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NEWS | Oct. 18, 2022

USAISR nurse's thesis recognized by Army, Air Force Leaders

By Dr. Steven Galvan U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Public Affairs

An Army Nurse Corps Officer at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston was recognized by Army and Air Force leaders for a thesis she wrote while attending the Command and General Staff College.

Maj. Angela B. Samosorn Ph.D., Chief of Clinical Research Support, wrote a thesis entitled, "How Creativity is Integrated into the United States Army War College Curriculum as told by Faculty: A Qualitative Case Study."

The thesis was recommended for inclusion in the reading list of the Air Force Chief of Staff by Dr. Angus Fletcher, an expert in creativity from The Ohio State University and Samosorn presented her thesis to Gen. Paul Funk, commanding general, Army Training Doctrine and Command.

"My thesis focused on the U.S. Army War College curriculum's ability to develop creativity in students as told through the perspective of faculty," said Samosorn. "Creativity is the foundation of innovation. If you think about the mission of Army Futures Command, ISR, and other organizations responsible for military modernization, creativity is at its core. The Army needs people at all levels to exercise creativity and also recognize and value it."

Before attending CGSC last year, Samosorn read a document published in 2020 by the Joint Chiefs of Staff entitled "Developing Today's Joint Officers for Tomorrow's Ways of War: The Joint Chiefs of Staff Vision and Guidance for Professional Military Education & Talent Management." In the 12-page document, Samosorn noticed the mention of "creativity" about 20 times. With a doctorate in education and about to attend CGSC, she had an interest in Professional Military Education (PME) in general.

"Ultimately, I thought the focus on creativity was interesting," she added. "I selected the War College because I was too close to the CGSC curriculum to be objective, and also because some of the military's most strategic thinkers and future general officers have interactions with the War College curriculum."

Samosorn added that officers who graduate from the War College then move to organizations where they have the ability to foster an environment that values and supports creativity. So she specifically selected a faculty focus because of her background, and because War College staff are the facilitators of the curriculum that should meet the Joint Chief's expectations.

"The topic of creativity has continued to gain traction, and I'm now part of a team that will study creative development in CGSC students," Samosorn said. "Collaborating with the faculty who were teaching me last year is fun, and they are incredibly supportive. I've been connected with creativity researchers, such as Angus Fletcher, who continue to share my work across a wide range of fields."

According to Samosorn, Dr. Fletcher connects routinely with the military Special Operations Forces communities, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and industry. She also stated that Dr. Fletcher was consulted by the Air Force Chief of Staff for recommendations to consider for inclusion on a reading list referencing creativity, and shared her thesis for consideration.

"He's also recently cited my work in his latest article published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences," she said. "It's exciting to be part of the team that is working to build the bench and change the mindset about creativity across the enterprise."