By James Ensor//Editor-in-Chief
On Feb. 20 Apple Co-founder and High Point University’s Innovator in Residence Steve Wozniak returned to HPU’s campus. This visit was Wozniak’s second visit as HPU’s Innovator in Residence; the first visit occurred in March 2016.
Wozniak held several student sessions throughout the day. The sessions focused on a variety of topics ranging from healthcare to innovative technology.
“As Apple co-founder, Woz provides meaningful mentorship, wise counsel and practical feedback to our students who seek to become innovative solution finders to complex problems,” said HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein. “He knows what it’s like to create value and render service.”
Wozniak’s first session was held in Cottrell Hall with the inaugural class of HPU’s Doctor of Pharmacy program. Small groups of students presented projects on innovative drug therapy techniques to Wozniak. Wozniak provided input on concept ideas and implementation strategies.
Wozniak then met with exercise science students where they discussed innovation and growth opportunities in their field.
Wozniak also shared his experiences and insights during a growth mindset forum moderated by Professor Jim Trammell, director of HPU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. More than 100 students, faculty and community members attended the forum.
“We want to create a growth mindset at HPU,” Trammell said. “No matter what skills you have, you can always do better.”
The forum primarily focused on Wozniak’s motivation and the success that resulted.
“Knowledge is not as important as motivation,” Wozniak said. “Fun should be part of work.”
Trammell discussed Wozniak’s past projects as a student and how the projects helped Wozniak later in life.
“Those projects were important to my development,” Wozniak said. “I just did it for fun. The best rewards in life aren’t the ones that are extrinsic. The [rewards] that matter are the ones you do for yourself.”
After speaking with Trammell, Campus Chronicle Editor in Chief James Ensor had the opportunity to sit down with Wozniak between speaking engagements to talk about his role as HPU’s Innovator in Residence.
“I’m honored to be HPU’s Innovator in Residence,” Wozniak said. “I hope to offer some ideas as to what [students] might consider doing. I’m going to make some strong comments today on that.”
Wozniak emphasized the importance of students finding their passions and working on projects that interest them.
“Little things that aren’t worth money are what lead up to make you valuable someday and worth money,” Wozniak said. “I never built a computer to make money.”
Wozniak next met with students working on the Woz Project – a project to create an autonomous driving vehicle.
“You can’t [complete a project] in a week,” Wozniak said. “Sometimes it takes more than one year of thinking and working out ideas to actually make something.”
Since his last visit, Wozniak has been advising students on the Woz Project. In November 2016 Wozniak teleconferenced with students to receive project updates.
“Our desire for all students is to prepare them for the world as it is going to be,” Qubein said. “In part, we do that by providing access to innovators like Woz. When students have the opportunity to sit across the table from a legend or a hero, it breaks down the invisible pedestal that we often use to place such iconic figures. My hope is that through human connection, students are inspired with the art of the possible. Woz, just like all of our faculty and staff, is [an advocate] for student success and a life filled with significance.”
Wozniak concluded his visit with a meet and greet session hosted by the Freshman Success Coaches. Students were able to have their photo taken with Wozniak and were also able to get his autograph.
When asked about his thoughts on HPU Wozniak said, “I recommend HPU to people everywhere I go. Being a quality person comes from going to a quality university. I talk about HPU [all over] the world.”