The Future is Yours


Considering the reputation that Des Moines Area Community College’s (DMACC) ciWeek has established over the last seven years, it is an honor to be asked to take part as a guest speaker.  Dr. Reed Timmer, who chases tornados and was the star of the Discovery Channel’s Hit Series “Storm Chasers,” was included in this year’s lineup. “After reading about their previous speakers including all of the astronauts who have been to space and walked on the moon, I knew this one was going to be special,” recalls Timmer in an interview after the week had concluded.

Often times students arrive at college with one of two mindsets: they either know exactly what they want to do and have the next ten years planned out or they have no clue what they want to do tomorrow let alone where they want to be in five or ten years. During his talk, Dr. Timmer motivated students into following their passion. He showed videos of storms he has chased, and shared that he had always dreamed of being a storm chaser and meteorologist.” He was fortunate enough to be able to make that dream a reality and wanted to show students that their dreams could become their life one day. He was able to use his talk, entitled “Never Stop Chasing” and translate it to real life lessons. This title “doesn’t only apply to tornadoes and hurricanes; it represents an important message to never stop pursuing your dreams in life.”  

Storm Chasers  credit Discovery Channel

Storm Chasers credit Discovery Channel

In reflection, Dr. Timmer recalled that “it would be impossible for an attendee of this event to not be fired up and want to pursue their dreams and tackle all of life’s challenges” simply due to the nature of the event. CiWeek, which originated in 2010, occurs each year as a way to inspire all to never stop pushing toward achieving their dreams. Dr. Timmer believes that events like this “are vital to bridging the gap between being a student and succeeding in the real world after college.”

Throughout a student’s time in college, they are bombarded with information and do not always know how to utilize it after they graduate. Philip Graham, a member of the class of 2018, believes that “the week was meant to bring awareness to how important creativity is in the workforce and how with just an idea, you can be an innovator.” There is a difference between learning in a comfortable classroom setting and applying those skills at your first job. In today’s world it is more important than ever for students to come out of college with transferable skills and be ready to work; therefore, when “events like ciWeek allow speakers to share first-hand how they have pursued their dreams and used the knowledge gained over their lives to succeed,” they are able to inspire students in ways they never imagined.

The DMACC Chronicle, the college’s student-run newspaper, sent students to multiple events throughout the week to cover the stories being shared. Graham, a Digital Production and Journalism Major, chose to take on the story and said he had a lot of fun doing it. After doing his own research on the speakers he developed a deeper understanding of what they had accomplished and why Dr. Paustian had chosen to bring them to campus. This may have been the first time Graham attended ciWeek; however, “it didn’t seem like [he] was on a beat or a story. [He] felt like [he] was there for [his] own self-interest and [he] enjoyed it.”

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