Diana RiveraPsychology Student
Diana Rivera is committed to creativity. Not only is she a creativity coach, using creative practices, coaching models and contemporary research to help her students and clients find purpose and direction,
but the Saybrook student also develops programs for non- and for-profit organizations on creative process, collaboration and enhanced communication. She also somehow finds the time to produce theatre, write stories, and create collage art.
Rivera, who is currently finishing her MA thesis while taking classes for her PhD, says that she sees creativity as a mission. “Let’s imagine a world where our imagination is never applied,” she says. “Would that be a world you would like to live in? For me, no way. That is why it is the basis for my academic inquiry. I could share with you data on evolutionary, biological, psychological, educational and clinical theories, yet at the end of the day, there is something quite simple about it. Humanity thrives in creativity, and needs it in order to survive.”
Rivera has extensive training and professional experience in acting, writing and producing for theater. When she began working as a creativity coach, developing innovative multi-week, arts integration programs for children, adolescents and professional development for teachers and adults, she says her perspective changed slightly.
“As a performing artist and arts education specialist, I began to identify with the thematic conversation on creativity--developing creative process, producing creative products or services and what it means to be a creative person,” she says. “The conversation began to foment through personal and professional trainings in education and I wanted to access more and become a player in this dialogue.”
She decided that a PhD was the best way to join the dialogue, and that psychology was the best field to provide the platform she needed. Her decision to come to Saybrook for graduate school was easy, she says – Saybrook is the only school to offer programs that combine her interest in psychology and creativity. She was also excited to work with pioneers in the field like Dr. Steven Pritzker, Director of Saybrook's Master's of Psychology with an Emphasis on Creativity, and Dr. Ruth Richards.
Rivera wants to use her degrees to bring creativity to education, psychology and corporate America. “Creativity is synonymous with originality and innovation of thought and action,” she says. “In the corporate model, for instance, it is fair to say that many, if not most, rely on creativity to develop new products, enhance their bottom-line and/or support their work force to think-outside-the-box. I would like to make the conversation of creativity and the nature of imagination relevant to my clients, specifically individuals who identify themselves as a creative person or are challenged by their own creativity, and or use creative processes to solve human challenges.”
She also wants to expand her teaching practice, developing curricula, and producing popular books to share what she learned in a way that is conducive to personal and social transformation.