© 2019 KATE STYER 

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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

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My favorite word is deliberate [adjective dih-lib-er-it]: calculated, intentional, measured. It has an onomatopoeic effect for me—the steady, balanced sound of it implies the conscious, willfully chosen quality of the action it describes. As a creative writing student at the University of Pittsburgh, deliberate was the quality I wanted my writing to project, by way of carefully and intentionally chosen words, syntax and structure.

 

Deliberate has come to permeate many areas of my life, including my approach to solving problems and making decisions. Most recently, in my role as the Alumni Affairs manager at SVA, my work has been largely focused on cultivating alumni engagement. My inclination has been to find a solution that is data-driven and thus intentional. I’ve set in motion the collection and analysis of new data to help us better understand who SVA alumni are and how we can motivate them to be more engaged with the school.

 

I was introduced to interaction design by a friend of mine who was designing case management software for child welfare professionals. Based on research and interviews with the people who would actually use it, he designed how they would interact with the software. His work resonated with me because it was informed by empathy. From working for a suicide and crisis hotline, to developing ways to nurture relationships with donors, to exploring the specific needs of SVA alumni, my professional work has also been heavily empathy-driven, focused on understanding, supporting and problem-solving for unique groups of people facing unique challenges.

 

In 2016, I decided to enroll in SVA’s Summer Intensive in Interaction Design, where I was exposed further to the process of interaction design. The process deeply resonates with me as well because it feels inherently deliberate. Valuing research and empathy over taste or stereotype, it leaves room for creativity and experimentation while ultimately leading to deeply intentional and wholly developed solutions.

 

Interaction design represents for me the intersection of my professional and personal values, strengths, and where I want to go next in my career. The SVA MFA Interaction Design program in particular elevates an extremely deliberate style of working that I am deeply drawn to. Further, my position at SVA has allowed me to bear witness to the extraordinarily talented and innovative individuals who teach and graduate from this program. I am endlessly impressed by their accomplishments as students and alumni, and I would be honored to be a part of this community.


My portfolio seeks to capture the essence of my approach to problem-solving, and to emphasize my potential for developing the design and technical skills needed to enter the field of interaction design. I am eager and excited to do this as a student of the MFA Interaction Design program at SVA, where the process is as important as the solution.