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Future Students

PhD Grad Ambassadors

The Human Centered Design & Engineering PhD Graduate Ambassador program enables prospective students to learn from the experiences of current HCDE doctoral students.

Meet with a PhD Ambassador

2021 Graduate Ambassadors

Alainna Brown

My name's Alainna and I'm an MD/PhD student in my second year of the HCDE PhD program. I study the design work that clinicians undertake in everyday practice. I came to HCDE with a background in neuroscience and neural engineering and absolutely love exploring how to make translations between design, medicine, and science. Feel free to reach out to chat about the PhD program, especially if you're excited about design and medicine. Website:

Leslie Coney

Hey! I’m Leslie (she/her), a Chicago native and Howard University alumna. I’m a first-year PhD student in HCDE and my research interests are Black maternal health and health equity. I decided to pursue a PhD because I wanted my work to be meaningful and impactful to communities I care about. I love the flexibility and freedom in HCDE to pursue what YOU’RE interested in. I look forward to the impactful contributions I will make to HCDE, the HCI community, and more importantly, Black birthing people across the world! Currently, I aspire to turn my research into a non-profit or social impact business after obtaining my PhD. You can connect with me on LinkedIn :)

G Ghosh

Hi! My name is Sourojit Ghosh (pronouns: he/him), but I go by G! I am a second year PhD student in HCDE, and I was driven by this department's commitment to interdisciplinary and collaborative research to come here and pursue my PhD. Several other institutions I applied to asked me to put away my Creative Writing minor and focus on my "more serious" Computer Science background, something that I was vehemently opposed to. Everyday, HCDE gives me the opportunity to practice skills from both parts of my background and confirms that my choice was right! My research is centered around relationship building in online communities with a focus on questions of diversity, equity and inclusion. Upon graduating, I aim to be a research faculty member at a department with similar values as HCDE! Feel free to reach out to me at

Danli Luo

Hi there, I’m Danli (she/her), a 1st-year PhD student here at HCDE. I grew up in Beijing, China, and went to London to attend undergrad in Materials Science. I obtained my Master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University majoring in Materials Science as well. After this and before joining HCDE, I spent 3 years working as a full-time research assistant in human-computer interaction to build up my portfolio. I am broadly interested in applying advanced fabrication technology in more accessible ways. For example, my recent published work involved using bio-engineering 3D printing techniques to make artsy chocolate and jello dessert using hobbyist equipment. If any of my experience and background resonates with yours, please reach out! 

Emma Mcdonnell

Hello! I'm Emma McDonnell (she/her), a 3rd year PhD student in HCDE.  I came to HCDE right after finishing my BS in Computer Science at Northwestern University, and I was so excited to join HCDE because I found that it was a place where people were equally invested in technical and social research (so far I've taken more UW classes in Disability Studies than in Computer Science!). My research broadly focuses on HCI + accessibility, and I'm particularly interested in designing communication technology that engages all conversation participants (Deaf/disabled and nondisabled alike) in establishing accessible group norms. I also love teaching so I hope to go on to be a professor after graduation. Feel free to reach out via email ( or on Twitter (@ej-mcdonnell). 

Yuliana Flores

Hello! My name is Yuliana Flores (she/her). I am a second year PhD student in HCDE with an M.Ed. in K-12 Education Policy, Organizations & Leadership and a BS in HCDE. My experiences as a first-generation, Mexican-American woman pursuing a bachelor’s in engineering inspired my interest in engineering outreach and engineering education. I was drawn to HCDE’s PhD program because of its interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise, but more importantly, because the professors care about the people and communities that are impacted by their work. Upon graduating, I plan to be a professor at a college/university committed to the learning experiences of underrepresented students. I am happy to answer any questions about the program, living in Seattle (and Washington at large), graduate school, research, being a dog parent, etc. Contact me at :)