Introducing Mark Antonson
Our new Design Studio Director, Mark Antonson, sat down with us to answer a few questions about himself, the Design Studio staff, and the future of Design Studio.
Interviewer: We welcome the new Raikes School Design Studio Director, Mark Antonson. Mark, tell us a little about yourself:
Mark: I’m a twice graduate of the Raikes School, at the time known as the J.D. Edwards Honors Program. A member of Cohort 2002, I graduated with a Management degree in 2006. I then continued in the graduate program, receiving my Master of Business Administration in 2008. Since graduation, I spent five years as a product manager for Software Technology, Inc. here in Lincoln, followed by five years as a software architect for another Lincoln company and long-standing Design Studio partner, Fiserv.
Interviewer: What is your Design Studio experience?
Mark: As an undergraduate in the school, I worked on Design Studio projects my junior and senior year. As a graduate student, I worked with three teams as a Program Manager. Since I stayed in the Lincoln area, I also served as a project coach for three teams over two years. Altogether, I have been involved in Design Studio for five years and eight different projects.
Interviewer: What is the biggest challenge facing Design Studio?
Mark: Growth! We are facing growth from every direction. The Raikes School has been challenged to grow the number of students in the program as well as the retention rate. The number of Senior Design students is also growing significantly, and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering is building a Software Engineering program that will also require a capstone experience in Design Studio. We are already bursting at the seams this year with 155 total students involved in 29 different projects. Team space is at a premium, with every available space on the first floor of Kauffman used. We have been able to get some space for teams in Schorr and Avery as well.
We are looking at a number of different models for how to run Design Studio next school year to accommodate this growth. In future newsletters I hope to share those changes once we’ve had a chance to work through them.
Interviewer: Who else is involved in Design Studio this year?
Mark: The Design Studio team from the faculty and staff side is large as well. Besides myself, we have Bhuvana Gopal, the new Assistant Director of Design Studio; Jeremy Suing, our Senior Design Studio Project Manager; Christy Thomas, our Design Studio Project Manager, as well as part-time involvement from six other faculty and staff as Tribe Leads.
Interviewer: How can I help with Design Studio?
Mark: There’s really three ways alumni can help ensure current Raikes students benefit from the same great capstone experience they received in Design Studio: projects, volunteering, and financial support. If your company has a project that you believe would make a great Design Studio project, please reach out to us. If you’re interested in volunteering your time as a project coach, please reach out to us. And if you can’t do either of those, we can always use your financial support to keep Design Studio growing and doing awesome things. Design Studio relies on the support of the community and alumni already, and this support will only increase as we continue to grow the program.
I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 472-7465. Thank you for your support.