Laura Malinin, RDC Inaugural Director
As part of a small team that eventually involved over 90 students, faculty, and industry partners, Laura helped bring the Nancy Richardson Design Center to life. Her work in the early visioning stages, through to the design and construction of our iconic building, provide the foundation for her vision and goals for the RDC’s future. In addition to serving as the inaugural director for the RDC, Laura is an associate professor of Interior Architecture and Design in the Department of Design and Merchandising, which is also located in Nancy Richardson Design Center.
Laura lives and breathes creativity and design thinking. She is a registered architect and cognitive scientist with numerous awards for design teaching and research excellence in creativity. She holds an undergraduate degree in architecture and art history from Rice University, an M.Ed. in educational technology from the University of Texas, and a joint Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in design and planning through the College of Architecture and Planning and cognitive science through the Institute of Cognitive Science.
Sarah Badding, RDC Operations and Academics Administrator and Office of the President Leadership Fellow
Sarah earned her doctorate from CSU in 2017. In her studies, she focused on measuring creative synthesis processes, where thinking transforms into doing. This is the basis of Design Thinking and why Sarah is such a perfect fit for the RDC.
Leading the Design Thinking Certificate program, Sarah not only teaches but also oversees academics related to delivery, oversight, and evaluation of design center workshops, classes, certificates, and future programming. Additionally, she develops not-for-credit short courses, tutorials and executive education programming.
However, Sarah’s primary focus is to manage the planning and organizing of financial, human, and inventory resources for the RDC. Which is to say she knows everything about this facility and holds the master key.
Sarah has a saltwater fish tank in her office and enough plants to supply a week’s worth of oxygen. Maybe that’s why she never leaves.
Paul Callahan, RDC Fabrication Labs Coordinator
In 2013, Paul Callahan earned an MFA in ceramics from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He stayed at LSU for the next five years teaching art, architecture, and interior design. Additionally, he was part of the leadership team for the Design Shop, Fabrication Factory, and Ceramics Factory. His personal research focuses on object making and hybrid use of analog and digital tools. As an instructor, his coursework has spanned, ceramics, metal, wood, and digital fabrication tools, including software and hardware.
As the Fabrication Labs Coordinator for the RDC, Paul provides training and supervision of students. As functional support for faculty, Paul has oversight of daily operations in the Wood, Metal and Prototyping Labs. Additionally, he facilitates inter-departmental collaboration as the RDC expands to include a wide range of resources and tools available to CSU faculty and students as well as the broader community.
Paul has made more than 5,000 pieces of pottery and won less than 50 competitive beach volleyball tournaments. Being 6’5″ is more applicable to the latter.
Danice Chou, Fabrication Labs Assistant Coordinator
Danice holds a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her studies, work, and life have revolved around theory, practice, designing, and building. With over a decade of industry experience, she has worked with a diverse group of clients and colleagues from orthopedic surgeons and cardiovascular researchers to forensic anthropologists and sculptors. She has also been involved in Fort Collins’ educational and maker communities.
At the RDC, Danice supports all daily lab operations related to training and advising lab users as they work through projects, equipment maintenance, and helping to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations.
Outside of the RDC, Danice has a growing collection of pop-up books, gardens, bees, and apple trees.
Emma Stark, Business Operations Coordinator
Emma earned her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, and then her Masters in Social Work, both from CSU. She has worked for years in many capacities with children and their families, but has always felt most at home doing anything creative. She would incorporate creativity and art into her human-centered work whenever possible, and this love for the power of creativity led her to the RDC. Emma‘s role at the RDC includes assisting with financials, advising, project coordination, and program organizing and planning, just to name a few.
In her free time, Emma loves spending time in nature with her husband and dog, practicing embroidery and photography, and getting lost in all things Harry Potter.
Justin England, Graphic Design & Communications Coordinator
Justin is a graphic designer and illustrator who earned his BFA from Colorado State University after over a decade of industry experience. He was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri where he built a strong foundation in traditional visual art before evolving to digital media. Equipped with extensive marketing experience, Justin skillfully pushes pixels with effective, modern communication strategies to produce high-quality and successful creative solutions for the RDC.
When Justin is not behind a screen, he enjoys listening to live music, brewery hopping, cooking, and spoiling his two dogs. He regularly volunteers for Bounce Animal Rescue, and has an (arguably healthy) obsession with the rock band Phish.
Hope Parker, Instructor of Design Thinking and Dual Enrollment Coordinator
Hope Parker earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from Montana State University and her M.Ed. in Higher and Post-secondary Education from Arizona State University. Throughout her career she has been a 6th grade teacher, coach, managed a full time MBA program, ran a K12 engineering and entrepreneurship department, lead workshops on design thinking and entrepreneurship for students, teachers, and faculty around the world, and started the youth entrepreneurship program within the Institute for Entrepreneurship here at CSU. She loves how design thinking can be applied to any problem whether in life or business and loves sharing it with anyone who will listen to her!
In her role, Hope is helping to bring NRDC courses IDEA 210 and IDEA 110 to high schools across Colorado through the new low-cost dual enrollment program! In addition, she teaches the online sections and dual enrollment IDEA 210 courses.
When Hope isn’t working you can find her hiking, traveling, playing volleyball, trying to grow plants and spending time with her family and friends.
Mark Schreiber, Instructor of Design Thinking
Senior Stanford FabLearn Fellow and founder of Design Case Consulting, Mark Schreiber knows hands-on education. With over 20 years in technology, engineering, digital fabrication and design, he is well versed in the integration of making into classrooms, schools, and community programs. Mark’s passion and drive of helping others create has allowed him opportunities to consult for corporations, such as Intel, the US Air Force CyberWorx Program, numerous public and private schools, as well as receive several awards and accolades. Most notably, Mark was named the National Teacher of the Year by the Milken Family Foundation.
Mark has a deep understanding and commitment to the design thinking process. He believes in it so much that it’s embedded in all his curriculum and trainings. If students and faculty do not start with empathy for the end user and rapidly prototype and test their assumptions, their products or processes are bound to be sub-par.
If Mark isn’t teaching in a classroom, you may find him teaching his kids in a custom made trailer along the Front Range or reading from his giant pop-up books.
Carson Eliasen, Design Thinking Education
Bachelor of Science Candidate in Psychology, Statistics Minor and Design Thinking Certificate
Carson started at CSU as a data science major, dabbling in math, statistics, and computer science. His pivot to psychology added even more skills and now his diverse background fits right in at the RDC. Carson shares his critical insights into the many design thinking workshops, classes, and activities around the building.
After taking Introduction to Design Thinking his freshman year, Carson fell in love and now assists in teaching the course. His duties have spread far beyond the classroom, and Carson is found collaborating all over the RDC. Whether giving lectures, helping around the labs, or giving new, interested students tours of the RDC. Carson is always ready to share his passion for design thinking.
Carson’s free time is filled by developing video games, drinking fancy teas, and listening to cassettes and vinyl.
Leila Malekadeli, Fabrication Labs Technician
Master of Fine Art Candidate in Sculpture
Leila knows how to wield a torch and rip boards, which is exactly why students can look to her for assistance in the Wood and Metal Shops. Leila will be monitoring students during classes as well as overseeing tool and equipment use.
Previous to her time at CSU, Leila earned a BFA from Michigan State University and a MA from Eastern Illinois University. She has exhibited work in both regional and international exhibitions and has contributed to multiple public works in Michigan.
Half-Persian and a pescatarian, Leila will begin her MFA by sculpting only objects and concepts that begin with the letter P.
Brendan Kelley, Fabrication Labs Technician
Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science
A native to Fort Collins, Brendan received his BFA in Graphic Design and Electronic Art and Masters of Science in Journalism and Media Communications at CSU. His focus on new communication technologies, virtual reality development, and digital fabrication makes him the ideal lab technician for the RDC’s cutting edge technology in 3D printing and laser cutting.
With his training and knowledge of the equipment in the Prototyping Lab, Brendan will serve as a monitor to assist students during classes as well as open access hours. His duties include enforcing safety policies, inventory tracking, and equipment maintenance.
If Brendan isn’t geeking out on technology and design, he can be found ripping it on local ski slopes.
Valerie Accetta, Events and Office Coordinator
Bachelor of Science candidate in Interior Architecture and Design, Real Estate Minor
Valerie transferred to CSU from Montana State University in order to pursue interior architecture and design. She is loving every moment of her studio classes and hands on experience with ideas and materials. Valerie provides event scheduling services to anyone interested in using RDC owned spaces within the Nancy Richardson Design Center. Come find her manning the front desk and responding to emails in the RDC office.
Valerie’s path in design is one of passion, blending her parent’s careers as an artist and residential developer. She loves Fort Collins’ easy access to hiking and skiing, and its great little downtown, Old Town.