First-Year Sports Product Design Graduate Students
Anticipated graduation for first-year students is June 2024.
Sky was born and raised in Wolverine, Michigan. At one year old, he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain stem tumor. After having the tumor successfully removed, his family was informed that he would never be able to participate in full-contact sports due to the likelihood of brain injuries. However, this would not deter Sky from being part of those sports. In high school, he was the statistician and equipment manager for the varsity football team. This role sparked his interest in sports products.
Sky earned his undergraduate degree in Material Science and Engineering with a concentration in manufacturing from Michigan State University in 2021. He then spent a gap year in Seattle where he worked retail at REI, gaining knowledge of footwear and apparel in preparation for his studies in sports product design at the University of Oregon. He is particularly interested in researching and designing new equipment that protects the brain from injury in full-contact sports so that others like him can participate.
Aeryk graduated from George Washington University with a degree in International Affairs. From there his career brought him to work in the electronics manufacturing and engineering industry for the New York City subway system—with roles such as Quality Assurance, Product Designer and Project Management. Along the way, he discovered a love for long distance running, fixed gear bikes, backpacking, and the outdoors. As a result, he left his job as a Project Manager to work as a Customer Experience Guide for Patagonia, and then moved across the country to study Sports Product Design.
Aeryk is a hands-on doer that works through the largest of problems by breaking it down into smaller parts. He is most energized in setting goals and achieving them. He also recognizes the potential in others and seeks to harness their success. Aeryk is currently interested in the use of recycled materials and emerging technologies for running and outdoor apparel innovations. He believes technical performance apparel will improve the lives of everyday athletes.
Daniel was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, spending much of that time photographing the reptiles and amphibians in the backcountry borderlands to the south. These biodiverse yet rugged environments helped form the foundation of Daniel's passion for preserving nature, documenting its beauty, and pushing the boundaries of the equipment necessary to do both. He has experienced first-hand the effects of both human influence on the environment, and the environmental influence on humans, driving his desire to design higher-performing products necessary for safe access and observation, but not at the expense of major environmental impact. These experiences led Daniel to pursue a career in product design.
Daniel graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Product Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art. For his thesis, Daniel combined all his passions into a single project, designing versatile outdoor footwear for Maryland herpetologists centered around the perspective that maximum performance must also minimize ecological impact. He also worked at Creative Machines, Inc. as a designer and at REI Tucson as a footwear and soft goods retail specialist, staying in touch with both his design practice and interest in the outdoor product industry. Daniel looks to elevate the experiences people have in nature by designing high-performing products for harsh environments while ensuring those same products do not harm the environments they are designed for.
Vic Edwards grew up in Grass Valley, California, about an hour from Tahoe National Forest. Tahoe helped him find his love for outdoor activities like skiing and mountain biking. Vic played basketball, football, and golf throughout his high school career, building a foundation for his interest in sports products and how they can improve athletic performance.
He attended Boise State for a degree in Engineering with a minor in Materials Science. Vic’s engineering degree brought together other disciplines such as kinesiology and biomechanics. Vic is interested in delving into equipment design for outdoor sports to create products that improve performance, while also utilizing environmentally friendly materials. His goal is to create products that get people to experiment and succeed at new sports endeavors.
Ryan was raised as an avid climber, mountain biker, and skier who has always been interested in the outdoor gear industry. He graduated in 2022 from the University of Colorado Boulder with a BA in Environmental Product Design and minors in Business and Roman Classics. Ryan hopes to aid the outdoor gear industry in transitioning into a more sustainable model - not only for environmental concerns but also to benefit consumers with the best long-lasting products possible. As a designer, Ryan believes in answering the call to protect the environment and ensure that the products we design today will not be a problem for tomorrow. He looks forward to expanding his design skills and providing users with the highest-performance product.
Hailing from Sonora, California, Makena grew up rock climbing, skiing, backpacking, and fly-fishing in the Sierra Nevada mountains. These experiences taught her to harbor a deep respect for nature; it is to be enjoyed but also protected. From a young age, she developed a similar appreciation for the gear that enabled her to exist in the outdoors and found a passion for upcycling and reimagining materials.
She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Italian. During her undergraduate education, she had the opportunity to do research in Chilean Patagonia, where she saw the extent to which the human impact of climate change is affecting even the most remote regions of the world.
Building on a love of technical apparel and interest in design, Makena returned to her hometown of Sonora where she worked as a technical design assistant for a UV-protective outdoor wear company. Makena is interested in addressing the sustainability issues that are prevalent across the apparel industry. As a designer, she plans to combine her passion for sustainability with her knowledge of technical apparel and gear to create accessible and innovative clothing that disrupts the industry's norms.
Benjamen is from Kansas City, MO where he was active in skateboarding, swimming, tennis, and soccer. He completed his undergraduate studies in apparel product development at the University of Missouri. After graduation, Benjamen worked at a local store where he managed store inventory and e-commerce. He used this opportunity to network with footwear technical reps who further developed his interest in sports footwear and apparel design.
Benjamen’s passion for sports and innovation pushed him to continue his education to specialize and refine his design skills. His mission is to help make sports products more accessible, sustainable, and inclusive without sacrificing performance.
Yuxin grew up in Beijing and moved to San Francisco in high school, where he played football and explored skateboarding. The creativity and risk-taking in skate culture left an impression on his design identity. It inspired him to pursue his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis, where he studied fashion design. Throughout college, he enjoyed spending his time outside hunting, skating, and mountain biking. True to craft, he designed and sewed clothes for his friends using upcycled materials. For his Senior projects, he developed a wearable emergency shelter and prototyped protective tactical suits designed for rugged environments.
Inspired by the backcountry gear he uses in the field and the diverse aspects of the sports he enjoys, Yuxin is eager to create products that mitigate risks in outdoor environments and enhance human performance. By implementing modern technologies and materials, He strives to create user-centered designs to integrate human experience with the natural world.
Maxwell is a first-year SPD student with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Growing up in Texas, he enjoyed playing football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. Born to Ghanaian immigrants, Maxwell aims to implement his cultural identity and experiences into the materialization and aesthetic of sports products. Using those influences his goal is to design products that inform and express the character and qualities of athletes as individuals as well as a team.
Alyssa graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Graphic Communication, and a minor in Packaging. During her undergraduate studies, Alyssa created marketing and design assets for start-ups—including logo design, company branding, packaging, and photography. Alyssa helped launch Sequel Tea, a local pop-up company with her role being the driving force behind marketing and brand image. Her time in San Luis Obispo provided opportunities to explore various forms of visual design including magazine and book design, 3D modeling for packaging, and web design. While living in San Luis Obispo, Alyssa experienced newfound accessibility to various outdoor sports such as hiking, surfing, and climbing, which cultivated an interest and appreciation for the usability and safety aspects within sports product design.
Alyssa hopes to combine her visual design skills with her passion for the outdoors through Sports Product Design. She thrives in team settings where she can help others play to their strengths. It is important for her to be thoughtful when creating design—understanding its purpose, audience, market, and application.
Sara was born in Merida, Venezuela. Growing up, she was highly influenced by a family of sports lovers; this helped her understand the significance that sports play in society. In 2016, She started studying Mechanical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. In her sophomore year, she transferred to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to pursue a BFA degree in Industrial Design and a minor in accessory design. She developed a more profound love for footwear design and Industrial design after participating in several collaborative studio projects, where she implemented creative and inventive solutions to real-world challenges. This is where she saw an opportunity in which her ideas could bring change to the world through design.
She graduated from SCAD in the spring of 2021. She was then selected as a participant in the 2021 Pensole x New Balance masterclass & competition. This opened her eyes to a new frontier and brought meaning to her design process—making her want to pursue the path of sports product design. Sara is eager to continue expanding her design knowledge at the University of Oregon. She wants to continue bringing innovative ideas to the table and developing projects that combine and care for nature, science, and design. And can target the diverse needs of athletes worldwide—this way, revolutionizing the world of sports through design.
Joe Waits graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Montana State University. Growing up playing hockey, skiing, and cycling led him to pursue fast-paced endurance activities such as backcountry ski touring and mountain biking. While studying in Bozeman, he explored the mountains, backcountry, and importance of detail, craftsmanship, and thoughtful making. He hopes to use strong problem solving and analytical thinking skills to design for real world problems and systems. Driven by his passion for the mountains, exploration, design, and making, Joe switched his career path to Sports Product Design with the goal of helping others to connect to compelling experiences in nature.
Second-Year Sports Product Design Graduate Students
Anticipated graduation for second-year students is June 2023.
Varun graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor of Design degree in Industrial Design. He grew up with an interest in physics and math while also actively pursuing his passion for cricket and soccer. While science intrigued his intellect, sports were his way of expressing himself, which led him to the SPD program. Over the years he has held design internships focusing on medical, aerospace, sports equipment, and experience design.
His “why” as a designer is to enhance how sport is experienced and he aims to achieve that by designing footwear products which tell a story. He focuses on research-driven design and believes in the principle of “less is more,” while creating a connection with the user.
He is currently focused on a footwear-oriented thesis project while exploring molding fabrication and parametric design. Varun plans on utilizing his sketching and 3d modelling skills to design footwear products and experiences which wows the user.
Maria is an avid motorcyclist and cross-country skier who’s design, and storytelling background informs her process and helps with creative artistic solutions. She graduated from University of Portland with her BA in Theatrical Design and German in 2018. After graduating, she went into the medical field as a Veterinary Assistant and helped with research. Over the last year she has been an intern at OHSU doing materials development and at Barnes and Morgan as a design assistant. She has over 7 years of design and construction experience. She has received awards for her design work, most recently winning a Patterned for Parkinson’s reward for women’s apparel.
In 2015, she was in a motorcycle accident that resulted in a compound fracture that for several years prevented her from doing the sports that she loved. The experience broadened her perspective, showing her that there is always room for improvement especially when it comes to accessibility and long-term comfortability. She wants to help produce sporting products that are inclusive and empowering.
Kylie completed her undergraduate studies in Kinesiology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her experience in D1 athletics, sports training and biomechanics culminated in a passion for injury prevention, sports psychology, and equality. Creatively, she developed a responsible streetwear brand with an advanced sizing system to cater to non-traditional body measurements and proportions. During her first year in the Sports Product Design program, she was able to learn the technical skills to bring her ideas to life and develop new processes of creation through technological advances. Overall, she is dedicated to creating new pathways for traditionally underserved individuals to achieve their highest potential through innovative, inclusive, sustainable, and unexpected design, and strives to implement these passions throughout her career.
Aarya Rohan Ghule
Since a kid Aarya has always been a creative person, who loves to draw, paint, do craft, build paper models, and mess with objects around her. Her passion for creativity introduced her to the world of design. Her 4 years of undergraduate studies in Product Design from MIT Institute of Design, India was the biggest learning curve and was the biggest contributor in her personal and professional growth. It not just taught her principles of design and workflow for creating these beautiful user-centric products but also made her realize that there are no boundaries for creativity, and one should always keep exploring, thinking outside the box and creating designs that are unique, functional, beautiful, and impactful.
She was always fascinated by footwear specifically shoes, as she believes the type of footwear a person wears tells so much about them. Master of Science in Sports Product design has so far taught her how scientific, user-centric, and functional factors can be merged with form and aesthetics to create beautiful products that helps athletes, fitness freaks, sports enthusiasts perform better. Upon graduating from University of Oregon she aspires to work in the sports industry to create beautiful products where aesthetics meets functionality that ultimately help people perform better, be active and inspire those around them.
Henry’s passion for sports product design originates from his childhood in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, where he grew up cycling, skiing, backpacking, and climbing. He completed his BS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah in 2020. He is excited to combine his research-oriented engineering approach with his passion for the outdoors to create innovative products that will push the boundaries for the next generation of athletes. Henry is particularly interested in examining ways that environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing methods can eliminate waste and create more sustainable sport products.
Kat Hazen received her bachelor's degree in Industrial Design from the University of Washington in 2019. In undergrad, she worked as a Textile Intern at Knoll Furniture and attended a footwear design program at Pensole Academy, focused on CMF. Following undergrad, Kat was an associate footwear designer at Crocs, focusing on in-line classics and international collaborations.
Kat is now pursuing her master’s degree at University of Oregon in Sports Product Design in order to play in the project space where performance and innovation coalesce. Her first-year projects explored areas like space boots for future mars astronauts and injury prevention for lateral ankle-rolls in women’s soccer.
This summer, she had a summer internship with Kik Laboratory, a local footwear innovation studio, where she created new tooling, redesigned uppers, and developed color stories for multiple companies. Kat is excited to begin year two at SPD, explore her thesis project, and to start thinking about the next adventure after graduation.
Michael graduated from Ithaca College, NY, with a bachelor’s in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. Outdoor activities including backpacking and climbing as well as visual arts such as graphic design, wood sculpture carving, and jewelry design formed the foundation of his interests in sport product design for outdoor recreation.
He is grateful for the opportunity to pursue professional growth and development through the SPD program at UO, focusing on functional prototyping and design through cutting edge software. Michael aims to take what he learns from UO to design approachable and sustainable apparel and equipment that promotes access to outdoor recreation for marginalized communities.
Domenic Rehm received a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Eastern Washington University in 2020, where he also competed in cross country and track and field. As a competitive runner from childhood and through college, he developed a love for athletics and knew he wanted to pursue a career in the sports industry.
Domenic looks to bring together his prior experiences in athletics, studies in exercise science, and passion for footwear to make a difference in the world of sport. He draws influence from sports medicine and recognizes the value of quality sportswear on its effect on injury and athletic performance. Domenic plans to utilize and combine his knowledge from his studies in pursuit for innovative footwear.
Jesse grew up exploring the mountains of Colorado on foot, skis, and bikes before receiving a bachelor’s degree from Knox College in 2013. While at Knox, he studied anthropology and graphic design. Upon graduating, he moved to Missoula, Montana where he explored careers as both a bike mechanic and a web developer while continuing to engage in his recreational passions.
The acquisition of a used industrial sewing machine in 2017 sparked his interest in sports product design and allowed for a creative synthesis of his interest in outdoor recreation, design, and craft. Jesse strives to understand and develop the latest techniques and innovations to design sports and outdoor products that enable positive engagement with the environment and each other through inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability.
There is always a better way. It's a fact, and there's nowhere this idea holds more weight than in design. Chris has carried this belief with himself his whole life, using it to push his personal and professional development. His time in the Sports Product Design master's program at the University of Oregon has solidified this belief more.
Chris is a technical apparel designer focused on utilizing new technologies such as CLO, and 3D body scanning to find a better way to bring products to life. He hopes to make a lasting positive impact on outdoor sports, and the environment. While a firm believer in the power of 3D design, Chris also recognizes the benefits of knowing the ins and outs of physical products and therefore dedicates a large part of his practice to honing his making skills. When he's not deep in a 3D design project or behind a sewing machine Chris can be found ripping down some trails on his MTB, hanging out at the local climbing gym, or surfing some powder on Mt. Hood.
MG graduated with a BFA in Industrial Design with a Minor in Equestrian Studies at The Savannah College of Art and Design. While at SCAD, she was a member of the IHSA National Championship-winning equestrian team. This ignited a passion for supporting fellow athletes to excel in sports. MG then taught design and engineering at the Oakham School in England. Next, she moved to Virginia where she worked on the design team at Huntington Ingalls Industries, building nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines for the US Navy.
MG’s overarching goal has always been to help others reach their full potential without being hindered by their equipment or apparel. Using skills gained in this program, passion for research and historical context, it is her hope to create products and apparel that push the envelope of what’s possible.
Kristofer graduated from the University of Iceland in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. During his undergraduate studies, he worked in the startup company Anitar, developing and designing an intelligent animal tag reader, where he realized how impactful innovation can be. Kristofer also has a degree in strength and conditioning and has multiple Icelandic Championships titles in sprinting.
Combining his passion for sports, engineering, and design, he hopes to use science to push the boundaries of sports product design and create the products of the future. Kristofer is particularly interested in bridging the gap between engineering and design, to directly transfer scientific knowledge to innovate better performing products for athletes.
Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Colorado Rockies, and Sea to Sky region instilled in Dorothy a love for the outdoors and outdoor sports. After working as a software engineer, UX designer, and sports photographer, Dorothy’s interests drove her to work towards a career in designing functional outdoor gear.
Dorothy is learning to transfer her digital user experience skills to physical product design to bring the joy of the outdoors to everyone. She most recently worked as a Design Intern at lululemon on their bags and accessories design team. Dorothy is interested in apparel and equipment design and utilizing emerging technologies such as CLO3D and is currently assisting with research using 3D body scanning technology. Her focus is to design fun and impactful products to encourage people to move their bodies and try new sports. She is currently loving learning to rip on her mountain bike, climbing fun multi-pitch routes, and experimenting with upcycling and natural dyes.
Drew graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Eastern Washington University in the fall of 2021. While at EWU Drew competed in track and cross country where he realized the effect the materials and overall design process in footwear used in competitive racing may have on the athlete. In his senior capstone project Drew worked to create a hydraulically controlled prosthetic foot for one of his teammates.
The entire design process from ideation to creation sparked a passion for creating products that make a meaningful difference for the user. Drew hopes to merge his engineering and design knowledge to create products that utilize innovate materials and push the limits of what is possible and enhance the abilities of all people that use them.
I took a long, winding path to get to Sports Product Design, but I’m happy with the route I’ve taken. I think my background in Biomedical Engineering and long career in Pediatric Dentistry have given me a unique perspective in my approach to design.
I live to challenge the status quo. I design innovative sports products by making unforeseen connections between disparate things. For my career, I see myself as an integral part of an innovation team in performance apparel or equipment.
DeShui graduated from the Shanghai Maritime University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Design. He also studied interaction (IXD), footwear, automotive modeling, and social innovation design. These experiences provided a wide perspective of design theories to help solve problems for users. After graduation, Deshui was a sketching and design thinking tutor, and footwear designer.
DeShui believes that sports products are an interface connecting humans with nature and can help us to get back to nature for physical and mental fitness. He also wants to add more dimensions to wearable product design by refining the process with service design tools and interaction design principles. With the skills learned in the Sports Product Design program, he looks forward to designing more human-centered products that have a strong symbiotic relationship with users.
About the Sports Product Design Program