ICE sponsored speakers and events inspire and encourage us to pursue our passions

Inspiration abounds in the ESE classes.  What inspires you? 

heather-evans-smithOn October 20, students in Professor Jan Detter’s ESE 100 class had the opportunity to meet Heather Evans Smith and hear about what inspires her to create her award winning photography.

“How we see the world often determines our creativity. Heather sees the world through the lens of awe and mystification,” says Detter who encourages us to be ‘awake and alert’ to our own lives.

Evans Smith leads herself through creative exercises, a habit she learned as a child to fend off boredom.  Often times she is inspired through music.  She listens to a song and envisions images that she then creates through photographs.  She has produced a series of photographs called “My Beatles” from her favorite Beatles songs.

Her photos are meaningful to her but they resonate with others as well.  One of her award winning photographs, Let My Machine Talk To Me, was chosen for Canon and Ron Howard’s Project Imagination contest.  She found the subject for this photo – the robot – of all places in Jan Detter’s studio!

She is currently working on a series she calls “threading”, which is inspired by memories of her late grandmother and her grandmother’s love of sewing.  She has also done cover photos for several issues of The Wake Forest Magazine. Her portfolio can be found here.

Heather Evans Smith lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her work reflects her southern roots, motherhood, womanhood and a whimsical imagination she relied on as an only child in a rural town. Smith’s work has been featured in solo and joint exhibitions nationwide, magazines, literary journals and online publications. She has been an invited guest lecturer at colleges, universities and photography conferences such as Australian Exposure in the Gold Coast, Australia. (Taken from Facebook.Heatherevanssmithphotography.)

Computer Science Department and ICE Program host Wake Forest alum and tech entrepreneur, John Quinn.

john-quinn-event-imageOn November 4, we heard from John Quinn ’95, co-founder of, a blockchain based, distributed storage provider, who is responsible for sales, marketing, customer success, and capital formation.

John Quinn, who did his undergraduate work in Russian Studies and Economics, is a recovering investment banker from Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, a former managing director of a $200 million private equity fund and lover of distributed systems that disrupt centralized services. is disrupting tech giants such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.  Quinn says that anything centralized can be decentralized, using terms such as decentralization, sharing economy, trust list encryption, and P to P networks to describe what Storj is all about.  Think of the Uber and Airbnb model.  Do you want to rent space on your hard-drive?  Be the Cloud!  Check out

We got our DADA on!

Also on November 4, students in Professor Lynn Book’s ESEdada-10-31-announcement-image 100 classes helped transform the ZSR Library into a space that became part cabaret, movie theater, concert hall, and eatery at a public event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the highly influential art and design movement, DADA.

This was a collaborative event organized by Professor Book that included more than 60 WFU students, student ventures (including UpDog Kombucha), CreateWFU, a new student organization affiliated with the E-Society, and 15 WFU faculty from across 10 departments.  The interdisciplinary performance based focus of this event reflects what the Dada artists were doing 100 years ago.

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Cabaret Voltaire and DADA.  A burst of an idea in 1916, the art movement known as DADA gave birth to a new 20th Century creativity. It spread through and beyond the arts and reverberated in cities across Europe and the Americas.

DADA raised the bar for innovation developing new approaches to creative action and activism, setting the path for imaginative methods leading to unexpected outcomes.  DADA challenged everything – and nothing was ever the same.