UB recipients benefit from Delbert Mullens creativity award

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UB recipients benefit from Delbert Mullens creativity award

EACH YEAR, Delbert Mullens, Ed.M. '74, president and chief executive officer of Wesley Industries Inc., a Flint, Michigan-based holding company, encourages creative thinking among an outstanding group of UB students.

Since Mullens established the "Thinking Outside the Box" Award in 1992, four students in the Graduate School of Education have been honored for exceptional creativity in the way they conduct their studies and serve their communities. Mullens' gift of $60,000 to the Graduate School of Education, making the award possible, honors his former professor, Robert H. Rossberg, UB professor of counseling and educational psychology.

Kim Allen, Ed.D. '92, who received the creativity award in 1993, said it encouraged her to work directly with troubled youth, rather than accept a position in higher education administration. "I felt drawn to community service where I could work with kids at risk," she said.

Now program administrator of the New Beginnings Alternative Education Program in Newark, Del., Allen works with students ages 9-15, who have a history of violence and emotional problems. Allen tries to prepare them for a successful return to public schools through counseling, family therapy and social skills training.

Recently named chair of the School of Education Dean's Council, Mullens attributes his entrepreneurial success and management style to his UB education.

"Bob Rossberg was an inspiring teacher," said Mullens. "Yet some of the most valuable lessons I learned from him occurred in our discussions outside the classroom. No subject was off-limits; no idea for dealing with any problem was too far out. Creativity was at the heart of what I learned from him." Mullens said he created the award to encourage students, especially those from underrepresented ethnic groups, to be "bold and creative."

"Delbert Mullens' success and generosity has been a source of great pride for the Graduate School of Education," said Hugh G. Petrie, dean of the Graduate School of Education. "The Mullens award will continue to inspire and encourage a future generation of minority students who possess a high level of creativity and 'go-getter' attitudes."