Digital Communication Program Hosts Speaker Series

The Digital Communication Program has sponsored the Leaders Speak Series which features guests from around Iowa. Allowing students the opportunity to hear and learn from personal experiences. The presentations, which are held in the MTC, start at 6 PM and are open to the public. The two most recent guests were Lyle Muller and Michael Ott.

Muller served as a reporter and later the editor of The Gazette in Cedar Rapids. He currently serves as the executive director of Iowa Watch, whose mission is to “maintain an independent, non-partisan journalistic program dedicated to producing and encouraging explanatory and investigative journalism in Iowa, engaging in collaborative reporting efforts with Iowa news organizations and educating journalism students.” Muller’s speech covered the challenges in the media industry following massive cuts in numbers of reporters, how traditional media is adapting to the emergence of new media and how students can work to create better journalism for the future.

Michael Ott was the final speaker of the series for the fall semester. Ott is an entrepreneur and founder of Terra Biologics. His speech highlighted the lessons learned on his path to new business ventures. Ott also urged students to accept making mistakes when trying new things because it leads to innovations and an opportunity to a better path forward.

William Penn’s president John Ottosson said, “Overall, I think coming to this speaker series can help individuals grow in their knowledge and form their own solid opinions while becoming more secure in their actions so that they can become successful.”

The Leaders Speak Series will continue in the spring semester. The presentation dates are:

  • Feb. 15, 2017- Sarah Derry with “Greatness STEMs from Iowans”
  • March 14, 2017- Daniel Boscaljon with “The Wonder of Thinking at All”
  • April 11, 2017- Adrienne Haynes with “Redefining the Status Quo”

Lauren Abbas, Leaders Speak Series coordinator says, “The purpose of the Leaders Speak series is to bring diverse speakers to William Penn students and local community members. Regenerate: planting ideas for generations is our theme for this year’s speaker series because we want to open up the conversation about different subjects so that individuals will become active in the changes they want to see in the community”.


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