It’s the end of another school year, and for this newsletter, we’re focusing not on what goes on inside our program, but on what our graduates are doing out in the world. We have always defined success as more than the number of students who come to get their graduate degree here, but also on the ultimate metric of what our alums are doing out in the world. Are their careers exciting and fulfilling? Was the degree worth the effort? Did we prepare them not just to work, but to be the creative leaders of change? Did we help them clarify and apply their values for justice and equity to real issues in the world? Did we help them learn to adapt and pivot without losing sight of their vision? Did we teach them how to apply what they learned to vastly diverse situations? You can see for yourself below.
By the numbers, we’ve graduated 91 students so far, not counting those who will leave us in less than two weeks. They have come from 28 countries with different challenges, cultures and beliefs, and have melded together in cohorts of friends for life. If you are interested in becoming one of our graduates, the first step is to apply for Fall 2018.
Jade Broomfield, ’17, cares deeply about social justice, and has made it the center of her career. She is a public access design fellow at the Center of Urban Pedagogy, a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement in New York City. But she’s also a graphic designer at Uncommon Goods, a B Corporation that offers handmade goods with a focus on positively impacting people and the planet.
Carmen Lopez, ’17, is working at Arup in the Foresight, Research and Innovation department. She is also a fellow with AIGNY as part of the Citizen Designer Now! initiative, which connects designers to social-impact causes; and was selected as a CUP Public Access fellow.
JiaJing Wu, ’17, is now an investment manager at the leading impact investment fund in China.
Karla Despradel, ’17, is a design consultant at Doblin. She previously worked as a UX/UI Designer at Mount Sinai Health System.
Hannah Phang, ’16, is now the Marketing Manager at Futerra in London. Futerra is a sustainability consultancy meets creative agency that reimagines industries from fashion to food.
Kara Isabella, ’16, started working with UNICEF as a Visual Interaction Designer, where she is using human-centered design to develop a global digital workplace for 13,500+ employees. She is also in the spring cohort for the SVA GroundFloor Incubator, where she is working to turn her thesis, Backyard Lots, into a nonprofit.
Bruno Silva, ’16, is the Head of Design and Product Development at Mount Sinai Healthy System. He will be a visiting professor at Stanford Medicine for a workshop as part of one of their classes.
Yena Seo Lukac, ’16, uses social design as a design researcher at Nanit, a high-tech baby monitor company that strives to make products that are safer and smarter. She has a place on the company’s innovation team, where she shares her research and proposes ideas on how to best implement her findings.
David Rojas-Léon, ’16, is a visual designer and lead interaction designer at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Arnhold Institute. His goal is to create a sustainable global health impact for poor communities, and he uses the skills he learned at DSI to transform abstract ideas into real, empathetic solutions for users.
Rodrigo Muñoz, ‘16, is a college professor at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, where he started teaching at the School of Communications and Contemporary Arts. His courses range from Fundamentals of Design and Software to advanced Thesis and Research studies. Rodrigo’s strategy is to introduce a more diverse perspective of design than what is traditionally taught, and to introduce his future students to the wide range of skills he learned at DSI.
Emily Herrick, ’16, is designing better government as a designer at the newly launched Civic Service Design Studio within the New York City Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. The studio engages residents as well as service delivery organizations, using the methods and principles of service to shape new programs and improve existing ones.
Lauren Gardner, ’16, is a program manager at Reboot, an organization that solves civic problems by working with change agents in government, civil society and philanthropy to achieve their social mission.
Ivan Boscariol, ’16, is a Government Innovation Consultant with EloGroup, where he blends social innovation and traditional public administration to deliver public services in new and exciting ways.
Meryl Natow, ’15, is the co-founder and creative director of Six Foods, a company that makes chips with cricket protein.
Rhea Rakshit, ’15, is the Vice President of Product at Sourcemap, where she tracks social, financial and environmental impacts so her clients can make ethical, sustainable decisions. She works with a variety of industries — from agriculture to apparel to electronics. You can learn more about her work here.
Pragya Mishra, ‘15, is a design researcher for Dalberg’s Design Impact Group. She’s been at DIG for three years now, working with major foundations, NGOs, entrepreneurs and multinationals.
Meghan Lazier, ’15, works for the Federal Reserve Board, the central banking system for the U.S. Meghan helps economists better understand their research and share it across internal barriers. It’s not work that the outside world sees, but it’s important, and affects real monetary policies.
Laura Kadamus, ‘15, works for the U.S. Digital Service, a startup at the White House that uses design and technology to deliver Americans better services. Her job allows her to impact people, from immigrants to FEMA recipients, as she digitizes important documents and forms.
Gina Kim, ‘15, is at U.S. Digital Services as a product designer. She redesigns services to make them more accessible to veterans; this is important work, as she helps vets learn to trust the government.
Liora Yuklea, ’15, joined Google as an Interaction Designer in Tel Aviv, where she is using the skills she learned at DSI to design at global scale.
Liz Abernethy Roffey, ’15, is working for The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative’s Education team as a Product Designer. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a philanthropy that seeks to engineer change at scale by pairing world class engineering with grantmaking, impact investing, policy and advocacy work.
Akshata Malhotra, ’15, is an interaction designer at the Peterson Center on Healthcare in New York, which seeks to improve the quality of care and decrease the cost of it.
Tanya Bhandari, ’15, is the design lead on the UNICEF Innovation team. She works on projects ranging from systems mapping to brand management and design strategy, physical and digital interaction design to publication design. Much of Tanya’s work revolves around the prototyping, deployment and scaling up of various innovation products in multiple countries: you can read more about them here.
Robin Newman, ’15, is a user experience researcher at HUGE. Before her current role, she worked for them as an interaction designer.
Wei Zheng, ’14, is working at Google, as a UI Motion Designer in Mountain View, California.
Monica Snellings, ’14, is the Communications and Design Lead at Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, a nonprofit organization in Washington DC that’s dedicated to promoting dialogue and solving problems across the political divide on issues of national consequence.
Gabriela Reygadas, ’14, is the Head of Social Innovation Projects at Cirklo, where she has launched a division for the consultancy on social design. She is passionate about financial inclusion, and ending poverty and injustice in her country, and serves as a teacher of social innovation at CENTRO diseño.
Sara Cornish, ’14, is the Director of Marketing for Microsoft’s MineCraft Education venture focused on the intersection of games, technology and social change.
Tiffany Gaines, ’14, is President and Founder of Lovability Inc. Lovability condoms and lube are now carried by Urban Outfitters. Allure recently covered the news, writing that, “Now with Urban Outfitter’s partnership, hopefully carrying condoms and lube in your purse will become as common as toting around chapstick.”
Sebastian Barrera, ’14, works in Medellin, Colombia, at Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA), a global consulting firm specializing in financial services for low-income people around the world. He works with the Customer Insights Team, leading the research and design efforts for the Latin America portfolio.
Joseph Kwesiga, ’14, is working as a designer at Design without Borders in Uganda, where his projects create a social impact. His work requires him to be flexible and to design for the context he’s in. Recently, Joseph has focused his efforts on designing a game that increases financial literacy among refugees.
MK Loomis, ’14, is the Experience Design Lead at Airbnb. She previously worked as the UX Design Lead at Elephant, and as the Associate Experience Lead at Huge.
Josh Treuhaft, ’14, is at R/GA, an advertising that spans 18 countries, with 2,000 employees that represent over 20 nationalities.