Sunday, August 21, 2011

Spotlight on ICSC Graduates: Hector and Suzanna Ramos

Hector and Suzanna come from diverse backgrounds (Spain and Singapore) but they share one passion – the study of creativity.

They both completed their MS in Creative Studies in 2005, while garnering several awards during the course of their study. Suzanna received the President’s Medal for “Outstanding Graduate Student” and “Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award” while Hector received the “ICSC Alumni Foundation Achievement Award”. Prior to their studies in Buffalo, Suzanna and Hector had accomplished careers in their respective fields. Suzanna had a career in education and served as a teacher, head of department, assistant principal and professional development officer facilitating teachers in action research in the classroom. Hector has a background in publishing and was also a trainer and facilitator in South East Asia and the Middle East.

They are currently doctoral students at Texas A&M University, pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology focused on Creativity, Cognition, and Giftedness. Suzanna is part of a research team investigating the gap between verbal and nonverbal intelligence of underperforming gifted students in various schools in Texas. She is also exploring creative strategies, like ‘MindSketching’, to address this problem. Her other research interests include implicit theories of creativity and intelligence, and cross-cultural creativity. Hector is currently investigating learning transfer as it relates to creative thinking training. His other areas of interest are creative and innovative climate and exploring elements that foster and hinder undergraduate research at Texas A&M University.

Besides presenting at the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented conferences, they are also involved in writing chapters for the Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. This Encyclopedia is a 4-volume reference currently in development in Springer. It features contributions from economics, management, psychology, anthropology, technology, education, and the arts, to offer a “transdisciplinary” approach to creativity and innovation.

In addition to their academic pursuits, Hector and Suzanna have managed to incorporate the skills they have learnt from the master’s program. They ‘revived’ and headed the Creativity and Innovation Alliance (CIA), an undergraduate student organization at Texas A&M University. Hector is currently the President of the Educational Psychology Student Organization (EPSO) where he has numerous opportunities to apply his creativity skills. He is a graduate assistant at the Honors program and has facilitated staff retreats using CPS. Suzanna is also a graduate assistant where she conducts workshops on supervision and management. She has modified the sessions to incorporate CPS tools and techniques.

As a form of relaxation, Suzanna is passionate about making her own jewelry and is constantly perfecting her craft. Hector and Suzanna are also avid practitioners of the Turkish art of Paper Marbling called ‘Ebru’ and are exploring ways to apply this technique to greeting cards, tee shirts and jewelry.

As a celebration of their 15 years of marriage, they reaffirmed their wedding vows on June 1st 2011.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Spotlight on ICSC Graduate: Kai Wang

Kai Wang is a researcher in creativity and innovation management. He is a 2010 alumnus of the Master's program in Creative Studies. While he has heavy background in biotechnology, his major passion has been creativity since college. Following this passion, he found the program in ICSC by online search. Now he has facilitated many CPS sessions, in Chinese and English, for people from various disciplines. His Master's project was focused on the classification of idea generation techniques. Now he is in the PhD program in technology management in Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. One of his major research interests is about creative processes and techniques. The current research project is about developing ways to organize online crowds to generate creative ideas. Specifically, he is using Amazon Mechanical Turk, an online crowdsourcing marketplace, to solicit creative ideas from the crowd and to study ways to collect, improve, evaluate and select ideas. A second academic interest is about innovation management. He is involved in research about innovation diffusion and implementation, for example, what factors affect the implementation of new technology in an organization.

He is from mainland China and currently resides in New Jersey. Read more on his Linkedin Profile