MASD Alumni

MA in Social Design alumni are pioneering and innovative leaders in the public, private, non-profit, entrepreneurial and academic sectors.

Get inspired. Browse our compilation of MASD Alumni bios.

MASD '19

Quinton Batts '19

Quinton Batts is a graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University and majored in small business start up and management with a certificate in venture creation. He worked for his hometown Recreation Center for 10 years, where he started to help improve his community and hope to continue while in Baltimore. He's originally from Dinwiddie, VA but has spent the last 6 years in Richmond. He enjoys being outside, traveling, and seeing new places.

Sarah Dunn '19

Sarah received her BFA from the University of Montevallo with concentrations in Printmaking and Photography and a Minor in Environmental Studies. Throughout her undergraduate experience, Sarah found a voice through art and realized she wanted to use arts and design thinking to initiate positive social and environmental change. Since graduating, Sarah has pursued her interests in architecture and teaching art and has developed several community-driven projects. These experiences have merged and led to her current path of pursuing Social Design.

Anushka Jajodia ‘19

Interacting with people and her surroundings, reflecting on their emotions and experiences, and portraying their stories through different design styles like illustration and photography were Anushka's primary subjects during her Graphic Design study at Ecole Intuit Lab, Mumbai, India. With a burning desire to contribute to the betterment of the society through empathy, thinking, and good design, Anushka has been working with non-profits for various social causes like mentorship, education, gender sensitivity, cultural stereotypes, and environmental sustainability. Currently, she is co-designing for a project called 'Ungendering Education' that aims to sensitize people on gender-biases that exist in Indian school textbooks.

Cameron Morgan ‘19

Cameron Morgan is a visual storyteller and graphic designer based originally in Tennessee. She worked for two years as a designer under the Chattanooga Publishing Company's banner. Cameron continues to push her creative boundaries with collaborative efforts with the Chattanooga Film Festival and independent web design work which facilitates entrepreneurs and women-run businesses. Her passion for social issues rose from a mixture of personal and professional experience. Her main interests lie in spacial hierarchy and tensions, particularly as they relate to land allocation and memoriam. She aims to understand how people interact with a changing landscape, how the land itself is impacted by community, and how to weave a narrative which honors that change and promotes a better understanding of that space. Cameron holds a BA from UT Chattanooga in Communications and English: Professional Writing and Rhetoric.

Aylin Durmaz Onur ‘19

Aylin is a design researcher and storyteller. She has experience in user experience, design research, strategic communications. She is a founding member of Turkey’s first transdisciplinary innovation platform, ATOLYE Istanbul. She worked and led various social impact and design projects in different sectors, such as empowering teachers, reviving Istanbul’s craftmanship culture, and creating an entrepreneurship ecosystem. She also led global system design projects developed for multinational corporations such as Mercedes-Benz and BNP Paribas. With a degree in Sociology and experience in the media, she was involved in production processes of documentaries and corporate videos. She was also part of the scriptwriter team of Turkey’s first political satire TV show, Heberler, which was the first (and last) of its kind in Turkey.

Claudia Norena '19

Claudia Norena has studied Graphic Design at Colegiatura Colombiana in Colombia where she was deeply involved in intensive research at college, developing several high quality projects that impacted and benefited the design field in Medellin, the city she was born in. As a thesis in college, she designed a specific project aimed toward aiding the homeless native/indigenous community, which had a very positive outcome. The project named “Kabai” consisted in promoting the sale of crafts made by the native community through a website, with the objective of enlightening visitors/customers about the native community and their history. From her experiences working with these and other social projects, she has gained a unique perspective of understanding social issues and how graphic design can help to promote solutions.

Jess Sanders '19

Jessica Sanders is an advocate for respecting individual autonomy and a believer in the unconventional. Her most recent role before her acceptance into MICA’s Social Design Master’s Degree program was as a Traumatic Brain Injury Medicaid Waiver Case Manager for the Brain Injury Association of Maryland. While in this position, she utilized a person-centered approach and collaborated with service provider care teams to help Medicaid clients design a plan for achieving their annual goals. Jessica previously focused on improving public health as an undergraduate student at Towson University, leading both exercise classes and an Art and Soul art therapy collage workshop while interning at the Joy Wellness Center in Baltimore City. In 2016, she was awarded a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science.

Jade Shih ‘19

Jade Shih is a sociologist who has been working in non-profit organizations for 7 years. She enjoys discovering the structural backgrounds of different issues. She loves learning and sharing with people of all ages, believing education is a critical element that leads to social change. In her work, she aims to strike a balance between learning and sharing.

Levi Tran ‘19

Coming from a three year stretch as a Digital Graphic Designer, in the email marketing industry; Levi joined the MASD cohort with a diverse and varied creative background. Having completed a small amount of work across a wide array of disciplines, Levi pulls on his experiences from print, publication, digital, UI/UX, web, email, photography, videography, and motion graphics, to leverage success towards his future endeavors. Levi holds to the belief that there is some pure and intrinsic value in trying to reshape the world, even and especially if, it is truly beyond saving.

Megan Strickland ‘19

Megan has a decade of experience applying qualitative research and design thinking to systemic problems. Driven by a desire for collective liberation, Megan seeks work that has the potential to address inequitable power structures. Megan’s work has included grassroots led impact investment, community based harm reduction, relationship based direct services, climate change mitigation, gender-based violence prevention, and patient-centered healthcare. Megan has applied skills in research, analysis, collaboration, impact measurement, and global team management at Ashoka (a global network of social entrepreneurs), the World Bank, startups, social enterprises, and community based organizations. Megan lived in Rwanda for three years and was part of the start up team of Inyenyeri, a renewable energy and clean cookstove company. Megan earned a Bachelor’s degree with honors from the Public Policy department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Study focus areas included qualitative research, social entrepreneurship, and the negative consequences of international development.

Vilde Ulset ‘19

Vilde is an Urban Ecological Planner and Geographer specialized in informality, participatory planning processes and resilience. Vilde was the recipient of a full scholarship to study at the Mahindra United World College of India and has since worked for non-profit and academic organizations worldwide. These include the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Environmental Information Systems Africa (EIS-Africa) and the Center for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE), India. She has also served as a mentor to Engineers Without Borders Student Chapter, NTNU LiveStudio and as the coordinator for the Norwegian Refugee Council's Innovation Challenge.

Aditi Wagh ‘19

Using communications as a tool for social change and advocating for the rights, choices and dignity of the vulnerable has been a driving force in Aditi’s association with various Non-Profits spanning over 4 years. As a Communications Manager, Aditi has not just interacted with diverse stakeholders across the globe, but also has a first-hand understanding of the ground realities owing to her multiple field experiences. Having worked with different organizations in India that address issues such as Water Crisis, Climate Change, Gender Disparity, Human Trafficking, and the like, the desire to create a more tangible form of change is what has inspired her to be a part of the Social Design program. She wishes to explore various tools to better utilize her background in Sociology and post-graduation in Mass Communication from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication to design a larger impact and strengthen the existing systems to deliver better.

Cecilia Yang ‘19

Cecilia majored in graphic design during the undergraduate in China. She was fascinated with the relationship between the individual destiny and the types of society. A short documentary film called “Fairs” has been made in her junior year to record the the life of floating people in Beijing. And she took a series of photographs to record the deporting of thousands of floating people. She chose only-child policy as the topic of her graduation project. The final work “Documents” was an installation art built up with the original files and materials from 1950 to 2018. The materials constituted a tower of information which could be read randomly. She tried to guild the audience into this space of different subjects of history.

MASD '18

SaraFrances “Franki” Abraham '18

Protecting how people live, advocating for who they love, and defending what they do (or do not) believe in is what inspires and motivates Franki and what serendipitously brought her to this program last year. While having a background in English writing, studio art, graphic design, and always creatively inclined, Franki found her calling in interfaith advocacy in 2013 after being recruited into DePauw University’s Interfaith Council program. Serving as their Unitarian Universalist chairwoman and being fortunate enough to attend the Parliament of World Religions in 2015 trained Franki to provide her campus and peers with opportunities for interfaith dialogue and education about the vast number of faith and non-faith traditions that shape our society today. This has, in turn, formed Franki into an untiring advocate for social change and humanitarian cooperation across many, many diverse causes due to the multifaceted connection that faith and non-faith alike have to many of the world’s grievances.

Jen Begazo '18

Jennifer Begazo is driven by her love of adventure, learning, and travel. Her experiences volunteering in an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, studying abroad in Paris, France, serving a Dutch-speaking eighteen-and-a-half-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Belgium and the Netherlands, and conducting ethnographic research in several slums throughout Hyderabad, India has cultivated her belief that lasting change and progress happens through good design. With a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a minor in French, peoples and cultures have remained the center of her focus when it comes to design and development. Her various work experiences in The American Museum of Natural History, The New York Botanical Garden, and Lumière Productions influenced her passions of research, innovation, and social change.

Ashley Eberhart '18

Ashley K Eberhart is a social entrepreneur and advocate for more inclusive, powerful storytelling around social impact. She comes to MICA from Dalberg, where as a project manager, she led interdisciplinary teams in strategy, design, and storytelling projects for clients like GE, USAID, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Through nearly a decade of working in social change around the world, Ashley has had the opportunity to collaborate with organizations in sectors ranging from global health to gender equality, small business development to Native American legal rights. Her engagement with using design methodologies for social impact truly emerged when she co-founded a social enterprise called Pasand, which has developed and delivered interactive adolescent health education to more than 5,000 young people across South Asia. During her undergraduate work at Princeton University, Ashley combined her training in political science with her background in the arts to work on collaborative projects in community-based mural art, sustainability, and entrepreneurial innovation. She hopes to further explore the intersection between these disciplines at MICA. Ashley splits her time between NYC and Baltimore, and fortunately does much of her best thinking on trains. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Instagram, and occasionally Twitter.

Steffanie Espat '18

A Graphic Designer by trade, Steffanie Espat has a passion for all things art, with experience ranging from exhibit design and curation to hip-hop dance. In her undergraduate career at the University of Maryland, Steffanie was Vice President and subsequently President of AIGA UMD, performed and held creative leadership positions with Dynamic Dance Team and Culture Shock D.C., and was voted Creative Director of her concentration’s year-long social design project, “SeeMe: More Than How I Look.” After earning her B.A. in Studio Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design, Steffanie went on to work as a graphic designer for the ONE Campaign and her alma mater.

Valeria Fuentes '18

Valeria Fuentes is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer based in Baltimore. She is passionate about addressing social issues through art and design platforms specifically regarding issues of addressing food equity, racial justice, and immigration. She recently received her BFA in Architectural Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Within her practice she constantly challenged the extent to which architecture affects people’s lives in Baltimore City. Since she was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia and moved to Baltimore at a young age, she has been seeking opportunities to bring her culture and identity as a Latina into her work in the context of living in Baltimore City. Her most recent projects include founding an after-school cooking program called Kinetic Kitchen, which focuses on healthy eating, and her thesis that consisted of organizing a 9 hour event in April called SOMOS Latinx Art and Culture Festival where she was able to bring in Baltimore based performers and makers from all disciplines and regions of Latin America.

MaeAnna Hassell '18

MaeAnna Hassell is a leader focused on organized information sharing and strategic development. She is eager to be a part of MICA’s Social Design program because she believes in the collaborative approach needed to implement social change and solve social issues. With experience in student advocacy at the Pennsylvania State University and access to influence working with Maryland’s General Assembly, MaeAnna hopes her experience at MICA leads to sustainable programming and legislation that benefits underserved communities, especially in the City of Baltimore. Inspired by world renowned activists like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and local legends like Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, MaeAnna intends to leave an indelible mark of conscious change by contributing to equity initiatives designed to evoke thought to provoke change at a local level. MaeAnna also likes visiting art galleries, learning new things, and attending outdoor music festivals.

Mengru Liao '18

Mengru grew up in Shanghai and received her Bachelor’s degree of Arts from Renmin University of China in Beijing. During the four-year undergraduate study, she worked actively in NGO field (mainly on LGBT issues) and her social work was centered on campus multi-culture advocacy. She was a core member of LGBT Peer Mentorship Program team and the leader in serial campus activities of Beijing LGBT Center. These experiences largely influenced her values. After graduation she became an art teacher, and still continued working with local NGO groups. However, things are urging her to do more as a designer, she believes that the power of design is limitless and needs to be explored.

Kate McGrain '18

Kate has served and worked in several community organizations and schools in Baltimore City for nearly 10 years. She has experience designing, developing, and managing programs to run and support volunteer management, youth advocacy, community outreach, and cross-sector collaboration. Kate loves working with others to explore and create engaging, effective, and relevant programs, systems, and processes. Kate grew up in Towson, Maryland, just north of Baltimore City and attended Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, where she received a B.A. in Global Studies and French.

Keerthana Ramesh '18

Keerthana’s love for designing social change started during her undergrad years while working on a classroom project to promote adoption. The project, through trial and error, highlighted the idea that social change can’t be brought about by merely focusing on an isolated group, but by targeting all the factors affecting it. This idea has been central to all of her design work since. She graduated from DJ Academy of Design, India, majoring in Communication Design. Since then, she has created a navigation system for an Amusement Park in Chennai and worked as a UX/UI designer, designing systems of websites and apps with Beard Design, Mumbai. She has also been pursuing studies in psychology to better understand and empathize with the recipients of the design product.

Kimberly Schulke ‘18

Kimberly believes in designing for impact and is dedicated to driving positive change. Originally from New York, she graduated Cum Laude from the University at Albany with a BA in English and Philosophy in 2012. Shortly after, she moved to Baltimore and has been proud to call the city home ever since. For the last few years, Kimberly worked for a national nonprofit, Playworks, helping to expand their play movement to reach 3.5 million kids by 2020. Through her work leading service projects and designing school beautifications, she developed a strong passion for collaboration and community engagement.

Hannah Shaw ‘18

Hannah graduated cum laude with a BS in Marketing from the University of Maryland. As a Strategic Design and Innovation Fellow, she merged marketing strategies with design techniques. She was also the Graphic Design and Marketing Intern for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. After graduating, Hannah worked for Pearson where she used instructional design methods to create online learning experiences. She started practicing yoga and meditation, which eventually led her on a new trajectory. She traveled for eight months through India, Southeast Asia and Taiwan and had a range of experiences from teaching English and yoga to living on self-sustaining organic farms to attending silent meditation retreats. Hannah aims to meld her design thinking skills with her mindfulness practices and varied artistries to expand individual and global consciousness. She is specifically interested in exploring ways to combat the negative implications of growing technology platforms in regards to mental health and overall wellbeing.

Christina Yoo ‘18

Christina is a graphic designer who’s passion lies in achieving positive social change with design as a tool. Double majoring in Visual Communication Design and Social Welfare in her undergraduate studies, she learned each field’s limitations and wondered what she could do to merge those two disciplines to overcome the boundaries. Christina dreams of a world where all lives are rightfully treated by living in harmony.