The End

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Yesterday, the second Design Thinking Studio in Social Innovation cohort met for the last time. We discussed marketing this experience professionally, offered feedback and suggestions for future cohorts, and exchanged goodbyes for the summer. The night before, we had our final Design Thinking showcase where we presented the work we did over the course of […]

Engage Alamance Recap

Posted on Posted in Local Experiences, Personal Reflections

I got the pleasure to sit down with Blaine Williamson, Elon class of 2019 student and communications and programs coordinator of the Co|Operative in downtown Graham. We recapped this past installment of the Engage Alamance series which featured keynote speaker Melody Warnick, author of This Is Where You Belong. Check out the interview podcast below! […]

The Full Farm-to-Table Experience

Posted on Posted in Community Observations, Local Experiences, Personal Reflections

As someone from California, I have eaten at many, many farm-to-table restaurants. I love the idea of restaurants buying directly from farmers, supporting the local economy and environment, not to mention eating more nutrient-dense foods. But, I have a confession: I had never actually been to the farms that supplied these farm-to-table restaurants, let alone […]

Why This Matters

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Over the past semester, I have been flooded with questions from students, faculty, staff, friends, and family regarding the Design Thinking Studio. Some questions are out of a genuine desire to understand, and some are out of skepticism and confusion. I am often asked how this fits into my major, if I feel like I’m […]

Millennials: A Movement 

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Young people are changing the world. Over the past twenty one years, we have lived through 9/11, an extreme recession, multiple mass shootings, and four presidents, all while growing up. We were raised in a time of social media and constant access to the internet and one another. I knew how to publicly share my […]

Success is Overrated

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Over the past semester in the Design Thinking Studio in Social Innovation, we have learned to “fail fast and fail forward.” I’ll be honest, when I first heard that, I was horrified and uncomfortable. I couldn’t stand the thought of failure, especially when it came to me failing. I was always taught that failure was […]

Religion and Resilience

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After spending a semester looking at resilience from the sociological and philosophical perspectives, one correlation continued to pop up over and over again: the connection between resilience and religion. In an article published by Psychology Today in 2014, the author outlines the seven resources easily found in religions that are difficult to find elsewhere: relationships, […]

“Inter-personality” 

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Last week, in an interview with a faculty member conducting research on our cohort, I created what I think to be a new word. A word that I used to truly describe our cohort. We talk a lot about how we are inter-disciplinary, but to break through the surface, I also categorized us as being […]

My Core Capstone in a Nutshell

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For my Core Capstone project, I am creating empathetic, interactive mini case study stories that, alongside online resources, give my audience tools to apply empathy in their work and daily lives. I began by creating as many personas as I could, and at first, my audience was vague, targeting young professionals. My original idea was […]

SURFing My Way to Confidence

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Since my freshman year at Elon, I have considered Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF) Day to be a fantastic day. For starters, classes are cancelled. More importantly, I get to explore a room full of students presenting their posters and listen to them discuss their real, fascinating research. I feel like a kid in a […]

Breaking Creative Barriers

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I am going to be frank with you. I struggle with creative barriers, especially as a writer. Most times when I sit down to write, I feel something stopping me. Recently, I have realized that this was something that I had created: I had gradually built up this barrier fortified with writer’s blocks and grouted […]

The Unthinkable

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Today, I gave my two weeks’ notice for my current job. It’s the same job that I have held throughout the past three years of college and today I said goodbye. We have a life made up of countless choices. Many of thesechoices are simple happenings in the day to day, but some of them […]

A Reflection on Our First Community Workshop: Burlington Recreation & Parks and Scrum

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On Wednesday, April 18th, our cohort hosted our first community workshop. Our first clients were Mary Faucetter, Emily Lott, and Caitlin Brown, of Burlington Recreation & Parks. Prior to our facilitation, we asked the team over email what type of workshop they would be interested in. They explained that they were interested in becoming more […]

Did you hear? We Had a Meeting With the Mayor

Posted on Posted in Design Thinking Process, Information, Local Experiences, Personal Reflections

At 8:45am on Tuesday, April 3rd, our cohort stepped through the front door of Burlington City Hall. Our faces displayed hopefulness for and confidence in our ideas for our final community project. We had prepared about five questions for the mayor, thinking that his answers would reinforce the brilliance of at least one of the […]

T H I N K

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Where do we think best? I mean truly think. For some people it’s while running, journaling, sitting in a quiet space, or in their bed. There are so many places on this earth that we can inhabit and fill with our thoughts. Since I came to college, I have increasingly become more and more extroverted. […]

Getting Closer: An Update on my COR Capstone Project

Posted on Posted in Information, Local Experiences, Personal Reflections

On a rainy Saturday morning, instead of sleeping until noon, I attended the Mental Health Symposium. I arrived at the Performing Arts Center at 9:00 a.m. and was surprised to see nearly thirty people––students and faculty––in the auditorium. Dr. Alexis Franzese, Associate Professor of Sociology at Elon, and her mentor introduced the event, a “day-long […]

“The Artist’s Way”

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Recently, I’ve begun reading Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. The purpose of engaging with this book is to enrich my experience in our Design Thinking Studio class. Julia Cameron has long been seen as an expert in creativity since the publishing of this book in 1992: some would […]

Betwixt and Between: A Self Reflection

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Being a Communication Design major, it’s been interesting to see where I can use my design skills even in non-design contexts and environments. At the start of this program, I stated that I wanted to be able to use design thinking and innovation to develop an approach to potentially resolve a community problem through the […]

Why Scrum Is Like Rowing

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I know I am messing with metaphors here, as “Scrum” is, in itself, a reference to the similarities between the inner workings of its process and that of a rugby scrum. But I used to row crew in high school—yes, I really did—and, recently, because we have started working with the Scrum model in the […]

Rain on a Monday

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If you’ve run into any member of our cohort on a Monday this semester, you’ve probably heard it a million times: it has rained every single Monday (except one) this semester. While you might think it’s a stretch to connect rain on a Monday to our work in the studio, hear me out. The first […]

Restoration Alamance

Posted on Posted in Community Observations

Burlington. Graham. Mebane. Alamance. What might they have in common? This is the question Claire and I were tasked with for our Uncovering Alamance project. Our assignment was to explore these four places in Alamance County, to define an emerging theme that we noticed in all four locations, and to create an “artifact” to share […]

Downtown Dining

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So, I go to the Company Shops Market, Burlington’s Food Co-Op, quite often. I’d say, probably once a week. Which is a considerate amount for a person who doesn’t typically eat out or like to spend her money on something she probably could make herself. But it’s not necessarily just the food that brings me […]

NCCMA Keynote Address: A New Perspective On Design Thinking

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On Saturday, February 24, I attended the North Carolina College Media Association. Abby Reimer gave the keynote address entitled Design Thinking: Applying the Design Thinking Process on Your Campus. The schedule describes Reimer is the “innovation manager at McClatchy, where she trains McClatchy employees and partners in design-thinking and helps bring human-centered project to life”. […]

A Bookworm’s Musings

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Reading Steven Johnson’s book, Where Good Ideas Come From has shone light in the darkest corners of my brain. The idea of all these unique “patterns” surrounding us is absolutely fascinating. Johnson wrote about patterns like the 10/10 Rule (there is a decade between major changes in the history of innovation), liquid networks (networks are […]

Graham Photo Story

Posted on Posted in Community Observations

Our Friday afternoon in downtown Graham on February 9th ended up being a very successful exploratory journey. Not only did I discover many quaint places that my group and I will return to in the near future, but we also had some nice conversations with local business owners. We went into a sweet little family-owned […]

Lessons I Learned From Legos

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At the very beginning of the semester, one of our cohort members mentioned the idea of ordering Legos; a short while later, we ended up with 3,000 Legos for our creative enjoyment. It goes without saying that kids love Legos for building cars, castles, and nearly everything in between, but who knew a handful of […]

The Practice Run

Posted on Posted in Design Thinking Process

Last week marked our cohort’s very first ‘Sprint Week.’ In the Design Thinking world, “Sprints” are compact versions of design processes that enable groups to generate tons of ideas and prototypes within a shortened amount of time. These Sprints span five days, with each day having its own purpose: According to the IDEO model, Day […]

Bike Culture at Elon

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I unlock my bike from the rack in front of my apartment building. I have about ten minutes before I have to be sitting in the KOBC office of the Student Professional Development Center for my meeting so I have really got to book it across campus. I start to pedal my way towards the […]

Do You Sprint?

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So last week, we did a sprint. No, I’m not talking about running; it was a design sprint. Our professors taught us this concept that they got from the book Sprint by Jake Knapp. Essentially, it is the design thinking process boiled down to just five days of work, hence, the name Sprint. Day 1 […]

From Classroom to DTS

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Where do I start? The first three weeks of this class have been a whirlwind­­, but incredibly eye-opening. In fact, I feel that I have learned more in the past three weeks than I have during an entire semester at Elon. To clarify, I have learned many useful and interesting skills and information in my […]

A Letter to Alamance County

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Dear Alamance County, Big things are happening to us and when we say big, we mean HUGE. Building communities and developing our family is what we are all about. We love to invest back into this county that we all call home. We are comprised of creators, innovators, small business owners, teachers, doctors, farmers, and […]

Try this out…

Posted on Posted in Design Thinking Process

Put down your phone. Ignore the notifications on your computer. Take out your ear buds. Listen. Do you notice anything different? Resist the urge to roll your eyes or give the person across from you a squinty-eyed look of confusion; bear with me. What are the people around you doing?  Why are they doing them? […]

Curious?

Posted on Posted in Design Thinking Process

Have you ever been curious? No, I mean, really curious? Have you intensified your curiosity on purpose? Tried to question everything around you? Practicing curiosity is a task that opens up your eyes to the people, places, objects, and interactions you see every day. In our Design Thinking Studio class this semester, we are studying […]

The Influence of Coffee Shops

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One of the biggest things I took away from exploring Burlington, Graham, and Mebane these past few Fridays was the presence and influence of a coffee shop in the community. Whether it was Burlington’s The Blend, Graham’s Press, or Mebane’s Filament, each downtown space housed a coffee shop that seemed to encompass the community around […]

South Graham Elementary Prototyping

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Last week South Graham elementary school was celebrating Earth Day with fun activities for their kids and our class was lucky enough to be invited join them! The kids, in grades preschool to 5th, were divided up and rotated between three stations. Community members, Elon Garden Club members, and ACC students were showing the kids […]

Downtown Burlington

Burlington Today

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  Located between the urban economic centers of the Piedmont Triad and the Research Triangle, Alamance County, and its largest municipality – the city of Burlington, has a small town feel with larger city amenities. Alamance County is made up of 154,378 residents with the city of Burlington comprising 51,510 of those residents. The median […]

Coffee Shop = Creativity

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Our design thinking semester has pushed our group to observe things we normally wouldn’t. Design thinking makes you appreciated and notice small everyday things in a new light. This semester I have now noticed sidewalks in a new light, public transportation, and surprisingly enough coffee shops in a totally new way.   Through our empathy […]

History of Burlington

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    In the 1850s, North Carolina Railroad selected the Burlington area to be the site of its repair facilities. This area was chartered under the name “Company Shops” in 1866. In the same year, the railroad moved their repair facilities to Spencer, North Carolina and the town changed their name to Burlington. Although the […]

The Making of Our Logo

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Once we settled on our name, The B•HIVE, I wanted to capture all the meaning behind it within our logo. The B•HIVE means being human-centered, innovative, visionary and empathetic. As a design thinker all of these characteristics are key components to being “successful”.  The B•HIVE also describes a cohort of busy working bees sharing ideas and […]

Friday Shower Thoughts

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You have to look left to see the right side of your nose. Instead of having an app to track where you parked your car, there should be an app that tracks my car keys.  I feel I lose those much more frequently. Every time you say “penny for your thoughts” to someone and they […]

Theodore Roosevelt Quote - Comparison is the thief of joy

Comparison

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  My roommate came home the other night as I was reviewing the Wellness Collaborative strategic plan at our kitchen table. As she chopped kale to make a salad, she casually asked what the Design Thinking cohort was up to. I froze. I didn’t have anything specific or noteworthy to update her on since my […]

Scavenging for Understanding

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Our cohort completed a fun scavenger hunt in order to learn more about the history of Burlington. This was an amazing opportunity to learn more about historic spots scattered across Burlington. Each group of students (pairs of two) went out into the community and learned more about some of the historic spots around the community […]

The History of Design Thinking

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Design thinking is a methodology used to generate insights about human problems in order to create innovative ways to address those issues. Although the business world has more recently adopted its best techniques and tools, the relationship between the creative fields, social and computer sciences and Design Thinking has been developing for fifty plus years. […]

Friday Shower Thoughts

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1- Iced coffee is delicious but cold coffee is disgusting. 2- Salsa jars should be made so that the lid can act as a bowl. 3- The comfort of pajamas is wasted on the sleeping mind. While conscious, we wear our most uncomfortable clothes. 4- We are currently closer to the year 2043 than to […]

On Art and Empathy

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My seventh grade art teacher once told me a story about the first moment that art changed her. When she was in college, she went to visit her local art museum with a group of friends to see Monet’s visiting exhibit. She was studying Computer Science at the time, and told us that art had […]

College Creativity

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Let’s be honest: there is an absence of teaching creativity in schools around the United States. As students grow older, they spend less and less time “being creative” each day. Let’s educate citizens about the exigence of this issue and make an attempt to halt this pattern. Below you will see an info-graphic about creativity in college and a podcast about creativity […]

Friday Shower Thoughts

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We never stop clapping. Every clap is just a longer time till our next clap. All pets basically suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.  It’s off-putting that ()() isn’t a palindrome, yet ())( is. People find it ridiculous that an elephant can be scared of a mouse yet so many humans are terrified of insects. There are […]

Embrace Failure

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During our first week together as a cohort, one of our professors simply asked us: how could this program fail? Baffled and a bit confused, we all looked at one another before looking down at our stack of blank index cards. “What could happen that would make this program completely blow up? Fall flat on […]