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By Texas Powers - Deputy Editor in Chief. October 18, 2019 - 9:38 am
Jerre Stead is far from your average university student. The muscular six-foot junior might easily be mistaken for a lead singer of a death metal band due to the vast tattoos covering most of his body. The 38-year-old male is often one of the oldest in the class and his booming personality intrigues most who stop to talk to him.
Like many men his age in 2005, Stead enlisted in the US Military. After 6 1/2 years of following other’s orders, building other’s careers, and simply doing what other people told him to, he was medically retired after breaking his neck in the line of duty.
This broken man who served his country looked at himself and saw that after all this time, he hadn’t really developed. He didn’t see his life moving forward in any meaningful way.
“When I left the military, I told myself I would never dedicate my time, my attention, and my energy to build somebody else’s dream. I would put all my time and attention to building my own, so that’s where university comes in”, Stead explained.
Today, Stead is studying integrated multimedia at Hawai’i Pacific University. After graduating, he plans to operate his own business which he initiated this past summer trading digital goods for food, shelter, and expenses in Indonesia. This is something he hopes to continue to do all around the world. Jerre sees himself graduating HPU and traveling to South America to find work. Stead added that, “graduating and moving to LA would be a mistake, because it’s very competitive. There’s a thousand people that’ll be in line waiting to do the exact same thing that I can do and we’ll all just be a slightly different shade of blue.”
Stead attributes most of his confidence in his abilities to Quest Kennelly, assistant professor of integrated multimedia, Department of Communication. He describes Kennelly as mean and unforgiving on work, but not on your grade. This tactic prepares the student to the reality that a client may not like your work even if you do everything they ask of you. This also raises the value of his praise so when he says you did a good job, you know he means it.
Being able to provide someone with a digital representation of themselves is endlessly valuable… It’s priceless.
Stead believes that the work he does is incredibly valuable. While many could argue that you could simply do that for yourself, Jerre would argue the skills needed take years of practice to become truly proficient. Furthermore, he also argues that the switch from print is necessary to save the planet from global warming.