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DSI Says Farewell to Cheryl Heller and Welcomes Miya Osaki as New Chair

A farewell for Cheryl Heller

As of June 15th, Cheryl Heller will officially finish her time as Chair of DSI and begin her journey at Arizona State University as the Director of Design Integration.

Cheryl is the Founding Chair of DSI, the first MFA program in social design. She designed the space, the curriculum, curated the faculty, and built the program from the ground up.

Cheryl is also president and founder of Measured.design, an initiative that evaluates the contribution of social design to human health; and founder of the design lab CommonWise. She is a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellow, and recipient of the prestigious AIGA Medal for her contribution to the field of design. She founded the first design department in a major advertising agency and, a strategist, has helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs. She has taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world.

In her new role, a joint appointment between the Design School at ASU, the W.P. Carey School of Business and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Cheryl will lead a new master of science program in Innovation and Venture Development, scale InnovationSpace, and develop design curriculum that can be integrated across the university.

Cheryl will be succeeded by Miya Osaki, who has served as faculty at DSI for 3 years.

Miya is founding partner at Diagram, a NYC-based, minority- and women-owned design studio with a mission to create healthcare experiences that put people’s needs at the center, through services and systems that are equitable, accessible, and engaging. Miya lectures and teaches about design, healthcare, and social impact and co-hosts Yah, No, a monthly podcast about starting a business at the intersection of design and healthcare.

In her new role as Chair at DSI, Miya is excited to support the next generation of designers to be curious, empathetic, and creative in their explorations of how design can improve the world around us – to support the health and wellbeing of our communities, our relationships, and our planet. She’s committed to building a community of vibrant students, faculty and partnerships involved in making meaningful and measurable change.

About Miya, Cheryl says, “I cannot imagine anyone more capable and suited to take over leadership at DSI. Miya has been an extraordinary contributor and partner. I leave knowing DSI will be better and stronger than it’s ever been, and our students will continue to flourish.”

On behalf of everyone at DSI – past, present, and future – we send our warmest appreciation to Cheryl for her vision, dedication, and endless contributions to SVA and beyond. You are an inspiration to us and make it all seem possible. We will miss you and wish you the very best!

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