Skip to main content
COVID-19 Information



Florian Rustler

Florian Rustler

The Master’s program in Creativity had a strong impact on my life. It provided me with very important life skills of creativity that can be applied in any situation where new thinking and new perspectives are relevant, and that is almost anywhere.

I used the knowledge to give my training and consulting company Creaffective a new direction focusing on creativity and innovation. The knowledge acquired in the program is an important and credible foundation for that.

My Master’s project was about applying the creative thinking skills as well as the Creative Problem Solving Process to develop a concrete concept for a business venture I was thinking about at that time. The project helped me to develop the concept to a level of maturity that allowed me and my partners to get appropriate feedback from the market. In the end I decided not to implement it, as the market situation was not as good as initially hoped. The Creative Studies program fortunately also taught me that “failure” is also part of the creative process as it helps you to figure out what works and what does not and to learn from your mistakes.

Luciano Boccucci

Luciano Boccucci

My experience in Buffalo with the program was very interesting and rewarding. The content of the Master’s program was concrete and useful, and I appreciated it even more over the years. I had the opportunity to incubate and assimilate in a concrete way how to apply it to my real professional life.

When I enrolled for the Master’s I was subconsciously ready for a change but I didn’t realize to which degree. So the program enhanced my creative vision for my professional life and, as a result, this has been achieved. Stretching creative thinking and applying it to something concrete has allowed me to achieve my objectives. Thanks to this program I have developed a creative mindset which allows me to think up ever new visions when required.

My paper was about the transition to new professional life: how to apply a creative process to a corporate identity. I quit my previous job as Leader in a multinational organization and I founded NoStopEvolution (NSE), a company focused on supporting people and organizations in daring more, using creative thinking skills. Today this  is my daily job: I am passionate about supporting  people and organizations that want to develop creativity to evolve. So creativity in my professional experience has been applied so far to people, to company environments, to products and services.

Meg Quin

Meg Quin"You'll walk away with many meaningful connections and relationships."

Meg Quinn completed her Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and was keen on enhancing her creative spirit in the arts. She had worked in theatre as an actor, teacher, artistic director, and marketing director. Meg was interested in pursuing a graduate program that would enhance her theatric leadership skills. After reading a feature article about the International Center for Studies in Creativity and participating in an introductory course to the program, Meg concluded that the Creative Studies program was the perfect fit for her!

As a founding member and Artistic Director of the Theatre of Youth Company, Meg is constantly using creative problem solving skills to develop and create imaginative and captivating productions for her audiences. The facilitation skills that she learned have been beneficial to her artistic work as they have helped her to create a receptive and progressive environment with her colleagues.

"Be ready to absorb all of the creative influences that you will encounter at the Center for Applied Imagination and trust the process!"

Shari Rife

Shari Rife "I've applied my learning for the Creative Studies program everyday and in everyway!"

Halfway through her Master in Business Administration degree, Shari Rife realized that what she was learning in class wasn't really applicable to her life. She was looking for a graduate program more suitable to her. Who knew the right program would come to her?! While sitting in a conference, Shari listened to the presenter, Dr. Gerard Puccio, Director and Professor at the Center for Applied Imagination at Buffalo State College. Puccio's discussion about innovation and creativity really captured her attention.

As a graduate student in the Creative Studies program, Shari has internalized the principles of Creative Studies and finds it to be meaningful in her personal and professional life- her original goal for a master's program! As a Manager of Creative Process and Organizational Development at Rich Products, Shari facilitates a variety of meetings, such as creating new product names, building customer relations, and implementing strategic plans. Shari believes that the Creative Studies program has helped to expand her creative thinking skills.

"My career has soared since I have learned more about the Creative Problem Solving Process. I am more confident, positive, and have gained new and exciting opportunities thanks to the Creative Studies program."

Erik op ten Berg

Erik op ten Berg

With about 20 years experience as a creativity professional I decided to participate in this Master Program to explore in depth the fundamentals and new horizons of creativity and creative thinking. I was attracted to this Master Programbecause of the solid academic roots of the Creative Problem Solving approach and because of all the good program references I heard at conferences like CREA.

During my distance study in 2010-2012 I obtained lots of practical and inspirational insights about the application of creativity in a work environment. The activity-based approach between students and with professors stimulated me to expand my professional focus on creativity in a very enriching way.

As part of the assignments I developed several tools to use in my own client work. And I wrote several practical papers on topics that had my interest. I focused my final master project on Everyday Creativity. It was the big finale of a precious two years discovery journey. The program made me grow as a solid master in creativity and change.

Nancy Cook

Nancy CookWhen Nancy Cook began her career as an educator, she knew she wanted to make an impact on students with atypical skills. At the Center for Applied Imagination, Nancy learned tools to enhance her students' creative and critical thinking that she uses on a daily basis. Now as a Gifted Programming Specialist and a staff developer with the Williamsville Central School District, she has concluded that her degree in Creative Studies has helped her students and the teachers she works with become more aware of the metacognitive skills needed to solve problems. Nancy also feels the confidence she gained in the Creative Studies program has contributed to her positive outlook on life.

Nancy has used the skills she learned from the International Center for Studies in Creativity to make plans, to implement events, and to work with a variety of organizations. She has recently co-authored an article published in Parenting for High Potential and is currently working on her PhD in Educational Psychology. Nancy insists that her graduate work in Creative Studies was hard work, but well worth it because it was enjoyable, intellectually challenging, and she learned practical skills that she uses in every aspect of her life!

"You'll make lifelong friends at the Center for Applied Imagination!"

Ed Pettitt

Ed Pettitt"Unlike many programs that strengthen specific skills, or areas of knowledge, the study of creativity broadly enhances an individual's talents and skills."

As a Manager of Engineering and engineer for 15 years, Ed Pettitt realized that what he enjoyed most about his profession was the conception, design and development of inventive products which are the more creative aspects of engineering. Upon completing a Master of Science in Engineering, Ed felt the need to focus on expanding his creativity and became aware of the program at Buffalo State College. After meeting with Dr. Puccio and visiting one of Roger Firestien's classes, Ed's concerns about the applicability of the program were assuaged and he enrolled immediately to begin the following semester.

Ed has applied the knowledge of creativity, the creative problem solving process and tools to develop new concepts, help resolve engineering problems, improve meeting effectiveness and foster the creativity of others in the workplace. In addition, Ed is helping to strengthen Delphi's Design for Six Sigma program with the inclusion of creativity concepts and tools. Ed is an accomplished inventor with more than 13 patents and is in the Delphi Inventors Hall of Fame. Ed's creativity skills are also used outside the workplace including volunteering for USFIRST robotics at Newfane High School and using creative problem solving tools to help prepare for his family's future.

Ed believes that his Creative Studies graduate degree is a unique credential that has broadened his skills and resume. He is able to help his peers and family participate in the creative process. Ed credits the International Center for Studies in Creativity for rejuvenating his creativity spirit!

"After entering this program, anyone can enhance their ability to make change for the better and deal with life's challenges."

Laura Barbero Switalski

Laura Barbero SwitalskiThe Master’s program was a very enjoyable experience, certainly a challenging one in many good ways, as it always pushed me to grow and evolve, never to settle for less. I loved the balance between theory and practice, you need both when you go out there in the business world. Practice grounded in theory allows you to be confident in front of a group, and a client, and to anchor the activities and techniques you use into solid knowledge.

I also loved meeting colleagues from many different countries and cultures, I learned a lot from the cross-fertilization and exchange of thoughts and perspectives with my peers.

The Master’s in Creative Studies opened my eyes to a new world. It had a transformational effect on my personal life, unleashing a creative potential I did not know I had. Going through the program, I began to internalize creative thinking and to naturally use Creative Problem Solving in my personal relationships and approach to life. As a consequence, my life has flourished in all respects: when you learn to turn challenges into opportunities, you start looking at the world and at other people in a new way, increasing your success and personal fulfillment in life.

Organizations are struggling with constant and accelerated change, demanding our help as creativity professionals. Thanks to this Masters’ program I was able to create a new job for myself, that is highly stimulating and enjoyable, allowing me to work with like-minded people and to constantly challenge myself to try new approaches and begin new ‘ventures’. What more would you want from your job?

Since I graduated from the Masters’ program I expanded my own business, I confounded a very successful international conference, CREA Conference, which takes place in Italy since 2003, I started a course at the Master’s Level that I teach at Buffalo State as adjunct faculty, I co-authored a book, Creativity Rising: Creative Thinking and Creative Problem Solving in the 21st Century and, recently, with some colleagues, I launched a Certification program in Creative Leadership and Facilitation for Innovation in the Spanish-speaking world, endorsed by the International Center for Studies in Creativity (

Dan Danforth

Dan Danforth"It is amazing to work with people from different disciplines just as excited as you are to learn!"

Dan Danforth was looking for a multi-disciplinary program with an emphasis on team teaching and creative thinking. After looking at the course listing in the Buffalo State College graduate catalog, Dan knew that the International Center for Studies in Creativity was a precise match! After meeting with Associate Professor Mary Murdock and acquiring additional background information about the program, Dan was absolutely excited to learn more!

As a music teacher in the Buffalo Public School system, Dan inspires creative thinking in his class. His students are encouraged to brainstorm, problem solve, and come up with unique, innovative, and different ideas. As a Drama Club teacher, Dan uses a variety of creative problem solving tools to create, plan, and produce a new dramatic play every year. Dan uses team-building activities to close the age gap between his students (grades 4-8) and to promote trust among his students. Under Dan's leadership, great masterpieces are created!

Dan believes that from any kind of background: business to education, the International Center for Studies in Creativity will provide you with the skills that will benefit you and those you work with.

"You'll develop facilitation and creative thinking skills that are priceless."

Dorothy Ly

Dorothy Ly"The Creative Studies program is a one-of-a-kind program that will enrich all aspects of your life!"

Dorothy Ly had no idea that a course she had taken during the freshman year of her undergraduate work would make such a huge impact on her life. That introduction to creativity course was exactly what she thought of when it came time for her to select a graduate program. The Creative Studies program has everything that she was looking for: a program that provides options within and outside of education, enriches her students' learning, and fulfills the requirement to earn her New York State permanent teaching certification.

As an elementary teacher, Dorothy has indeed applied the skills she learned at the International Center for Studies in Creativity. She introduces a strong teamwork ethic to her students and encourages them to be independent problem solvers. Dorothy uses creative problem solving tools and creative thinking in her daily life in collaborating with her peers, planning lessons, and working with students. Dorothy insists that her creative background has improved her classroom management skills and created a great learning environment for student success.

The Creative Studies program is also an excellent networking opportunity. Dorothy built friendships with peers from a variety of business and educational backgrounds. She displays her creative knowledge through her educational facilitation business, Tri-Umphant SolutionsTeam. Dorothy has teamed up with her peers, Kelly Shaft and Jennifer Yund, to expand their creative skills within education. Dorothy couldn't be happier with her experiences at the Center for Applied Imagination.

"The Center for Applied Imagination has all you need to prepare you for life's everyday challenges!"




Back to Top

Center for Applied Imagination

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Chase Hall 244 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6223 •  Fax: (716) 878-4040