Alumni Forums: Creativity Learning and Teaching Part 1

Alumni Forums: Creativity Learning and Teaching Part 1


Okay, welcome to the International Center
for Studies in Creativity 635 Creativity and Change Leadership forum. Today we have three presenters with us,
and I’ll introduced them in a second, but this is the first of five forums, and
we’re excited to bring out alumni in and and ask them to talk a little bit about their work that they do in their profession. This forum is about
teaching and learning and were excited to have Lina LaMattina, and Lina is the
Director of the BEST Center; Nancy Cook, who is a technology facilitator at Casey
Middle School in Williamsville; and Kara Schabel, who is the Director of
Differentiated Instruction at Canisius College. So what I’ll ask, is our presenters will introduce themselves and then I’ll ask them a
couple questions, they’ll share a little bit just as a conversation
starter, the questions are, and from there we’ll open it up so that our
students in the Creativity and Change Leadership course can share as well. So thank you for coming, and just say a little bit about who you
are and what you do.
Okay. My name is Lina LaMattina, I am currently one of the directors
at the BEST Center at Genessee Community Collage. BEST stands for Business
Employee Skills Training. I didn’t make it up, but it seems to work for us. And what I do
there is I work one-on-one with organizations, and my role is to
work with each organization, assess their skill gaps and then design programs that will help
them to fill those gaps. So partly it’s designing
training programs, there’s some consulting that happens, I also help them to tap into any training funds that
might be out there. So it really is business- oriented. I also have a background in human resources and
operations management as well. But currently I’m at Genessee
Community College. And Lina has also taught courses in Creative Studies over a
period of many years with us.
Yes, I taught here for five years, I’ve been teaching at Medaille College at the
undergraduate as well as the Masters program there for about nine years now. So it’s,
I do enjoy teaching and, you know, working with non-traditional students
as well as traditional students. Nancy?
I’m currently a technology facilitator at
a middle school. It’s a fun job, it’s a great job. But before that I was a gifted specialist
for twenty years, and that was what I used my Creative Studies degree, mostly for the gifted programming. But
now with, as a tech facilitator, it’s the same thing. It’s facilitating and
helping teachers plan their lessons and use the
technology, but still all about the learning to learn skills and things like
that. So I work during the day at Casey Middle School, and I also teach at UB, educational technology, educational
psychology, and at Daemen. I teach research classes at Daemen. And Nancy just finished her Doctorate just a little while ago.
[clapping] I’m Kara Schabel, I’m the Director of
Differentiated Instruction, which is an exciting new program, it’s
about three years old, we’re gonna be going into our fourth year at
Canisius College. And it’s really a wonderful fit. I actually was a gifted and talented coordinator
in Batavia school district district for seven years, and then I went to finish my Masters in
Creative Studies and this serendipitous situation just came about
And it’s really a perfect, a perfect fit. I find that creativity is just, creativity and differentiated
instruction is just a perfect marriage. And as part of heading up the program, I also
instruct, and so we teach teachers coming back for
their Masters in D.I. as we call it, and just give them a skill base to be able to go
into their much diverse classrooms and be able
to meet the needs of all those kids and ensure that they learn something new
every day. And I’ve worked with these ladies for a long time, and they’ve really, that’s just the tip
of the iceberg, the kind of things that they’re doing
now and the kind of things that they’ve done before. So it’s really great that
you came for the first forum and had to be a guinea pig with us, so thanks.
[laughter] So what I did is I formulated two
questions just as a conversation starter, and each of you take about five
minutes or so to have, to say a bit, a bit about it and we can go back and
forth a little bit. Because we have about a a twenty minute
time frame and then we’ll open it up for questions. So what I’d like to… if you think about your your focus, and
this forum is about teaching and learning, but you have a very rich
background and lots of experiences in your
professional life, and as you think about how your
creativity experience assisted you in your in your area of focus,
that’s one of the questions. And the other has been, and the other is, what was the easiest
and hardest aspect of your journey when you look at going and through a Masters of Science in Creativity and going
out and doing all these things and being an advocate for creativity, what was
easiest, what was hardest? Nothing too hard.
[laughter]

Danny Hutson

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