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 '23

Headshot of a smiling Ana Mengote Baluca in a blue blouse standing in front of a colorfully painted brick wall.

Ana Mengote Baluca '23

Ana is a multidisciplinary designer and strategist. Her background in Industrial Design and Urban Studies puts her at the intersection of community-building and creative problem-solving. She aims to create work that provokes its audience to question the norms of our society. She is a proponent of using design as a medium to weave culture, history, and philosophies to create impactful products, services and solutions. She is currently one of the leaders of IDSA’s inaugural DEI council. She is also helping ensure the future of design as an educator at the Pratt Institute.

Lindsay Brenner wearing glasses and an organge knitted top smiling in front of colorfull painted and graffitied brick wall.

Lindsay Brenner '23

Lindsay is a graphic designer with a passion for nonprofit work, specializing in women’s rights. She recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Graphic Design and minor in Marketing. Throughout college, Lindsay served various roles in her school’s chapter of Omega Phi Alpha, a national service sorority. Serving as president in her senior year, she helped facilitate trainings on diversity and inclusion for every member. She was raised to always serve the community and to help anyone around her. Once she found her place in art, she sought out ways to combine both interests. Her goals are to create impactful brands for social justice organizations to increase their awareness and become successful in their missions. In her free time, Lindsay is an avid reader, record collector, and explorer of new places.

Thomas Cudjoe smiling in patterened pink and green button-down shirt in front of colorfully painted brick wall.

Thomas Cudjoe '23

Thomas K.M. Cudjoe was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Macon, Georgia. Since graduating from college at Hampton University; he has lived in New Jersey, Boston, and Washington D.C. Over the last six years he has called Baltimore City his home. Thomas cares for older adults in their homes and studies how social isolation impacts the health of this population. His passion to support the health and well-being of older adults stem from formative interactions throughout his youth with his grandparents in Georgia, and Ghana. Thomas has a strong inclination to engage communities to solve complex social challenges and advance health equity. He serves on the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Services and the East Baltimore Community School Board. He is overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to be apart of MASD Cohort 2022 and to receive the generous support of MICA and the Leslie King-Hammond Fellowship.

Akira Holland wearing glasses, green t-shirt with "Basic Tee" written on it, and two necklaces smiling in front of a colorfully painted brick wall.

Akira Holland '23

Akira is interested in the influential connections between social justice, African American studies, and design and how these things shape the world around us. She was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Akira received a BFA in Interior Design at Virginia Commonwealth University where she was able to become a LEED Green Associate and discover her “why” while in the program. Undergrad allowed her to embark on a path to want to create design that will be accessible and achievable for all. Thus leading her to the MASD program. She strongly believes that design has a strong impact on the livelihood of a community and the individuals within it.

Jigyasa Tuli with long dark brown hair and wearing a brown t-shrt smiling in front of colorfully painted brick wall.

Jigyasa Tuli '23

Jigyasa Tuli is a thinker and maker interested in designing with othered communities for empowerment, solidarity and healing against oppressive systems. She is curious about using technology, speculative worlds, language and visuals as tools to advance social justice and innovation. She has been involved with co-leading design and research in projects supporting housing equity, homeownership, neighborhood identities and state-based judicial institutions. She has collaborated with city officials, community leaders, social-good studios and most importantly — the families in these communities. She is also an active un-learner of the singular, siloed euro-centric view of design theory and practice. At MASD, she will continue to experiment and explore different strategies to enact change and respond to systemic inequities.

Alice Weston with medium length brown hair and wearing a green jumpsuit smiling in front of colorfully painted brick wall.

Alice Weston '23

Alice is a community-building creative who is passionate about advancing equity and access in southern cities. Professionally, Alice has been creating and facilitating community programs in the nonprofit sector in Atlanta for eight years. Through this work she has developed friendships, community, and professional partnerships with individuals who have varying perspectives, passions, and principles -all of which have shaped her views on collaborative design practices and social justice. Alice is interested in public greenspace, environmentally sustainable systems, public art, visual culture, and equitably built environments. Alice graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in Human Rights and a B.A. in Photography. She is an animal lover, thrifter, and perpetually planning her next vacation. As a MASD student she hopes to expand her design literacy, enhance her collaborative design practices, and imagine new tools for constructing better systems.

MASD '22


Allison Tomlinson '22

A photographer, a writer and a nature enthusiast, Allison originally hails from a cookie-cutter suburb outside Philadelphia, PA. She received her BS in Secondary English Education and has a diverse background in other fields including food services, library sciences, human resources, and pharmaceuticals. Her varied history has left her clambering for a path to social change, as she's fascinated by the intersection of place, design, and identity: how the story of a land and it's infrastructure affects a community's narrative and one's own personal narrative. In all of her past exploits, Allison has found a way to advocate for the needs of those around her, often lending a listening ear, speaking to leadership on behalf of others and reporting issues of discrimination. In these efforts, she realized her desire to make change on a system level, and she's excited to gain more tools to design better structures to fight injustice.


Allyson Hilgeman '22

Allyson Hilgeman is a lover of language and culture studies spending time within her university career completing a BA in cultural entrepreneurship accompanied with a minor in psychology at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Her time in academia includes the development of incorporating the recognition of language and culture within the realm of business, innovation, and creative, strategic thinking. To further her interest and experience within the design process, Allyson has participated in numerous community and culture interest business projects designed to bring value to the world through product innovation. She has studied sustainability, economics, and politics in Oaxaca, Mexico, pursued global business and indigenous culture studies at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and mentored international students from India and Canada through a seven-week creativity course encouraging young learners to utilize their individual and unique creativity to make the world a better place.


Dejia Danhi '22

Dejia Danhi is a DMV local, originating from northern Virginia. She graduated with distinction in Multimedia Design from Juniata College, where they played collegiate volleyball. She best describes herself as an empath with grit; someone who isn’t afraid to push the seal when advocating for others. She has worked in political direct mail and branding working with small nonprofits and small businesses. Alongside her professional work, their independent artwork is focused on being outspoken and honest. Their work’s purpose is to promote healing and to advocate for people by giving a voice to companies and brands that are committed to building relationships across all communities. She designs to transform her audiences' thinking, promote healing, and ignite this fire of action within them. Dejia is a passionate artist that wears her heart on her sleeve, who prefers to work in print, graphic art software, and stencil work to exhibit their art.


Dhvani Shah '22

As a Miami Ad School alumna and former Art Director from Ogilvy Mumbai, Dhvani’s experiences have been scattered over design for advertising and social impact. She is a part of the core team that runs Indian Creative Women, an industry-wide forum of 1500+ women that focuses on increasing the percentage of women creatives in the Indian Advertising and Design industry by creating real on-ground change. She also volunteers for Annadhan Welfare Foundation; a ‘zero budget’ non-profit that collects surplus food & utilities and distributes it to the homeless. Dhvani believes that design and innovation can create lasting social good in the emerging world. She’s now seeking formal education that match the two i.e. how design can facilitate social change. She wants to learn every step, right from research to execution, and gain knowledge and experience in the U.S., that has a relatively organised social sector, to solve social issues in India.

Elizabeth Emmett '22

Elizabeth is a visual artist as well as an educator. She has spent the last 8 years teaching within the magical and wonder-filled realm of Early Childhood. As a trained Waldorf educator, she dove deeply into both local and global storytelling, music-making, and human development. Spirituality and time spent with the natural world are continued practices and are integral parts in forming Elizabeth’s path. Whether trekking in the mountains, rivers, and forests of the Northeast with children or exploring international terrain and culture, Elizabeth is always seeking to observe, connect, and create meaningful and beautiful experiences. As an artist who sees emergence everywhere she looks, Elizabeth is thrilled to be the student again and discover how socially- responsible and human-centered design can impact her communities beyond the classroom.


Ellie Bazurto '22

Ellie is an industrial and experiential designer with a passion for speculative design, with a focus on community-connectedness and more sustainable futures. Using a process rooted in empathy, strategy, storytelling, and research-based in sociology, ethnography, and collaboration she is working to create opportunities for systematic change. Originally from Northern California, she recently completed a degree in Industrial and Interaction Design from Syracuse University earning the Arthur Pulos Award for attention to ethics in design. During her time, she helped found and lead Women in Design Syracuse. More recently, she was selected as an Access&_Design Fellow for emerging designers of color to learn equitable design and as an Impact Wrkshp Fellow using participatory design for its annual social impact project. In her free time, Ellie enjoys capturing her adventures on film, the beauty of everyday objects, soaking up any sunshine she can get, and attempting to tackle the ever-growing pile of books on her bedside table.


Hannah Young '22

Hannah is a Texas raised artist, activist, facilitator, and collaborator who centers community, equity, and transformative justice. After completing a bachelors from The Evergreen State College focusing on the Surrealist cultural movement, Hannah taught for many years in a low-tech, nature and play based Reggio Emilia program working with children as young as 6 weeks to 12 years. Practice in a child development philosophy fostering self-guided, relationship-driven, and nature centered learning environments has been a crucial influence in her growth and action as a community organizer and activist. After finding her place and stride in social and environmental justice organizations in Austin, Hannah began seeking ways to foster more creativity in movements, leading her to MASD. Her goals are to develop systems, toolkits, and creative blockades which promote full autonomy for individual communities to utilize, liberate, and elevate their own assets, unfettered.


Kennedy McDaniel '22

Born and reared in Baltimore City, Kennedy McDaniel is a multi-disciplinary creative driven by empathy and equity. She studied dance at the Baltimore School for the Arts and later received her B.A. in Africana Studies from Johns Hopkins University. For the last two years, she has been engaging with the community at the Greenmount West Community Center, where she served as Social Media and Grant Writing Manager, bringing in hundreds of new supporters and thousands of dollars in grant funding. She established BLACCINE in 2016, a self-care zine for Black folks with an emphasis on Black women. In 2020-21, she served on the Steering Committee for the National Agenda for Black Girls, where she worked with 100 other Black folks across the nation to establish and sustain an advocacy network by and for Black girls and gender-expansive youth.


Larissa Hawkins '22

Larissa is a Baltimore native. She received her BA in Studio Art from The Catholic University of America in 2019. While in school, she worked as a Washington D.C.-based artist and a trauma-informed yoga instructor before moving back to her Baltimore home. She focuses on spreading awareness of social impact by integrating art and holistic health. She has worked as a graphic designer for businesses centered around health and wellness. Larissa believes that design subtly affects the psyche. Design is an incomparable tool when used intentionally and mindfully because it can create social change.

Matt Coles '22

Matt has a unique background in the public health field. Recently he worked at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the International Vaccine Access Center serving as their Senior Grants & Contracts Analyst. He worked on the financial and administrative management of research grants focused on vaccine preventable diseases. Prior to Johns Hopkins, he was a Program Officer at the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia managing their global health programs. Matt also served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Gambia from 2000-2003. While in West Africa, he worked on computer technology capacity building for the Ministry of Health and served as a vaccinator for the country’s National Polio Immunization Days. He also worked as a Biologist at the USDA studying wild geese disease impacts on urban environments. His family’s motto is “You Never Know What’s Around the Corner” and now comes around a new corner to MICA’s MASD program to build upon social and human centered design for public and international health.


Rhea Gupta '22

Rhea discovered the importance of design as a tool for positive impact through her design and research work in her final semester at Srishti School of Design, Bangalore in 2017. Her product ‘Upcycled Holdall’, driven as a CSR Project, catered to the depleting plight of migrant labour in India and garnered media coverage that exposed her to the importance of iterating a design challenge coupled with design thinking. Since then, her work has focused primarily on environmental, cultural, and social parameters. She has worked with an array of clients including Dastkar - a social organisation aimed at uplifting more than 1 lakh artisans of India, the Bhutanese Handicrafts Association, and her latest endeavour in edu tech with Alison - a free learning tool focused on empowering blue collar learners with the power of accessible education. Rhea believes that the real world problems are too complex to be solved by a single design discipline, and at MICA she seeks to explore multidisciplinary design practices garnered towards community engagement, social upliftment, and the use of technology for social change.


Xing Tianqiao '22

Xing Tianqiao is a Beijing-born and raised designer, graduated from Industrial design in Central Academic of Fine Arts. During the fabulous college journey, she participated in an un-profit organization that helping children with hearing impairment to better connect with the local community. With the experience, she believes that design plays a role in advancing community equality and shaping people’s life. In the meantime, she invests herself as a professional 3D Alias modeling designer who brings amid imagination and creativity to real life, which helped solidify her technical and team-building skills. She is looking forward to continuing her education and merge with human-centered design with the MASD team.

MASD '21

Alanah Nichole Davis '21

Alanah is Bronx NY born & Baltimore Based Performance Artist/Spoken Word Poet, Consultant, Organizer & Mother of two to Blair (7) & Harper (5). She Is a big belly, hearted, and loud black woman of West Indian descent who is best known for the impact of her voice in her arts & social change community in Baltimore and Beyond. In the past two years alone Alanah has marketed & produced a countless number of events, projects & campaigns for non-profits & small businesses that are arts, culture & social change focused. Many of Alanah's days since 2015 have been filled with bringing ideas & platforms to fruition. Using arts & culture as a catalyst for change is her superpower. Ranging from production assistant to project coordinator, host & performer Alanah has maintained an ambitious style of arts-based contract procurement in varying degrees at organizations & initiatives like Baltimore's Promise, Movement Law Lab, Impact Hub Baltimore, Motor House, New Creatures/Red Bull Amaphiko, Maryland State Arts Council + more.

Asheeta Khanna '21

Asheeta graduated with a BFA in Communication Design from MassArt in 2019. Over the past year she has worked as a UX designer at Indigo Ag — helping farmers to sustainably feed the planet. Born in Mumbai, she spent the majority of her years growing up in different countries all over the world from South Africa to Russia. Her cultural experiences over the years helped her realize how powerful visual communication can be as a universal language. She believes that as designers we really do have the power to make a change in this world. We can engage our community in issues that are important through compelling visual storytelling, a vision and a purpose.

Bryn Dunbar '21

Bryn is a Baltimore born and raised designer with roots in photography. She went to MICA Undergrad for Photography and minored in Graphic Design. For the last 4 years, she has been an Art Director at two different advertising agencies: ISL in DC and, more recently, Barkley in Boulder, Colorado. She has worked on an array of clients including Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard, Wawa, Shoprite, LPGA, and Fogo de Chao. Through working in advertising, she became intrigued by mass art that can be created and how that can translate to social design practices. She is a people person, first and foremost, so she aims to make work that impacts people in a positive way through photography, design, and new practices. If her work is sparking meaningful and constructive conversations, she believes she has done her job. Just don't get her on the topic of food, movies or "The Office" because she will talk your ear off.

Damella Dotan '21

Hailing from New York, New York, Damella moved to Pennsylvania for undergrad where they studied Religious Studies. Damella then moved to Washington DC where they worked in education and as a legal clinic coordinator at a non-profit. Damella has also been involved in SURJ (Showing Up For Racial Justice), their most recent work with them being co-facilitating a reading group. Damella enjoys leisurely bike rides, murder mysteries, dancing, and traveling.

Estela Duhart Benavides '21

Estela is an empathetic and sentimental human that happens to be a Designer. Proud to be originally from Mexico City, she holds a BA in Graphic Design and a Masters in Business Innovation from CEDIM, based in Monterrey, Mexico. Over the past 8 years, she has worked with a multidisciplinary team of designers around the world making appliances friendlier and more integrated to the home in different countries at Whirlpool Corporation, who transferred her from the studio in Monterrey, Mexico to the studio in Michigan, USA. She's passionate about exploring possibilities through collaborations, fueled by different perspectives, and while she has enjoyed impacting the visuals for appliances of global brands, she hopes her time at MICA's MASD program will help her move closer to her calling: utilizing design in the shaping of society in a more equitable and multicultural way.

Isaac Farley '21

Isaac is a designer and social entrepreneur from Ogden, Utah. As a child, he grew up in a family that faced a number of economic problems including being homeless for some time. These experiences lead him to make a commitment to do work that would benefit families that face similar challenges. Isaac holds a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Visual Communication from Weber State University. In 2014 he was a participant in Impact! Design for Social Change a seminar at the School of Visual Arts. It was here that Isaac developed a concept for a social enterprise called O-Town Kitchen that turns food waste into products and creates jobs for families recovering from domestic abuse and homelessness. After running this social enterprise from 2015-2020 Isaac now joins MASD ready and willing to broaden his perspective and bring a design approach to new wicked problems.

John Benton Denny '21

John Benton Denny is a social marketing innovator reigning from the most Charming City in the world, Baltimore, MD. During his undergraduate matriculation, at Morgan State University, John found his love for strategic planning, higher education, and public health. Joining the Baltimore City Health Department in 2017, John has spearhead dozens of Center for Disease Control (CDC) funded campaigns that spotlight the health and real-life experiences of black people in Baltimore. Through his research and human-centered approach to public health, John has grasped what it really takes to inspire and mobilize community needs and opportunities for equity, diversity, and inclusion. John is noted for his storytelling and action-oriented programs. He believes that storytelling and listening are informative data tools with feelings and emotions. John has used his skills as a consultant in assisting organizations and community stakeholders on how to better connect with the communities in which they serve. John lives by this simple quote, "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”- Dr. Maya Angelou.

Kalyani Jhaveri '21

Kalyani is a NJ based designer with her BDes in Graphic Design from Mumbai. She has a passion for design and parents who are actively involved in social work, which encouraged her to look for ways to use design in a way that benefited others. Upon graduation she moved to Melbourne and got the opportunity to work on a campaign for troubled teens, which made her realize design can be used to tackle some difficult issues and bring about a positive change. Over the past year she has been working with a print agency based in NYC, that helped hone her technical and team building skills. She believes that design plays a key role in shaping every aspect of our lives and used in the right way design can bring about a massive change in the society.

Kathleen Harmanson '21

Kathleen Harmanson received her BA in Design Studies at North Carolina State University with a Minor in French. During her time at NC State she took interest in how systems affect communities and cultures and further tries to explore her focus through her travels. She hopes to design products or systems that add to the richness of communities while not taking away the importance of identity. She was raised to value the stories that differentiates us from our neighbors. Learning how to utilise the resources at hand is at the foundation of her thought process. As she grows as a designer her interests have begun to broaden to include a consideration of how textiles and the art of woodworking shape communities.

Lydia Tonkonow '21

Lydia Tonkonow is a designer and artist originally based in Connecticut. A passionate painter, Lydia earned her BA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University before moving to Washington, D.C. to work as a Graphic Designer and Media Specialist at the Institute for Medicaid Innovation, a Medicaid non-profit, nonpartisan research and policy organization. Her previous professional experiences include a mix of community arts non-profits as well as a brief stint in historic preservation work. As a MASD candidate, Lydia looks to engage with design as a tool for both communication and the creation of sustainable change, focusing on addressing disparities and working towards equity in public health.

Rishika Dhawan '21

Rishika Dhawan has been interested in how a city is shaped by its people. Her interests started while studying her Bachelor’s in architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, where she researched the influence of space on women’s safety. This led her to working with nonprofits in New Delhi, helping marginalized communities through design interventions of building temporary schools and research initiatives relating to human habitat. She moved on to her Master’s at the Architectural Association, London, where her studies of urban theories helped her map out the city of Delhi through the moments of conflict that arise when engaging with one another or with a space; and the built environment it creates. Having recently moved back home to Virginia, she continues to work with nonprofits in Maryland and Washington, DC, furthering her knowledge and curiosity in the importance of the individual’s role in the development of a city. She is looking forward to continuing her education and involvement with the grassroot levels of design as a part of the MASD cohort.

MASD '20

Vidisha Agarwalla '20

Vidisha Agarwalla '20

Vidisha is an Accessory design graduate from National Institute of fashion technology, India. While her time in college she developed skills to gain understanding about human centered design and started taking up projects to solve social challenges. For the past year, she has been working as a product designer with a social enterprise called BEMPU Health, to develop life-saving products for premature babies. She worked on ‘KangaSling’, a wrap that enables parents to easily provide prolonged Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin care to their newborn. Her product is being used in many hospitals in India and is also being showcased at the World Health Assembly. At her time in MICA she seeks to develop a holistic understanding about the entire system and understand and address challenges in society, not only in healthcare, but also in other sectors. Her aim is to use design skills to develop and provide cost-effective innovations to the developing world to address social inequity. When she isn’t on to the next social challenge she loves dancing, playing badminton and goes for a quick swim.

Sasha Avrutina '20

Sasha Avrutina '20

Sasha is constantly searching for ways to meld her love of design with social responsibility. She has spent that past few years working in an integrated marketing company where she has had the opportunity to work with multiple substance abuse centers. There she has worked on projects to destigmatize mental health and addiction treatment. As a strong advocate of community engagement through volunteering, she has shared her design skills and time with various non-profits focused on racial equity and conservation. She has received her BFA in Communication Design from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design where she had the opportunity to focus projects on topics that are meaningful to her, such as mental health and public health. She is excited to continue to learn and grow alongside smart and passionate people and to develop skills to better enact social change.

Heidi Good Boncana

Heidi Good Boncana '20

Heidi Good Boncana is a visual storyteller and experienced global public health professional with specific expertise in the use of applied mobile technologies in low resource settings and tech-for-health partnerships. She has been with Johns Hopkins for the past eight years developing social and behavior change communication programs across health areas yet with a particular focus on maternal, child and newborn health content, first as a program manager then Senior Digital Health Advisor. She has traveled extensively as a documentary photographer and photo editor. Heidi spent years living in Mali, West Africa with UNICEF developing a photography and video reporting, and building communications for an international donor audience via community stories. She has worked with UNICEF, MSF, US-foundations, non-profits and corporations to produce images for annual and special reports. Heidi completed her undergraduate coursework in Media and Culture Studies at Oberlin Collect and earned a first Masters Degree in International Relations from The New School for Social Research.

Francesca Bonifacio '20

Francesca Bonifacio is a writer and photographer formerly based in Chicago. With a background in journalism, her work has centered on storytelling and developing strategic messaging for financial institutions and nonprofit organizations focused on social services and the arts. In 2017, she co-founded Backyard Chicago, a nonprofit that introduces Chicago Public Schools students to theatre and poetry as tools for healing justice. Originally from Manila, Philippines, Francesca is primarily concerned with and impacted by cross-cultural tensions and the lived experiences of communities of color under colonialism and systems of oppression. She seeks to confront historical trauma within these communities, using a design-informed approach to investigate where shared understanding of trauma occurs across generations and how resources are leveraged to build empowerment and healing. Francesca holds two bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Radio, TV & Film from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Jasmine Cothern '20

Jasmine Cothern '20

Jasmine Cothern received her BA in Studio Art at East Tennessee State University, where she focused on Fiber Arts. She is influenced by bold colors and patterns in the design work of Lily Pulitzer and Betsey Johnson, and the bright, vibrant hues reminiscent of Pop Art. She plans to bring more awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that has impacted her family and to inspire those around her to take action and advocate for a healthier community. When looking at her prints, people feel a sense of positivity and happiness. They are made with the intention of being engaging enough for people to want them for themselves. She plans to have a fabric line. By having people wear and embrace her prints that were created around this epidemic, it gives them a beautiful story to tell. It’s a way of bringing people to the cause by making light out of something dark.

Kadija Hart '20

Kadija Hart '20

Originally from Rochester, New York, Kadija attended Morgan State University where she obtained a BS in Telecommunications. She gained a post-graduate certificate in Video Production from the Sheffield Institute of the Recording Arts, spending the first decade of her career managing large commercial and video productions. She also served as a producer and co-host for two AM talk radio programs. It wasn’t long before she felt the urge to branch out into the non-profit sector, a path of fulfillment that was shared by both of her parents. Kadija used her gift of connectivity to engage residents in initiatives to enhance their quality of life and to successfully fundraise, more than 1 million dollars, for those initiatives to continue. Her ability to positively evoke change, leading to the empowerment of community members, was one of the highlights of her career along with producing two commercials for her college Alma Mater. Kadija is a change agent who is passionate about working with mostly low-to-moderate-income communities of color to advance racial equity and eliminate disparities. She is an outsider artist with installations in Gwynn Falls Leakin Park, Lake Montebello, and Belair-Edison, a self-taught graphic designer, lover of 90’s hip-hop, and cinema buff. Kadija is a Daily Record Leading Women award recipient and received the Associated Black Charities Women on the Move award for “Women Making a Difference in Their Community”. Kadija was a part of the 2018 Bank of America Prosperity Now Fellowship Program and is honored to be a 2019 Leslie King Hammond Graduate Fellow. She is thrilled to be a part of the 2020 MASD cohort and excited about this next chapter!

Eunsoo Kim '20

Eunsoo Kim '20

Eunsoo Kim is from South Korea and has an undergraduate degree is in Graphic Design. When she was in elementary school, she lived in Indonesia for 5 years because of her father's missionary work. Her experiences in Indonesia have become a fundamental motive to have an interest in Social Design. She's especially interested in poverty and youth education among many social issues. She has worked as a VMD designer in the retail industry for the last 4 years. Her hope is that as she starts studying Social Design with like-minded peers and professors, she will become a better, more socially responsible designer.

Ayangbe Mannen '20

Ayangbe Mannen '20

Ayangbe has Bachelors and Masters degree in Psychology from Delhi University and more recently has worked as a Design Researcher for a Design and Innovation studio based out of Delhi, India. Her interests lie in better understanding the human experience and learning about perspectives different from her own. She hopes to eventually work towards building inclusive and nuanced solutions to complex issues in her home country, India. Currently, she is learning about gender politics and traditional practices in her own culture to better discern its influence on present day Naga society and her personal experience of "home". During her free time she also enjoys painting and has illustrated for several publications and been part of a few group shows in Delhi. At MASD Ayangbe hopes to gain more practice in creative problem solving and deepen her understanding of Design and its methodology so that she can build powerful tools for innovation and positive change.

Hanah Murphy '20

Hanah Murphy '20

Hanah Murphy is an eternal explorer, informal educator, and citizen planner. She believes in the power of activating people's’ passions and is excited about realizing inherent community assets in designing solutions for a more sustainable and equitable future. After earning a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Florida State University, she directed an urban farm focused on increasing local food accessibility and strengthening social networks by bringing people together at the table. Her resolution to advance community health continued in the non-profit sector where she led curriculum development and collaborative initiatives in education. During her time as a MASD candidate, she hopes to investigate the intersection of technology, cultural tradition, and resiliency as it relates to the evolution of food systems and urban design. Hanah continuously seeks to infuse curiosity, playful learning, and good food in all of her pursuits and partnerships.

Gwen Richards '20

Gwen Richards '20

Gwen Richards is an award-winning digital editor who serves as the board chair of Megaphone Project, Baltimore's Social Justice Film Producers. She has worked for WBAL-TV 11 News and WEAA 88.9 FM as a producer of Mario Armstrong's Digital Spin. Concurrently, she terrorized the establishment as a public health professional. She is an instructor for the Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program and Writing Outside the Fence Community Writing Program, both sponsored by The Johns Hopkins University. Her club name, which she acquired while living in London, England is Chandelier. Cardi B is her favorite rapper. Now retired, she has named her year at MICA as "Priming the Passion."

Eesha Patne '20

Eesha Patne '20

Eesha Patne is an Industrial Designer specialized in Product Design. Her main interests lie in designing for environmental sustainability and social impact. Her experience with designing multiple products that involved cheap plastic components and unsustainable practices convinced her of the need to make the shift. Since then she has worked on conscious product design - from reshaping internal systems to incorporating sustainable manufacturing; worked with NGOs involving education of kids coming from impoverished backgrounds and tried to make a shift to a zero waste lifestyle. After conducting a first of its kind event in her sleepy hometown of Pune through her social initiative called Reuse Therapy, she has managed to make people aware and consider their impact on the environment and society. She aims at making sustainable products and services accessible too individuals from varied parts of the society.

Su Qian’er '20

Su Qian’er believes that deign is a bridge between art and society, and that historical changes are recorded in stories of ordinary people. Recently she is keen on exploring the interactions and relationships between cities and people with the help of artistic design. By portraying cities and city constructors from a whole new perspective, she paints a vivid picture about interactions and relationships between cities and people from three aspects – cities, people and life. Her theme works have been exhibited as a permanent collection by the one and only illustration association in Mainland China and the first labor workers museum in the nation. Su Qian’er wishes to broaden her vision and understand the essence of design by observing people, society and nature during the graduate studies of Social Design at Maryland Institute College of Art.

Judy Chen '20

Judy Chen '20

Judy holds an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture. She cares about the surroundings and believes in positive change. She spent her school years concerned about environmental issues. More importantly, she learned to feel societal needs emotionally, but make designs logically. Instead of just making attractive products, Judy enjoys the process of discussion, analysis, determining materials and resources, and lastly, coming to a design solution that is suitable to people and the environment. In MASD, she hopes to tackle a variety of issues to help her advance her skills and thoughts, which can be integrated in daily lives, and achieve her goals of contributing to society through practical and complete designs.

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.

MASD '17