I’ve been very fortunate to have spent the last 15 years of my academic service at Mount Royal University. I joined MRU as it began its journey towards becoming a University. Over the past ten years, my appointment as instructor at the Centre of Communication Studies for the Electronic Publishing Program, became the position of Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Faculty of Communication Studies, for the four-year Information Design program. In 2015 we grew again, this time joining with the School of Business to become the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies. I have been heavily and consistently involved in curriculum and program development, as well as in service at the institutional, faculty, and program levels. Underscoring all of my work – research, service, and teaching – is the belief that design can and should work for the benefit of others, at individual, community, and societal levels. I’ve taught across the curriculum in design history, typography, visual design, research methods, tools for information design, critical design, interaction, and advanced topics in visual communication.
In May 2015 I completed an Interdisciplinary PhD at the University of Alberta, in Humanities Computing and Comparative Literature. I already hold a terminal master degree in design, also from the University of Alberta, and an honours bachelor degree in visual communication design from NSCAD University. My dissertation examines the value of applying particular theoretical approaches, emergent out of the humanities, to the design of new computer interface prototypes that support human decision-making within a manufacturing context.
Over the past 5 years, I have spent a significant portion of my research capacity interrogating the space that is co-created by the intersection of feminism(s) and design. Moving beyond applying a constellation of feminism(s)-emergent principles to design, towards design that challenges the established status quo, or that engages critically with economic, political, and cultural issues. As Rockwell (2003) so aptly put, “learn not by thinking in isolation but by building and looking and rebuilding and looking again.” Thus, I believe we should consider no design – whether an artefact, a process, a program, an approach, or an institution – whole beyond the exact moment in which it is created. Each instance exists within an ever present process of re-creation.
I take my commitment to guide the creation of safer, more inclusive, and more compelling spaces – both digital and analog – very seriously. This commitment is at the core of everything I do. Outside of MRU, I have developed and led numerous communities for members of marginalized groups in Calgary. Those who know me well, have described me as a “person who won’t let a problem beat her”, and as someone who “persists until there is a good outcome.” I aim to negotiate equally with people I know and with strangers, and when I make up my mind, I carry out what I’ve decided to accomplish. I do my homework, and prefer a full life in the service of others.