Kajsa Nichols-Smith '15

Kajsa graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Biological Sciences, specializing in endocrinology. During those years in Chicago, she lived on the south side and witnessed some of the many ways that social determinants of health affect everyday life. Working for non-profits in the area, she became fascinated by the complexity of social systems and the challenges involved in regulating them.

Before beginning her graduate studies at MICA, Kajsa worked as a Design Researcher at the Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation. There she was afforded the opportunity to apply design thinking to improving patient care, experience, and outcomes in a hospital setting.

Kajsa is inspired by the ways in which human-centered design can lend intentionality to how systems impact an individual's dignity and sense of personhood. She sees a wealth of potential in adding designers to hospital administration, payor, and other healthcare teams.