SCD Newsletter

Enjoy the latest SCD newsletter below - if you want the next one delivered right to your inbox you can sign up here!


January 2022

We’re revved up and back in business after a bit of hibernation, full of energy and momentum as we dive into the fresh start of a new semester. Read on for what's new with us, and some hints of things to come.


We’ve got just a few reminders for everyone planning to go to class/work in SCD and other campus buildings in the coming days:

Covid-19 testing requirements are in place for students, faculty, and staff to gain building access in time for our in-person start on Monday, January 24. Check out U of I’s spring 2022 guidelines for full details.

Masks are more important than ever - please wear a mask at all times in all spaces at SCD. Info for students, faculty, and staff regarding a university-provided free N95 mask can be found here.

SCD’s building is open from 7 AM - midnight every day. Visit here for a building map and information about reserving rooms or other spaces in the building.


There’s still time to register for one of our classes, including Introduction to Social Design, Introduction to Design Thinking, Introduction to Prototyping, and Special Topics in Design Thinking: Design Thinking for AI in Chemistry. While you’re at it, take a look at our affiliated courses, too. Questions? Email us and put “Spring 2022 Courses” in the subject field.


Are you an instructor, student, or staff member? Do you want to learn a bit more about design thinking, creative confidence, empathy, and other tools to enhance your teaching, learning, and working experiences? Awesome. Here’s the scoop on figuring out which of our spring workshops are right for you: 

INSTRUCTORS: Let SCD introduce you to ways you can use design thinking in your teaching and curricula! We’re delivering three virtual, interactive workshops for you this spring  - Creating and Assessing Human-Centered Design Challenges on Thursday, February 3; Empathy and Iteration in Teaching on Thursday, March 3, and Using Design Tools for Research and Teaching: Introduction to Miro on Thursday, April 7. Each session runs from 12-1 PM, and all are 100% free. Full information, including how to register, is here

LEARNERS: We can ​​show you how to expand your creativity, empathy, and storytelling, using human-centered design, via three standalone workshops this spring: Putting Yourself Out There: Building Creative Confidence! on Thursday, February 10; Compelling Communication Matters: Creating Captive Audiences! on Thursday, March 10; and I Feel You: Understanding Oneself and Others on Thursday, April 14. Please note: These free learner workshops will be offered both in person at SCD and virtually; in-person capacity is limited. Full descriptions and registration details are here.


Just a little late-breaking news: SCD is offering a free and open to everyone virtual speaker series, Community + College, in conjunction with our Introduction to Social Design class (DTX 210)!

Instructor and U of I alum Brandon Middleton will facilitate these fireside chat-style conversations with one or two fellow alums each Thursday at 5 PM central time, discussing their career paths, lessons learned, and thoughts on social impact and design. Guests for Thursday, January 20: DeVaris Brown and Lynn Canfield. Sound fantastic? Register here.

Please note: We’ll have a full speaker schedule and much more information in the February 3 edition of this newsletter. We're so excited about this incredible opportunity for students, faculty/staff, and members of the community at large to come together virtually and talk with distinguished alumni currently working in the social innovation space! In the meantime, follow our social media for any real-time updates.


SCD’s newest team member, Programs and Experience Manager Emily Bear, is enjoying a homecoming of sorts as she settles into her new position. The Jamaica, IL native returns to central Illinois from several years working at the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue University. 

"My role working with startups there exposed me to a lot of design thinking concepts," she says. "That's ultimately what led me to be attracted to SCD."

As she gets herself familiar with our building and with the spring semester just underway, she's already making big plans for her work at the center. "I'm most looking forward to creating experiences for students that they currently can't experience elsewhere," she says. "What excites me about SCD is its unique ability to bring together people from all walks of life and to allow collaboration to happen organically. I think the possibilities are endless for the value we can bring to the campus and the community!"


Learn from TEC at SCD: Our pals at the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) are teaching a section of TE 100 - Introduction to Innovation, Leadership, and Engineering Entrepreneurship - in the SCD building this semester. If you’re just getting your feet wet in the entrepreneurship space, it’s a great place to begin. More info about the class here

Illinois Design Consulting is up and running! The Magelli Office of Experiential Learning, in partnership with SCD, has launched Illinois Design Consulting, a new student consulting firm that uses a design thinking approach to help clients solve design challenges - and help students grow into adaptable design professionals. You can register for the 1/24 info session here, or go ahead and apply to join here

Hot off the presses! SCD's looking good in the brand new issue of Illinois Alumni. Check out the article (and behold the photos) here

OK, friends - we sincerely hope you’re getting off to a solid start in this brand new semester and calendar year. We’ll have more stories to tell in our February newsletter, which will land in your inbox in a couple of weeks.

- the team at SCD