Wednesday, June 23, 2021

2021 Minnesota Futures Award Recipients

Headshots of Drs Bonnie Klimes-Dougan and Wilma Koustal
Congratulations to Bonnie Klimes-Dougan, contract associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, and Wilma Koutstaal, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota for receiving the 2021 Minnesota Futures Award.

The Minnesota Futures Grant Program offers annual funding to promote research that incorporates cross-disciplinary ideas. For the 2021 grant cycle, the Office of the Vice President for Research awarded a total of $500,000 in Minnesota Futures funding to two projects.

Klimes-Dougan and Koutstaal are part of a larger team, with PI Kathryn Cullen in Psychiatry, whose project focuses on how adolescents with depression may receive both mental and emotional benefits from participating in creative problem-solving activities. The research requires a multidisciplinary approach with experts in psychology, psychiatry, arts, biostatistics, design, sociology, qualitative methods, and community engagement. These experts designed a multi-pronged Creativity Camp intervention to help adolescents shift out of a rigid negative thinking pattern with the help of creative activities. The researchers will measure change over time in creativity, flexibility, mood, and perspectives using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods.

This project will help to understand the mechanisms underlying depression, recovery, and the development of creativity in youth.

Composed by Flora Pollack, communications assistant.