By Timothy Posler — In the ever-challenging field of business, students seeking careers and internships need that extra edge to be noticed. They need that special something to help them rise above the competition. More emphasis than ever before is being placed on having a broad range of knowledge. Many employers are not looking anymore for students who excel in one technical area, while skills such as communication, and out-of-the-box thinking lag far behind. The skills of creativity and innovation, in our current dynamic world, are growing more necessary every year for successful college graduates to possess.
A cornerstone course of the creativity and innovation initiative is “The Creative Process”, led by Director of Creativity and Innovation Landon Young. Now Ii its third year this course explores the origins of the creative mind, the creative process and how creativity is expressed. Students also learn how creativity is expressed in multiple disciplines while analyzing the creative process through biography, interview, invited lectures, analytical reading, discussion and hands-on experimentation.
Currently, students of “The Creative Process” are working on ideas to reimagine The Cage, one of three dining locations on campus operated by Fresh Ideas Food Management in cooperation with William Jewell College. Under consideration are new ideas for the furniture and lighting, a mobile app for ordering and the possibility of adding alcoholic beverages to the menu.
William Jewell College also participates in the University Innovation Fellows program of the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation. Five students at William Jewell were named as fellows in 2014, joining 58 students nationwide. Another five Jewell students are currently undergoing the rigorous training process for 2015-16. These five students engage with Stanford University for six weeks in pursuit of Innovation Fellow status. Several on-campus events are currently in planning, including a regional meeting of Innovation Fellows. Representatives from Stanford, Google and Tesla Motors are expected to lead discussions concerning “Moonshot” thinking which is described as “large ideas that are way up there, and barely feasible”. The director of the University Innovation Fellows program from NYC has also been invited.
In most recent news, the WJC Creativity and Innovation program completed a new round of Innovation Grants for faculty, student entrepreneurial research and unpaid student internships at innovative companies. Students are encouraged to contact Professor Landon Young to learn more about available Innovation Grants.