By Justin Riley — In the fast paced and always changing world we live in, the ability to express creativity and find new solutions is a trait that is growing in value. In the past two years at William Jewell, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship have been subjects of emphasis throughout campus. Landon Young, Director of Creativity and Innovation at Jewell, has done an exceptional job of emphasizing the importance of creativity. Many institutions across America do not offer their students the opportunity to explore personal creativity and the value of self-expression.
During a week in early May students, staff, and faculty that displayed extraordinary creativity were recognized and celebrated. A total of 50 individuals were recognized and awarded between $50-$70 each. Professor Young stated, “It’s just a great way to honor and recognize those on campus who exemplify creativity in their field.”
Through the creativity and entrepreneurship department, Professor Young has also been able to take a group of students to large entrepreneurship conventions. This spring, he and five Jewell students travelled to Omaha, Nebraska for a large entrepreneurship gathering called, Big Omaha. At this event, students were able to meet and learn from successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists such as Brad Feld, David Houser and Tom Anderson, the founder of MySpace. Big Omaha provided a great opportunity for students to build connections and dive deeper into entrepreneurship. At the conclusion of the 3 days, students walked away with greater knowledge about a field of study that interests them as well as promising internship opportunities.
Through his Creativity 101 course, Professor Young provides students with multiple opportunities to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship. The course is taught by Landon as well as other professors from different departments. Having staff from other departments at Jewell co-teach and come in to speak about creativity in their field, gives students different perspectives about how creativity can be applied.
The creativity course meets weekly in the Idea X-Change had 30 students enrolled during the spring semester. Future plans call for growing enrollment to 100 or more by reaching out to a wider group of students. With this push towards expanding creativity and innovation on campus, Young reiterates the importance of not limiting the course to a certain group of students. Learning about creativity and discovering ones creative capacities can be beneficial to anyone. Offering an array of opportunities to dive into the subject of creativity is just another way Jewell is better preparing their students for future endeavors.