Back to the drawing board: School of Business faculty and staff find creative inspiration in class

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What do faculty and staff from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business do when they’re not teaching students the intricacies of finance, marketing, management and other key business topics? They learn how to draw on their lunch hour. 

Over the course of four classes conducted by da Vinci Center adjunct professor Aaron Forrester and graduate student Shannon Hood, up to 20 members of the school’s faculty and staff learned the art of construction, shading and perspective in drawing. Not everyone in the class is an artist and, in fact, many admit they don’t think of themselves as artistic. Still, according to Forrester, learning the principles of drawing can help anyone be more creative and help reduce stress in their daily lives.

It removes that stress of work so that you go back with a fresh perspective.

“Maybe it’s a way to clear your mind,” Forrester said. “Maybe it’s a way to try to become more creative in your thinking.”

“It removes that stress of work so that you go back with a fresh perspective,” said Suzanne Makarem, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Marketing.

Providing these professional development classes is part of an overall effort to encourage faculty and staff of the business school to think differently. Future classes available to faculty and staff will encompass arts, creativity and creative problem-solving in unique ways.

“You actually do think a little differently,” said Ken Kahn, Ph.D., senior associate dean of the School of Business. “I personally have been participating in the class and I can say that when I get done after each of our exercises, I come back to my desk and look at things just a little bit differently.”

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business recently hosted a Drawing 101 class for faculty and staff as part of their EPIC strategic plan.


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