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Creating Opportunities and Connection
Dr. Charity Adams is a microcosm of the Walden community. She is a lifelong learner with two certificates and two degrees from the university. She helped lead the creation of student organizations like the Divine Nine Alliance (DNA) as both a student and a long-time staff member. And her passion for helping others has created social change in her community and those of her colleagues and fellow students.
She joined Walden in 2005 to help school districts with their professional development needs. To experience Walden herself and broaden her business knowledge, she enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program. To prepare to earn a doctorate with a goal of teaching one day, she earned postdoctoral certificates in business and college teaching and learning.
As she moved up in Walden, she enrolled in Walden’s Doctor of Business Administration program. For her doctoral study, she ultimately focused on another lifelong passion: one day owning her own business, ideally a hair salon. “I hope my research on business planning strategies to sustain hair salons will one day help me achieve my goal,” says Dr. Adams. “In the meantime, I’m sharing my results with others to help their small businesses.”
While a doctoral student, she was one of the inaugural members of Walden’s Divine Nine Alliance. One of now about 25 student organizations, it brings together members of the Divine Nine Greek Letter fraternities and sororities. Dr. Adams served as treasurer and advisor, led recruitment campaigns, developed bylaws, and helped build it into the student organization it is today.
“DNA is a great organization for students who want to feel more connected to the university and to network nationally with Walden members in addition to a local chapter they might belong to,” says Dr. Adams, who is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. “We also offer professional development and social change opportunities.”
As an alumna and as manager of student organizations, Dr. Adams is also involved with the National Society of Leadership and Success, Golden Key International Honor Society, Walden Virtual Fulbright Chapter, Student Veterans Association, Multicultural & International Student Club, and Walden Campus Civitan.
Through these organizations and her own community connections, she volunteers with a long list of organizations, from school districts and Head Start to the YMCA and Wheels of Happiness for people living with motor disabilities. This combination of service to the community and Walden earned her the summer 2022 Leadership Excellence Award from the university’s board of directors. She was nominated by Associate Dean Dr. Maranda Griffin, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., who was faculty advisor on Divine Nine Alliance when Dr. Adams was in leadership.
Throughout each of her programs, Dr. Adams’ family was her inspiration and motivation—and she is theirs. Her oldest son graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and her daughter is studying to be a nurse practitioner at Spelman College. Her youngest is in pre-K. Just four years old, he attended her graduation and awards ceremonies (but napped through both).
As busy as she is helping support her family, student organizations, and her community, Dr. Adams remembers her favorite Booker T. Washington quote: “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
Business Planning Strategies to Sustain Hair Salons
Dr. Charity Adams presents her doctoral study results at the College of Management and Human Potential Virtual Symposium in October 2022. She delivers key recommendations developed from case studies and business modeling.
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