Academy of Strategic Creativity announces its first cohort  

Starting this month, a cohort of 25 UF faculty and staff members will call upon their creativity and nurture their best thinking as part of the new Academy of Strategic Creativity. Formed as a partnership between the College of the Arts, the College of Journalism and Communications, and UFHR Training & Organizational Development (T&OD), this new professional development program will help participants unlock their creative potential, generate fresh thinking and implement new and powerful ideas.

“The Academy of Strategic Creativity is a new and groundbreaking opportunity for UF faculty and staff,” said Scott Blades, assistant director for T&OD. “This is the first time UF has ever offered a cohort-based, multi-month professional development program focused on creative thinking. As a top-10 public university, UF is an idea-generating institution focused on creating advances and positive change through teaching, research and service. Through this program, our aim is to set the stage for future improvements and breakthroughs to serve the greater good.”

Featuring the creativity expertise of Amy Bucciarelli, a faculty member in the Center for Arts in Medicine and coordinator of UF Creative Engagement initiatives, and Jim Harrison, senior creative director of The Agency and a faculty member of the College of Journalism and Communications, the program will expose participants to the behaviors, thinking tools and frameworks used by the world’s most creative people and help faculty and staff imagine and formulate multiple solutions to challenging problems.

“UF has no shortage of creative people, but the question becomes, ‘How might we be more strategic with those good ideas?’” said Bucciarelli. “This unique training opportunity is for people who want to amplify their fresh ideas, have more success in advancing valuable ideas and use those ideas to create real and lasting change in their unit, field or community.”

Harrison added: “In an age of constant change, creativity has become a great differentiator. It is increasingly valued by business and higher education as vital fuel for innovation ecosystems. Original, fresh thoughts that inspire improvement and impact lives are always in high demand.”

The members of the inaugural class of the Academy of Strategic Creativity can be found below.

“We’re thrilled about our first cohort and can’t wait to see what this talented group of individuals will produce as a result of this unique opportunity,” said Blades.

James P. Baer Sr. Graphic Designer UF Office of Advancement
Richard Blake Assistant Director, Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars Program Division of Student Affairs
Emma Brady Assistant Director of Course Production Center for Online Innovation and Production
Rebecca Burton Communications Manager UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute
Joleen Cannon Director Online Innovation and Production Office of the Provost
Royce Copeland Marketing and Communications Specialist Materials Science & Engineering
Sara Dagen Marketing & Communications Manager UF Innovate
William Fox-Alvarez Assistant Professor of Small Animal Surgery College of Veterinary Medicine – SACS
Holly Franklin Marketing Manager College of the Arts
Scott Heller Assistant Professor of Neurology/Medicine Neurology
Rachel Inman Associate Dean for Student Affairs Levin College Of Law
Iske Larkin Lecturer and Education Coordinator, Interim Director of Aquatic Animal Health Program Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
Nikki Lyons Instructional Designer II Human Resources, Training and Organizational Development
Brandon McKinley Public Relations & Partnerships Specialist College of the Arts
Melissa Naidu Academic Program Specialist I Clinical and Health Psychology
Ivan Ramos Graphic Designer II Office of Research – Publication Services
Tom Reno Director of Web Services College of the Arts
Christine Salama Innovations Coordinator Lastinger Center for Learning, College of Education
Leah Shelley Assistant Director, Fitness Programs Student Affairs
Janice Shephard Administrative Specialist I IFAS/Dept. of Agricultural Education & Communication
April Sibiski Assistant Director of Human Resources UF Advancement
Brenda Such Assistant Director of Course Production Center for Online Innovation and Production
Anna Thrombley Assistant Director, Human Resources UFIT
Charlotte Tupper Business Relationship Manager II UFIT
Rebecca Younglove Senior Leadership Development Professional Human Resources, Training and Organizational Development