First-Year Sports Product Design Graduate Students
Anticipated graduation for first-year students is June 2023.
Varun graduated in 2021 from the People's Education Society University (PES) in India with a Bachelor of Design degree in Product Design. During his undergraduate program, he held design internships focusing on medical, aerospace, and sporting equipment. While science intrigued his intellect, sports were his way of expressing himself, which led him to the SPD program. Varun believes in designing innovative, affordable, and intuitive sports products with an inclination towards safety. He focuses on research-driven design and believes in the principle of “less is more,” while creating a connection between the user and the product.
Maria graduated from University of Portland with her BA in Theatrical Design and German in 2018. She has over 6 years of costume design and construction experience and has received awards for her theatrical work. Her design and storytelling background informs her process and helps with creative artistic solutions. After her BA, she went into the medical field as a veterinary assistant, helped with research, and even created a mobility assistive device for one of her tortoise patients.
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 innovate sporting products that are inclusive and empowering. She is still an avid motorcyclist and cross-country skier.
Kylie completed her undergraduate studies in kinesiology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2018. Combining her knack for biomechanics with experience on collegiate softball teams brought a passion for sports injury prevention and garment construction for underserved athletes. She also developed her own brand of streetwear with an advanced sizing system specifically tailored to non-traditional body measurements. She hopes to energize the movement for gender and size inclusivity in apparel, create efficient and comfortable safety equipment, and design training equipment to encourage proper form in sports performance.
Aarya Rohan Ghule
Aarya graduated from the MIT Institute of Design, India in February 2021 with Bachelor of Design in Product Design. While pursuing her undergraduate studies she held multiple design internships that focused on different sectors, including research, UI/UX, and lifestyle products. She has previously studied product color, material, finish, and form detailing, and is now curious to learn about the technical aspects of products. More specifically she is curious to learn about designing sustainable footwear and material science without compromising performance.
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 was born and raised in Mill Valley, California where she grew up loving fast paced sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, and soccer. She received her bachelor's degree in Industrial Design from the University of Washington in 2019. During her undergraduate degree, she explored a wide variety of design channels, planned networking events as President of the IDSA UW Chapter, and worked as a Textile Intern at Knoll Furniture.
Kat realized a career as a footwear designer was her true calling and took an intensive course at Pensole Academy in Portland, OR that focused on color, material, and finish for shoes. After graduation, she worked at Crocs as an associate designer in Boulder, CO, focusing on in-line classics and international collaborations with Beams and Journal Standard. Driven by her curiosity to push boundaries and in footwear innovation, she jumped back into her studies in sports product design at the University of Oregon. She is particularly interested in utilizing modern technologies and manufacturing techniques to create the next generation of game-changing performance footwear.
Morgan strives to broaden accessibility of performance outdoor footwear, drawing upon her technical background and hands-on experience in the outdoor industry. Morgan graduated from Carleton College with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science. After a couple of years in software development, she began to explore career avenues more adjacent to her passions—mountains, trails, and design. Working as a footwear fitter at REI sparked a deep interest in hiking shoes and offered a unique vantage point to observe the roles that footwear and gear culture play in outdoor inclusion. Morgan is excited to hone her design skills and explore applications of cutting-edge technologies that benefit all athletes, especially underserved groups.
Michael graduated from Ithaca College, NY, with a bachelor’s in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. Outdoor activities including backpacking, kayaking, and climbing, as well as visual arts such as graphic design, wood sculpture, and jewelry smithing formed the foundation of his interests in sports product design for outdoor recreation.
Michael is grateful for the opportunity to pursue professional and technical growth through the SPD program. Michael aims to take what he learns from this program to design approachable and sustainable apparel and equipment that allows for greater access to outdoor recreation for a more diverse population.
Being inspired by the world around her, Arte’sia Payne-Watts is a creative, eager to seek new challenges and break barriers in the design world for black women in sports. As a first-generation college graduate, Arte’sia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Kentucky in Spring of 2021. As a former athlete, lover of fitness and inspiring others to live healthy lifestyles, she had the intention of becoming an athletic trainer. Her career aspirations changed when realizing her passion for design and the way in which she could impact the sports industry through her knowledge of Kinesiology.
Arte’sia plans to build her design, storytelling, and research skills to break norms in the sports apparel and footwear industry by combining her love for streetwear and fashion. Sustainability, affordability, and inclusivity are all in her plans to create a better experience and provide opportunities for athletes of all ages, sizes, genders, and more. Arte’sia is also interested in finding connections between athletic apparel and performance and how it can help push athletes to their max potential. Currently, Arte’sia uses her artistic skills to create one-of-kind shoe designs for fellow sneaker heads and those who seek to express themselves creatively.
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 art and 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 wants to learn about the product design process and hopes to use this knowledge to combine the worlds of sports science and design to create revolutionary sportswear.
Rachel graduated in Spring 2021 with a BS in Kinesiology from Drake University in Des Moines, IA as a student athlete on the cross-country and track and field teams. She participated in multiple research projects involving running biomechanics, jumping mechanics and performance, and running shoe mass perception. Her love for running and fascination with the way the human body works inspired her desire to pursue Sports Product Design at the University of Oregon. Through this program, Rachel will learn and refine her design skills to create footwear and apparel that is inclusive and affirming for all gender identities, expressions, and bodies. She strives to encourage everyone to move their bodies with confidence, and to be able to reach their full athletic potential.
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.
Growing up exploring the mountains, forests, and lakes of Adirondack Park, Chris has always had a love for the outdoors. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. After graduation, his love for design and the outdoors brought him all the way over to Portland, OR where he started working as a Production and Design Assistant for a local bag maker. Here he was able to learn the ins and outs of the production process, as well as hone his own design skills.
An insatiable thirst to learn more and improve lead Chris to the Sports Product Design program. With a keen interest in functional apparel and technical gear for the outdoors, Chris is looking to blend his background in sustainability with his passion for design to make a lasting positive impact on the outdoor community and environment.
MG Taylor 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.
From her undergraduate degree to the beginning of her career, MG’s overarching goal has been to help others reach their full potential. Coupled with a lifelong love of sport, it is her sincerest hope to play a part in bringing inclusivity to all athletic endeavors. MG is eager to be part of a team of like-minded designers and play a hands-on part in ensuring that athletes are only limited by their ambition, not available tools.
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.
Dorothy graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s in Computer Science and a minor in Health and Wellbeing. Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Colorado Rockies instilled in her 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 sports product. Familiarizing herself with the industry, she worked as a production associate for Kinetik Climbing Products, an outdoor products company based in Boulder, CO, that specializes in bouldering pads and chalk bags.
Dorothy hopes to transfer her digital user experience skills to physical product design. She is interested in learning to upcycle materials for performance and help design gear to make sport and outdoor activities more accessible, enjoyable, and sustainable for everyone.
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 through ideation to creation sparked a passion for creating a product that can make a meaningful difference for the user. Drew hopes to learn more about the design process so that he can combine his engineering knowledge and athletics background to create products that push the limits of what is possible and allow for inclusive products that enhance the abilities of all people that use them.
Clint took a circuitous route to land in Sports Product Design. He earned a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University. Then he went on to complete his DDS at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, followed by a residency in Pediatrics. He practiced Pediatric Dentistry for over 20 years, while spending free time pursuing his passions of hiking and kayaking in the Pacific Northwest.
Clint learned to sew when he was 6 years old, and he has had a maker’s mentality his whole life. Always tinkering, he loves working with his hands, so prototyping has become his favorite part of the design process. He also enjoys how quickly technological advancements are adopted into sports gear, and is looking forward to combining his scientific and technical background with his passion for the outdoors to create innovative products that improve performance.
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 sport products are an interface connecting humans with nature and can help us to get back to nature for physical and mental fitness. Designers have the responsibility to design products making nature friendly to humans and humans friendly to nature. This is also an ideal depicted by ancient Chinese philosophers. He looks forward to practicing his design philosophy while learning about sports science and research.
Second-Year Sports Product Design Graduate Students
Anticipated graduation for first-year students is June 2022.
Jemma graduated from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in the summer of 2020 with a master’s degree in Product Design Engineering. During her time studying in Glasgow, she realized her enthusiasm for the sports engineering industry and as a multi-sport college athlete, has always relished the opportunity to combine her passion for sport with her design skills.
Through the Sports Product Design program, Jemma hopes to further hone her design skills, with a focus on promoting inclusivity in sport. Through thoughtful and empathetic design, she aims to produce considerate, user-orientated products to help facilitate equal sporting opportunity for all. She is excited to start this new journey at the University of Oregon.
Juliana graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Product Design from the University of Oregon in 2020. As an undergraduate, she interned at the UO Polymer Lab where she combined her interest in functional apparel, with her curiosity toward 3D printing. Upon graduation, she continued developing her Design for Healthy Aging project under the Tinker Hatfield grant. Juliana’s constant need for understanding how and why things work, along with her resourcefulness and need to innovate, pushes her to pursue a career in design. She values holistic and empathetic design as a way to encourage human interaction as she strives to create strength in communities.
Juliana is a “designer with a maker mindset” who uses a cyclical design process incorporating her execution and analysis of sport. Continuing forward, she plans to abandon “shrink it and pink it” and place focus on improving athletic performance by designing products to have foundation in the anatomy and physiology of different athletes.
Emily graduated from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with a Bachelor of Industrial Design where she captained the women’s Division-III basketball team and completed multiple NYC marathons. Emily continues to apply her athletic background to better comprehend the needs of athletes and the obstacles that arise within the sports product industry. While completing her undergraduate degree, she worked various design internships ranging from focuses on culinary, medical and exercise equipment. Emily worked with the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator to develop injury prevention products, which enabled her to work with professionals and industrial machinery to create knit prototypes. In addition, Emily has a US Patent Pending project, which provided her experience with the process of obtaining and navigating the legal aspects of bringing a product to market.
Upon graduating from University of Oregon’s SPD program, she hopes to be a part of an innovation apparel team that keeps athletes healthy while maximizing their performance.
Doug graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Product Design and Development from Utah State University. Having been heavily influenced by the gear and equipment used while performing in outdoor activities and sporting events, Doug found his passion for product design. He is excited to continue his growth and learn as a designer in the SPD program at the University of Oregon. He aims to push the boundaries of product innovation and performance, through sustainable means in the footwear and soft goods equipment. Doug strives to advance the field of sports product design via sustainable material and technological innovations.
Bryant finished his undergraduate studies in Architecture, Art & Technology, and Romance Languages, with a minor in Latin American Studies, at the University of Oregon in June 2020. During his time at UO, Bryant was a member of the University’s Club Men’s Soccer team for 4 years; he collaborated on numerous academic publications; helped establish a Portuguese Speakers club and coffee hour, and created artworks displayed within UO’s Lawrence Hall and Millrace Studios.
Having grown up attending a soccer academy and being a lifelong practitioner of Mixed Martial Arts; sports were pivotal in his life, leading to an abundance of travel experience and passion for design in and around sports. A SoCal native to the historic Latino community of Boyle Heights in Los Angeles has driven him to integrate principles of heritage and identity, along with sustainable and innovative material technologies, to develop products in the footwear and apparel fields that maximize an athlete’s success and personal brand.
Matt is a multidisciplinary designer with a professional background in product design and creative direction. After completing his studies in industrial design at Philadelphia University, Matt worked with a studio creating performance and rehabilitative solutions for professional athletes, and discovered the emerging cross-sections of electronics, soft-goods, footwear, and apparel. Passionate about cycling and camping, he seeks opportunities to continue developing products that advance the integration of modern technology to upgrade gear and enhance people's experiences with the outdoors.
Bryan graduated from the University of Oregon’s Eugene campus in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Film Study Certificate. His interests in the Sports Product Design Program are rooted in his favorite pastime, skateboarding. After graduating, he took his passion and started a small independent skateboard brand where he designed small runs of skateboards, apparel and headwear. Seeing his ideas go from a computer screen to a physical product inspired him to apply to this program. Bryan wants to further explore sports apparel and footwear along with researching sustainable and adaptable equipment for current and aspiring skateboarders with physical disabilities.
Gabi is energized by solving complex problems and believes that great design can always be improved. She has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from George Fox University and solves problems by investigating the intersection of technology, engineering, and design. Her love for sports began with kick-and-chase soccer, leading to varsity involvement on soccer, basketball, and track teams, and through college playing on numerous intramural teams.
Gabi sees the Sports Product Design program as the perfect blend of functional and aesthetic design in a field she loves. After completing her master’s, she envisions creating innovative, beautiful, and highly functional sports products for all athletes. Gabi has specific interest in additive manufacturing technologies, data-driven design, and inclusive solutions for athletes of all abilities and needs. Her experience involves designing sustainable helmet packaging concepts at Specialized Bicycle Components and engineering medical devices to increase patient comfort at TZ Medical.
Gazal received her MS in Mechanical Engineering from Shiraz University in 2014, which originally empowered a passion in aerodynamics and hydrodynamics leading to a 2-year professional stint as a mechanical engineer in Tehran. This 2-year journey ignited a desire to learn beyond the technical workings of a product and more into human interactions, which as well ran parallel to her personal hobbies participating in various recreational sports. This passion lead to joining the MS in Sports Product Design program at the University of Oregon, which she will leverage the teachings from the SPD program to create innovative equipment and apparel for sports enthusiasts worldwide.
Nia Monét Pennington
Nia is a creative problem solver who is passionate about exploring how artistry, driven by research can help revolutionize the sports industry. Always one to embrace opportunities, she supplemented her B.A. in Integrated Strategic Communications (minor in Art Studio) from the University of Kentucky by graphic designing within the Creative Services department and serving as a marketing intern in the athletic department.
Using her background in storytelling through design, Nia is looking forward to leveraging the foundation provided by the Sports Product Design program to produce the next generation of visually impactful, innovative products in apparel and footwear. She hopes to create products that not only enhance athletic performance, but also help address challenges such as sustainability and accessibility.
Brian graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a minor in Graphic Design. Having grown up in Michigan as a multisport athlete, outdoor enthusiast, and lover of art and design, he decided to pursue a degree where he could utilize his passions for sports, science, and art to make a difference.
Throughout his career in southern California and beyond, he has worked as a designer and marketer for his University’s advancement department, as well as musical artists, non-profit organizations, design agencies, educational institutions, and healthcare systems. Initially exploring options in orthotics and prosthetics as well as physical therapy, Brian recognized the value of intelligently designed sports gear and active wear. He now strives to serve athletes and consumers everywhere with top level footwear and sports equipment.
Daniel is a Utah native that grew up spending a lot of time in the mountains and red rock. He received his BFA in Industrial Design from BYU in 2013. Since then he has worked doing field research in San Francisco at Smart Design, leatherwork for Filson on a ranch in Colorado, and CNC experimentation back in Utah at a bespoke furniture and art installation company.
His areas of interest around sports products include how cultural garbs and traditional dress codes can intersect with new performance wear technology, general versus special kit building, and how catharsis can be achieved through physical performance.