The power of the creative mind: 2021-2022 Wilkin Chair Series

By: Taylor Christensen


How would you describe yourself? Would you use the word ‘creative?’

Creativity is a skill that most stray away from when describing themselves, rather, ’logical’ or ‘analytical’ will be the first adjective someone chooses. But UF professor Anne Beekman is seeking out to change the minds of many.

Beekman has been awarded the position of The Richard E. Wilkin Chair for the 2021-2022 school year. With this opportunity, she is going to enrich the students of UF and the surrounding community on the power of the creative mind.

The Richard E. Wilkin’s chair has been a staple of the UF community since 2006. The chair is named after Dr. Richard E. Wilkin, a former administrator of the Churches of God, General Conference and a member of the University of Findlay’s Board of Trustees. Wilkin passed away in July 2021. The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences created this program to bring awareness to the individuals who are renowned in their subject area. The individual must exhibit excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service. The candidate must also be the rank of associate professor or professor to be eligible.

Beekman’s plan for throughout the rest of the year is going to include several educational events that inspire creativity while staying fun for the audience.

“It is work, but it is fun work,” Beekman mentions, “You can become more creative and there are different tools you can use to develop your creativity,” These events are going to include activities, book discussions, and presentations done by experts in creativity.

“I don’t think someone who is in the sciences, healthcare or pharmacy, can just shut out creativity,” Beekman explains. Creativity doesn’t only apply to drawing, or painting — it can be used in every part of one’s life, such as processing information.

Kicking off Beekman’s Wilkins Chair series was ‘Doodle Day’ on September 3. The event took place in UF’s Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion at 9:00 a.m. This is going to be an event dedicated to the power of sketch noting and how this burgeoning habit of doodling can be used to someone’s advantage and help them remember information in a creative and fun way.

“Richard Wilkins passed away this past summer,” mentions Beekman, “I’m tremendously honored to be named the chair and hopefully am able to get people to come to it.”

Beekman has scheduled her first guest speaker, Len Wilson, the author of ‘Think like a 5-year-old,’ as a tribute to Wilkins who was very active in the Christian community. The presentation is going to be based on creativity from the Christian perspective. This event is going to be held on Friday, Sept. 24 at 3:30 p.m. in. the TLB Christian Fellowship room (CBSL 136).

“There is something innate in all of us, that we want to create and have a need to create,” said Beekman, “and to shut that down we’re not living our full life, we’re not being our full self.”

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