About

Introductions Are In Order

portraitI am an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and an Armstrong Interactive Media Studies Affiliate at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Over my fifteen years of professional design experience as a creative director, graphic, interaction, and service designer I’ve worked in agency, in-house, corporate, non-profit and freelance environments. My research is focused on how design thinking, processes, and outcomes affect and are influenced by human perception, behavior, and actions. This is done through a synthesis of social science methodologies, rhetorical criticism, and design thinking processes and outcomes. My current research is focused on addressing end-of-life decisions. This research can be followed at eoldecisions.designworkbench.com.

A Bit of History

My design career started in first grade by following instructions from Ed Emberley’s drawing book Make a World to create panoramas out of everyday shapes. In third grade I bought a typography book from a Scholastic Book Fair and by the time I took my first art class in 8th grade I knew my future was as an artist. My junior year in high school I learned the term “commercial artist” which set a point on the horizon for my future career. I had no idea then that eventually I’d go onto a career as a designer, researcher, and educator.

Over my fifteen years of professional design experience as a creative director, graphic, interaction, and experience designer I’ve worked in agency, in-house, corporate, non-profit and freelance environments. This work has been done with and for organizations including Southwest Airlines, HKS Architects, Cook Children’s Hospital, Irving Bible Church, Water is Basic and public broadcasting television station, KERA. I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design and Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Texas Tech University in 1998 as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Applied Design Research from the University of North Texas in 2013.

I enjoy playing disc golf, backgammon, and going to big concerts in small venues.

Curriculum Vitae

Download my CV

Current Position

Assistant Professor, Graphic Design
Miami University | Department of Art | Oxford, Ohio | Fall 2013 – Present

Courses Taught: Highwire Brand Studio, Image Making, Fundamentals of Interaction Design, Applied Interaction Design, Design for Social Change Senior Thesis Project, Systems Design, Graduate Design Studio

Current Roles

Co-Director, xd:MFA in Experience Design
Summer 2015 – Present

Lead Faculty, Graphic Design B.F.A.
Summer 2015 – Present

Armstrong Interactive Media Studies Affiliate
Fall 2013 – Present

Education

M.F.A. in Design–Applied Design Research
University of North Texas | College of Visual Arts and Design | Denton, Texas | 2010–2013

B.F.A. in Design Communication
Texas Tech University | College of Arts and Sciences | Lubbock, Texas | 1993–1998

B.A. in English–Creative Writing
Texas Tech University | College of Arts and Sciences | Lubbock, Texas | 1993–1998

Associations and Memberships

Design Research Society (DRS)
2012–Present

American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
2012–Present

Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
2012–Present

Previous Positions

Teaching Fellow
University of North Texas | Department of Design | Denton, Texas | Fall 2011-Spring 2013

Courses Taught: Typography 1 & 2, Design Thinking

Teaching Intern
University of North Texas | Department of Design | Denton, Texas | Fall 2010

Courses Taught: Typography 2

Graphic Designer and Principal
Dennis Cheatham Design | Lake Dallas, Texas | 2000-2013

Creative Director and Director of Electronic Media
Irving Bible Church | Irving, Texas | 2008-2013

Senior Art Director
HKS Architects | Dallas, Texas | 2007-2008

Graphic Designer and Art Director
Irving Bible Church | Irving, Texas | 2000-2007

Writer, Customer Relations
Southwest Airlines | Dallas, Texas | 1999-2000

Graphic Designer
Dennard, Lacey, and Wood | Dallas, Texas | 1998-1999

Previous Roles

Alumni Teaching Scholar
Miami University Center for Teaching Excellence | Faculty Learning Community | 2014-2015

Previous Associations and Memberships

Dallas Society of Visual Communications (DSVC)
1998-2013

College Art Association (CAA)
2012-2013

Kappa Kappa Psi – National Honorary Band Fraternity

Tau Sigma Delta – Honor Society in Architecture and the Allied Arts

Sigma Tau Delta – International English Honor Society

Publications

The Logo No One Designed: A Historical Analysis of the I Love New York Logo
On electronic reserve for Design & Management: PUDM.2315.D | Marketing, PR and Branding | Professor Abdul Malaks | Parsons – The New School | New York, New York | Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Book Chapter Abstracts

Making Meaning Tangible: How Participatory Design Can Reveal the Ways People Perceive the World
Philosophy of Design: On Exploring Design and Design Research Philosophically | Editors: Pieter Vermaas & Stéphane Vial | Springer, New York | Expected September 2016 Release | Accepted July 2015

Paper Abstracts

A Necessary Shift: Embracing Research and Front-End Coding for Experience-Driven Graphic Design
Graphic Designers of Canada upcoming journal | Editors: Graphic Designers of Canada Review Board | Accepted August 2015

Conference Plenary Presentations

Learning to Fail: How to Make Failing Part of Learning
35th Annual Lilly Conference on College Teaching | Miami University | Oxford, Ohio | November 2015

Conference Presentations

Research Your Way Into Users’ Hearts
HOW Interactive Design Conference | San Francisco, California | September 20, 2015

Designers as Users: Switching Roles to Teach Critical Thinking in Design Education
New Ventures: Intersections In Design Education | AIGA Design Educators Conference | Portland, Oregon | September 11–13, 2014

A Necessary Shift: Engaging Coding In Graphic Design Education
PICA Conference | Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, Alberta North Chapter | Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | May 7–10, 2014

Responsive Web Design and a New Web Aesthetic
4th Annual Research Student Conference in Art & Design | University of Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton, United Kingdom | May 14–15, 2012

Conference Abstracts

End-of-Life Decisions: Using Systemic Approaches to Research
the Conversations Americans Aren’t Having
Relating Systems Thinking and Design 4 | Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada | September 1-3, 2015 | Accepted June 2015 for Poster

The Modern Sacred: Applying the Ancient Faith to a Digital Congregation
International Conference on Digital Religion | Center for Media, Religion and Culture, University of Colorado, Boulder | Boulder, Colorado | January 12–15, 2012 | Accepted September 2011 for Presentation

Symposia

Rewarding Risk: Exploring How to Encourage Learning that Comes from Risking Failure
Alumni Teaching Scholars Research Symposium | Miami University | April 6, 2015

Workshops and Featured Speaker Presentations

Facing the Blank Canvas: How to Start Designing
AIGA Cincinnati Student Engagement Design Forum | Cincinnati, Ohio | September 24, 2015

Design is Not About Design, It’s About People
Contemporary Art Forum | Miami University | Department of Art | March 12, 2015

Selected Interviews, Magazine Stories, Website Posts

Thoughts on Communication Design and UX Education
James Pannafino | with seven other user experience educators at other institutions across the United States | March 27, 2015

PICA: Western Canada’s Design Conference, Edmonton, Alberta
Karen Jager | a recap of the PICA Conference | July 27, 2014

Selected Research Projects

Researching and Designing Meaningful End-of-Life Decisions
Principal Investigator | with Jennifer Heston (Miami University), Paul Nini (The Ohio State University) | December 2014–Present

Rewarding Risk: Exploring How to Encourage Learning that Comes from Risking Failure
Principal Investigator | Fall 2014–Spring 2015

Researching the Barriers Between Men and Mental Health Care
Principal Investigator | August 2012–July 2013

Water Conservation Can Be Fashionable: An Attitudinal Approach to Reducing Water Overuse in the United States
Co-Investigator | with Rebeca Carranza, Holly Cole, John Hicks, Jeff Joiner, Michelle Keefer, Tim Woodring, XuHao Yang | August–December 2012

The City of Owasso Character Initiative
Co-Investigator | with John Hicks, Michelle Keefer and XuHao Yang | January–May 2012

Evaluating the Dynamics, Processes, and Culture of the Cook Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Research Assistant | supporting Professors Michael Gibson and Keith Owens | May 2011

Extending Family Education via Electronic Media
Research Assistant | supporting Professors Michael Gibson and Keith Owens | March–June 2011

Improving Student Success: Researching How Students Use Electronic Library Resources
Co-Investigator | with University of North Texas Anthropology Masters’ Candidates and Dr. Lisa Henry | August–December 2010

Small Business Behaviors and Attitudes
Co-Investigator | with University of North Texas Anthropology Masters’ Candidates and Dr. Susan Squires | August–December 2010

Honors, Awards, and Recognition

2nd Place Award in Social and Behavioral Sciences Category | University of North Texas Graduate Exhibition
Water Conservation Can Be Fashionable: An Attitudinal Approach to Reducing Water Overuse in the United States | March 2013

Thank a Teacher Commendation | University of North Texas Dean of Students
December 2011

Bronze Medal | Dallas Society of Visual Communications Dallas Show
The Great Map of Christmas Songs for Chatter Magazine | May 2011

American Graphic Design Award | Graphic Design USA
Innovate Magazine, Fall/Winter 2007 | HKS Architects | 2008

American Graphic Design Award | Graphic Design USA
Mexico 5 Invitation | HKS Architects | 2008

Academic, Professional, and Public Service

Entering Academia Panel
GSC 603 Academic Cultures | Miami University | Center for Teaching Excellence | Dr. Jennifer Blue | February 25, 2015

Conference Steering Committee Member
Connecting Dots | AIGA Design Educators Conference | University of Cincinnati | Cincinnati, Ohio | January–March 2014

Board Member and Working Lunches Co-Chair
Dallas Society of Visual Communications | 2010–2012

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