• ciLive! at DMACC is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2024.

  • The theme of this year’s event is “No Limits” and will feature a wide variety of speakers.

  • All ciLive! 15 speaker events are FREE to attend and are open to the public; free livestreaming is also available via e360tv.

Join us for ciLive! at DMACC as we celebrate the limitless possibilities of innovation!

DMACC is set to host its 15th Annual Celebrate! Innovation (ciLive! 15) event on Thur., April 4, 2024, at the DMACC West Campus in West Des Moines. This year’s ciLive! theme is “No Limits” and will highlight achievements fueled by unlimited imagination, inspiration and collaboration. Thanks to the generous support of sponsors, all ciLive! speaker events are free to attend and open to the public. Free event livestreaming is also available via e360tv.

“We're pleased to welcome another fascinating and accomplished group of speakers to the 15th Annual ciLive! at DMACC," said ciLive! founder and DMACC West Campus Provost Dr. Anthony Paustian. “ciLive! at DMACC is 100 percent free to attend, so we hope as many people as possible will take advantage of this great opportunity to hear directly from these outstanding innovators and creators."

Above: Watch a special video preview of ciLive! 15 at DMACC (also available here on YouTube).


ciLi​ve! 15​ will feature the following schedule of speakers on Thur., April 4, 2024, at the DMACC West Campus, 5959 Grand Ave., in West Des Moines (campus map). All times are CDT and subject to change.

  • 9 a.m. – Will (Keeps) Holmes, founder of the Starts Right Here initiativeWill Holmes, better known as Will Keeps, was born into a traumatic life on the South Side of Chicago and found a form of love and security when he joined the Blackstones gang at age 13. Two years later, Will witnessed a rival gang murder his friend. When the gun was pointed to Will's head, it jammed and he was then nearly beaten and tortured to death, leaving him badly scarred inside and out. Though he survived, this was only the beginning of Will's second act, a life devoted to saving others. Coupling advocacy with music, Will found that his God-given abilities and his story of bravery and perseverance empower others to go down a better path. Will has also written a new memoir, “WillPower,” that was published in fall 2023.

  • 10 a.m. – Maureen “Mo" Beck, competitive climberMo Beck was born without her left hand, but that didn't stop her from picking up the sport of climbing at age 12. Named National Geographic's Adventurer of the Year,” Mo works closely with the adaptive climbing community as an instructor with Paradox Sports and serves as the Chair of the USAC Paraclimbing Committee. As a competitive climber, she has won nine national titles and two world titles. In 2018, Mo went on her first alpine expedition to the Northwest Territories in Canada's Nahanni National Park where she and fellow adaptive climber Jim Ewing attempted the legendary Lotus Flower Tower.​

  • 11 a.m. – Dr. Alan Stern & Dr. David Gallo (panel discussion)Dr. Alan Sternplanetary scientist, adventurer and author, has twice been named to Time Magazine's Annual “100 Most Influential People” List. His adventurous spirit led him to successfully travel to the farthest depths of the ocean to visit the Titanic aboard the ill-fated Titan sub and far above the Earth's reach aboard a suborbital flight through Virgin Galactic. Dr. Stern led NASA's New Horizons mission to the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. As NASA's chief for all space and Earth science programs, he oversaw 93 separate flight missions and a program of over 3,000 research grants, with a record 10 new major flight projects starting during his NASA tenure. Dr. David Gallorenowned oceanographer, has explored the depths of all the world's oceans during his career as an oceanographer. He has given numerous TED Talks, including one of the most viewed talks of all time; has appeared as an expert in multiple documentaries and TV shows; and is a frequent contributor on national news media for ocean-related incidents. Dr. Gallo was a co-leader in creating a comprehensive map of the Titanic using new technology consisting of manned submersibles and robots, and he co-led the discovery of the remains of Air France Flight 447.

  • 12:30 p.m. – Commander Susan Kilrain, renowned astronaut, distinguished U.S. Navy test pilot and aerospace engineer, and world travelerCommander Susan Kilrain is the youngest person, and one of only three women, to pilot the space shuttle. She served 20 years in the Navy, helping pave the way for female fighter pilots, and has flown more than 3,000 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft. She is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal and flew as pilot of the STS-83 and STS-94 shuttle missions, spending more than 20 days in space. Commander Kilrain is also the author of the children's book “An Unlikely Astronaut.

  • 1:30 p.m. – Dr. Niall McCann, a National Geographic explorer, adventurer and mountain rescuer: Dr. Niall McCann has been leading multi-disciplinary expeditions to the far-flung parts of the planet for more than two decades. He has rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, skied across Greenland, cycled over the Himalayas, and been on multiple rock climbing and mountaineering trips around the world. Dr. McCann's talk will take us on a journey to the most inhospitable parts of the earth, leading expeditions across oceans and icecaps, and into jungles and mountain ranges all around the world.

  • 2:30 p.m. – Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner (panel discussion)Jonathan Frakes is an actor and director known by many for his role as Commander Riker on the long-running TV series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Jonathan has also lent his voice to a variety of animated projects, including the cult favorite Disney animated series “Gargoyles,” Matt Groening's “Futurama” and Seth McFarlane's “Family Guy.” He holds a unique distinction among Star Trek actors as the only regular to appear in six different Trek television series. Beyond acting, Jonathan is also a veteran director, having helmed several episodes within six different Star Trek series, as well as other television programs, and the feature films “Star Trek: First Contact" and “Star Trek: Insurrection.” Brent Spineran actor and author best-known for his role as the android “Data” in the “Star Trek: Next Generation” franchise, won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Data in the motion picture “Star Trek: First Contact" and was nominated in the same category for portraying Dr. Brackish Okun in the movie “Independence Day." Brent has performed in several Broadway and Off-Broadway plays and appeared in a variety of television series and feature films. He is also a talented musician and author of “Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events.”

  • 5:30 p.m. – Concert featuring The Grass Roots: ciLive! 15 will conclude with a special concert featuring the band The Grass Roots. You may not recognize their name but you know their music. The Grass Roots have charted 29 singles, 13 of which went gold, followed by two gold albums and one platinum album. In the entire history of Rock n' Roll, only nine bands (including The Beatles) have charted more hits than The Grass Roots on the Billboard Hot 100. The band has sold more than 20 million records worldwide with hits like “Temptation Eyes," “Let's Live for Today," “Midnight Confessions," “Two Divided by Love," “Sooner or Later" and “I'd Wait A Million Years.”

ciLive! at DMACC has been hosted by the DMACC West Campus in West Des Moines since the event’s inception in 2010. The College’s West Campus began receiving national recognition for its modern approach to learning soon after campus construction was completed in 2001. Through partnerships with a variety of hardware and software developers, as well as providers of academic content, emerging technologies continue to be an integral part of the DMACC West Campus learning environment.

For more information about ciLive! 15, visit ci.live.

Contact: Dr. Anthony Paustian, (515) 554-8900, adpaustian@dmacc.edu