October 31, 2023

Emily Eagle’06 brings human-centered design to campus

Emily Eagle’06 returns to campus as the college’s third Executive-in-Residence, helping students explore the theories and practices of foundational human-centered design (HCD) thinking. HCD is a problem-solving approach that puts people at the focus of user-experience (UX) design.

Emily Eagle'06, Executive-in-Residence Emily Eagle’06, Executive-in-Residence
Credit: Michael Eckert
Her interdisciplinary fall course, Topics in Visual Studies: Human-Centered Design Thinking, delves into aspects of psychology, anthropology, writing, economics, art, data science, and ethics to help students build skills and understanding of key UX methods that designers, researchers, data scientists, and product strategists use.

Eagle has over 10 years of experience in product UX, enterprise tools, information architecture, and service design. She led a design team at Nordstrom, and recently worked as a staff product designer for SiriusXM/Pandora, focusing on strategic design in conjunction with machine learning collaborators. “While I got my design training at a vocational community college in my late twenties,” she says, “the critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills I learned at Beloit are why I’ve been successful as a designer, leading teams and bringing different areas of business into alignment and focus on the end user.”

At Beloit, Eagle majored in international relations and minored in religious studies.

She says taking Natalie Gummer’s Comparative Religious Ethics course as a first-year student was the best “user experience” class she ever took, even though she had no idea what user experience was at the time. “She invited us to think about other people and empathize, while being aware of our own positions and privileges — that’s an ethos that I take with me into my human-centered design work to this day,” Eagle says.

Eagle learned graphic design skills at the Seattle Central Creative Academy, and documentary radio expertise at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She’s thankful to Beloit for nurturing her many academic and extra-curricular interests and is excited to return and explore the interdisciplinary practice of UX design with Beloit students. “After a decade doing this work, I wanted to give back. I feel that I lucked into the UX field at just the right time — I had no idea that such a field existed when I attended Beloit. I’m excited to light up some fresh Beloit minds with these ideas and methods.”

The college’s first two Executives-in-Residence, Tim Leslie’89 and Matt Laszlo’92, continue to teach courses and mentor students in their areas of expertise, and have recently expanded their roles on campus.

Leslie — a former Amazon VP and media-tech CEO — is the new executive director of Impact Beloit and vice president for career and professional development, leading the initiative that brings together the college’s career-readiness programs with Beloit-area businesses and organizations to help students gain hands-on skills and a sense of community.

Laszlo — a former Clorox executive and an executive coach — is mentoring Impact Beloit Fellows and will teach a new course, Marketing Principles and Strategy, in conjunction with the upcoming creation of the School of Business.

Also In This Issue

  • Dr. Atiera Coleman’10

    Dr. Atiera Coleman’10 paves the way for diversity and inclusion in Illinois

  • Point of No Return: Speaking out for democracy and freedom

  • Emily Eagle’06, Executive-in-Residence

    Emily Eagle’06 brings human-centered design to campus


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