ciWeek welcomes astronauts and innovators to DMACC West Campus


The three Apollo 15 prime crew members can be seen inside the Apollo 15 Command Module during simulation training at the Kennedy Space Center. Astronaut David R. Scott, commander, is in the background to the left. Astronaut Alfred M. Worden, center foreground, is the command module pilot. Out of view, to the right background, is astronaut James B. Irwin, lunar module pilot. Warden is one of the featured presenters at CIWeek. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – NASA Archive

CiWeek (Celebrate Innovation Week) is an annual DMACC West event where speakers from many different walks of life come and share their experiences.

This upcoming ciWeek runs Feb. 27 – March 2, 2017. There are eight speakers ranging from astronauts to a world-renowned rock climber. In the past they’ve had many well-known speakers such as LeVar Burton, an actor from “Reading Rainbow,” and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.

“The primary goal of every program and course offering has been to foster student creativity and innovation. CiWeek is the thriving, inspiring, embodiment of this goal,” according to the ciWeek website.

The speakers for this year include Kevin Jorgeson, Alfred Worden, Thomas Kenneth Mattingly II, Dan Gable, Kaila Mullady, Greg Russell, Max Brooks, Joy Hakim, and founder of ciWeek, DMACC West Provost Anthony Paustian.

Kevin Jorgeson is a world-renowned rock climber. Jorgenson discovered rock climbing at the age of ten and by the age of nineteen was the top ranked climber for his age in the country. On January 14, 2015, after six years of preparation, Jorgeson successfully free-climbed the 3,000 foot tall rock formation at Yosemite National Park, “The Dawn Wall,” in nineteen days.

Climbing partner Tommy Caldwell and Jorgeson prepared, planned and imagined their way to the top of a dream that everyone else thought was impossible, according to the ciWeek website.

Alfred Worden is an astronaut and aerospace engineer. He served as a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 9 flight and as backup command module pilot for the Apollo 12 flight. Worden then became Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 15 lunar mission in 1971. He’s one of the only 24 people to have flown to the moon, according to the NASA website.

Thomas Kenneth Mattingly II is an astronaut and aerospace innovator. He served as a member of the astronaut support crew for missions Apollo 8 and Apollo 11. Mattingly is also the astronaut representative in the development and testing of the Apollo spacesuit and backpack, according to the NASA website.

Dan Gable is an Olympic Gold Medalist and University of Iowa wrestling head coach. Born and raised in Iowa, Gable was an undefeated wrestler, winning 64 prep matches and was 117-1 at Iowa State University. He was a two-time NCAA National Wrestling Champion and three-time all-American and three-time Big Eight Champion, according to his website.

Gable won the gold at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich Germany. He joined the Iowa coaching staff in the same year and took over the program in 1976. In his coaching career, he has won 15 NCAA National Wrestling Team Titles, coached 152 All-Americans, 45 National Champions, 106 Big Ten Champions and 12 Olympians.

Kaila Mullady is the 2015 World Beatbox Champion. Mullady fuses beatboxing with poetry, rap, singing and theater. As well as beatboxing, Mullady teaches creative workshops across the country.

Greg Russell is an Oscar-Nominated sound engineer. Russell has worked on more than 200 films and various TV shows such as, “Spider-Man,” the “Transformers” series, and “RoboCop.” According to the ciWeek website, Russell has been nominated for 16 Academy Awards and in 1984 won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Film Sound Mixing.

Max Brooks is a New York Times best-selling author for his books, “The Zombie Survival Guide,” “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War,” and “The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks.”

Joy Hakim is a textbook author who has been publishing books since 1993. Her 10-Volume “A History of US” was produced as a TV series by PBS. Hakim has earned many awards such as the James A. Michener Award for Writing. She has also wrote “The Story of Science” series which features three volumes, “Aristotle Leads the Way,” “Newton at the Center,” and “Einstein Adds a New Dimension.”

Anthony Paustian is the founder of ciWeek, as well as an author and educator. Paustian is the author of “Imagine!,” “Beware the Purple People Eaters,” and “A Quarter-Million Steps: Creativity, Imagination and Leading Transformative Change.”

Paustian hand-picks the speakers each year and is very pleased with how popular Celebrate Innovation Week has become. His goal with this project was to inspire young college students and everyone who attends.

A schedule for the speakers can be found online at CiWeek is also broadcast to each DMACC location for those not able to make it to the DMACC West Campus. If you have any ideas or suggestions for Anthony Paustian about ciWeek contact him at, as he is always open to suggestions and ideas on how to improve ciWeek.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *