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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 grad ambassador

Graduate Ambassadors

Leslie Coney

Hey! I’m Leslie (she/her), a Chicago native and Howard University alumna. I’m a third-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 and teach at an HBCU after obtaining my PhD. You can connect with me on LinkedIn :)

Sourojit Ghosh

Hi! My name is Sourojit Ghosh (pronouns: he/him), and I also go by G! I am a fourth 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 studying human-centeredness in social recommender systems and designing such systems, as I explore questions of harm caused by existing social recommender systems towards traditionally marginalized populations. My interests are situated in the broad space of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within designed systems, as I also incorporate into my work other topics such as advocating for supporting HyFlex modalities of learning to improve accessibility, and stronger and more accurate representation for low-resource languages in machine translation systems. Upon graduating, I aim to be a faculty member at a department with similar values as HCDE! Feel free to schedule a meeting with me, on my Calendly.

Danli Luo

Hello there! I'm Danli (she/her), a third-year PhD student in HCDE with a background in materials science. Originally from Beijing, China, I bring a wealth of experience as an interdisciplinary researcher and international student to the table. My research centers on the development of computational fabrication systems for scientific experimentation and exploration. I leverage my background in materials science to foster collaboration between HCI researchers and scientists/engineers. We refer to these researchers as 'extreme users' who employ innovative tools in their research, enabling new scientific discoveries. By harnessing the power of computation and the precision of automation, I create tools and workflows specifically designed to facilitate the development of sustainable materials exploration. If you have questions about fabrication research in HCI, interdisciplinary research, or the experience of being an international student in the US/HCDE, please don't hesitate to reach out via email (danlil at uw dot edu).

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 :)