Growing up on a Nebraska farm gave Kathryn a number of valuable skills, but two stand out: a strong work ethic and a love of getting to know new people. These skills and others served her well both in academia and industry. Kathryn discovered the d.school towards the end of her Ph.D. research as she sought out a change of scene and pace. She signed up for d.leadership, the d.school’s advanced innovation leadership course, the first year the class was offered. The experience was transformative — so much so, she asked to take the class again. She was allowed back under the condition she serve as a TA. She has been on the teaching team ever since, bringing her expertise in process, methods and tools to bear on each new project. She also brings a wealth of industry experience, having worked on fast-paced internal, external, strategic and retail design challenges. Kathryn brings a keen awareness and understanding of the unique challenges faced by internal design teams as well as those faced by intact teams working to apply design thinking. Kathryn enjoys helping people whittle down the layers of their work lives to reveal who they really are while supporting them through moments of doubt and fear as they embark on their life-long process of leadership development. Witnessing that moment in her students when they see their work and life challenges differently, through a new lens with refreshed energy, is one of her true joys.
Kathryn is a lecturer and Head of Learning Experience Design at the d.school in addition to her work as an independent consultant. Her past clients include Steelcase and VF Corporation. She holds a Ph.D. (2012), Master’s degree (2010) and B.A. (2007) in Communication as well as a Master’s degree in Psychology (2007) — all from Stanford University.