Jennifer G. Adams, MD is the inaugural director of the NYU Langone Center for Empathy in Medicine. Dr. Adams is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, associate program director of the internal medicine residency, director of the primary care residency tracks, and a preceptor and attending physician at Gouverneur Health. Dr. Adams is leveraging her extensive experience and expertise as a clinician, educator, and researcher to advance the mission and goals of the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education and The Empathy Project. She works closely with leaders across the educational and clinical missions to design and implement a formal curriculum on empathy at the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education levels. In collaboration with the Institute for Innovations in Medical Education at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and The Empathy Project leadership, Dr. Adams is working to develop a comprehensive strategy to deliver, evaluate, and assess the impact of empathy education at NYU Langone, and also spearhead collaborations to define key education and clinical topics to be addressed and explore emerging technologies to evolve and maximize programming.
Sarah Brenkert (she/hers) is the principal evaluator at the Seattle Aquarium. In addition to her work as a social science researcher, Sarah has a background in informal learning theory, exhibit design and development, and early childhood education. Sarah holds Master of Science in early childhood and elementary education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City, and formerly held leadership positions in education and evaluation at the Children’s Museum of Denver and at Denver Zoo. Sarah is insatiably curious about how and what people learn and feel when they spend time in zoos, aquariums, museums and science centers. Sarah's favorite part of her job is working with others to ask interesting questions and explore stories of impact and transformation in free-choice learning spaces.
Marta Burnet (she/her) is the Director of Advancing Empathy at Woodland Park Zoo, where she oversees an $8.75 million grant from a private donor to coordinate the Advancing Conservation through Empathy for Wildlife (ACE for Wildlife) Network of accredited zoos and aquariums who are interested in this newer approach to audience engagement. Initially a network of 20 organizations, ACE for Wildlife is in the process of expanding nationwide to include other accredited zoos and aquariums, as well as offering an Affiliate status to researchers, consultants and representatives from other conservation organizations. Grant funding also includes an intermediary role for a $4.6 million capacity building grant program for projects that further the infusion of empathy into the work of Partner organizations. Her work has taken her to over 30 zoos and aquariums in the last 2 years, where she has met with partners and observed programs, exhibits and signage to identify how empathy is showing up in different contexts and how Partners are collaborating. Marta has a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, where she focused on the diffusion of innovations, and has over 20 years of experience in grant development and management.
Noelle Conover, MS is the Co-founder of Matt’s Maker Space, Inc, a nonprofit created to inspire a new generation of creative, collaborative and experiential learners through STEAM focused programming. This nonprofit began with a dream to have maker spaces in the elementary schools. The Conover family established Matt’s Maker Space in memory of their son, Matthew who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 12. The Conovers wished to give back to the community who surrounded them with support. Since then, the spaces have grown in popularity and relevance. Matt’s Maker Space will be opening their 40th space in 2024.
Brenda Cowan is a Professor and former Chairperson of Graduate Exhibition & Experience Design at the SUNY/Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where she teaches exhibition development and evaluation; object and museum studies; research methodologies and audience studies. Her background includes work for museums and design firms in the roles of interpreter, exhibition developer, education director, evaluator, and project manager. Brenda is a Fulbright Specialist in the disciplines of museums, objects and mental health. Her theory of Psychotherapeutic Object Dynamics has been presented for the American Alliance of Museums; Museums of Hope; MidAtlantic Association of Museums; Sweden’s National Museums of World Culture; CoMuseum, Athens; the American Association of State and Local History Leadership Institute; and published with the National Association for Museum Exhibition and the Society for Experiential Graphic Design. Her latest book is Museum Objects, Health and Healing (2019 Cowan et al) published by Routledge Taylor & Francis. Brenda's recent work includes evaluating wellbeing and healing at the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, with Syrian refugees and immigrants. She is currently co-host of a podcast about design and museum experiences titled Matters of Experience, and she is co-editing a volume for Routledge Taylor & Francis on the subject of flourishing in museums.
I am an artist, storyweaver, changemaker, and deeply curious woman. I currently serve as the Director for the Center for Art and Public Exchange (CAPE) at the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) and the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. CAPE uses artwork, exhibitions, engagement with artists, and programming as a vehicle to have conversations about race and equity. I am responsible for creating human centered spaces that expand visitor's perspectives and reveal our shared humanity. I believe that art has the power to transform and inform us. I am a CPA, and a graduate of Howard University. Prior to my tenure at the Museum, I served as the Senior Program Manager for Parents for Public Schools of Jackson and taught parents how to navigate bureaucratic, and often dehumanizing systems. My career has been a winding path that has resulted in owning and operating a restaurant, advocating for homeless veterans at the federal level, and creating safe spaces for nursing mothers.
With nearly 25 years of experience in the design and architectural field, Anne is responsible for design and execution of museum experiences at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. In her role, she oversees the Museum’s exhibits, art collection and design consulting programs, leading complex design teams consisting of artists, scientists and researchers. In addition, she is leading the Museum’s inclusive Design initiative, working with cultural organizations in Pittsburgh to help make the city a hub for accessibility in the arts. Since joining the Museum in 2006, Anne has helped shape the Museum's Play with Real Stuff design philosophy that advocates for authenticity in all informal learning experiences and apply this approach to emerging research in kindness and empathy.
Elif M. Gokcigdem, PhD is the founding president of ONE - Organization of Networks for Empathy, and the editor of: Fostering Empathy Through Museums (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Designing for Empathy: Perspectives on the Museum Experience (American Alliance of Museums, 2019), which are considered as reference books in empathy-building through museums, a field of inquiry she pioneered in 2014. Dr. Gokcigdem developed Designing for Empathy® as a unique, patented intellectual framework, and ONE as an international platform for multidisciplinary, multisector, and multicultural collaborations to deepen our understanding of empathy, and to develop strategies, scholarship, and empathy-building experiences that consider the wellbeing of the whole —all of humanity and our planet. In 2018, Dr. Gokcigdem curated and co-chaired the world’s first empathy summit titled: Fostering Universal Ethics and Compassion through Museums with His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. Elif grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, studying history of Islamic art and mysticism, and later, museum studies in the US. Currently, she leads ONE, teaches at the GWU Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Us. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | @ElifGokcigdem | @one.empathy.network
Dr. Craig Irvine holds a PhD in Philosophy. For over 20 years, he has been designing and teaching cultural competency, ethics, Narrative Medicine, and Humanities and Medicine curricula for residents, medical students, physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, dentists, and other health professionals. Dr. Irvine is co-author of The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine and Co-Director of the Division of Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. He has published articles in the areas of ethics, residency education, and literature and medicine and presented at numerous national and international conferences on these and other topics.
Zorana Ivcevic Pringle, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Ivcevic studies the role of emotion and emotional intelligence in creativity and well-being, as well as how to use the arts (and art-related institutions) to promote emotion and creativity skills. She has served as Associate Editor of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, International Journal of Creativity and Problem Solving, and Creativity Research Journal, as well as a founding Board member of the International Society for the Study of Creativity and Innovation. She collaborated with colleagues from Denmark, Spain, China, France, Germany, Poland, and Croatia and published her research in journals such as Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Personality, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Creativity Research Journal, Journal of Creative Behavior and others. Her work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, ArtNet, US News, Education Week, Science Daily, El Pais, and others, and she is a regular blogger for Psychology Today and Creativity Post. Dr. Ivcevic received the Award for Excellence in Research from the Mensa Education and Research Foundation and the Berlyne Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievement in psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts from the American Psychological Association.
Donna Jonte, Head of Experiential Learning at The Phillips Collection, is especially interested in integrating mindful looking into museum experiences. She works with all audiences, from PreK to older adults, developing and implementing programs that link art and wellness and combine viewing art, talking about art, and making art. Donna was named the DC Art Educator of the Year in 2019 by the DC affiliate of the National Art Education Association. Before becoming a museum educator, Donna wrote and edited for Belles Lettres: A Review of Books by Women and taught K-8 art for ten years at Friends Community School in College Park, Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in English Literature from Mills College and a Master’s in Teaching from George Mason University. As well as exploring artful-thinking strategies and making artist books, she loves to hike in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains with her two adult children and her five sisters.
Sara Konrath is a social psychologist who directs the Interdisciplinary Program on Empathy and Altruism Research (iPEARlab.org). Her research explores changes over time in social and emotional traits among American young people, such as empathy, attachment style, and narcissism. Other research examines implications of these traits, such as the health and happiness benefits of giving. She has recently focused on developing mindful and prosocial (MAPS) digital engagement tools, including mobile phone-based empathy and kindness-building programs (e.g. Text2Connect, Random App of Kindness). She also regularly creates and evaluates virtual and in person empathy-training programs for educators, doctors, museums, zoos, nonprofits, and other organizations. Dr. Konrath writes a popular Psychology Today blog (The Empathy Gap) and is regularly featured in national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Atlantic, NPR, CBC, and BBC radio. She has published over 100 scientific papers, and has given 300+ presentations, including at SouthXSouthwest. She is an Associate Professor at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Dr. Kiersten F. Latham is the President & CEO of Sauder Village, a living history museum complex in Ohio, USA. She has worked in, on, and about museums in various capacities for over 30 years. Prior to the Village, her professional journey has taken her through many kinds of museums and many kinds of positions within them. She has led museum studies programs at Michigan State University and Kent State University, founded the experimental space MuseLab, and has taught all aspects of museum studies, from administration to collections management to user experience. Dr. Latham has conducted research on the meaning of museum objects, conceptual foundations of museums as document systems, numinous experiences in museums, user perceptions of ‘the real thing,’ and positive museology.
Jamie Lawyer is the Chief Experience Officer at the Rubin Museum of Art, where her work focuses on leaving a lasting impact on visitors, one interaction at a time. Lawyer leads holistic audience engagement strategies that produce aligned exhibitions, publications, and digital experiences focused on serving thousands of visitors annually. She aims to build audience-centered cultures of care that champion visitors and staff alike. She has previously served as the Head of Interpretation, Digital Learning, and Evaluation at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, a guest lecturer at New York University, the City College of New York, and the University of North Texas-Denton, and a board member for the New York City Museum Educators Roundtable. She also has been a creative partner, inaugural lecturer, and curriculum developer for the Musa Academy, based in Sofia, Bulgaria, a national professional development incubator program for mid to late career museum professionals to build organizational capacity, leadership, and hands-on learning to create audience-centered museums and sites for preserving cultural heritage. She holds her MFA in Photography/Film from Virginia Commonwealth University and serves as adjunct faculty at the City University of New York School of Professional Studies and Pratt Institute in New York City.
Since the Rubin Museum of Art’s inception in New York City twenty years ago author, curator and Museum impresario Tim McHenry has been providing visitors with what Huffington Post has called “some of the most original and inspired programs on the arts and consciousness in New York City.” The integration of neuroscience with contemplative practice in the ground-breaking series Brainwave has given rise to such museum experiences of ‘serious play’ such as the Dream-over, the Memory Palace, and The Game of Life. The Mandala Lab installation is the most complete representation of his beliefs in integrating science, Buddhist wisdom traditions and artistic innovation to emphasize empathetic experiential engagement as a means of heightening self-awareness and wellbeing.
Maura Minsky is the Director of The Empathy Project at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. The Empathy Project [TEP] promotes empathy as a core skill for clinicians and empowers patients to be active partners in their healthcare. TEP’s interactive pedagogy uses film, narrative, and art to teach medical students, residents, nurses, and non-clinicians empathy skills. Maura has worked at the intersection of film, education, and social justice for 2 decades. For 18 years she led Scenarios, a ground-breaking non-profit from its founding. Scenarios used narrative films, written by teens and directed by Hollywood’s finest, to bring sexual health education into the 21st Century. Maura has leveraged her love of story working at The Shoah Foundation, Teachscape, and ABC News. She is a Rockwood | JustFilms Fellow and the recipient of The Humanitarian Award from her alma mater, Kenyon College.
Mentored by Gregory Hines, Andrew Nemr is an international artist, teacher and speaker. His work has spanned the music, dance, theatre, and visual arts worlds, exploring art as a vehicle for storytelling and individual and communal formation. Described as “A masterly tapper” by the New York Times, Andrew has played with Grammy Award winning musicians across multiple genres, and co-founded the Tap LegacyTM Foundation, Inc. (along with Hines). Andrew’s work has been recognized with numerous awards including a TED Fellowship, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and commissions from Google and Deutsche Grammophon. Andrew is recorded on the Grammy nominated recording Itsbynne Reel by Dave Eggar, the DVD Documentary and companion album Tuesdays at Mona’s by Mona’s Hot Four, and narrates the DanceTime Publications DVD, Tap Dance History: From Vaudeville to Film. He is the topic of the award winning documentary short film Identity: The Andrew Nemr Story, and hosts the weekly podcast, Talking Notes.
Marina Pascual is an architect with a Master's degree in Cultural Management and specialization in “Creative Education” (Arno Stern methodology). She began her career in the architecture studio JMP y Asociados. At the same time, she explored her passion for the performing arts by participating in amateur theatre. This creative exploration and her passion for visual arts led her to become a teacher at Dinámica Teatral, a theatre school where she instructed children aged three to ten in theatre, drawing, and painting. After that she co-founded Splota, an atelier dedicated to nurturing creativity and joined the Department of Education and Cultural Action at Vivanco, Museum of Wine Culture. In 2015, she launched PeepArt Project, an innovative venture aimed at bridging the gap between artists and society. Through this platform, she sought to showcase the significant potential that creativity has for personal development. From PeepArt Project, Marina directed and coordinated both her own projects and those of others, working with public and private entities to intertwine arts, culture, and education. Since 2017, she has been responsible for the area of projects for creativity development at Centro Botín, an art centre whose mission is to develop people's creativity, through the arts, to enrich their daily lives. At Centro Botín she creates, develops and coordinates activities for all audiences (from babies to professionals). The aim of these activities is to activate people's curiosity, so that they experience different emotions, learn, enjoy and return to Centro Botín to develop, little by little, their emotional and creative skills.
Louise A. Rosen serves as the Senior Associate Dean of Administrative Affairs and Communications at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies and is a lecturer in International and Public Affairs. Prior to joining SPS, she had been Deputy Vice President for Strategic Engagement. In her decade at the Earth Institute she incubated eight degree programs, including the first undergraduate major in Sustainable Development at Columbia University and the M.S. in Sustainability Management.
She advocates for environmental conservation, animal rescue, and animal/nature-assisted therapies. Her research includes understanding socially-constructed values of the environment to create empathy to advance support for sustainable development and the natural world. In particular she is interested in non-verbal communication, experiential storytelling, the sentience of the non-human living world and how empathy with them can be used as a path forward to seeding empathy across social groups.
She was a cofounder of three magazines in London, and has written for several publications including newsweek.com, Forbes magazine, Upside Today, Fortune Small Business, Vogue, and The New York Times. She has a B.S. in geography from the London School of Economics and an M.S. in journalism from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. Currently she is earning an M.S. in Narrative Medicine, Columbia University, with a focus on narratives in nature and empathetic design. She volunteers to help children with special needs and veterans and first responders with PTSD.
Aparna comes to mindfulness practice from a science background. She holds a Ph.D. in cellular neuroscience from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India. With more than 7,000 hours of teaching experience, she is a senior teacher and trainer in Yoga District's teacher training in Washington DC. Her current projects include art-based meditation projects for The Phillips Collection and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art. She also leads evidence-based meditation practices every Monday at https://www.innerstillnesswithaparna.com/. Inspired by her own journey as an evolving yogi, toddler's mom, neuroscience researcher, and visual artist, her classes emphasize strengthening the mind-breath-body connection. Her mission is to empower all people of all ages through practices of fitness and creativity.
Danielle Spencer is the author of Metagnosis: Revelatory Narratives of Health and Identity (Oxford University Press, 2021) and co-author of Perkins-Prize-winning The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine (OUP, 2017). A faculty member in the Columbia University Narrative Medicine Graduate Program, her scholarly and creative work appears in diverse outlets, from The Lancet to Ploughshares. Formerly artist/musician David Byrne’s Art Director, Spencer holds a B.A. from Yale University, an M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and has been awarded fellowships at MacDowell and Yaddo. Lives in New York city. www.daniellespencer.com
Dr. Pablo P.L. Tinio is a Professor at the Department of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University where he also heads the Creativity and Aesthetics Lab. His work is focused on the psychology of aesthetics, creativity, and the arts; arts and aesthetics in education; and learning and engagement in cultural institutions. He has conducted research in, and published scholarly works with, schools as well as museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Queens Museum, Contemporary Art Centre Andratx Spain, and Belvedere Museum of Vienna, among other institutions. He co-edited the Cambridge Handbook of the Psychology of Aesthetics and the Arts and was past Editor of the APA journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Dr. Tinio has been awarded the Frank X. Barron Award and the Daniel E. Berlyne Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievement in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts by the APA and the Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field by an Early Career Scientist from the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics. Dr. Tinio is also Fellow of the APA. The public impact of his work may be seen through coverage in popular media such as The New Yorker, Psychology Today, and Scientific American Mind.
Jim Wharton is the Vice President of Conservation Engagement and Learning at the Seattle Aquarium, a conservation organization whose mission is Inspiring Conservation of our Marine Environment. Empathy has become a key driver and strategy in this work, connecting people to animals and ecosystems and encouraging them see the ocean as a source of hope, wonder and belonging…not to mention essential to their survival. The Aquarium has shared effective practices and strategies for fostering empathy through publications and workshops with over 50 zoos and aquariums with a combined attendance of more than 60 million annually. The Aquarium has recently partnered a children’s book, Catastrophe by the Sea, that encourages readers to empathize with less traditionally charismatic animals.
Cameron T. Whitley (he/they) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. His primary research agenda explores how our relationships with others- human and nonhuman- influence how we make decisions related to the environment, with a particular focus on altruism and empathy. He currently works with elite conservation photographers to assess how conservation photography and strategic anthropomorphic animal imagery can be used to enhance conservation attitudes and behaviors. Secondarily, he uses this same focus to explore how LGBTQ+ people think about and engage climate change, biodiversity loss, environmental conservation broadly, and health impacts. His work has been featured in major news outlets such as the BBC, LA Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and The Guardian among others. To date, he has produced over 50 publications and was recently awarded a 2023 National Science Foundation Early CAREER grant.
Susie Wilkening (she/her) has over 20 years of experience in museums, including over 15 years leading custom projects for museums as well as fielding groundbreaking national research on the role of museums in American society. Susie enjoys sharing her findings at various annual meetings, including the American Alliance of Museums, American Association of State and Local History, Association of Science-Technology Centers, Association of Children’s Museums, and state and regional museum meetings. Susie is a go-to expert on museums for the media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, NPR, and others. Additionally, she is the author of Audiences and Inclusion: A Primer for Cultivating More Inclusive Attitudes Among the Public and is the primary author of Life Stages of the Museum Visitor. Susie earned a BS in History, Technology, and Society from Georgia Tech and an MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware. She resides in Seattle, and her husband and curious children often accompany her as she travels to various museums and historic sites.
Amelia Winger-Bearskin is a Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Arts, at the Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida. She is also the founder of the AI Climate Justice Lab, the Talk To Me About Water Collective, and the Stupid Hackathon. In 2022 she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Award as part of the Sundance AOP Fellowship cohort for her project CLOUD WORLD / SKYWORLD which was part of The Whitney’s Sunrise/Sunset series. In 2021 she was a fellow at Stanford University as their artist and technologist in residence, made possible by the Stanford Visiting Artist Fund in Honor of Roberta Bowman Denning (VAF). In 2020 she founded Wampum Codes, an award-winning podcast and an ethical framework for software development based on indigenous values of co-creation, while a Mozilla Fellow at the MIT Co-Creation Studio. In 2019 she was a delegate at the Summit on Fostering Universal Ethics and Compassion for His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala, India. She has been a featured artist at numerous international performance art festivals since 2008 in cities not limited to: Beijing, China, Manila, Philippines, Seoul, South Korea, Sao Paulo, Brazil, New York, NY, and Washington, DC. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Guggenheim Museum, and the McCord Museum. Amelia is an enrolled member of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma, Deer Clan on her mother’s side; her late father was Jewish/Baha’i.
Niloufar is a multi-disciplinary experiential graphic designer who rethinks the role of visual communication in the built environment. Having recently accomplished a Master of Fine Arts in Design from the esteemed University of California Davis, Nilou stands at the forefront of her profession. She has recently achieved the 2023 SEGD Global Merit award. With a passion for creating positive social impact, Nilou's research delves into the transformative power of participation in projects that drive social change. She is interested in community-based design and sparking people's interactions. Nilou aims to enhance visual communication in the physical surroundings and help create meaningful experiences that connect with the intended audience. By seamlessly blending her artistic prowess with her unwavering commitment to impactful design, Nilou endeavors to leave an indelible mark on the field of Experiential Graphic Design.
Claire Caverly is a NYC-based scenic artist, designer, and props artisan, as well as a current graduate student in Exhibition & Experience Design at Fashion Institute of Technology. Recent artist credits include Tell Tale Heart at Synetic Theatre (Washington, D.C.), Sleep No More at The McKittrick Hotel (NYC), Omar at Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, SC/Tour), and Cats the Musical: National Tour (Tour). Claire also works with the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage on the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Her passions include engaging arts programming, flea markets, and her family and little dog, Beans.
Hi, I am Akshata Chitnis. I am from Mumbai, India. I hold a Bachelor of Design degree in Interior and Furniture design. After my graduation I worked as a visual merchandising designer creating pop-ups, kiosks and experiential spaces for Hamleys, Pottery Barn Kids, Kate Spade and various other Indian retail brands. I am highly influenced by my culture and my work is a reflection of it. The ability to mold and fabricate spaces to fit a cause truly drives me. This interest brought me to the Fashion Institute of Technology, where I am currently pursuing my Masters in Exhibition and Experience Design.
Caroline Siavichay is a designer and storyteller based in New York City. Her work explores the intersection of design, education, connection and culture. Her background is in theatre performance and she received a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also spent this past summer as an exhibit design intern at the National Museum of the American Indian, where she learned about best practices when designing for cultural heritage institutions. Caroline is passionate about audience connection and the way that storytelling creates bonds by highlighting our common humanity. She is currently enrolled in FIT’s graduate Exhibition and Experience Design program and is looking forward to bringing her creativity and sharp skill sets into the professional setting full time. In her free time, Caroline enjoys reading all types of fiction, finding new recipes to cook and spending time with her incredible husband. She also enjoys writing her own stories when she can find a quiet moment!
Jace Son is a graduate student in the Master's program in Exhibition and Experience Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She is a multidisciplinary designer based in New York who specializes in pop-up, retail, exhibition, and experimental design. She holds an AAS in Fashion Design, which gives her a greater understanding and appreciation of branding and upcoming fashion trends. Her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spatial Experience Design has enhanced her knowledge of visual elements and exhibitions. It has motivated her to create spaces, experiences, and visuals for sharing art with diverse audiences. The combination of these degrees has given her a broad perspective and a keen eye, enabling her to design with precision for clients.
D. Villella is a design professional in New York City currently pursuing their Masters of Exhibition and Experience Design at Fashion Institute of Technology. They have a Bachelor's degree in Interior Design from FIT, and have been practicing as a credentialed Interior Designer in the healthcare and education space for over a decade. D. has a passion for forward-thinking, innovative, and human-centric design that works toward a just and equitable future for our planet, and specializes in design for equity, with emphasis on social justice and design for the Queer community. Their work in advocacy and education for the interior design profession brought them here, combining their passions for design, empathy, and social justice.
Hi! My name is Sakshi Lokhande and I’m from Pune, India. I’ve completed my Bachelor’s in Fashion Communication where I first learned about expression and storytelling through spatial and visual design. Through my undergraduate education, I realized my passion for building engaging physical spaces. Growing up, I was an avid reader and found myself getting lost in the stories I read, longing for the imaginative world they led me to. This made me aware of the power of storytelling and audience engagement. Currently I’m pursuing my graduate education at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the Exhibition and Experience Design program. Through this program, I hope to carry forward the art of storytelling and creating magical experiences.