Get Involved: An Interview with Alumna Adrienne Bockheim

January 25, 2024

Adrienne Bockheim (MLA ‘10) discovered her passion for landscape architecture after the realization that it encompassed everything that fascinated her. Her work, first as a graduate student and then as a project coordinator, with the College of Design’s Minnesota Design Center laid the foundation for a career uniting landscape architecture and urban planning. As a principal city planner for the City of Minneapolis, Bockheim plays a pivotal role in transformative projects like the New Nicollet Redevelopment. In this interview, she shares insights into her career trajectory, offers advice to students, and reflects on how her time at the college shaped her successful career path.

Dream Big: An Interview with Alumna Nikki Gronli

December 21, 2023

Appointed the state director of USDA Rural Development South Dakota by President Joe Biden, Alumna Nikki Gronli’s (BS ‘96, Design Communications) diverse career journey has included working in design and advertising for music labels, pizza brands, and tech companies, before taking a pivotal shift toward public service. As state director, Gronli has over 70 programs under her purview and orchestrates a team of 31 specialists dedicated to fostering rural prosperity. In this interview, Gronli talks about her career path, her commitment to lifelong learning, and shares advice for students.

Start with Empathy: An Interview with Alumnus Patrick Puckett

November 3, 2023

A recipient of the 2023 U40 Alumni Leader Award, Patrick Puckett has been a longstanding advocate for the University of Minnesota, the College of Design, and the important connections design students make that lead to future career success. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Puckett carved out a path in user experience (UX) design. In this interview, Puckett talks about his current work as an experience designer, the skills it takes to be successful in the field, and shares advice for current design students.

Bring Your Full Self: An Interview with Alumnus Max Dickson

June 12, 2023

Max Dickson (he/him) earned a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota in 2019. After graduation, Dickson moved to Philadelphia to work with OLIN, an internationally awarded landscape architecture and urban design firm. At OLIN, Dickson’s work has focused on district-scale urban spaces, and leading the emergent research initiative through OLIN Labs called PrideScapes, an exploration of LGBTQ+ landscapes and people within the field of landscape architecture.

Learn Everything: An Interview with Alumna Sara Lopez

January 5, 2023

​Sara Lopez (​BS ’12, Apparel Design) ​wants you to stop and think about your clothing. Profiled in outlets like Vogue, Elle, and W Magazine, Lopez's work considers clothing's purpose in society and what its modern use says about our world. Her label, A--Company, deconstructs one piece of clothing at a time through the lens of critical theory and queer studies to create something entirely new. In this interview, Lopez talks about the experiences that shaped her work, her design approach, and shares advice for current design students.

Enjoy the Process: An Interview with Professor Emeritus John Koepke

October 27, 2022

It wasn’t until he became a TA during graduate school that Professor Emeritus John Koepke realized he enjoyed teaching as much as working in a design firm. After hearing about an open position at the University of Minnesota, Koepke gave “the best interview of his life” and became Department of Landscape Architecture Head. During his time, Koepke helped the department become internationally ranked and built long-term connections with communities across Minnesota. In this interview, Koepke discusses his favorite parts about teaching, the challenges he faced, and gives advice to design professionals and academics.

Consider the Future: An Interview with Professor Emerita Marilyn DeLong

October 13, 2022

A desire to think critically and creatively put Professor Emerita Marilyn DeLong on the path to a career in higher education. Serving as associate dean before, during, and after the creation of the College of Design, DeLong helped shape the college’s graduate education programs. Her skill for seeing connections and her passion for helping women earn their Ph.D. degrees have made her a highly regarded and celebrated educator and mentor. In this interview, DeLong talks about her career, her future plans, and her advice for design academics and professionals.

Be Open to Change: An Interview with Professor Emerita Becky Yust

September 16, 2022

Professor Emerita Becky Yust didn’t intend to pursue a career in academia. Originally set on becoming an interior designer, the advice and support she received from professors led her to pursue a career as an educator. During her time in higher education, Yust has served as a professor, program chair, department head, and even the College of Design’s interim dean. Over the course of her career, she’s mentored countless students, faculty members, and staff, helping them to find their own paths. After almost five decades of service, Yust celebrated her last semester at the University of Minnesota (UMN) in May 2022. In this interview, she reflects on her career, the challenges she faced, and shares advice for academics and designers.

Elevate the Design: An Interview with Alumna Laura Sanden Cabo

October 14, 2021

Laura Sanden Cabo (M.Arch ‘83), AIA, creates Disney magic on the seas. As a portfolio creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, Cabo is entrusted with leading the teams that envision and execute the creative development of almost everything under the Disney Cruise Line umbrella. In our latest alumni interview, Cabo talks about applying her architecture skills to a non-traditional career and what designers can bring to the table at any company.

Work on Things that Matter: An Interview with Alumna Claire Lumen

September 2, 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic set in and drove more social interaction online, virtual reality (VR) platforms, like VRchat or SecondLife, exploded in popularity. These virtual environments allow users to make friends, play games, and participate in a virtual economy. For Claire Lumen (BS ‘20, Apparel Design), this technology provides more than just a social outlet. As a student, VR shaped her academic focus and played a pivotal role in her journey as a trans woman. Now in her professional life, VR continues to shape how Lumen applies her apparel design skills to the virtual world.