MFA Design Thinking’s graduates its first student

The first to graduate from the MFA in Design Thinking program is Holly Murdock, shown third from the left. With her are Design Thinking professors Kristin Machac, Kathleen Sullivan and Joan Dickinson.

The first Masters of Fine Art in Design Thinking student graduated during the 2016 Spring Commencement. Holly Murdock holds this distinction from the newest terminal degree program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

This online program provides students with in-depth experiences in using the design process to solve complex international problems and issues through teamwork.

Murdock, who lives in Utah, stared in fall 2013, after finding the program through an online search. After graduating with a bachelor’s in interior design from Utah State University, she wanted a graduate degree from another part of the county without having to move.

“When I found Radford I knew it was the right program and the right school for me,” she said.

Her thesis used design thinking to generate new ideas to help Syrian refugee children.

“To do that, I developed a series of workshops to bring together people from different backgrounds, from interior designers and architects, to people who work with relocated refugees and even a former refugee from the Congo,” Murdock said.

Together they brainstormed, prototyped ideas and developed an ongoing coloring book exchange between US children and refugee children.

After graduation Murdock plans to teach in a university interior design program and bring design thinking into their curriculum.

To learn more about the MFA in Design Thinking, please visit

May 11, 2016