metaphoric call to action to teach the principles of creative expression, imagineering, strong leadership, focus, a solid work ethic, and much more. Readers, like DMACC West Des Moines Campus students, are given the tools to set effective and achievable goals and are taught how to invoke their own personal leadership to accomplish them.

Dr. Paustian ties his work at DMACC and his visions of leadership together this way: “Success comes in many forms. It’s inspiring to cross paths with so many bright minds and watch them grow. I know many of these students will go out to change the world in their own way, and that’s exciting for me,” said Dr. Pausitan.

“Having Tony as part of the DMACC team is an asset to students and the College as a whole,” said Rob Denson, DMACC President. “Tony is part of a network of DMACC’s creative, talented, and hard-working faculty and staff who work hard every day to facilitate learning and help their students succeed, making DMACC a great resource for the entire community.” said Rob Denson, DMACC President

Dr. Paustian’s other published works include

  • Imagine! (©1997 Simon & Schuster), Bridging the Gap (©2002 Paradigm Publishing), and
  • Beware the Purple People Eaters: A Personal Look at Leadership (©2012 BookPress Publishing).

For more information about ciWeek or DMACC’s West Des Moines Campus, visit