Our Practitioner Faculty

The Kent State University faculty who teach the online Master’s in UXD program have an unparalleled passion for making the world better through human-centered design. They are pioneers in the field of UX design, and they bring with them:

  • Diverse backgrounds that reinforce the program’s unique blend of human-centered thinking, design and information architecture
  • Active industry experience and involvement in national UXD organizations
  • Ability to serve as industry contacts for students and alumni

View Admissions Requirements

JESSICA BECKER, M.S.

Adjunct Professor
jbecker@kent.edu
User Experience Design

Jessica Becker joined Kent State University as an adjunct instructor in the spring of 2019. With more than 18 years of experience in visual design, front-end development, interaction design and user experience design, she is passionate about sharing this knowledge with others and implementing it in her everyday work
Currently, Jessica is the executive director of web design and development at Case Western Reserve University. She oversees all visual and user experience design and manages a team of developers.

Jessica previously worked in web communications at Northwestern University as a senior web designer and Jockey International on their e-commerce team
She holds a master's degree in User Experience Design from Kent State University and a bachelor's degree in biology from Bowling Green State University.

Jessica is also the president of UXPA Cleveland, a professional organization dedicated to improving user experiences across Northeast Ohio.

DARREN HOOD, M.S., PH.D. CANDIDATE

Adjunct Professor
dhood@kent.edu
User Experience Design

Darren is extremely passionate about all things UX, holding 22 years of experience in human-computer interaction, with the last 15+ years focusing on UX and CX. He currently serves as an experience design lead for Ryder's supply chain and logistics operation. Darren also serves as an adjunct professor for Kent State University’s UX Design Master’s program and as an adjunct professor at Lawrence Technological University in metro Detroit. He holds an MS from Syracuse in Information Management, an M.S. in User Experience Design from Kent State, graduate certificate in Educational Technology from Michigan State, UX manager certification from Nielsen Norman Group, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Technology at Northcentral University.

FELESIA MCDONALD, M.S.

Felesia McDonald is a UX Designer for OEConnection. Her UX career began in journalism as an Interactive Graphic Artist at the Plain Dealer. Felesia has worked as a freelance web designer, with projects including The Call-and-Post, redesigning the marketing website for Lock Haven University, and working for several non-profits including CAAO. After obtaining her MS in UXD in 2014, she worked as a User Research Consultant for the Eaton Corporation. Outside of her UX work, Felesia is passionate about teaching coding and leadership programs for young girls and women. She is working on a non-profit design program to offer camps and workshops to middle and high school students. She is also a board member for UXPA Cleveland.


KELSEY PYTLIK

Kelsey Pytlik is a contract user experience designer and adjunct professor at Kent State University. Kelsey has an undergraduate degree from Miami University in Marketing and Interactive Media and a Master’s in User Experience Design from Kent State University. After completing her master’s degree, Kelsey worked at a digital agency on branded sites followed by working as a member of an in-house digital team at an e-commerce retailer. Since 2016, Kelsey has been working across a variety of clients as a contract resource. She is also the co-founder of Gild Collective, which offers gender diversity and inclusion programming to client companies. Outside of work, Kelsey is an active participant in Team and Training endurance events to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

DREW SHIPKA

Coordinator, Online Learning
ashipka@kent.edu
User Experience Design

Andrew Shipka (MA – Philosophy, MLIS – Library Science, MS – IAKM) became a graduate assistant for the Library and Information Science department when he started the dual master’s program in 2007 and has been working at Kent State University ever since. While a student and as part of his assistantship he learned the art of becoming an Educational Technology Designer and was lucky enough to secure a position after graduation. He is currently working at the Office of Continuing and Distance Education to help improve online classes at KSU.

He has been a resident of Northeast Ohio since birth, but has taken several opportunities to travel outside the country for education, employment, and enjoyment over extended periods, including to Canada, South Korea, Israel, Costa Rica, Ireland, Philippines, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, and France.

He currently lives in Kent, OH with his girlfriend and two ferrets.

JENNIFER P. TEVES, M.S., PH. D.

Part-Time Faculty
jteves@kent.edu
User Experience Design

Jennifer is currently the principal product researcher for User Experience and Accessibility at Target Corporation. She is also a member of the UX Philippines Board. Jen joined Kent State University's School of Information - UXD program in January 2018 as a part-time faculty member. Prior to her stint at Target, she worked at Veritas Technologies as a principal UX researcher for enterprise backup and recovery solutions. She was a UX researcher at Honeywell International, for almost four years, where she worked on building automation solutions and led global research efforts. Jen earned her PhD in Experimental Psychology (Human Factors) from Wichita State University, Kansas, an MS in Experimental Psychology from University of Louisiana-Monroe, and a BS in Psychology from Assumption College in Manila, Philippines. She has a passion for education and has committed herself to mentoring and opening up opportunities for the younger generation. Her current research interests include inclusive design and multi-sensory user interactions.

MARCIA ZENG, PH.D.

Professor in The School of Information
mzeng@kent.edu
User Experience Design

Marsha’s major research interests include knowledge organization systems (taxonomy, thesaurus, ontology, etc.), Linked Data, metadata and markup languages, database quality control, multilingual and multi-culture information processing, and digital libraries for cultural objects. Her scholarly publications consist of more than 80 papers and five books, as well as about 200 national and international conference presentations, invited lectures and keynote speeches. She was also Director-at-large of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) 2010-2013. She currently serves on the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) inaugural Advisory Board Chair.

A Simple Application Process

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A Holistic Curriculum

Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.

Featured Articles

October 14, 2021
Wondering whether a master’s degree in UX design (UXD) is relevant to your career? We’ll explore what a master’s degree covers, and why it might, or might not benefit your career.
October 11, 2021
As more of us use computers and machines daily for everything from work to shopping and social interactions, user experience (UX) is more critical than ever before. Today there are more opportunities than ever to get a degree that will help you accelerate your UX career. One of those is a master of science (MS) in user experience design or UXD.
October 05, 2021
A UX master's degree is one of the best ways to prepare for a career in user interface (UI) or UX design. Getting a UX design master's degree online allows you the flexibility of studying where you already live while giving you access to the cutting-edge education you'll need to succeed in the field.
September 29, 2021
Page layout design, also called page composition, combines eye-pleasing aesthetics with compelling text to communicate a message. Learn how the following design elements help create an effective page layout and why it matters to your users.
April 27, 2021
Successful user experience design (UXD) is ultimately determined by successful user interaction with a company's system, app, product, service and even with the company itself. To achieve this success, UX designers must serve as advocates for users' needs throughout each design stage.
February 04, 2021
Alison Hayne’s first app design project had 6,000 users. When Haynes enrolled in the online Master’s in UX Design, she knew years as a self-employed artist had given her enough entrepreneurial skills to be successful in the field. What she didn’t know was how quickly after graduation she’d be...
January 25, 2021
At first glance, Chello Elmi might seem like an unusual fit for a UXD program. She studied psychology as an undergraduate, but when it came time to earn her master’s, all she knew was she didn’t want to continue in a therapeutic or mental health field.So, she started searching online for potential...
December 18, 2020
If user experience (UX) design centers on shaping the experience of using a product, and most of that experience involves some interaction between the user and the product, then what is interaction design, exactly?The sheer volume of sites (482 million) that results from a basic web search suggests that this is an easy question to answer, but don’t be deceived.The two overlapping...
November 23, 2020
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the approach that suggests that website design and development should enable each site to respond automatically to a user’s behavior and environment—that is, whether that person is using a laptop, iPad, Android phone or other device, viewing in portrait or landscape mode, and so on.1 In the case of public displays, recent work also...
October 19, 2020
User Experience (UX) designers are highly sought after in a wide array of industries, from computer and software companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Adobe to popular websites such as LinkedIn, Google and Amazon. You can enjoy a highly paid career with an investment company, major retailer or entertainment firm.A glance at Glassdoor’s Top Companies Hiring for User Experience Designer Jobs...
July 13, 2020
Kent State User Experience Design (UXD) Instructor Kelsey Pytlik has an undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master’s degree in User Experience Design from Kent State University. After her early career with creative agencies and e-commerce retailers, she...
July 09, 2020
User experience design (UXD) lets you use your creativity, research skills and technological expertise to shape how others view the world. If you want to excel at building your UX resume, be prepared to impress employers with new ways to solve problems. You also need a skill set that’s grounded in UX fundamentals, yet shows synergistic capability. Put another way, compelling...
Admissions and Application Deadlines
Nov
12
Priority Deadline
Spring 2022 Semester
Dec
21
Final Deadline
Spring 2022 Semester
Jan
18
First Day of Class
Spring 2022 Semester