Center for Creativity


Jeanne Marie Laskas

Jeanne Marie Laskas is the author of eight books, including To Obama: With Love, Joy, Anger, and Hope (Penguin Random House, 2018), Concussion, Hidden America, and an award-winning trilogy of memoirs. A Distinguished Professor of English, she teaches writing at Pitt and is the creative force behind the Center for Creativity.


Center for Creativity  

  • Jeanne Marie Laskas | Founding Director
  • Kit Ayars | Director, Strategy and Partnership


2018-19 Center for Creativity Advisory Board

  • Don Bialostosky | Professor, Department of English, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Babs Carryer | Director, Innovation Institute
  • Buddy Clark | Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Swanson School of Engineering
  • Paul Cohen | Founding Dean and Professor, School of Computing and Information
  • Annmarie Duggan | Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Theatre Arts, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Yona Harvey | Assistant Professor, Writing Program, Department of English, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Delanie Jenkins | Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Studio Arts, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Dan Kubis | Associate Director, Humanities Center
  • Deane Root | Professor, Department of Music, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Lucy Russell | Vice Provost and Chief of Staff, Office of the Provost
  • Eli Shorak | Vice Chancellor for Business and Real Estate
  • Larry Shuman | Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering
  • Kornelia Tancheva | Hillman University Librarian and Director, University Library System

Administrative support for the Board: Nancy Kirkwood (Workshop Assistant, Center for Creativity)


The establishment of the Center for Creativity in 2015-16 was a group effort, with particular support from the members of its steering committee: Kit Ayars, Rebecca Bagley, Don Bialostosky, Babs Carryer, Annmarie Duggan, Debra Fyock (Director, University Store on Fifth), Delanie Jenkins, Nancy Kirkwood, Dan Kubis, Jeff Oaks (Senior Lecturer and Assistant Director of the Writing Program, Department of English, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences), and Deane Root. 

Associate Vice Chancellor Eli Shorak and Assistant Vice Chancellor Jim Earle, with the enthusiastic expertise of Bill Heller, worked magic to make an initial home for the Workshop space. Provost Patricia Beeson and her office provided the commitment needed to make the impossible real.