Dr. Paul Stuart Wichansky

   Sharing the voice and vision of courage and optimism.
Motivational and Keynote Speaker for Schools, Colleges, Companies, and Organizations.


"As a college professor for over 30 years, I've had hundreds of guest speakers in my classes: famous athletes, winning coaches, world-class experts, even the governor of the state! Only one of these speakers has ever received a standing ovation from my students: Dr. Paul Stuart Wichansky. College students are appreciative; they are just a little reluctant to show it! Not so with Dr. Wichansky. He stole their hearts. For some, he changed their lives. How do I know? My students have told me, sometimes years later.

Dr. Wichansky has spoken in several of my classes and, every single time, it was an amazing event. He is a remarkable speaker and even a more remarkable person. Dr. Wichansky is easily the best speaker in America."

Rob Gilbert, Ph.D.
Professor of Sport Psychology
Montclair State University

Dr. Paul with former New Jersey governor Tom Kean

"Paul, your keynote address provided a shining example to our athletes -- and to all of us -- of what individuals can accomplish when they focus on developing their gifts and talents. This is a lesson that our incredible athletes and dedicated volunteers have learned through their involvement with Special Olympics."

"Your inspiring story went a long way in reinforcing this valuable message! In just a few minutes, you were able to take the stage and form an immediate and unique bond with the 1,000 athletes gathered in the Pavilion. I hope you enjoyed the experience as much as all of your spectators did."

Janine M. Cesare, President
Special Olympics Pennsylvania at Villanova University

"Paul, you are amazing! That is the only way I can sum up how quickly you have made me laugh and feel so inspired. Your stories are fantastic and loaded with such insight, passion, and humor! You are one of the most unique and truly amazing new friends I have ever made. I brag about you constantly to my other friends and family, and can't wait until you get to meet them all. Anytime, seriously anytime, you want to get together again, and grab some food, or just hang out as friends you let me know. By the way, your writing is impeccable. I can't remember last time I wrote so much without having to do it for college! See how you yet again inspire. I need to add that your unique BMW is just too amazing! You seriously have a (pimp) ride."

Keith Grabowsky
Rutgers University student

"Dr. Paul is simply the most inspirational person I have ever met. He and I have formed a wonderful relationship since meeting many years ago at Rutgers University. I have had the honor of sitting in on several of Paul's motivational assemblies and I have seen, first-hand, the impact he has on everyone from elementary school children to corporate professionals. Paul's reflections on diversity and the unique abilities of individuals are captivating and are sure to leave an impression on even the hardest of hearts. Paul's story is not one you will soon forget."

Anthony Nugnes
Lowe's Companies, Inc.

"Paul, you have worked really hard to create the life you've always wanted from a place where many people easily give up and end up feeling sorry for themselves (many people do this even without a disability!). You live as an example for others that there is so much more to life than most people even dare to dream of! So many people lose sight of their dreams and do what works in the moment, eventually settling for a life that eventually makes them unhappy. Your assemblies are a powerful counter-strike against that whole concept, and it's really inspiring to see that there are people out there looking (and succeeding!) to make a difference in our world!"

Michael Holak
Rutgers University

"You have a great skill of bringing out the best in people around you. When you walk around the [Douglass College] dining hall and sitting with a student whom you do not yet know, looking for more friends to talk to and more smiles to create, it's heartwarming. There need to be more Paul's in the world! Sharing your story has inspired students to reach deeper within themselves and get the best out of life."

Jennifer Rothmann
Cook College student

"Your words have also made me feel motivated to succeed. I felt like I could take on the world. Life may throw us some curve balls but we always have control of the bat, Paul. We make the decisions in life and we choose whether or not to swing. Life is what we make of it and a positive attitude can go a long way. It's the key to happiness and success. A sense of humor doesn't hurt either, and I know you have got plenty of that!

"In front of me is a true success story and I think that your personality will keep you going for a long, long time ... kind of like the energizer bunny!

Brent Donnelly
Rutgers University student

Although I am studying to be a special education teacher, it is hard for me to know what to expect. When our class was told that we were to have a speaker come to our college who has cerebral palsy, I expected the worst. First and foremost, I thought it would be very sad and emotional. Next, I thought that it would be difficult to concentrate on what he would be saying because of his disability. Lastly, I expected him to be upset about having cerebral palsy. Paul proved all of my assumptions wrong!

I was lit up by his happiness and love of life. I can only think of one time where his presentation brought tears to my eyes. That was when he explained his condition and how it happened. Otherwise, he made me realize that I take my life for granted.

The fireside lounge today was filled with laughter not tears! His story made me put aside all of my assumptions and beliefs so that I can experience the real Paul and to recognize his many outstanding accomplishments. He motivated me to live my life to the fullest, and overcome any obstacles that may come my way.

Marianne Hanna, Student Teacher
Rider University

Dear Dr. Paul, it was such an honor to meet you, and to hear your presentation. It brought a light at the end of a dark tunnel for myself, and for many other of my peers. I have never had anyone change my perspective on so many things at just one moment in time. I don't think that anyone has ever made me tear up as fast as you either. Typing this now I still tear up because it is a spellbinding story that you have shared with us. No matter what life throws at you, you play it out. I just wanted to tell you that all those bullies who messed with you are sure sorry now.

"Look at you, you are more famous than they can ever be. When I saw that all your dreams became a reality, I was utterly the happiest man. I am sure that you may hear this, but I am grateful to have met you, hear what you had to offer me, and my pupils. I thank you a great deal for changing my life, and putting me on the right track to realizing that everything matters.

Nicholas Mattiello
Montclair State University

"Paul's attitude to life, his testimonies, and his sense of humor brought me to a new realization of who I am and who I am really supposed to be. The stories of how he navigated the challenges of his life produced the needed turning point in my own personal life. He exudes a lot of positiveness in his approach to reaching his goals.

Paul colored every path of his ways with humor which generates instant attraction to his manner and style. I have to go to some quiet place and bump myself into this kind of lifestyle. It's a good key to reaching my goal quickly, to live in peace, and to get rid of the stresses in my life and also in the lives of people around me."

Timothy Awujoola
New Jersey Association for the Deaf-Blind
Somerset, New Jersey

Colleges and Universities

Photo of Dr. Paul Stuart Wichansky Engaging College Audiences in:

  • Disability Awareness & Acceptance
  • Student and Residence Life
  • Diversity
  • Leadership & Resiliency
  • Drug & Alcohol Prevention
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Fitness & Healthly Living
  • Guest Speaker for College Courses
  • Commencement Speaker
  • Collegiate Athletics
  • Awards Banquets
  • Career Development
  • College Internships
  • Balancing Your Studies & Social Lives
  • Parent Workshops

    Motivational Speaker for colleges and universities

    Through his words and actions, Dr. Paul Stuart Wichansky can be described as "inspiration personified." Embarking on an ambitious journey to conquer the effects of cerebral palsy, Dr. Paul has delivered thousands of motivational programs that inspire his audiences to look beyond a person's disabilities to understand and appreciate one's capabilities. By sharing his personal experiences with humor, and encouraging students to ask questions that can help positively shape their understanding of people with disabilities, Dr. Paul tries to instill a sense of hope, energy, and inspiration that motivates college students and administrators to realize their own goals and dreams.

    Dr. Paul describes those experiences in his life that have allowed him to realize his simple dream of learning to walk. He wants to help college students and administrators develop their respect and understanding for others who may appear to be different than they are, essential for creating a truly diverse campus. While a student at Rutgers University, Paul would regularly visit the dining hall and choose to sit with a fellow student whom he did not yet know. He would ask the student about his classes, hobbies, hometown, favorite movies and books, and Paul would end up making a new friend! So when the student saw Paul at the dining hall again, he would end up sitting with Paul and introduce his own friends as well. Paul made the effort to create a truly diverse multicultural campus!

    university athletic keynote

    In this iconic photo above, Paul captivates thousands of athletes, coaches, and parents during an athletic keynote at Villanova University. Paul is standing on stage behind the podium and introduced to the audience by its esteemed University president, Rev. Edmund J. Dobbin.

    Nearly 35 years later, Dr. Paul has since delivered over 7000 motivational programs to hundreds of thousands of children and teens, parents, teachers, and college students. He has captivated high-school students at peer leadership conferences, motivated thousands of athletes and coaches at the Special Olympics, and inspired government representatives at the United Nations. His video emphasizes a true testament to the unrelenting power of courage and unconditional love, shared through his experiences and feelings of self-criticism, frustration, reflection, humor, joy, and, ultimately, triumph.

    Paul has earned a Ph.D in environmental science, under the option of atmospheric science, from Rutgers University. He was the recipient of their first annual New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Graduate Scholar award. The lead author of a book chapter in New Jersey's Environments: Past, Present, and Future, Paul describes how historical land use change in New Jersey (since the late 19th century) may have influenced its regional weather and climate. His innovative research has been published in leading scientific journals and he has received official recognition from NOAA as well as a grant from NASA for advancing our knowledge of the regional weather impacts due to documented landscape change. His doctoral research was also featured as the cover story in the New York Times. Following his successful Ph.D defense, Paul was personally congratulated by the New Jersey governor.

    Don't Hassel the Hoff: Autobiography of David HasselhoffPaul's second book contribution is beyond his wildest dreams! He has written a heartfelt thank-you note to actor David Hasselhoff. In his letter, Paul explains how the Knight Rider television series made him understand (at an early age) that each of us can be heroes - in other words, ordinary people who triumph over extraordinary circumstances - like our favorite television characters did each week. Paul's inspirational letter is now published in David's memoirs, and available in bookstores internationally. Paul's thank-you note, the only fan letter published in David's book, appears on Pages 273-278 of the United States version.

    Readers who commented his contribution to David's autobiography, including an email from The Hoff himself, is available here.

    Paul's speaking resume includes students at the New Jersey State Police Academy as well as undergraduate and graduate students at Rutgers University, Cook College, Rider University, Kean University, Ramapo College, Montclair State University, Wheaton College, Loyola University Chicago, Western Connecticut State University, Villanova University, Bloomsburg University, and the University of New Haven. He has been invited to guest lecture in college courses, dine with professors and faculty, and host riveting, engaging keynotes that are open to all university students and staff.

    University presidents and academic deans have also been inspired by Dr. Paul's riveting story. He is honored to have them in his audiences. He even shared his experiences with former New Jersey governor Tom Kean, who was sitting next to Paul in the first row during President Bill Clinton's speech at the Rutgers University stadium.

    His message is simple: when we allow our imagination and our realistic possibilities to soar, we can confidently leap over some of the most overwhelming hurdles that life throws at us.

    Dr. Paul with former governors and senator of New Jersey


    When you invite Dr. Paul to speak on campus, the valuable investment you make delivers promising returns in motivated students and university staff, uplifting and inspiring them to succeed. We work with your university budget to provide exceptional service where everyone walks away inspired. He is available at local community colleges and state universities.

    We encourage you to complete an inquiry form describing the audience, topics, location, and contact information for your desired course, college day/month, or residence life event where Dr. Paul is invited to participate. Each inquiry is seriously considered.

    His Delighted Clients:

  • United Nations, Special Session on Children
  • National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse
    (Turning Resources & Energy in New Directions, TREND)
  • United States Customs Service
  • Keynote Speaker, Special Olympics Pennsylvania
  • Keynote Speaker, Special Olympics New Jersey
  • Keynote Speaker, Special Olympics New York
  • Conference Presenter, New Jersey Education Association
  • New Jersey Department of Labor
    (New Jersey Social Security Alliance)
  • Conference Keynote, Statewide Parents Advocacy Network (SPAN)
  • Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey
  • New Jersey Cooperative Education & Internship Association
  • Anti-Bullying Speaker, Jr. Teen Institute of the Garden State (TIGS)
  • Conference Keynote, Morris County Education Association
  • Anti-Bullying Keynote Speaker, Sussex County Anti-Bullying Summit
  • Central Jersey Job Developers Association
  • Prevention First, New Jersey Coalition on Disabilities & Addictions
  • State of New Jersey, Division of the Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing
  • Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey
  • Monmouth County Department of Human Services
  • Keynote, New Jersey Office of Disability Services, Atlantic County
  • Sussex County Center for Prevention and Counseling
  • Closing Keynote, Power of One Speaker Series
    Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
  • Evening Dinner Keynote, Full Circle Massage Therapists

    Rutgers UniversityAmong his clients in advanced academia:

  • Rutgers - New Brunswick
  • Rider University
  • Montclair State University
  • Rutgers Graduate School of Education, New Brunswick, N.J.
  • Villanova University
  • Wheaton College
  • Western Connecticut State University
  • Evening Keynote, University of Virginia
  • Keynote for Best Buddies, Loyola University Chicago
  • Class Speaker and Evening Keynote, Bloomsburg University
  • Leadership Keynote, University of New Haven

    He has even inspired members of the New York Giants football team. Here, teammates Bear Pascoe (#86), Terrell Thomas (#24), and team chaplain George McGovern share a laugh with Dr. Paul. He was invited to sit with the team at a charity fundraiser and share his insights and experiences with them.

    Dr. Paul with members of the New York Giants football team

  • Shattering Stereotypes. Triumphing over Adversity. Soaring towards Success. JustTheWayYouAre.com