Alumni Stories & Careers

Our alumni are entrepreneurs, design strategists, and researchers working across design, marketing, education, and more. While in the program, you'll have multiple opportunities to hone your professional practice and build your network to hit the ground running upon graduation.

Featured Alumni

image of woman's face Amanda Schurr, MFA Collaborative Design '17

Amanda Schurr '17

Amanda Schurr is founder and CEO of Design for Work, doing communications, consulting, education, design and systems thinking, and creative problem-solving focused on the future of work. She edited a book with Chris Riley (former head of planning for Wieden + Kennedy and mass-com at Apple) entitled After the Mass Age. Amanda holds a B.A. in Film Theory/Criticism from New College of Florida.

Danielle Olson '13

Danielle Olson is Communications and Content Manager at Hatch Innovation, and board member of Socrates Cafe. Danielle began work at Hatch as a fellow in 2014, looking for a place to exercise her passion for social entrepreneurship. Concurrently, she was working independently as a Visual Strategist, making the complex digestible for social enterprises and non-profits.

Dave Laubenthal

Dave Laubenthal '13

Dave Laubenthal is Director of Creative Services at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Previously he was Launch Director at Design Museum Portland, and designed PNCA’s BridgeLab for his MFA thesis. He has exhibited in ShowPDX multiple years.

Crystal Rome '15

Crystal Rome is a Senior Experience Designer at the Business Innovation Factory in Providence, RI specializing in business model design and prototyping, service design, and ethnographic research. She utilizes complex systems modeling, critical analysis, user centered-design, and collaborative problem solving to investigate the edge of what is possible and find ways to wrangle large scale challenges into human scaled action.


Dan Wieden and Tricia Snell

Designed Futures

Our signature event, every other Wednesday Designed Futures talks are essentially "high IQ happy hours," bringing together our students, faculty, partners, and Portland's creative community to engage with prominent visiting artists, designers, and social innovators. We work with partners like Design Week Portland, Design Research MeetUp, CHIFOO, Post Carbon Institute, Illahee, Ecotrust, Sustainable Northwest, and others to bring provocative guests who are launching promising initiatives.

Design Week Portland

We host a number of events for the citywide Design Week Portland which bring design professionals to campus. In 2018 we hosted Randy Gragg's “One City, Many Futures” a rapid-fire evening of soon-to-be-built buildings and landscapes presented by their designers. And the DWP version of our regular Designed Futures meetup/happy hour celebrated with Chris Riley his new book After the Mass-Age, addressing the shifting structure of mass media.

Radicle Magazine

Radicle is a magazine conceived, edited, designed, and produced annually by the students in the graduate Design Systems programs. In Issue 02, Connecting in an Imperfect World, we are asking questions, sharing insights, and exploring the beauty and ingenuity of our world by focusing in on connection: connecting to ourselves, to each other and to the environment around us.

This issue of Radicle magazine offers examples of artists, entrepreneurs and ordinary people working to make meaningful connections in the world, one imperfect person to another.


Students gain professional experience via internships, projects, and employment with these institutions and organizations.

Albertina Kerr Centers

Amplified by Design



Black Parent Initiative

Business Innovation Factory

Caldera Arts

Center for Genomic Gastronomy

Centro Cultural

City of Portland

Columbia Sportswear

Design Museum Portland

Design Week Portland

EG Robotics



Environmental Health Clinic

Float On

Fulbright Association

Growing Gardens

Hacienda Community Development Corp

Hack Oregon

Hatch Innovation Lab


Intertwine Alliance


Lionheart Consulting

Mercy Corps

MyVoice Music

Newell Brands


Oregon Health Sciences University

Otherness Studio


PSU - Urban Studies


Samara Group




Sustainable Northwest


The Green School

The Right Brain Initiative

Union Creative Agency

University of Vermont


Vanilla Bikes

Waldport High School

Weber State University

Wieden + Kennedy

Works Partnership Architecture

Get in touch

Get in touch with MFA Collaborative Design/MA Design Systems Chair, Skye Moret to learn more about the program.