Louis Carr lectures for Innovation Fellows Program

Student Innovation Center offers programs for all students to encourage innovation.

Student Innovation Center offers programs for all students to encourage innovation.

Audrey Holtkamp

Iowa State’s Innovation Fellows Program hosted Louis Carr, president of media sales at Black Entertainment Television, on Oct. 23 for a virtual lecture about cultivating one’s influence to create meaningful change.

The Innovation Fellows Program is sponsored by the Student Innovation Center and is part of President Wendy Wintersteen’s Initiative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Karen Kerns, entrepreneur-in-residence for the initiative, said the event was one of many short circuit lectures to be hosted by the Interdisciplinary Innovation Fellows Program this year.

“We are breaking down all sorts of silos — faculty, staff, students, industry collaborators learning with each other,” Kerns said. “We’re not doing things to students or for students, we’re doing it with them.”

Nacuya Rucker, university library external relations director, said the program aims to help its members better utilize the voice they have in social media and real life.

“We’re trying to work with them to find ways to teach them and guide them and give them the tools and skill sets that they need in order to use that voice and that platform, whatever that may be,” Rucker said.

The event with Carr took place on WebEx and was a question-and-answer-based discussion moderated by Rucker. Kerns provided commentary on the discussion in the call as well.

Carr discussed a wide variety of topics relating to succeeding in the professional world and effectively using one’s voice to create meaningful change.

Carr said successful careers are built on relationships one builds with others.

“It’s about those relationships that give you the opportunity to [have an] influence,” Carr said.

He also said he believes having a voice is a right and a privilege.

“You have a voice, it’s just [about] learning how to use it, and getting your voice is a journey,” Carr said.

He said he has hope because of the younger generations’ passion and willingness to speak up.

“You have been the driver of social change in 2020,” Carr said. “I am so proud of your voice.”

Rucker said she hopes the attendees learned how to effectively have an influence from Carr.

“I hope that students walk away with a better understanding of how to use current platforms [and] how to build their own platforms … and how to use their voice in a way that elevates, propels and accelerates whatever it is they’re passionate about,” Rucker said.