Beloit Executive in ResidencePronouns: she/they Email: email@example.com Office: Room 117, Morse-Ingersoll Hall
As a UX and service designer, I feel I found one of the most “liberal arts” careers possible. My day to day work on product design regularly involves aspects of anthropology (ethnographic interviews), psychology (human behavior, cognitive bias, memory), data science (optimization analytics), art (aesthetics of functional solutions), and economics (product market fit).
While I was at Beloit, I majored in International Relations and minored in Religious Studies. Outside of class, I worked as a writing tutor and I hosted a weekly radio show, even serving as WBCR Station Manager in my last year (I *believe* you can still hear a recording of my voice when the transmitter is turned off or on).
I often tell people that Natalie Gummer’s “Comparative Religious Ethics” course as a first year student was the best user experience class I ever took, helping me to both think about other people and reflect on my impact in the dynamic of observation. I didn’t, however, know what user experience, or UX, was at the time, and in fact it took me a long time to find UX as a career path. Along the way, I pursued radio documentary production (an interest nurtured at Beloit through what is now called a Common Grant and an honors term creating an audio walking tour of Beloit featuring community voices). While working as an audio engineer on a radio program about the developing world, I was pushed to pivot, and I followed an instinct about design, eventually developing a career as a strategic designer working at large companies like Nordstrom and SiriusXM/Pandora.
Since developing my tactical design skills at Seattle Central Creative Academy, I’ve been itching to marry the thoughtful discussion practice of liberal arts seminars with the hands-on, process-based visual problem solving methods of UX design. Being an Executive in Residence at Beloit is a dream come true.
In my course Topics in Visual Studies: Human Centered Design Thinking, I will bring students into the many frameworks and processes employed by designers and their collaborators to design products and experiences that serve users. The course is explicitly open to all students (with sophomore standing) because a designer need not be an “artist” (though we will learn from art methods) and design thinking practices, I believe, can help everyone learn and work together better.
In addition to my course, I will be collaborating with the other EIRs in service design work and consulting and I’m open to meeting with students, staff, and faculty who have an interest in design.