Vitae

 

EDUCATION

MFA: Master of Fine Arts
The University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Areas of Focus: Health Communication & Information Design.

BA: Bachelor of Arts
The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.
Areas of Focus: Graphic Design, Illustration & International Studies.

 

WORK EXPERIENCE

Information Design Consultant.  NiJeL.  Jan 2014 – Present.
UX/UI and information designer for an NYC-based data visualization firm that caters to non-profits, international NGOs, community organizations, and social entrepreneurs. Working with lead developers to design and develop interactive data visualizations using d3.js, django, open street map and other open source platforms. Collaborators include: the Marron Institute at NYU, the Civic Data Design Lab at MIT, the Department for Urban Studies & Planning at MIT, Save The Sound, and others.

Data + Design Strategy Consultant.  May 2004 – Present.
Assisting clients with information design and strategy needs including: data analysis & visualization, user research, human centered & service design, instructional design, and UI/UX design. Collaborators include: UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the City of Detroit’s office of the CIO, the CoLab at MIT, Excellent Schools Detroit, Everybody Ready, the Wayne County Great Start Collaborative, the PowerHouse Project, IMG Media, UNICEF Botswana, Welt Hunger Hilfe, and others.

Project Manager & Analyst.  Data Driven Detroit.  Detroit, MI.  Dec 2012 – Dec 2013.
Combining design and data skillsets to lead interdisciplinary teams conducting quality analysis and trainings for state, regional and citywide clients at a nonprofit research firm. Designed interface and user experience for interactive, online data. Developed curriculum for trainings with community members. Managed communications team. Regularly expanded Excel, Access, R, Gephi, and ArcGIS products with Adobe CS skills.

Communications Manager & Analyst.  Data Driven Detroit.  Detroit, MI.  Aug 2010 – Dec 2012.
Combining design and data skillsets to create quality analysis and accessible visuals for state, regional and citywide projects at a nonprofit research firm. Collected, cleaned, analyzed and visualized data for reports and websites. Designed layout of publications. Developed brand and logos as needed. Edited online newsletter. Oversaw the D3 website, staff blog, newsletter, social media strategy and archive of institutional knowledge.

Research Analyst.  SEIU Healthcare Michigan.  Detroit, MI.  Jan 2009 – April 2010.
Applying an evidence-based approach to campaign planning and contract negotiation support for SEIU Healthcare Michigan, a division of the Service Employees International Union representing healthcare workers in Michigan. Work focused on data collection, data analysis, corporate research, financial analysis, and policies related to the healthcare industry.

Research Assistant.  Discrete Choice in Health Utilization.  Ann Arbor, MI.   2007.
Research Assistant for Dr Margaret Kruk, then Health Policy Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Designed and illustrated a discrete choice survey, used to interview rural women in Tanzania about their decisions to seek professionally attended childbirth. Survey also implemented in Jimma, Ethiopia.

 

HONORS

Participant.  Young Professional Summit at the German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum.  March 2015.
Strengthening Transatlantic Cooperation
Invited to participate in the selective summit which convenes about 70 high-potential young professionals with the goal of fostering dialogue between generations and building new connections across sectors and nations. Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic.

Fellow.  Civic Data Design Lab at MIT School of Architecture & Planning.  June – Dec 2014.
Working with data to understand it for public good.
Assisting NiJeL with the update of the NSF funded City Digits project, combining administrative and business data with qualitative student-led research in an interactive learning tool that explores informal banking.  This collaborative project among the Civic Data Design Lab, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, and CUNY’s Brooklyn College to develops, pilots, and tests innovative resources and tools that support high school students’ learning of mathematics.

Recipient.  #40Forward Scholarship.  Google for Entrepreneurs.  Fall 2014.
Increasing the representation of women entrepreneurs in startup communities.
Received scholarship to participate in 12 week web development training and paid data visualization internship. 

Artist in Residence.  Michele Schara Artist & Designer in Residence Program.  Detroit, MI.  April – Dec 2014.
Supporting Alumni of the UM Stamps School of Art + Design to engage with Detroit students and teachers.
Developed a zine for use in a STEAM themed robotics classroom in a Brightmoor neighborhood school. The reference zine incorporates visual aids and everyday language making complex physics concepts more accessible.

Alternate for Fulbright Grant to Malawi.  U.S. Department of Education.  2008.
Promoting international understanding and cultural exchange.
Proposed national nutrition manual design for community-based health workers in Southern Malawi.

Grant Opportunities[collaborative spaces] (GROCS) grant.  University of Michigan.  2007.
Supporting interdisciplinary research in information technology.
Design of online tool to assist health workers in creating and distributing health communication materials.

International Institute Individual Fellowship Award.  University of Michigan.   2007
Supporting international research for Master students and Phd candidates.
Needs assessment and visual literacy survey of community-based health workers in Jimma, Ethiopia.

A+D Life Grant.  University of Michigan.  2007.
Supporting collaboration and exchange between art & design and the life sciences.
Needs assessment and visual literacy survey of community-based health workers in Jimma, Ethiopia.

GIEU Teaching Fellow.  University of Michigan & Ethiopia.  Nov 2006 – July 2007.
Cross-cultural service teaching experience with an interdisciplinary team or students.
Team taught study abroad and intercultural exchange trip to Ethiopia for 18 undergrads. Taught students basic Amharic language skills in addition to delivering lectures on history, culture and economics. Oversaw budget/travel logistics while in Ethiopia and coordinated study activities with NGOs and cultural institutions.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Botswana’s Current Child Labour Issues—Where Do We Stand and Where Do We Go From Here?  2011.
in Thari ya Bana: Reflections on Children in Botswana, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)–Botswana
With James Warner

Child Work & Child Labour in Botswana: Results from the 2005/2006 Labour Force Survey.  2011.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)–Botswana
With James Warner

Population vis-à-vis Resource Allocation Within the Amhara Region Context. 2004
United Nations—Amhara’s Population and Sustainable Development –Ethiopia
With James Warner

 

WORKSHOPS + PRESENTATIONS

Visiting Artist. Experimental Geographies.  School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Oct 2015.
Mapping concepts and technologies to explore how we come to know and understand space
Invited to lecture on data visualization and lead a workshop on QGIS in Lindsey French’s Experimental Geographies class in the sculpture department. Workshop involved students managing and visualizing data with open-source statistical mapping software.

Co-Teacher. Continuing Education.  Wayne State University School of Social Work.  Oct 2015.
Objectives for Visualizations With Big Data Tools: Data Design Meets Social Work
Co-taught a data visualization class and Tableau workshop with Richard J. Smith and Jeffrey Herbstman as part of Wayne State University’s continuing education offered to licensed social workers.

Visiting Artist.  Roman J. Witt Visiting Artist.  Stamps School of Art & Design.  Feb 2015.
Faculty nominated visitors to enhance curriculum
Invited to present a lecture and workshop on data visualization to Heidi Kumao’s Digital Storytelling class. Workshop involved students collecting and visualizing their own data, as well as developing an infographic, in an effort to translate research into a more accessible and visual form.

Co-Presenter.  Unite for Sight Global Health Conference.  Yale University.   April 2009.
Convenes leaders in global health and social entrepreneurship.
Co-Presented my MFA thesis research on the use of visual aids with community health workers in southwestern Ethiopia with Heather Lanthorn.

 

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE

Data Visualization Intern.  RVTR.  Ann Arbor, MI.  Winter 2015.
Data Visualization Intern at the Ann Arbor-based architecture firm, RVTR. Researching and developing 3 data visualizations that will automate cluster analysis  and network visualizations describing the new mobility economy in southeast Michigan.

Data Visualization Intern.  City of Detroit Office of the CIO.  Detroit, MI.  Winter 2015.
Data Visualization Intern in the City of Detroit’s CIO office under the Deputy of Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement as part of the #40Forward Scholarship.

Founding Member & Mentor.  Co.Open.  Jan 2014 – Present.
Founding member of a digital media cooperative that mentors emerging Detroit designers and developers on paid client projects, reinvesting a percentage of revenue into providing affordable digital media classes. Collaborators include: the CoLab at MIT, the Department for Urban Studies & Planning at MIT, the Community Strategy Lab at MIT, Everybody Ready & the Wayne County Great Start Collaborative, and others.

Freelance Writer. Civic Tech Coverage for Model D.  Detroit, MI.   June 2014 – Present.
Covering civic and community technology for Model D, an online magazine telling the story about the people who are changing Detroit. Together the editor and I working to develop a regular tech column that utilizes data journalism and infographics for storytelling.

Advisory Board Member.  Write A House.  Detroit, MI.  May 2014 – 2015.
Serving as a board member of Write A House’s advisory board.

Board Member.  FoodLab.  Detroit, MI.  Sept2014 – Present.
Serving as Secretary of the Board for a food non-profit providing resources and mentorship to Detroit Food Entrepreneurs in an effort expand and promote an equitable new economy driven by locally-sourced, healthy food and diverse triple-bottom line businesses.

Founder, Director.  The Detroit School of Data Science.  April 2014 – Present.
Co-founder and Co-Director of educational lab focused on improving data literacy and data science skillsets in Detroit non-profits, schools, and businesses.

Board Member.  Write A House.  Detroit, MI.  May 2014 – 2015.
Serving as a board member of Write A House’s working board. Assisted with author application development, organizational development including bylaws, non-profit application, website & blog development.

Founder & Coordinator.  Research Justice Track at Allied Media Conference.  Detroit, MI.  Jan 2012 – Present.
Co-Founder and Co-coordinator of the Research Justice Track at the Allied Media Conference, a conference focused on democratizing media of all types. Track focused on building capacity at the grassroots in respect to research and data.

Acting Director.  Write A House.  Detroit, MI.   2012 – 2013.
Serving as acting director for a burgeoning literary nonprofit providing low-income housing for emerging authors. Houses are additionally used as vocational training sites for Detroiters. Overseeing the nonprofit applications process, website content, business plan development, managing of interns and fundraising.

Intern.  UNICEF Botswana.  Gaborone, Botswana.  August – December 2008.
Interned under social policy advisor. Wrote policy documents, created and designed presentation materials, assisted with analysis of child labour data in SPSS and produced a review of the National Labour Force Survey.

Student, Principal investigator.  Survey of Health Extension Workers.  Jimma, Ethiopia.  July 2007.
Leader of research team. Design and implementation of visual literacy survey and needs assessment for community-based health workers in Southwestern Ethiopia. Coordinated budget, housing, transport and scheduling logistics in addition to interviewing respondents & overseeing IRB approval. Research informed MFA thesis—the creation of an evidence-based, illustrated resource manual & educational flipchart. Separate written component described methodology for implementation, manual’s role within Health Extension Program, and role of IT in health system. Designed in coordination with Regional Health Bureau of Oromo Region. Research accepted for presentation at Unite for Sight’s Global Health Conference at Yale University in April 2009.

Project lead, interface designer.  University of Michigan.  GROCS grant.  Winter 2007.
Organized and lead team of five students and $10,000 grant opportunities in [collaborative spaces] grant(GROCS).   Designed interface of web application that assists public health workers in creating locale specific public health educational materials and interventions. Managed meetings and organized work activities.

Student, interface designer.  University of Michigan.  Principals of Design.  Fall 2007.
Team member. Researched and designed web application interface to assist teachers in creating successful worksheets in Basics in Educational Software class taught by Dr. Chris Quintana.

Volunteer.  Awassa, Ethiopia & University of Michigan.  Tilla.  Fall 2006.
Developed anti-retroviral therapy promotional poster with Ethiopian NGO Tilla. Poster implemented in rural area of southern Ethiopia.

Volunteer.  Awassa, Ethiopia & University of Michigan.  VCT.  2005 – 06.
Developed and designed 24-page narrative comic to educate low-literate audience about benefits of HIV testing. Worked closely with Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), a governmental HIV/AIDS organization.

Intern, designer.   BoFED.   Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.   2003 – 2004.
Illustrated and wrote participatory monitoring and evaluation manual for Bureau of Finance and Economic Development (BoFED) of Amhara Region. Distributed to 5,000 government officials. Also disseminated via AGGAR magazine as Community Comics!

 

SKILLS

Specialities:
Evidence-based Design + Strategy including: Service and impact design. User research and ethnography. Participatory and human-centered approaches to design and facilitation. Monitoring and evaluation of programs and organizations. Data driven communication strategies.

The design of complex information including:  Infographics, data visualization and user interfaces. Data analysis and reporting. Design for low-literate audiences including instructional design and curriculum development.

General Research including: Investigative research, campaign and policy research. Focus Groups + Interviews. Power mapping.

Skillset:
ArcGIS, QGIS, SPSS, MS Access, MS Excel, ADB Illustrator, ADB InDesign, ADB Photoshop, Gephi, html, css, javascript, jquery, php.

Skill Building:
Currently exploring: D3.js, R, Python.

Also learning Brazilian Portuguese & Ethiopian Amharic.