The Center for Design Thinking Community of Practice supports the infusion of Design Thinking pedagogies across Elon curricula and the fostering of inclusive, equitable, and transformational project-based learning under uncertain and shifting conditions.
What is the CoP?
This CoP is aimed at supporting Elon’s mission to ensure graduates are creative, culturally agile, ethically grounded, and well-prepared to address questions of societal importance. Faculty will design and deliver openly accessible resources for faculty, staff, students, and the surrounding community interested in infusing DT practices in their own work.
- Monthly: CoP members participate in monthly meetings with facilitators to explore best practices for infusing Design Thinking methods and processes into their curriculums.
- Adaptable: Facilitators work with each CoP member to ensure individual goals are met while creating a productive and synergetic environment.
- Collaborative: Participants share ideas, resources, strategies, and tools to co-create, prototype, and test diverse, equitable, and inclusive design pedagogies, and explore a variety of formats and technologies for implementation.
- Action-Oriented: Over the course of the CoP, each participant frames, explores, generates, prototypes, and cultivates Design Thinking activities, assignments, and/or projects that meet their curricular goals.
Dr. Wittstein uses principles of biomechanics and motor control to understand how people move and control their movements. He regularly teaching in the core Exercise Science curriculum, including Biomechanics and Neuromotor Control. His scholarly work includes the use of Virtual Reality to assess and improve gait and balance, EEG to understand brain activity in the context of physical rehabilitation and training, and using a dynamical systems approach to evaluate the patterns and rhythms in movement and physiological functions.
Heather Lindenman’s research interests include community literacy, writing across academic and non-academic contexts, service-learning in composition, and transfer of writing-related knowledge. She has taught classes related to community writing, grant writing, writing center theory and practice, and multimedia rhetorics. She is the Coordinator of the First-Year Writing Program at Elon.
Antoinette Polito has been a physician assistant since 1999; she is an alumnx of the Duke University PA Program. Her areas of clinical experience include rural primary care and academic oncology. She has been a full-time PA educator since 2009 and joined the faculty at Elon in July of 2019. Her research interests include the physician assistant admissions process and LGBTQ healthcare, as well as the intersections of the humanities and medicine. PA Polito is currently a doctoral student in education at Northeastern University.
In addition to holding the titles of Associate Professor of Education and Graduate Director of the Master of Higher Education, Carducci serves on the editorial board for journal of higher education. She is also co- editor of Disrupting Qualitative Inquiry: Possibilities and Tensions in Educational Research (2014, Peter Lang Publishers).Through mastering DT techniques, Carducci hopes to cultivate students’ capacity to integrate DT principles and tools to address wicked problems in higher education.
Kai Swanson is an American screenwriter, director, and actress. Kai has worked and presented her films internationally at festivals and galleries such as The Buenos Aires International Film Festival, the LA UP Gallery, The LA Underground Film Forum, and TIFF. Her web series #millcore premiered on Amazon Prime in January 2020. She is a passionate filmmaker and writer who is driven to bring stories to screen that shed light on topics that have long been hidden.
Svetlana Nepocatych, PhD is a faculty member in the Department of Exercise Science. Dr. Nepocatych received her Ph.D. in Exercise Science from the University of Alabama. Since 2011 she has been teaching courses in exercise science at Elon University. Her research interests are in the areas of: sports nutrition, appetite and satiety, dietary intake and body composition of athletic and general populations.
Phillip Motley is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Design at Elon University, where he teaches communication design and interactive media courses to undergraduate and graduate students. His research interests include pedagogies of design and experiential learning, especially service-learning and social innovation. He is currently focused on the potential value that design thinking has for liberal arts education. Professor Motley received his MFA in Industrial Design from North Carolina State University and his BA in Fine Art from Davidson College. He has worked professionally as a web designer, graphic designer, and animator.
Thurnes currently practices as both an Associate Professor in the Department of Physician Studies, as well as Elon’s Design Thinking Curricular Catalyst. Her approach of integrating DT initiatives throughout the Elon Community and curriculum has been well received by faculty and students alike. In total, the skills Thurnes has cultivated have heightened students’ critical thinking skills, as well as leadership and professional capabilities.
As Director of Design Thinking, Lake maintains her status of perpetually advocating for DT, and its absorption into Elon’s educational landscape. Lake has taught a multitude of courses investigating DT, and its ties to local communities, stakeholders, and its ease of transferability into any situation. Her advocacy for DT is not confined to Elon’s borders, but permeates into the global environment, of which she has attended many DT focused summits.
Infusing DT into the arts administration environment is a priority for Guo. As a Second Year Assistant Professor, Guo believes a framework of DT could help sustain a stronger foundation for her curriculum.
Kumar is a visiting assistant professor within the Computer Science department, and has been focusing his research on game design. He as well has a background in Artificial intelligence, and has developed a system called ARAPID to contemporize the process of game development. By integrating Design tools, students will be able to conceptualize industry standard processes, to further build their portfolio.
McFall teaches Environmental Studies and Biology, and has spent a significant part of her career dedicated to exploring the relationships between plants and fungi within their environments.
She is harnessing DT practices in order to support Environmental Studies students, creating a Shark Tank format from which students pitch their ideas and solutions about Design Thinking
Before teaching at Elon, Su received his PhD from Duke, and contributed to various projects at both Stanford and Cornell University. Through the implementation of the design thinking approach, he believes students will be able to yield more ideas and rapidly build prototypes within the engineering field, and globally heighten their confidence.
Informed by her position of Assistant professor of Human Service Studies, Branch owns a Consulting firm, called VLDrew Consulting Inc, and is a certified doula. Her specialties vary from mental health assessment, advocacy practice, human diversity, to social work practice skills.
As a Professor of Psychology, and Instructor of Leadership studies, Blank is confident that the assimilation of a DT skill set will better prepare students for future employment. She provides an approach of experiential learning through projects that would eventually pervasive most curriculums at the University. To achieve this growth, Blank highlights a summary presentation to share the experience with the Elon population.
With the intention of further integrating design thinking practices into his teaching, Morrison plans on inciting specific DT language within his outline of projects. As well, by creating the space necessary for dialogues with colleagues, an environment will be created to foster growth. Morrison’s current research is focused on commonplace environmental education, and the use of both social media sites: Twitter, and Instagram in teacher education.
Dr. Tiffany Morris is the Director of the School of Nursing at North Carolina A&T State University, and former Chair of the Department of Nursing at Elon University. She served as Interim Director of Nursing and Assistant Director for Faculty Development and Student Enhancement for North Carolina A&T School of Nursing. She was the Dean of Health and Public Safety for Rockingham Community College, and Director of Nursing Programs.
Worked in various roles within college athletics related to sales and fundraising, including at The United States Military Academy at West Point, before pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Northern Colorado. His primary research interest focuses on the economics and finance of sport, with an emphasis on market efficiency and behavioral biases in sport wagering markets. His other research interest centers on consumer behavior, specifically examining game attendance and television ratings at the college and professional levels. He has articles published in various journals across disciplines and has presented at several national conferences.
Rabbi Maor Greene (they/them) is the Associate Chaplain for Jewish Life at Elon University. They are a doctoral candidate in Hebrew Bible at Jewish Theological Seminary where they were also ordained. They have previously served as the first Ritual and Music Rabbinic Intern at Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action and as Senior Rabbinic Intern at Park Slope Jewish Center. They are a spiritual director, yoga teacher, organizer, musician, and avid outdoor enthusiast. They are based in Durham, North Carolina.