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

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Adjunct Professor
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.


Adjunct Professor
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 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 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.


Coordinator, Online Learning
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.


Part-Time Faculty
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.


Professor in The School of Information
User Experience Design

Marcia’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

A phone call with one of our Admissions Advisors will make it even easier.

Ready to Make a Career Change?

To submit a successful application, follow the steps in our application checklist.

A Holistic Curriculum

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

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Admissions and Application Deadlines
Priority Deadline
Fall 2023 Semester
Final Deadline
Fall 2023 Semester
First Day of Class
Fall 2023 Semester