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The Lab is growing! Meet Miriam

We’re pleased to announce that Miriam Swords Kalk has joined the Lab as an Education Designer. Miriam comes to the Lab having spent six years shaping user experience strategy at Udacity, where she collaborated with teams across the company to incorporate learning science and motivational design best practices into industry-relevant online learning experiences. For those who don’t know Udacity, the $1B company was one of the first MOOC providers back in 2012, and Miriam helped them navigate the emerging market to meet the needs of their diverse student population through innovation in product and program design, community engagement, and andragogy.  

“We’re so lucky that we could lure Miriam from Silicon Valley,” said Kathleen deLaski, Lab Founder and President. “Her background and expertise in behavioral science, learning science, and design thinking methodologies are very timely for us at the Lab. So many of our partners are asking for help in converting their learning outcomes to stackable, competency-based units of learning.”  

As an Education Designer at the Lab, Miriam’s first project will be the Single Moms Success Design Challenge, working with four community colleges from across the country to improve outcomes for their single mother students.

Miriam leading an empathy mapping exercise.

Miriam facilitating the empathy mapping exercise at the Single Mother Success Kick off at Ivy Tech Community College…on her second day of work at the Lab!

From Miriam: “Joining the Lab as an Education Designer is an absolute dream come true! I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn from this supportive team and our partner institutions while contributing to the cause I’m most passionate about—educational equity. I can’t wait to tackle some tough problems and keep growing my education design skill set in the new context of the Single Moms Success Design Challenge and other projects.”

Miriam’s interests in human-centered design and education stem from her lifelong fascination with epistemology and mechanisms of belief formation. She holds a BS, BA, and MA from Stanford University, spanning the fields of physics, philosophy, and religious studies.