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IACT: Creativity for Tomorrow

IACT Perspectives

By Logan Zinkhon ‘19

In the fall of 2016, I decided to leave an almost full ride swimming & diving scholarship to transfer to the University of Dayton. I was an incoming sophomore and I wasn’t sure if i was making the right decision. Based off the suggestion of a friend who recommended “... this fun new class that teaches you how to be creative”, I landed in ACT I and my applied creativity journey began.

Act I was my first class at UD and I was blown away at how different it was from the courses I had taken before transferring. Learning embraced ambiguity and required lots of reflection (a concept I now know is called ideation). We had professors from different academic fields co-teaching us every week, demonstrating the intersections between fields I would have considered to be completely separate such as aerospace engineering & dietetics. This quickly became my favorite environment to be in, and by the end of Act II I was ready to pursue the certificate in Applied Creativity for Transformation.

The second year of the program involves a gap year from the IACT program, as well regular advising sessions to help us better understand our own purpose, passions, and possibilities. I finished Act II asking myself a lot of personal questions around what I wanted out of my time here at UD, and what exactly I was looking to do with my life after graduation. I was thinking that I might just take a job in a random marketing department and figure out how to explore my passions in my free time. I studied abroad that summer in Seoul, South Korea and ended up completing my first lap around the world in the time before & after my program. When I returned to UD in the fall I was almost overwhelmed with what I got to experience. My entire worldview had shifted and I was no longer satisfied with the idea of just finding any company that would hire me for the sake of having a job. This put me in a great position to start my gap year because I no longer had a preconceived notion of what I needed to be, and I could focus on who I aspired to become.   

Flash forward a year and I’m in Act III, the course where we apply what we’ve discovered about ourselves during our gap year and begin to collide our passions with the other team members in our certificate cohort. The collisions between the other members seemed to come easy, but I was struggling to find where I fit within the group. I had finished my gap year working as a Collaboration Accelerator over the summer and, again, had a completely shifted mindset surrounding what I could do with my interests and talents. The people I was living & working with as an Accelerator showed me that I can use the concepts I’m learning in the school of business to make a real impact in my community through the work we did developing Freedom Enterprise, Syncragogy, and the Labyrinth series.

Reflecting on the process I went through with my co-workers to develop these ideas helped me solidify what I wanted to do for Act IV, and gave me fresh perspective on what my post-grad life could look like. My career expectations have graduated from being okay with a passive and behind the scenes role, to craving an active position where I can directly contribute to the common good. I am now a month into Act IV and I cannot wait to share my ideas at our deliverable showcase in April!

At the Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation (IACT), our vision is to create a mindset of possibility that disrupts the world through 21st century citizenship. We believe in creative changemaking with a sustainable, humanity-centered focus that blends educational and vocational frameworks for self-determination and transdisciplinary transformation.

IACT is home to the nation’s first undergraduate certificate in Applied Creativity for Transformation. Open to undergraduate students of any major, the certificate is a first step in achieving the University of Dayton’s vision of innovation, applied creativity, entrepreneurship and community engagement for the common good. For more information about IACT at ArtStreet, call 937-229-5101 or visit

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