CEF Awards

Distinguished Leader Award

2016 – Tim Hurson
Tim Hurson is a world renown keynote speaker, creativity expert and author. He currently serves on the Parnes Advisory Committee and works closely with the Parnes Fellows.

2016 – Joe Spahn
Joe Spahn is known to be a gentle, helpful and caring person who, since 2013 has served as a CPSI airport greeter to welcome people as they arrive at the Buffalo airport. Joe has worked with CPSI for over 30 years and has epitomized the CPSI spirit of openness and giving.

Sid Parnes Pioneer Award

2005 – Richard Florida
Richard Florida (1957) is an American urban studies theorist. Professor Florida’s focus is on social and economic theory. He is best known for his work in developing his concept of the creative class, and its ramifications in urban regeneration. This research was expressed in Florida’s bestselling books The Rise of the Creative Class, Cities and the Creative Class, and The Flight of the Creative Class.

Lifetime Creative Achievement Award

2001 – Ruth Noller (1922 – 2008)
Ruth was an educator who taught math, creativity, and creative studies for 40 years. She started out as a mathematician who earned her B.A. from the University of Buffalo with a Major in Math and Minor in Sciences. She continued her education, receiving an Ed. M. in 1944 and an Ed. D. from the School of Education at the University of Buffalo in 1952.

2000 – E. Paul Torrance (1915 – 2003)
Ellis Paul Torrance was an American psychologist from Milledgeville, Georgia. His teaching career spanned from 1957 to 1984, first at the University of Minnesota and then later the University of Georgia, where he became professor of Educational Psychology in 1966. Torrance is best known for his research in creativity. He developed a benchmark method for quantifying creativity with his Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.

1998 – Howard Gardner
Howard Earl Gardner (1943) is an American psychologist who is based at Harvard University. He is best known for his theory of multiple intelligences. It is an idea that maintains there exist many different types of “intelligences” ascribed to human beings. Gardner suggests that each individual manifests varying levels of different intelligences, and thus each person has a unique “cognitive profile.”

1997 – Camillus Barth (1906 – 1996)
Father Barth attended his first CPSI in 1964 and had very steady attendance until his death in 1996. Throughout his 30+ years at CPSI, “Cam” taught Springboard, Extending, and in the Facilitator Training Program. He had an ongoing correspondence with Alex Osborn who once wrote to him, “Cam, let’s get this out of the hardware stage and into the heartware stage … problems don’t come from things but from people.”

1995 – Morris “Moe” Stein (1921 – 2006)
Moe was a respected researcher whose work exemplified rigor in method and clarity in design and purpose. He designed, developed and tested psychometric instruments such as the Thematic Apperception Test and the Stein Technical Audit. His teaching and research work spanned more than 50 years in major institutions across the U.S.

1994 – Jean Houston
Jean Houston, Ph.D. (1937) has been a leading figure in the cross-cultural study of New Thought spirituality and ritual processes. A prolific author of books, Jean’s PBS Special, 1978, has been widely viewed.

1993 – Edgar Mitchell
Edgar Dean Mitchell, D.Sc. (1930) is an American pilot, engineer, and astronaut. As the lunar module pilot of Apollo 14, he spent nine hours working on the lunar surface in the Fra Mauro Highlands region, making him the sixth man to walk on the moon.

1992 – Wilson Greatbatch (1919 – 2011)
After earning a BS (Cornell) and MSEE (University of Buffalo), and after serving with the Navy in World War II, Wilson Greatbatch (1919) began working in medical research. One afternoon in the late 1950s, he was inspired by a mistake to invent one of the most significant medical devices of all time: the implantable cardiac pacemaker.

1991 – Edward “Ed” Lowe (1920 – 1995)
Ed Lowe was an American businessman and entrepreneur, noted for the invention of cat litter. The Small Business School described him as “building a huge business from nothing,” and cite him as a textbook example of an individual who “created a product, brought it to marketplace, invented an industry and sold his business for millions.” By the time of his death, his company was worth half a billion dollars.

1990 – Sid Parnes
Dr. Sidney J. Parnes is a retired professor at Buffalo State College and the co-founder of the International Center for Studies in Creativity. He joined CEF in 1955 and co-developed the Creative Problem Solving Process (CPS).

1989 – Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers (1934) is a journalist and public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the United States from 1965-1967. He worked as a news commentator on television for 10 years. Moyers had an extensive involvement with public television, producing documentaries and news journal programs.

1988 – George Land
George Land is an author, speaker, consultant, and general systems scientist. In 1965 he founded a research and consulting institute to study the enhancement of creative performance. This research ultimately led to the formulation of Transformation Theory—a theory of natural processes that integrates principles of creativity, growth, and change.

1987 – Frank Barron (1922 – 2002)
Frank Barron, born in 1922 in Lansford, Pennsylvania, was a professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz until his death in 2002. He wrote a number of fundamental works on creativity and personality, including Creativity and Psychological Health.

The People of CEF

Meet the people behind CEF, including the staff, the current board of trustees, lifetime trustees, past presidents, and trustees emeriti. Learn More »

A History of CEF

Founded in 1954, CEF is the recognized world leader in Applied Imagination. Learn more about the history of our organization. Learn More »

CEF Awards

Take a look at the amazing people recognized by CEF for their innovative contributions to creativity, their communities, and the world around them. Learn More »