Laura Malinin, RDC 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.
Determined to be an architect, Laura started drawing house plans on graph paper at age 6. By 13, she was ripping out plaster walls and hanging drywall in a storage area of her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse so she could have her own bedroom.
Sarah Badding, RDC Operations and Academics Administrator
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.
Annie Pault, Operations and Events Planning
Second Bachelors Candidate in Interior Architecture and Design
Combining Equine Science and Business with Interior Architecture and Design is how Annie likes to do CSU. After working as a project manager for a cloud-based software company for four years, Annie decided to come back to CSU for her second Bachelors. All this is to say Annie is wicked smart and highly capable of coordinating the many moving parts for the RDC.
Annie is the one to call to book an event, get on a tour or learn more about the resources available at RDC. She’ll also be the one to greet you with a smile when you stop by our offices on the third floor of the Nancy Richardson Design Center.
Whether it’s golfing or fishing, skiing or snowmobiling, Annie likes to be outside year-round. She also has a collection of pets named Cooper, Diesel, Simba, and Quigley.
Brendan Kelley, Fabrication Lab Technician
Masters Candidate in Journalism and Media Communication New Communication Technologies
A native to Fort Collins, Brendan received his BFA in Graphic Design and Electronic Art at CSU. His focus on Virtual Reality development and Digital Fabrication techniques 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.
Leila Malekadeli, Fabrication Lab 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.
Jason Thornton, Social Media Coordinator
Bachelor of Science Candidate in Design and Merchandising
Jason is completing his degree in Design and Merchandising with a concentration in Product Development. While he is excited to enter the fashion industry post-graduation, his talents and interests lie most in footwear design and merchandising.
At the RDC, you’ll find Jason interacting with students, faculty, staff, and everyone in between. His mission is always Instagram-able! When Jason isn’t on the clock, you’ll find him shopping for new kicks and jamming out to eclectic tunes!
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.
Justin England, Graphic Communications
Bachelor of Fine Art Candidate in Graphic Design, Minor in Business Administration
Justin is a graphic designer with a wide background in visual art. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, he returned to CSU to complete his BFA in graphic design and minor in business administration after more than a decade of work experience. Justin helps foster RDC branding and communication by pushing pixels to solve creative obstacles.
When he is not on a laptop, Justin enjoys live music, cooking, and his two dogs. He regularly volunteers for Bounce Animal Rescue and maintains a healthy obsession with the band Phish.