Design Thinking Program Graduates First Student

From left: Kristin Machac, Kathleen Sullivan, Holly Murdock and Joan Dickinson.

The first Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Design Thinking student graduated during the 2016 Spring Commencement. Holly Murdock holds this distinction.

The newest terminal degree in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, this entirely online program provides students with in-depth experiences using the design process to solve complex international problems and issues through teamwork.

Murdock, who lives in Utah, started in fall 2013, after finding the program through an online search. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Utah State University, she wanted a graduate degree from another part of the country 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 U.S. children and refugee children.

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

May 19, 2016