Position title: Academic Director, MDI
2109 Nancy Nicholas Hall
School of Human Ecology
1300 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706
Michelle Kwasny is the Academic Director of the Masters of Science in Design + Innovation. With a background in behavioral psychology, human-computer interaction, and user experience, Michelle is passionate about bringing human-centered design to some of the toughest challenges we face today—those in our cities and schools.
Michelle believes that students have the power to change the world and is excited to bring the designers toolkit and mindset to the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In collaboration with the College of Engineering, the School of Business, the Information School, and the School of Education, Michelle is leading the design of a new interdisciplinary Master’s program in design and innovation which seeks to offer a truly student-centric, hands-on program in human-centered design.
Michelle is also passionate about the future of education. In addition to her work on the Masters degree, she provides design research insights and strategy for UW leadership on university-wide challenges such as access and affordability.
Prior to UW, Michelle spent 8 years at IDEO, a global design and innovation company, leading design research and strategy on a portfolio of work focused on service design in public sector and education. She has lectured on the topic of design thinking and innovation at Harvard, MIT, Dartmouth, and Berklee College of Music. Michelle holds a Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.