Jen Katz-Buonincontro, PhD, MFA, is Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Research in the School of Education. She is 2016 recipient of the Daniel E. Berlyne Award for Outstanding Research by an Early Career Scholar from the American Psychological Association, Division 10: Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. Helping children and adults learn to think and act in creative ways that optimizes their academic and professional success is the central motivation of her research, teaching and service.
Current studies focus on creative thinking and problem solving as a function of learning domain-specific content knowledge. These studies on beliefs about creativity, creative performance and academics extend past research on creativity, motivation and identity with a distinctive emphasis on learning. Her research aims to clarify and build socio-cognitive theories of creative agency to ultimately advance educational research with knowledge and applied teaching tools. Her scholarship traces inborn versus learnable beliefs about creativity and talent in philosophical tracts and political rhetoric, documents the process of learning how to effectively problem solve through the arts in leadership development and integrates the arts into leadership curriculum and STEM education.