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Class of 2022

Meet the MHCI+D class of 2022!

Amya Jacobs

Hey there, I’m Amya (“uh-my-uh”), a former higher ed marketer who aspires to make an impact beyond education. Seeing the influence well designed technology can have at scale is what led me to HCI and the MHCI+D Program. I have a BA in Communication from the University of Southern California, and MS in Graphic Information Technology from Arizona State University.

While I didn’t discover HCI until later in my career, I was able to work on a number of projects that coupled marketing and communications strategy with research to develop user-centered design solutions across a variety of channels. Now that I’m at UW I look forward to exploring emerging technologies and their applications, as well as HCI frameworks. I’m especially interested in equity-centered design, design for underserved communities, and civic tech.

In my spare time I enjoy making things, learning new skills, playing tennis, thrifting, reading, and listening to podcasts.

Anshuman Dhar

I'm a student with an insatiable curiosity with a persistent outlook to life, in learning new things and achieving the high goals I set for myself. All while being a sucker for pixel perfection ✨, intuitive interactions⚡and delightful motion 💫 (is my love for emojis a little too on the nose?)

Designing to me, is solving problems that matter, and I want to design experiences that empower users through accessible and delightful design 💪🏽.

Outside of lab, you can find me playing with stray cats and dogs, at the court 🏀or simply dancing to music by myself."

Aspen Tng

Hey, I’m Aspen. I’m a product designer with a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining MHCI+D, I was a product designer for Singapore’s national digital identity platform (Singpass app), designing and shipping features that heavily prioritized the trust and privacy of citizens. I also initiated and built the product's first design system, working closely with PMs, UX researchers, engineers, and fellow designers in that process.

I’m excited about emerging technologies, especially those at the intersection of physical and digital. As a designer with a background in physical design, digital design, and human computer interaction, I would love to support the integration of such technologies into our daily lives - designing for trust or exploring interaction patterns that are medium-specific or use case-specific.

Outside of design, I enjoy playing sports and I’m always down for bouldering or to play soccer!

Charlie Blue Brahm

Hi, I’m Charlie Blue (they/them)! I am an aspiring healthcare UX researcher with a technical background and PM experience.

During my undergraduate Electrical and Computer Engineering studies at Carnegie Mellon, I dug into low-level details of how technical systems function and interact. I then built on this knowledge by becoming a Program Manager in Microsoft’s Operating Systems Security team after graduating in 2018. By leading large cross-team efforts to deliver customer-facing security product and feature improvements, I was able to quickly gain experience across the complete product lifecycle. I contributed to business and strategy decisions; co-designed solutions with partner teams, enterprise customers, and product designers; worked closely with engineers to ensure high-quality delivery; drove the shipping and documentation processes; and finally collaborated with data experts to analyze our in-market products.

As a designer and researcher, I now aim to expand upon this technical and logistical thinking to build a holistic practice which deeply centers human (and other user) considerations. I bring a critical, systems-thinking perspective to my work, making me well-suited for service design/research positions. I am especially interested in healthcare roles, as my research interests include post-traumatic growth and end-of-life care.

Outside of work, I love to explore Seattle by going on long bike rides with my partner, and then recover from those bike rides by snuggling our cat and eating heart-warming meals from Bryant Terry’s Vegetable Kingdom cookbook.

Claire Yi

I graduated from Pomona College in 2020, where I majored in Environmental Analysis and minored in Studio Art. For the majority of college, I was interested in sustainable built environment, hence wanted to be an architect and urban planner. Until I took a Human-centered Design class which opened a new world of design to me.

During my gap year, I worked as a furniture designer, and then a product management intern at an electrical vehicle company where I managed products relating to audio experience in vehicles. That was when I started to realize how much I love the entire design process from research, ideation to user testing, so hopefully I will be able to do similar things in my future roles!

Other things I love to do are: drawing, painting, pottery, snowboarding, (and recently) bouldering!

Cynthia Lao

Hi, I’m Cynthia! I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. I discovered HCI during the latter half of undergrad and I became very interested in it, so now I’m here! I'm excited for this 180 career switch and exploring the world of HCI here at UW.

In my free time, I like to play Valorant, dance, and work out. I also enjoy cooking, hiking, and bouldering.

Daniel Rodriguez Suarez

Dominic Giardini

Hi, I'm Dominic! I grew up in Franklin, MA, an hour south of Boston. I went to school at Colby College in Waterville, ME where I was a Government & Religious studies double major and a member of the school's Cross Country & Track teams (Go Mules!). I was accepted into MHCI+D after graduating in 2020, spent the summer in Columbus, OH working on UX/UI design for robot welder controls, and then deferred MHCI+D for the pandemic year to stay in industry for a bit longer.

I found HCI after building a mobile game with a friend before my senior year of college and realizing the creative opportunities design had to offer. After the program, I'm hoping to jump into the video game industry and see where that takes me. My hobbies (outside of getting to know the cohort!) include running and PC gaming, unsurprisingly.

Dongming Liu

Hey, I’m Dongming Liu. With a visual communication background, I have worked in agencies as a brand designer to help different brands popularize their products & services and guide them to better enter the market. Prior to joining MHCI+D, I got an opportunity to play a new role as a design researcher. I found myself developing a great liking for exploring various methodologies to look, listen, and learn about problems.

When I’m not working, you can find me going to museums, vintages, finding cute ceramics, and drinking nice coffee.

Eric Chen

Eric Chen is a UX/UI designer interested in the field of UX research and Interaction design. Prior to attending the University of Washington's MHCI+D, he has gained diverse experiences working in industries such as aviation, finances, tech, and commercial business that focus on customer experience.

Graduating from Parsons School of Design with a major in Industrial Product Design and minor in Communication Design, the opportunity has allowed him to explore user interaction between 2D graphics and 3D prototyping. From hand-size products, physical spaces to digital design, his goal is to bring a creative solution to our daily life by amalgamating cutting-edge technologies and distinctive interactive experiences to help bring people together in modern life.

Eric Yu

Hey what's up? This is Eric, and I originally come from Livingston, New Jersey. I come to the MHCI+D program with a background in 3D modeling and animation! I went to Carnegie Mellon for undergrad, where I majored in Information Systems and minored in Design and Animation. I then did 3D animation for machine learning and computer vision research, where I discovered my passions in game design and Virtual/Augmented Reality.

I hope to take what I learn from the program to create meaningful experiences outside the confines of a 2D screen, either virtually, face to face, or in our environment. In my free time I love to cook, play board games, and rewatch sitcoms. Feel free to connect with me in any of my socials!

Heejun Park

Hi! I'm June, a designer, HCI researcher, and inventor - creating a future experience in the era of intelligent multimedia. Before joining MHCI+D, with a background in industrial & visual design, I've worked for 5+ years at global tech companies, designing from basic mobile app systems to smart homes and IoT. These days, I'm interested in how emerging technologies could transform the way of humans, machines, and data interact.

In my free time, I enjoy exploring Seattle, cooking, going to art galleries, and working out. I'm a big travel person who has come across four continents and 30 + countries until now. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on LinkedIn 🙂

Isha Agarwal

Hello, My name’s Isha! I have been at Societe Genrale, GBIS, India for the last three years as a Software Engineer - UX Expert. I wore multiple hats a part of my work, looking into user studies and design, technical and functional feasibility, and front-end development for internal tools. My undergraduate studies(B.Des @ IIT Guwahati) helped me explore various fields of is design and with systems thinking approach.

In my free time, I go for long walks, make digital art, and people watch. Feel free to message me on any of the links to connect!

Jessica Goldman

Hello, I’m Jessica! Before coming to the UW MHCI+D program, I graduated in 2018 with a BA of psychology and established my background in clinical, cultural, and social psychology research. More recently, however, I pivoted out of academia and worked as a research assistant at Oculus on AR, VR, and MR problem spaces.

I realized from this time that I love understanding how technology contributes to aspects of the human condition, and that I want to help shape this future in a meaningful, ethical manner. After MHCI+D, I intend to become a UX researcher and mentor junior researchers--especially women of color. In my free time, I love to cook, bake, garden, sing, collect antiques, and hike the PNW. If you have any questions about my experience in UX, feel free to connect me on LinkedIn!

Kelly Luo

Hello! My name is Kelly. I am from Philadelphia and have a background in linguistics and art from William & Mary. I like good questions, great product design, and the possible futures that tech enables us to imagine. I’m learning about conversation design, the VUI space, and other future-building consumer products.

Kimberly Aralar

Hi, I’m Kimmie! I studied Political Science + Public Health at the University of California, Irvine. In what feels like a past life right before the pandemic, I was also once a master’s in nursing student at Columbia University until deciding to shift towards a (much more fitting) creative path in HCI + design.

In addition to being a full time MHCI+D student, I work at Stanford on pediatric clinical research studies. While my professional work has been primarily in research and healthcare, I have years of experience with digital design. I’m excited about the fields of HCI + design as they allow for a perfect mix of my interests in learning about people and their experiences, research-based problem solving, and my love for creativity. I’m also interested in sustainability, games/media, accessibility, and ethics in design.

When I’m not working or designing, you can catch me playing the piano, iterating my Animal Crossing island, setting Overcooked 2 records, or hiking to a waterfall.

Lakshmanan Palani

Hi I'm a multidisciplinary designer & digital artist. For the past 4 years I have worked across fields, including brand, content creation, marketing, product design, AR VR design, graphics, art direction, photography & films. I strongly believe the creative process remains the same irrespective of the medium.

Over the years, I have embraced & enjoyed the role of a being a troubleshooting catalyst in the team. It began with architecture in my college days, and swiftly, the curiosity went beyond designing buildings and reached the grasp of the omnipresent digital world. My hustle-natured intrinsic motivation translated to gaining skills in the multitude of design spectrum from photography, film-making to interaction design.

Outside work, I enjoy treading down the roads of the city, occasionally stopping at stalls to sip my favorite lemon tea. Here's to having healthy obsessions and hunting new challenges every moment!

Makeda Adisu

Hello! My name is Makeda (“mock-duh”). I’m a UX researcher with a BS in Psychology and Communication from Santa Clara University.

At my core, I’m deeply passionate about understanding what makes people do what they do. I started my career in experimental psychology, and for the past four years, I’ve worked in UX across a variety of industries including AR/VR, urban innovation, consumer IoT, gaming, and most recently, entertainment tech. I believe that design is about making the world a better place and I’m passionate about using innovation as a force for social good.

I’m originally from Seattle but spent several years in the Bay Area before coming back home. In my free time I love trying new recipes, going to concerts, playing piano, and exploring the beauty of the PNW.

Mikaela Corney

Hi there! I am a multidisciplinary designer holding a BA in Japanese and Fine Arts from the University of Oregon. For the past 6.5 years, I worked with customers in the tech industry which showed me first hand the frustration, problems, and cost implications caused by bad design. This led to a growing interest in HCI, and now, I love thinking about ethical design and how we might design more inclusively. After this program, I hope to apply my newly found UX skills in a Green Tech area.

In my free time I love to bike, hike, bake, play games, and paint. I especially love travel and find it very inspiring and practical for looking at the world in different ways and learning from each other.

Nicholas Brown

Hi there, I’m Nick

I am a multi-disciplinary designer with a background in Ecology and Landscape Design. I bring a systems-thinking lens to all projects I work on with a focus on design solutions grounded in environmental, social, and technological contexts.

In my free time I’m curating Spotify playlists, organizing an adventure with friends, or adding an elaborate garnish to a meal made from leftovers.

Nikita Nerurkar

Hi there, I'm Nikita. I think of myself as an engineer by education, a researcher at heart, and curious by design. As a researcher, I'm curious about how people think about and use technology. I get energy from taking on unresolved need gaps and understanding how people see, interpret and use technology.

I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering in 2021. My introduction to user research was through an academic study I conducted in 2020 focused on building inclusive experiences working with people managing bipolar disorder advised by Prof. Jaime Snyder, iSchool.

I'm intrigued by the complex symbiotic relationship between technology and society and its impact on our lived experiences. I have a knack for speculating and strategizing for the futures of technologies and working on community-centered solutions.

In my free time, I'm either experimenting with art or chasing sunsets and exploring the pacific northwest.

Ojurere Shonekan

Hi! My name is Ojurere. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Science-Information Technology with minors in Website Administration and Multimedia. I am interested in the way that humans and computers come together to solve the world's problems, and in designing those solutions in ways that are equitable for all.

I enjoy doing anything creative, as well as working with others. In my free time you can find me being active, watching movies (action or rom-coms!!), exploring new places, reading, or doing a DIY project. Feel to reach out!!

Pronounced "oh-joo-ray-ray shaw-neck-on" 🙂

Rahmat Raji

Hiya! My name is Rahmat. I graduated with a BSc. in Management Information Systems and was introduced to HCI in undergrad after taking a class on HCI. After undergrad, I worked as a UI designer for 2 years and decided to pursue an advanced degree.

After this program, I am looking into getting into the VR/AR/MR and the biotechnology industry. I am excited to work with emerging technologies geared towards positively impacting the lives of users. I enjoy exploring restaurants and trying out new foods! I am also a huge fan of art, animations, going to museums, traveling, meeting new people and photography.

Sarah Koswara

Hi, I’m Sarah! I’m so happy to be here and to have you reading about me! I’m here because I love understanding people, in how they think and why they do things but most of all I love creating things that work to help people. I come from a background in Economics where I was able to study the intersection of businesses and people and learn substantial research skills. I pivoted from what I was studying in undergrad and worked in marketing as a designer before joining this program. I’m drawn to UX design because it perfectly merges my professional experience of research and design and requires constant pursuit of understanding and creating for human behavior. While in this program I hope to become a better designer that prioritizes ethical design and advocates for user needs while balancing business objectives.

A little bit about me: I'm half American and half Indonesian and grew up in both places. My upbringing has given me this fascination in people and understanding the strange ways humans think. I’m passionate about traveling, film, caring for my 26 houseplants, and food. I’d love to connect about whatever!

Stephon Odom

Hello, I’m Stephon Odom, a New York City native, product designer, and strategist. I came to MHCI+D with a background in management consulting, business strategy, and a deep passion for understanding how to provide humanity with more fulfilling technology experiences.

I initially discovered the world of UX design through my work with peers at Doblin, and since those early conversations, I have never looked back. My learnings in this program, have allowed me to deepen my understanding of core research and design methodology, service design, interaction design, and visual design. I plan to utilize the skills gained from MHCI+D to craft digital offerings that are beneficial for both people and businesses.

Finally, when I’m not thinking about design I’m dreaming about cars, thinking through which museum exhibit I’m going to visit next, and or hitting the gym.

Tianjiao Wang

Hi, I am Tianjiao Wang. I am from China and have 5 years legal counsel experience. I used to work on legal research, case analysis and clients’ interviews. I chose MHCI+D because I got interest in the UX field and would like to explore more methods and skills on user research and UX design.

I am planning to be a UX researcher afterwards. Besides that, I also like talking about movies, musicals, and basketball at any time.

TY [Tsahao Yu]

I’m T.Y. (Tsahao Yu). I am a product designer interested in consumer electronics and emerging technologies.

I have worked at Xpeng Motors and MEIZU, delivering intelligent and delightful features and discovering possibilities of emerging technologies like autonomous driving and Artificial Intelligence. Looking forward, I aim to continue to work at a place that marries physical and digital elements to deliver a holistic user experience. I also wish to gain more domain knowledge while continuously honing my design skills.

Outside of design, I enjoy watching Hong Kong crime-action movies. I like observing signage designs, poster layouts, and how people interact with things when I am out and about.

Yuna Chong

I’m Yuna, a human-centered designer with a BA in Anthropology and Economics from Brown University. Prior to joining MHCI+D, I spent the past 5 years working on physical and digital product systems (wireless AR buds, reduced risk products) doing research, design, and innovation strategy.

I love building experiences that bring people together and create moments of delight. I’m particularly interested in multi-sensory experiences, sustainable design, as well as the rise of 3D interfaces and paradigms.