Jessica serves as the Director of the Master of Arts in Design and Innovation (MADI) program. She is a Colorado native who has called Dallas her home since 2008. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design from the Metropolitan State College of Denver and a Master of Fine Arts in Design Research and Innovation from the University of North Texas. After working in publishing for four years, the spark of working with students began to grow and so started her path into the unexpected yet fully captivating world of Design Research. Through her thesis project that looked at transitioning from Communication Design to Designed Communication she fostered a love for local small-business and community engagement. Before coming to SMU, Jessica served as the Executive Director of the Deep Ellum Foundation, a non-profit that manages the Public Improvement District that Deep Ellum is in. She lives in Richardson with her husband, Joel, and their sons Spencer and Lewis.
Katie is the director of the SMU Maker Education Project and the Design + K12 iniatives. Katie is an educator by training, a maker by trial and error, a learning experience designer and a steadfast believer in the power of empathy to bring compassionate solutions to the messiest of human problems.
Katie draws from her experiences in a wide array of settings to develop and scale educational programming that matches her deep belief in the power of hands-on, real-world learning to inspire students to solve complex problems and feel empowered to make the world a better place.
Katie's first job at SMU was directing the Deason Innovation Gym. Before moving to Dallas, Katie worked to bring design thinking to K12 education at the Hasso Plattner Institute for Design (d.school) at Stanford University. At the d.school, Katie also lead the latest rev of the SparkTruck project, a mobile makerspace for kids.
Ask Katie about K12 education, maker trucks, screen printing, Human Centered Design and cooking.
Devon has more than 15 years of experience across education administration roles serving students, faculty and building partnerships. He previously worked in college admissions for undergraduate and graduate students at Colgate University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education respectively. After migrating to Dallas in 2011, he helped build a college counseling program with Uplift Education and most recently did employer relations and career counseling at SMU. Devon graduated from Colgate in 2000 and received his master’s in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania where he was a 2015 Social Impact Fellow. Currently Devon is an Ed.D. student in higher education at SMU and commitment-maker through the Clinton Global Initiative University.