Emma Demers joined the TechChange team as a Summer Education Fellow! Emma graduated from Brown University and recently completed a service year with AmeriCorps. We sat down virtually with Emma to learn more about her background and experience. So excited to have you on the team, Emma!

Q: So, tell us more about yourself. How did you first hear about TechChange?

I’m originally from Boston and recently graduated from college with a degree in English and Creative Nonfiction. In my spare time, I volunteer at the Red Cross, meet with local writer’s groups and read a lot. I also enjoy dairy-free baking and weight lifting. 

I heard about TechChange when I was looking for jobs in the education/nonprofit sector. I’ve been living in DC for the last year (first Hill East and now Dupont) and really wanted to stay in the area because I have found such a wonderful community here. 

Q: How has your past experience prepared you for this fellowship position?

I just finished up an awesome year of teaching as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the local organization Literacy Lab. My year of teaching and learning about educational equity has primed me to get even more involved in questions about how we as educators and designers can create meaningful learning experiences for people everywhere. 

In addition to teaching, I’ve also previously worked for a higher education nonprofit in DC and I’ve worked as a UX/UI designer for the last 5 years. Human-centered design and design thinking are at the heart of productive learning experiences and I’m excited to apply that knowledge to my fellowship!

Q: What is your research topic and what are you most looking forward to when conducting this research?

I am taking a look at three different synchronous courses at TechChange, each surrounding public health education. I’m super excited to 1) learn more about public health and international development on an instructional design level and 2) learn more about how to extract important insights from the data I’m reviewing — it’s a part of the UX research process that’s the most unfamiliar to me, so I’m excited to get to dig into that area more this summer. 

Q: What excites you about this fellowship and research opportunity?

I’m excited to have the opportunity to conduct in-depth research on topics I care about. This fellowship also gives me the flexibility to explore so much of TechChange’s philosophy regarding human-centered research and design. I’m also excited to receive guidance and mentorship from the insightful, caring people on the Education team — already they’ve been very supportive of my fellowship goals and I feel very welcomed! 

Q: What is something you look forward to while a fellow at TechChange?

I look forward to getting to know the other team members at TechChange and gaining more insight from them in regards to career paths in education and international development. And making connections with others in and out of the office is something I miss from pre-Covid working conditions. I’m already impressed and excited by TechChange’s commitment to remote collaboration and I’m looking forward to producing high-quality research with the virtual and in-person support of my coworkers and mentors.

Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?

I am an avid Minecraft player! The game allows users to stretch our design-thinking imagination and provides a delightful user experience. I love the emphasis on user creation and world-building.