Creativity Core Curriculum

Contact Information


Name: Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel
Position: Assistant Provost, Academic Affairs & Director, MS Health Communication Design

Human Creativity and Artificial Intelligence:

A Series of Events sponsored by the Creativity Core Curriculum at Thomas Jefferson University.

Wednesday, February 28, 5 – 6 p.m., Kanbar Performance Space and virtual

Jefferson faculty from across disciplines will make short presentations that explore both inspiring possibilities and deep concerns stemming from rapid developments in AI. Presentations followed by discussion with the in-person audience will focus on what these changes could mean for Jefferson students both now and in the future. Light refreshments and snacks provided.

Featuring Presentations from:

  • John Dwyer: Chair of the Department of Architecture
  • Kathryn Gindlesparger: Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric and Director of the University Writing Program
  • Richard Hass: Program Director, PhD in Population Health Science and MS in Health Data Science
  • Barbara Kimmelman: Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of History
  • Juan Leon: Assistant Provost for Faculty Development, Online Education & Assessment and Director, Online Learning at JCPH
  • Dimitrios Papanagnou: Professor of Emergency Medicine and Associate Provost for Faculty Development 
  • Moderator: Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel: Director of the Creativity Core Curriculum and MS in Health Communication Design

Coded Bias: documentary film screening and Q&A with director Shalini Kantayya

Wednesday, March 27, 5 – 8:30 p.m., Kanbar Performance Space

Technology should serve all of us, not just the privileged few. The award-winning documentary film, Coded Bias, highlights the stories of people who have been impacted by harmful technology and shows pioneering women sounding the alarm about the threats artificial intelligence poses to civil rights. The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020 and details the formation of the Algorithmic Justice League, a group leading a cultural movement towards equitable and accountable AI.

Pizza is included! After the film, interact with Emmy-nominated filmmaker, activist, and sci-fi fanatic, Shalini Kantayya. The evening will conclude with a raffle and prizes!

This event is co-sponsored by the Creativity Core Curriculum, the Kanbar Diversity Action Committee, and The Paul J. Gutman Library.

Celebrating the United Nations World Creativity and Innovation Day.

Friday, April 19, Kanbar Performance Space

Past Events

In honor of the United Nations World Creativity and Innovation Day, students enjoyed a variety of experiences designed to explore the relationship of the physical senses to human creativity. Creativity Fair activities included chair yoga, digital music composition, popcorn tasting, custom fidget creation, tea blending, color theory, and experimental drawing.

For the second time, Drexel, Thomas Jefferson University and University of the Arts have joined forces to celebrate the United Nations World Creativity and Innovation Day on April 21, 2022 with an evening of Pecha Kucha* presentations showcasing the power of creativity and collaboration to improve the human condition! 

*The Pecha Kucha format requires short, high-energy presentations from participants in the form of 20 slides with 20 seconds of time dedicated to each slide.

The most dramatic form of creativity is the “Aha! Moment,” what experimental psychologists and neuroscientists call “insight.” Insights are sudden realizations that pop into awareness, seemingly from nowhere. They are the source of new inventions, poems, symphonies, and mathematical theorems. They also provide practical solutions to everyday problems. Using examples from problem solving and musical improvisation, this talk will explain what an insight is, how the brain generates them, and how to have more of them. 

John Kounios, PhD, is a professor in Drexel University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences who has published research on insight, creativity, problem solving, memory, and Alzheimer’s disease, and coauthored (with Mark Beeman) the international Amazon Bestseller, The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain (Random House). John's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and has been reported by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times (London), and National Public Radio, and was featured in BBC Television and Discovery Science Channel documentaries. His work was profiled by The New Yorker and The Saturday Evening Post and is part of a permanent exhibit in Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the Psychonomic Society, and the International Society for the Study of Creativity and Innovation.

When prototyping, it doesn’t matter what you (or anyone else) thinks is possible, only what you can make possible in that moment. While we live in a world of limitless wonder and possibility, our unconscious biases often stricture us— preventing us from seeing potential hiding in plain view. Working with one’s own hands quickly unravels the myths of the biases.

For the past decade, Kelli Anderson has used paper engineering to seek out incredible possibilities hiding in plain view in our world and it has completely upended how she thinks about craft vs tech. Even the most ubiquitous, low-tech materials behave structurally and can reveal amazing facets of our reality. Humble paper can act as a direct interface on sound, light, and time; making these abstractions tangible and accessible. This is because these radically minimalist structures still behave in concert with the physical and social forces which structure our world. With no hidden parts, a piece of paper can act as a direct interface on sound, light, and time; making these abstractions tangible and accessible, in a way that more black-box tech obscures.

This talk will focus on recent paper engineering experience and work-in-progress—in particular, Alphabet in Motion: A Pop-up Book for Typophiles, an interactive pop-up book about sound, and Paper as Interface. I will also discuss This Book is a Planetarium (which contains a working planetarium) and This Book is a Camera acts (which contains a working camera.)

Kelli Anderson is an artist, designer, animator, and tinkerer who pushes the limits of ordinary materials to seek out possibilities hidden in plain view. Her books and projects have included a pop-up paper planetarium, a book that transforms into a pinhole camera, a working paper record player, and techniques for misusing the RISO to create animations. Intentionally lo-fi, she believes that humble materials can provide entry into the endless, tunneling complexity of our world, making those wonders accessible on a multi-sensory, rich, human level. These projects confront our sense of possibility, which has been artificially-circumscribed by the dominance and black-boxness of tech. She is currently completing writing Alphabet in Motion, an interactive book on the relationship between typography and technology with Letterform Archive.