FYE Speaker Series Brings in Freshmen

By Duane Paul Murphy

The First Year Experience Speaker Series hosted a Georgia State University professor on Tuesday, March 8th in the Edward J. Pryzbyla Great Rooms. The speaker’s main message was that disruption is the main factor that is causing societies and companies to adapt and thrive in the globalized world.

Paul Voss, Ph. D, was the keynote speaker of the event. Voss is also the founder and president of Ethikos, a company based in suburban Atlanta that provides public speaking events and business ethics consulting to private or public sector organizations. He believes the definition of disruption is the ability to change one’s self in order for an individual or collective to adapt and thrive in a new environment or they will suffer and collapse when events or structures start to drastically transform.
“He (Michelangelo) had what I call a “Michelangelo Moment,” said Voss when referring to the artist’s career path moving towards something beyond traditional sculpting. “A moment you all are going to have someday. That day when have to shift or pivot, when you have to redefine yourself, refashion yourself.”

Throughout the entire event, Voss discussed how the idea of disruption applied to contemporary businesses and how it will apply to the future of potential college graduates. He used examples such as Netflix and Uber to provide a point that these organizations thrive as a result of immense industrial change. Voss went on to say that the contemporary globalized economy is about both experience and efficiency in the digital age.

During the end of his presentation, he said that people must have humility, grit, leadership, and general high intelligence in order to obtain goals. At the end of the event, many students were both satisfied and not quite interested in what he had to say.

“I thought this event was very inspirational and motivating,” said freshman Exploratory major Caroline Oftring. “The speaker was very encouraging and told us many challenges facing our generation and how we need to overcome those challenges in order to succeed in our careers.” Oftring went on to say, “I thought it was interesting when he talked about how the founder of Netflix was a guy who was frustrated with the Blockbuster franchise and wanted to get back at them.”

“I didn’t really enjoy it that much, I thought it wasn’t cool how he turned it at the end all about religion,” said freshman Politics major Ayah Alkhafaji when discussing how the idea of disruption and certain life qualities are exemplary with the Catholic Church. “I think it was interesting, however, I enjoyed how he talked about Michelangelo and out that into perspective.”

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