Vidisha Agarwalla (MASD ‘20) is a Social Design Associate with the PROMOTE Center (School of Nursing) and the Cochlear Center for Hearing & Public Health (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health). She is working with a team of researchers, clinicians, and public health experts in integrating design thinking into initiatives at both centers. With the PROMOTE team, she is working with nurse practitioners to support patients and their caregivers with multiple chronic conditions and develop sustainable health care initiatives through research design. She equivalently supports the Cochlear Center team to understand the impact of hearing loss in older adults on public health, developing and testing strategies to mitigate these effects, and helping to implement policies at the local, national, and global levels to address hearing loss.
Associates are embedded into funded projects with outside partners to put the human-centered design process into practice in professional contexts, serve as mentors to current MASD students, and engage in other initiatives of the Center for Social Design.
The Social Design Associates program builds upon the success and learning of a post-graduate fellowship program launched in the Center for Social Design in 2012 with support from the Robert W. Deutsch (RWD) Foundation to keep innovative ideas and social design talent in Baltimore. From 2012-18, the RWD Fellowship provided a year-long stipend, institutional resources, and studio accommodations to 11 Fellows to continue their thesis research, implementation, and evaluation.