Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Spotlight on CEE Presenter: Tamara McMillan



Spotlight Presenter: Tamara McMillan

Written by Cedrick L. Boyd


As an award-winning educator, Tamara McMillan is the director of the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) at SUNY Buffalo State.  She also teaches a course in the nature and nurture of Creativity and Disruptive Change Leadership.  She is qualified in Myers Briggs Type Indicator, FourSight and Strong Interest Inventory and presented a TEDx talk that can be viewed here https://youtu.be/HdZL61T-31Q.  Tamara’s Spotlight Presentation for the CEEConference is titled: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of MEE.


Cedrick: Why did you chose to be involved with the CEE Conference?

Tamara: Actually, I was invited to the CEE Conference. I received an email from one of the individuals responsible for the CEE talks.  She stated she heard great things about me and would love to meet with me and talk about the conference. We had an opportunity to exchange information and ideas. After that I accepted the invitation.

Cedrick: How did that make you feel, getting the invite?

Tamara: I’m always humble, anytime we are able to operate out of our brilliance, do what the universe has called us to do.  I think it's a beautiful thing. I speak for a living and I think this is what I was created to do.  So anytime I get an opportunity to operate in that space I cherish it.

Cedrick: How do you incorporate creativity throughout your work?

Tamara: Creativity is infused in my life. That is part of my talk.  I'll talk about the ways and how I use creativity and how it has allowed me to ascend to another level, not only in my personal life, but also in my career. When I'm not teaching at the ICSC, I teach in two other departments.  I infuse creativity into content with freshmen. I pour into my daughter’s creativity, to allow her to use her knowledge to solve her own problems.

Cedrick: What are your expectations for the CEE conference?

Tamara: You know I don't think I have any expectations, I believe in allowing things to happen organically and naturally. Too often expectations can hinder progress. And so, I manage my expectations of other people because not everyone operates the way I do.  My only expectation is that I will be there and enjoy myself.

Cedrick: Where do you see creativity in the next decade?

Tamara: I’m hoping that it will be infused in education especially in elementary education. I believe we do education wrong especially in the primary grades. Education is watered down, we are taught to converge, come to a conclusion and get on with things. We do not play enough.  I’m hoping we can get back to playfulness. So, everybody can show us their authentic self unapologetically. People can be genuine, learn and have a seat at a table. Everybody should be afforded a seat at the table.

Cedrick: What is your greatest challenge that you had to overcome with creativity?

Tamara: I would say that I was my greatest challenge. Getting out of my own way and seeing        creativity for what it really is. Everybody is creative but everybody is not creative in the same way 24/7.  It was just me allowing my creative self to be and emerge.

Cedrick: What is the greatest challenge you had to overcome with using creative problem solving?

Tamara: Learning ways in which I can monetize my craft.  Once I was able to pay attention to what was going on around me, understand how to master the language, and how to infuse that in my conversation with my clients.

It was an absolute pleasure speaking with Tamara McMillan, based off of our conversation and interview I strongly feel that sitting in on her session at the CEE Conference will be quite beneficial for everyone attending.  She has a very pleasant personality with excitement and zeal for creativity.



Cedrick Boyd is a 17-year Army Veteran, who served honorably with a tour in Iraq. He Completed Basic Training at Ft. Benning, GA and Advance Individual Training in Columbia, SC where he studied internal combustion engines.  He has successfully completed Primary Leadership Course 2002, Basic Leadership Course 2005 and the Advance Leadership Course 2008.  He completed his undergraduate studies in Business and Religion at Liberty University in 2012, and is now currently pursuing a Masters in Creative Studies at SUNY Buffalo State.

Cedrick’s Awards includes; Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Component Achievement Medal, Army Commendation medal.  He volunteers in his local community and is currently serving as a Student Senator for SUNY Buffalo State. 



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