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Trailblazers Bring Messages of Inspiration to Iowans

Command Module Pilot of the 1972 Apollo 16 mission, Ken Mattingly, speaks at "ciWeek 8" in Des Moines this week. (DMACC)
Command Module Pilot of the 1972 Apollo 16 mission, Ken Mattingly, speaks at "ciWeek 8" in Des Moines this week. (DMACC)
February 27, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Famous trailblazers of space, sports, music, technology and the arts will be in Iowa this week to inspire folks from all walks to life to live up to their potential.

The eighth annual Celebrate Innovation Week kicks off Monday at Des Moines Area Community College's West Des Moines Campus. Provost Dr. Anthony Paustian said it's an opportunity to pause and celebrate the imagination, ingenuity and passions of others.

"Storytelling is the best way to inspire anybody. When you hear anybody talk about their story and how they became inspired, it's always because of some story they heard, or something that clicked one day because they liked what they heard,” Paustian said. "To actually be there in person, and actually meet that person afterward, that different level of engagement has more meaning.”

Paustian said Iowans of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to attend the free event. There are 15 speakers, including Apollo astronauts Ken Mattingly and Al Worden; Academy Award-winning sound engineer Greg Russell; New York Times best-selling author and screenwriter Max Brooks; 2015 World Beatbox Champion Kaila Mullady; and Olympic gold medal wrestler Dan Gable.

CI Week was developed after the "Celebrate! Innovation" exhibition in the DMACC West building was constructed ten years ago. It's a free, interactive exhibit with artifacts and visuals highlighting 200 years of innovation.

"Every room is themed after a great American innovator,” Paustian said. "We have a 20 year history of the personal computer on campus, and it shows how it was an incremental improvement over time, by a lot of people. We have a 150 year exhibit of communications, from the telegraph to the Internet."

The theme for CI Week Eight is "To The Nth Degree," which Paustian said he hopes will inspire Iowans to make the world a better place using their own gifts, skills and passion.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA