Suad Obsiye, a case manager, and Brittany Snyder, volunteer and donation coordinator, with Catholic Charities of Buffalo’s Immigration and Refugee Assistance Program (IRAP) have been awarded a two-year Sidney J. Parnes Global Fellowship in Creative Problem Solving administered by the Creative Education Foundation.
As Fellows in the Class of 2020, Obsiye and Snyder will participate in the 2019 and 2020 Creative Problem Solving Institute conferences, monthly training sessions and ongoing mentor meetings. Additionally, they will be required to facilitate the implementation of a meaningful project within Catholic Charities which demonstrates their skills in creativity, cultural competency, leadership, collaboration, influence, storytelling and project management.
The women were nominated for the program by William Sukaly, IRAP director, because they embody the characteristics of the ideal candidate, described as one who: holds a position of influence and has the capacity to impact people and policy in an organization, is extremely knowledgeable about his/her organization, sees the value in new thinking and approaches when facing organizational challenges and/or opportunities, appreciates strategic imagination as a problem-solving tool and is able to work through barriers and overcome resistance.
The Fellowship, established by Bea Parnes to celebrate the legacy of her husband, Dr. Sidney Parnes, and his deep passion to bring creativity to emerging leaders around the world, uses an interactive curriculum focused on training Creative Problem Solving (CPS) — the process of redefining problems and opportunities, developing innovative responses and solutions, and taking effective action. Creative Problem Solving is essential to the success of non-for-profit organizations as they seek to meet their mission.
Dr. Parnes is professor emeritus and founding director of the Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College (1967). From 1967 to 1984 Dr. Parnes served as president of the Creative Education Foundation which oversees the Fellowship.