Meet the Team—Fall/Winter 2019/20

Charis Lam, Writer

This academic year brings new and returning faces to the Innovation Hub. As always, we have assembled a team with diverse disciplines and interests but a shared excitement for the work we’ll do, including:

  • Working with the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health,
  • Improving the experience of student parents with the Family Care Office,
  • Creating ideas for space redesigns with the Transforming the Instructional Landscape Project & our Kinesiology and Physical Education partnership,
  • Gathering student feedback for the Division of Student Life,
  • And partnering with Rotman I-Think.

Our team is as diverse as the challenges we’ll face and the methods we’ll use: just as design thinking grew from multidisciplinary roots in science, social policy, and business, so too do we bring our multidisciplinary perspectives to our work, integrating our experiences as UX designers, pharmacologists, anthropologists, and more. In our academic lives, especially as we specialize and move past breadth requirements and the need to have multiple majors or minors, it’s easy to get caught in one way of thinking: everyone in a subfield is trained in roughly the same way and learns to approach problems in the same way. Meeting people from across academic divides shakes us out of our habits and broadens our sense of what’s possible or beneficial.

It’s a diversity that extends beyond the visible and beyond the factors we normally associate with diversity. We touched upon this at orientation, discussing the strengths, skills, and values we bring. Some of these we share—unsurprisingly for a group of university students, love of learning is common—but others are rarer. Some of us are quick to forgive, and some easily find beauty in the world. These traits will probably not be found on a job posting, but nonetheless, we bring them to work, and we can make them work for us and for our team members.

To learn about the people behind this year’s projects, check out our bios.

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