Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Creative Connections Network Winter 2012 Newsletter

(Re-)Introducing the

Creative Connections Network: 

The Creative Connections Network is the alumni group of the International Center for Studies in Creativity. The CCN was revived earlier this year, and we're pleased to roll out out first quarterly newsletter with this Winter 2012 edition.

An introduction to the CCN:

Dr. Cyndi Burnett, CCN Faculty Advisor :
The Creative Connections Alumni Network was started by Hedria Lunken, more than 20 years ago.  Hedria saw the network as a means to provide a professional framework for continued networking and development  for the current students, alumni, staff and faculty of the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC).

Dr. Mary Murdock was the faculty advisor of Creative Connections for many years.  When she became ill, Creative Connections became quiet, and lives became busy (as they do). 

Last year, when the ICSC faculty created their goals and vision, we realized that one of our goals to was to have a robust Alumni Network.  We knew this could be achieved, in part, through our Creativity Expert Exchange conference, but we wanted to create something bigger.  At that point, I volunteered to be the faculty advisor, and began to solicit the alumni community to find interested people who were willing to commit to an initial six month term for reviving the CCN, with the option of continuing on.  Amy, Stavros, Izzy, and Jenna have been very active in propelling this goal forward and I have already seen the connections being made!

Dr. Cyndi Burnett, CCN Faculty Advisor

Amy Frazier, '12, CCN President:
The revival of the CCN comes at a great time for the ICSC. New initiatives, a steadily increasing enrollment, and the forthcoming launch of the PhD program in 2014 all testify to the dynamic growth of our community – and our field. 
In this context, it would seem incredible to not have the sort of robust Alumni Network the faculty envisioned last year. So, speaking on behalf of Stavros, Jenna, Izzy and myself, I will say that we have all been very excited and honored to helm the first several months of the revived CCN. (And a thanks and acknowledgement to Dana Calanan for her early efforts in the position of secretary.)
         Our work since last spring has been to “lay the pipes” –  putting some structure in place so that we may invite your greater participation in the Network. To this end, we have established our mission and governance structure; deployed a “Conference Ambassador” to spread the word at the various creativity conferences; launched a quarterly newsletter under Jenna’s expert guidance and graced by Ana Castelan’s handsome CCN logo design; established the basis for a mentoring framework, as Izzy describes elsewhere; and – in a complex project headed up by Shawn Kassirir – embarked upon the testing phase of an interactive database which we hope will demonstrate the variety of connections existing among alumni as well as stimulate your interest in creating even more connections.
         As we enter into the next phase of the CCN revival, we’re looking for people to serve in a variety of positions – and are eager to know in what ways you might like to contribute. If you’re curious to know more, contact us at

         We look forward to continuing the journey with you, already begun.

Yours in the creative spirit,
 Amy Frazier, CCN President


Building a community of creative leaders.
By Ismet Mamnoon 

The graduate program at the International Center of Studies in Creativity (ICSC) emphasizes creative leadership.  A significant aspect of a leadership role is mentoring.  The Creative Connections Network (CCN) hopes to provide opportunities for alumni and students to connect and benefit from mentoring relationships. 

The benefits of a mentoring program are twofold. The mentored will benefit from the sharing of experience, guidance and collaboration opportunities with their mentor.  The mentors will benefit from the sharing of a reconnection with the ICSC and the recharging of passion by plugging into the energy of a new graduate/student.  Additional benefit for mentors is that this relationship provides a connection to the newest research and developments at the ICSC.

The ICSC currently promotes such meaningful exchanges at a community level through the Creative Experts Exchange.  The CCN hopes to promote connection and exchange at an individual level through the mentoring program.  In order to facilitate the connections in the CCN mentoring program, alumni will be able to create mentoring profiles on the anticipated CCN database.  These profiles would allow the mentor and mentored to find those individuals who have similar areas of expertise and interest.

The CCN will be responsible for providing the platform for making the connections, however the framework for the mentoring relationship will be created by the individuals who wish to connect.  Information for best practices in mentoring relationships will be posted and shared but will simply be provided as guidelines.

ICSC 4.0:

Promoting four generations of creativity scholarship.
By Ted Mallwitz , '12

Current students and alumni comprise the fourth generation of future ICSC scholars or ICSC 4.0. With this in mind, the ICSC 4.0 is focused on promoting the growth of the International Center for Studies in Creativity both internally and externally through the fostering of collaboration, community, and goal setting that creates synergy between our individual goals and the goals of the ICSC. The ICSC 4.0 will begin with a retreat (details to come soon) open to current students, distance students, and alumni in order to set clear goals, gather data, and develop a concrete vision for the future of the ICSC from the student and alumni perspective. Key concept areas include: expansion, branding, collaboration (both in person and virtually), creating opportunities, and the mindful alignment of ICSC faculty goals and our goals. Through these efforts ICSC 4.0 seeks the realization of the growth and unification of our vast and diverse ICSC family.

Interview with Paul Reali on the ICSC Press:

 By Stavros Michailidis, '10 and Paul Reali, '09

Q:  What is ICSC Press?

A: ICSC Press is the new imprint of the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC) at Buffalo State College. Ultimately, the purpose of our press is to support ICSC’s vision: “Igniting creativity around the world: facilitating the recognition that creative thinking is an essential life skill.” 

Q:  Why did the center create ICSC Press?

A:  The ICSC has long been recognized as a clearinghouse for information on the field of creativity. To expand this role, and to more actively disseminate original and rigorous work, the ICSC decided to launch its own imprint. Bypassing traditional publishers will allow the Press to publish works with more discrete audiences, and to get more quickly to market.

Q:  What type of content will ICSC publish?

A: The goal of ICSC Press is to produce high-quality work that contributes to expanding our understanding of creativity and supports effective creativity practices. To accomplish this goal, ICSC Press will serve as a vehicle for members of our community and other creativity professionals to publish and disseminate their original thinking, in book, ebook, and other forms.  One current initiative is to publish a collection of case studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of creative process, Creative Problem Solving, FourSight, and related methodologies and tools.

Q:  Who is the ideal author for ICSC?

A:  The authors best suited to ICSC Press are: ICSC Faculty, ICSC Graduates, CPS and creativity practitioners, and other academics and creativity professionals who want to make a contribution to the field while bypassing the lengthy academic and trade book publishing industry.

Q:  How should interested parties contact you?

Talk: 716-253-1871

Growing the CCN...

Want to become involved in the revival of the CCN? Over the next several months we will be looking for people who would be interested in serving in the following positions. Contact us at to learn more.

Current Creative Connections Network Leadership Team

Amy Frazier, President
Stavros Michailidis, Vice President
Jenna Smith, Secretary
Ismet Mamnoon, Treasurer
Dr. Cyndi Burnett, Faculty Advisor

Open Positions

A liaison to the membership community.
A coordinator of technology for CCN, including database and website.
Professional Development
A steward for opportunities and the development of programs.
A central point of contact and messaging.
Special Projects
A dedicated person for trying new things, such as community outreach, funding sources, etc.h

Creative Class Notes

Liz Aebersold '11 recently keynoted at the Project Management Institute Seattle Chapter on the need for Project Managers to be catalysts for creativity and change.  Liz teaches in the UT Austin Executive Education program in the School of Engineering on Creativity, Innovation and Leadership.

Chris Grivas '99 ICSC Graduate and co-author of "The Innovative Team" has recently had pieces related to his book published in Training Magazine,, Fast Company Magazine, and among others.

Marta Davidovich Ockuly  '11 and eminent creativity researcher Dr. Ruth Richards were invited to present the results of the research study they co-authored titled: “How Do You Define Creativity?" at the 120th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association in Orlando, FL, August 3, 2012.  Link to the presentation is here.

Erik op ten Berg '12 served as a creativity expert at the opening show of the ConceptLab at the Dutch Design Week, where design students competed to create new products for smart houses, during three days situated in a glass house.  Erik also shared best practices for accelerating the creative process, amid chaos in the house!

Nathan Schwagler '08 is currently serving the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg College of Business as: "Creative in Residence", and as an Instructor of Entrepreneurship. Recent accomplishments include mentoring a team of students to a 1st place finish in a national entrepreneurship competition.

Marci Segal '01  was recently named a futurist by the World Future Society and invited to present at their 2013 conference in Miami on "What humanity will be like in the year 2100." She also led a pre-conference session at the 2012 WFS conference, "Human Dynamics of Creating" with Megan Mitchell. 

Got a Creative Class Note to share? We'd love to publish it! Send info to