Creativity and Innovation: Rethink the Box

2017-18 Theme: Creativity and Innovation

Creativity & innovation are everywhere--and for everyone. They are needed to solve world problems such as hunger, homelessness, obesity, overpopulation, pollution, conflict, disease and economic woes as well as everyday problems related to one’s business and/or personal life.

Our world is continuously evolving, and the most important skill to possess today, no matter your field, is the ability to innovate and to think creatively.

The major focus of this theme is to instill creative and innovative thinking techniques in all who participate. Students, faculty, staff and community members will build the awareness and skill to expand their realm of thought and see problems/objectives/goals in both their professional and personal lives (and beyond) through a thoughtfully creative lens.


Past Events

Getting Students to Think Creatively: Teach In & Informal Seminar with Dr. Michael Morris

Aug. 16 at 9-11am
SLC 120

Everyone has immense creative potential. The challenge is to nurture this potential within students and help them learn to act upon it. And like any skill or ability, it requires practice to get better at it.

In this session, we explore the nature of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and how they relate to one another. Each involves elements that can be mastered by the student. Each involves a process that can be learned. The nature of an entrepreneurial mindset is examined and its applicability to any student in any major is discussed.

Sample modules on creativity, opportunity recognition, doing more with less, and other elements of this mindset will be introduced. These are modules that can be adapted and integrated into any course. The role of experiential approaches in developing the creative and entrepreneurial potential of students is highlighted, with sample approaches introduced. Teaching approaches are linked to learning styles of students.

Missed the event? Here are the slide decks from Dr. Morris's presentations:


7 Rivers Fulbright Chapter: Scott Rettburg

Sept. 18 at 7-9pm
Somsen Auditorium

Scott Rettberg will discuss how his interest in combinatory poetics reflected in projects like the poetry generators “Frequency,” “Tokyo Garage,” and “After Parthenope” led to his later collaborative film projects: “Three Rails Live,” “Toxi*City,” and the work-in-progress “Circe”.


Ignite Your Creativity Workshops: Sparks of Genius Workshop by Robert & Michele Root-Bernstein

Oct. 10 - 10-12pm
Somsen 321

An introduction to the tools for creative thinking, placed in the context of teaching for creativity. We'll do a number of hands-on activities focusing on observing and abstracting. A set of exercises in observing and abstracting will be practiced, culminating in a patterning/transforming workshop that integrates art, music, and math.


Creative Play Workshop by Robert & Michele Root-Bernstein

Oct. 10 - 2-3pm
IWC 145

A closer look at play as a means of learning and creating, with some attention to the invention of imaginary worlds (worldplay) as a complex form of creative play in childhood--and adulthood. We'll look at how adults working across the arts and sciences have used play of all sorts as a creative strategy. And we'll consider how play fits in to styles or patterns of creative accomplishment over a lifetime.


Creativity and Innovation Film Series

Oct. 10 at 7pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103 

Film Screening: Tower (dir. Keith Maitland) with guest speaker Deirdre Haj, the Executive Director of the Full Frame Documentary and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festivals. 

Deirdre Haj will speak about how creativity and innovation play a role in modern documentary storytelling.  

Oct. 15 at 3pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103 

Film Screening: The Great Dictator (1940, dir. Charlie Chaplin) 

Oct. 17 at 7pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103 

Film Screening: The Social Network (2010, dir. David Fincher)

Oct. 24 at 7pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103 

48-Hour Video Dash Screening and Awards

Oct. 29 at 3pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103 

Film Screening: Hugo (2011, dir. Martin Scorsese) and A Trip to the Moon (1902, dir. Georges Melies) 

Oct. 31 at 7pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103 

Film Screening: Get Out (2017, dir. Jordan Peele) 

Nov. 5 at 3pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103 

Film Screening: Ghost in the Shell (1995, dir. Mamoru Oshii) and Garden of Words(2013, dir. Makoto Shinkai)


Yuge Zhou Artist Talk & In the Shape of a City Exhibit

Artist Talk & Reception
Oct. 18 at 5-7pm
SLC 120 and Watkins Art Gallery

Video Exhibit
Oct. 18- Nov. 8
Watkins Art Gallery

The Department of Art and Design will host Yuge Zhou’s exhibition of video installations, In the Shape of a City, from Oct. 18 - Nov. 8 in the Paul Watkins Gallery. Zhou will give a public lecture on Oct. 18 at 5pm in the Science Lab Center, room 120. A reception with hors d-oeuvre at the Watkins gallery will follow from 6-7pm.

Zhou creates what she calls “urban dispositions” that examine the complex interactions between humans and their environment. The works Zhou will exhibit at Winona State reimagine cityscapes in a fractured, poetic manner.

Each of Zhou’s pieces is created from dozens of different source files and then collaged together. Her works are often ten to twelve feet wide and are projected onto custom-designed panels Zhou makes the throw the projection into relief.

Zhou holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her piece, Midtown Flutter, which will be part of her exhibition at Winona State, is currently a finalist in the competition, ArtPrize 9 and is on currently on view at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


2017 WSU 48-Hour Video Dash

Register by Oct. 20 and submit your video by Oct. 23

Screening and Award
Oct. 24 at 6-9pm
Stark 103

Here’s the challenge: you have 48-hours to make a five-minute video masterpiece! After you register for the competition, the festival producers will send your team a few required elements for your video – a genre, a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue that must appear somewhere in your video project.

Your team will have 48 hours to write, shoot, edit, polish and deliver your video. Videos must be delivered on Oct. 23.

On Oct. 24 we will have a screening festival in Stark Hall 103 and will be giving out awards for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Performance, Best Editing, and, of course Audience Favorite. So, make sure to bring your friends to the festival!


WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge

In the WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge, students worked to solve real-world problems and compete for $10,000 to help make their ideas a reality. They were guided by local business owners and mentors to develop ideas and craft a business plan throughout the year-long competition. 

In 2019, the WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge transitioned into StartUp Winona State.


Frankenstein Bicentenary

Frankenread: a Public Reading of the 1818 Text of Frankenstein
Jan 24 at 8am 
SLC Atrium

Double Feature Screening: Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein
Jan 29 at 7pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103

Film screening: Young Frankenstein
Feb 19 at 7pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103

CLASP Discussion Panel on Frankenstein
Feb 21 at 5pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103

Film screening: Frankenweenie
Feb 25 at 3pm
Miller Auditorium, Stark 103

Celebration of Creative Frankenstein Competitions & Projects
March 29 at 5pm
Student Activity Center, Kryzsko Commons

The celebration event includes a film competition, creative writing competition, ceramics competition and monster make-up competition.

Limb Lab & Mayo Innovation Lab Tours

Feb. 2 at 8:15am - 4:30pm
Rochester, MN

Learn about how prosthetics are made at the Limb Lab and tour the Center for Innovation and Design Thinking Workshop at Mayo Clinic.

This free tour is open to all WSU and WSU-Rochester students and faculty. Lunch is included, and vans will leave from the IWC parking lot at 8:15am.

Register online before Jan. 30. Space is limited to 40 students.

Participants must also stop by Somsen 324 to sign a waiver by Jan. 31.

Contact Vern Bachor at for more information.

Dimensions of Diversity: Inclusion & Diversity Speaker Series

The Inclusion and Diversity Office invites guest speakers to provide workshops and keynote presentations throughout the semester. Topics range from race to spirituality and social justice to transgender stories, and the events are open to students and faculty.  

See all of the events in the Inclusion & Diversity Speaker Series.


The CLASP lecture series offers faculty and staff to present on a topic they're passionate about and engage students, faculty and community in discussion across academic and professional fields. Topics include creativity myths, teaching creativity and creative uses of data.  

See all of the scheduled CLASP Talks.