HIGH POINT — This week, High Point University students had the opportunity to learn from Apple Co-Founder and HPU’s Innovator in Residence Steve Wozniak, who has served as HPU’s Innovator in Residence since 2016.
Wozniak is an advocate of HPU and frequently shares his passion for the university with others.
“I have visited so many colleges throughout my life and High Point University is the only one I will recommend, even to my own family,” said Wozniak. “I appreciate the emphasis that HPU and Dr. Qubein put on equipping students with life skills, which align with the values I hold. It was these values that impressed me and brought me to HPU.”
Discussing a myriad of topics, from life skills to finding your passion and harnessing it to move the world forward, Wozniak kicked off the day with an interactive Q&A session in HPU’s Webb School of Engineering.
“There are some things that grab you with a passion,” said Wozniak. “For me, that passion is finding ways to help people.”
As an engineer himself, Wozniak also spoke with students about innovation.
“Continuously look for a different way to do things,” said Wozniak. “I’ve always been good at taking things I didn’t know and figuring out how to use them. As engineers, we build new things and new things always move us forward.”
Faculty from HPU’s Webb School of Engineering moderated the discussion, including the school’s dean Dr. Michael Oudshoorn, founding chair and professor of electrical engineering Dr. Claire L. McCullough, founding chair and professor of computer science Dr. Will Suchan and chair and associate professor of physics Dr. Briana Fiser.
“Having Wozniak as HPU’s Innovator in Residence is an amazing opportunity for students,” said Oudshoorn. “Providing open forums and exposing students to global leaders like Wozniak inspires them to become entrepreneurs, gets them thinking about the technology they are working with and how it should be used in society. This is an opportunity you don’t get at any other university.”
Students asked Wozniak about discipline, motivation and where he sees technology going in the future.
“Having Wozniak here shows us what we can become,” said freshman engineering student Aidan Kelley. “No other university provides students the opportunity to engage with leaders at this level. We were able to ask questions and hear more about the steps he took to get to where he is.”
Computer science, electrical engineering and computer engineering students gathered to hear from Wozniak.
“There is no doubt the impact Wozniak has made in everyone’s lives,” said Ashlyn Hanks, a freshman computer science major. “Most of the computers in our labs are Macs. Every day I am interacting with the technology that Wozniak helped to develop, and today I have the incredible opportunity to meet and engage with the person who made this possible.”
After speaking with engineering students, Wozniak made his way to Congdon Hall’s Callicutt Auditorium for the Leadership Summit, moderated by Dr. Bill Gentry, HPU’s Director of Career and Professional Development.
“Wozniak talked about innovation, creativity and starting your own business,” said Gentry. “We have so many students here who are focused on taking their ideas from conception to market and he gave some really great advice. Having access to leaders like Steve Wozniak brings a broad perspective that helps students, no matter their major or discipline. If students see he can do it, then they think, ‘I can do it too.’”
Students left the session feeling empowered to set big goals and go out and make a difference in the world.
“Wozniak talked about how leaders have to listen,” said freshman Keilah Moore. “This really stuck out to me because it rings true in all areas of your life. He also shared how he was turned down five times by Hewlett Packard before he decided to create his own business. This inspired me to never give up, no matter what happens in life.”
Source: High Point University