Natalia is a doctoral student in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. She received her B.A. in American Culture and Media Arts from Temple University. In her current research, Natalia is exploring the relationship between collaborative media production and civic engagement, using participatory design-based methods. Before coming to Northwestern, Natalia taught youth media literacy and production in Philadelphia, and led the development of a public access/online news show called “POPPYN” that presents perspectives and contributions of youth missing from the mainstream media.
Anna Bethune (PhD student)
Anna is a Learning Sciences PhD student at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She enjoys thinking about the systemic problems faced by underdeveloped countries like Jamaica. Anna is currently exploring design based research, second language acquisition for Jamaican creole speakers, narrative and meaning-making, and the interesting nexus between learning, identity and societal development.
She received a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and previously worked as a project coordinator at a start-up in Silicon Valley and an economics researcher.
Daniel Rees Lewis (PhD student)
Daniel is a 1st year Learning Sciences PhD student at Northwestern University. He conducts design-based research on learning tools for novice innovators. His research interests include teaching key design process skills (particularly through analogy), design-based research methods, and tools for design critique. Daniel is currently working on implementing the Digital Loft with Design for America. He received an M.A. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Sussex University. Before starting his PhD at Northwestern, Daniel was the Learning Architect at Design for America in the Segal Institute of Design, and taught Intercultural Communications and English at a French engineering school in Bordeaux. He has also worked as an educator in Vietnam, Poland, and his native England.
Gulnaz Saiyed (PhD Student)
Gulnaz is a PhD student in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. Her research interests include critical media literacy, youth media production, and design of educational media.
Gulnaz received an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and has a B.A. in English and Women’s Studies from Tulane University. She has worked as a freelance journalist and youth media instructor, as well as a high school and middle school teacher.
Emily Harburg (PhD student)
Emily is a PhD Student in the Technology and Social Behavior program at Northwestern University. Emily is interested in building tools to improve motivation, decision-making, innovation, and collaboration. She is currently looking at the effects of using crowdfunding to increase self-efficacy. Emily received her B.S. in Social Anthropology with a minor in Psychology from Harvard University. Prior to doctoral studies, Emily worked for Walt Disney Imagineering in the Disney Research behavioral sciences team.
Brantley Harris (Developer)
Brantley Harris is the tech lead for the Loft. He is a back end, front end developer who is also proficient in UX and graphic design. Brantley has worked on a number of innovative projects at Delta Lab, including Deck and Discourse. Before working with the Loft team he was the CTO at Shortlist. Brantley has also worked as a developer at The Chicago Reader, Leapfrog Online, and moocadvisor.com.
Andy Rench (Designer)
Andy Rench is a web and UX designer for the Loft. His primary focus is handling the UI design and branding of the Loft project. Before working with the Loft team, Andy designed experiences for national and global companies such as Office Depot, Microsoft and Bayer Aspirin working at agencies such as BBDO, Razorfish and Wunderman.
Sergio Salgado is a front end developer for the Loft, and also assists the UI design. He also runs Furnace, a web and visual arts consultancy. He has an MA in Digital Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Arts, and a BFA in Art and Visual Technologies from George Mason University.
Dr. Liz Gerber (co-director)
Liz is the Breed Junior Chair of Design in the McCormick School of Engineering and School of Communication at Northwestern University. She has spent 11 years researching and designing award winning innovation programs for universities and S&P 500 companies nationally and internationally. She has been invited to speak nationally and internationally at non-profit and for-profit institutions, including Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, MIT, and Stanford. Her work has been featured in such venues as Oprah, NPR, ABC, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company, and is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
Dr. Haoqi Zhang (co-director)
Haoqi is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in Computer Science and at the Segal Design Institute. He studies, designs, and builds social computing systems that promote desired behaviors and outcomes. His current work focuses on engaging crowds and communities in problem solving and collective action, and on advancing new data-driven design processes. He research spans the fields of social computing, crowdsourcing, human computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and decision science. He received his PhD in Computer Science and BA in Computer Science and Economics from Harvard University.
DFA leadership workshop
Design for America students use design to solve social problems
DFA Jerry the Bear project
Matthew W. Easterday School of Education and Social Policy Walter Annenberg Hall 335 2120 Campus Drive Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois 60208