GCC Focuses on Creativity at First-Ever Conference

Distinguished Leader of CPSI, Dr. John Fredericks, Gives Keynote Address

Batavia, NY - Anyone who has ever doubted their own creativity, or questioned the impact of creativity in the workplace or in a classroom should attend the one-day Creativity Conference at Genesee Community College on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 from 8:15 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. The conference is open to all and features engaging sessions targeted for the business world and academia.

“Every one of us is creative in our own way, every day,” said Dr. Lina LaMattina, director of GCC’s Business Programs. Dr. LaMattina is so committed to helping people explore and understand their own creativity that she and her colleagues organized a one-day conference to focus on creativity in the work place and in education coinciding with Creativity and Innovation Week, which is April 15-21, 2014.

“We hope the sessions and discussion generated at the conference will stimulate and expand upon a global conversation about creativity,” added Dr. LaMattina. “Some people are intimated by the idea of creativity and it restricts their thinking. We want to show them how they can be deliberately creative in their professional, academic and personal lives.”

The conference will feature a keynote address by Dr. John Fredericks, executive director of the Center for Executive Leadership and Change at Daemen College. Dr. Fredericks is recognized as a distinguished leader of the internationally renowned Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) for his work in facilitating creative problem solving leadership.
A dynamic group of presenters with diverse backgrounds and skills will be leading the various sessions. From patent holders to fashion and textile experts, improv practitioners to industrial designers, performing artists and comedians to an English professor, as well as inventors to innovators—all will be participating in the Conference providing an exciting lineup of vibrant topics.

In the Education Strand, the following sessions have been scheduled.
•Teaching Techniques to Encourage Creative Thinking presented by Dr. Lynn M. Boorady, associate professor at Buffalo State College
•Enhancing Expertise with Imaginative Thinking: Weaving Creativity into your Content presented by Dr. Sue Keller-Mathers, associate professor of Creative Studies at Buffalo State College
•What might creativity look like in my students? presented by Pamela Szalay, co-founder the Beyonder Youth Program at Buffalo State College
•Using the Concept of “Yes, And” to Promote Creative Thinking presented by Jane Fischer, co-founder Improv Connections, and Beth Slazak a member of the Applied Improvisers Network
•Facilitating Learning Communities presented by Mitchell R. Alegre, adjunct professor of Management and coordinator of Special Projects at Niagara University

Sessions focused in the Business Strand include:
•Options Thinking: Empowering Individuals to Make Better Decisions presented Barbara Shine, former GCC Business professor and retired director at The BEST Center who continues to work as a consultant
•Innovation and the Start-Up Company presented by James Burns, product design and development consultant with patents in optical systems, antennas and consumer electronics
•Igniting Imagination and Removing Inhibitions to Creativity in Business presented by Maryanne Arena, GCC’s director of Fine and Performing Arts and Norman Gayford, GCC professor of English.

“Our 21st Century economy demands creative thinking skills in order to survive and thrive in the workplace,” said LaMattina. “We invite everyone to come, explore, learn, discuss and get ready to implement creativity tools, techniques and best practices in your organization.”

Dr. LaMattina initiated the idea for the conference along with her GCC colleagues Barbara Shine, Valerie Bello and Judith Littlejohn and other members of the Creativity Innovation Committee. They received funding for the event from two GCC Foundation grants: the President’s Innovation Award Program and the Stuart Steiner Leadership Award. “We hope this conference will both reinforce and build GCC’s foundation for generating and applying creative thinking throughout all aspects of college life,” Dr. LaMattina added.

Registration is $99 per person for the full day which includes lunch as well as morning and afternoon refreshments. For details or to register go to: http://www.genesee.edu/events/creativity-conference/. The schedule is subject to change and additional conference sessions are still being developed.

For further information contact Dr. Lina LaMattina:
lmlamattina@genesee.edu or call 585-343-0055 ext. 6319.

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