Hey, I’m Thea! My life is a combination of killer playlists, niche design-geek enthusiasm, and continually seeking out new ways to level up as a designer and human.
I am a future-oriented designer and communicator who approaches user experience challenges with robust curiosity, empathy, and a creative vision for developing end-to-end solutions. Every project is an infinite Choose Your Own Adventure template, with just as many opportunities to problem solve, deliver value, and woo long-term loyalty by reflecting user needs back to them as part of the built landscape.
The multiplicity of those interests compel me through the world, fueling my voracious appetite for ideas, connection, and ultimately, meaning. With a UX/UI Design certificate from the University of Texas at Austin, a Mastering Design Thinking certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Advertising from the University of Florida, I am relentlessly committed to constant learning and improving my skill sets.
Whether I find myself creating content at the intersections of design and marketing, or consumer behavior and pop culture, my teams consistently turn to me as a savvy forecaster, an empathetic world-builder, and more often than not, the one going long after the thrill of the Next Big Thing. I am comfortable using my diverse skills and interests to find common ground with designers, marketing teams, and executives, collaborating to deliver outcomes that enhance the experience from start to finish.
A charismatic leader recognized as a 40 Under 40 honoree, Distinguished Young Professional, and Knight Cities Challenge finalist, I’ve been commended for my creative insights, my bright, contagious presence in a room, and my contributions as a resilient team member and leader. Skilled in Figma, Invision, Miro/Mural, and Adobe InDesign, and deeply immersed in marketing and branding, information architecture, user-centric design research, and copywriting, I’m often the one to pause our detailed construction of consumer experiences and ask the high level: What’s the point of “perfect” if it doesn’t make them feel anything, if it doesn’t add anything to their quality of life? To this end, I am curious to hear more about any opportunity that allows me to positively impact society through human-centered design.
Whether my hair is blonde, brown, or purple, I’m a happy, goofy human who loves to hang out with my friends, explore the outdoors, see live music (like Andrew W.K. for the umpteenth time), travel, and scour thrift stores for hidden treasure.
Thea is fantastic to work with. In addition to being an always positive team player and wonderful collaborator, she has very high emotional intelligence which is critical to success as a user researcher. In short time, Thea created a comprehensive set of user personas to help us pinpoint our target endusers. She is adept at conducting user interviews and her natural curiosity enables her to understand why people think the way that they do. I would not hesitate to work with Thea again.
Thea is the super glue that holds a team together, and the Goo Gone that keeps them from getting stuck! Thea and I were enrolled in a UX/UI Bootcamp together and I had the privilege of being on her team for our final project. Thea’s attention to detail and organization as Project Manager were critical to our success, and her thoughtful insights and analysis of our research ensured the product truly resonated with our users. She’s professional, whip-smart, a joy to work with, and she fully grasps the end-to-end-to-further-iterations UX process. Thea would be a valuable asset to any team looking to achieve their goals and have fun doing it!
Thea is one of the most emotionally intelligent people I’ve had the pleasure of working and brings a genuine excitement to her research that is infectious.
Thea filled the role of lead researcher on a passion project that we’ve been working on for just under a year now. I am a product designer and got to watch Thea in action while she crafted the research plan, recruited and interviewed participants, led the team through synthesis and summarized key findings. When we started the project we had a very general idea in mind for what the product could be. Based on the research findings we morphed the idea into something different that took into account the feedback we heard from users. Thea’s research was invaluable for the direction of the product that we were designing.
One of my favorite parts of the project was listening to Thea tease information out of our research participants in a skillful, tactful way. Many of our questions were centered around racial justice, so you can imagine the amount of sensitivity that the participants needed to be treated with.
Thea would be a solid addition to any team that wants to gain a deeper understanding of their user and how their user’s want to engage with their product.
Thea is great to work with. During our mobile app project she demonstrated vigor, tenacity, and outstanding work ethic. She was able to develop immediate rapport and trust with the team that contributed to active open discussions and quick project completion. Most importantly, she demonstrated creativity with her first-rate writing skills that lead to a successful brand iteration. Looking forward to seeing her accomplishments in the coming years.
I’ve known Thea for a number of years now, and have watched her grow and evolve as a professional and as a leader. What has always struck me about Thea is her ability to be both confident and empathetic congruently. She is incredibly adept at communicating creative ideas across industry and executive/seniority levels, but she also possesses the self-awareness and maturity to listen well and create space for others. Thea has mastered utilizing her own vulnerability and curiosity to generate authentic and profound responses in collaborative efforts. The result of this is a high quality outcome that works for everyone involved.
I’ve been a fan of Thea since we met five years ago. She has taken opportunities to lead community initiatives by helping to activate under-utilized spaces in Wichita, Kan., provided a vulnerable and progressive space for women by forming a Lean In circle, and mastered the task of leading Wichita’s young professional organization’s renaming and redesign from Young Professionals of Wichita, to simply, W. Let me speak on that for a second.
It’s pretty powerful when as a yopro you have the opportunity to work with a nationally-recognized branding agency and truly lead the charge. As the organization’s team lead on the effort, Thea led market research and listening studies to capture the essence of Wichita’s young professional community and communicated that concisely to the agency, Gardner Design. Through the branding effort, she translated the yopro needs into an easy-to-use website structure and captured the common themes through seamless messaging.
One of Thea’s best talents, however, is her genuine nature for empathetic listening. She’s not out to seek the answer that is right in front of us. She wants to understand the situation, understand the people involved in the situation and identify solutions that will resonate. This is why her passion for UX/UI just makes sense – she’s out to make the world a more connected and streamlined place to live.
Thea and I worked together on a UX student project that she was product managing. I truly regretted not getting to work with her again, as she was the best PM I worked with in our program. Patient but with high expectations, flexible yet focused on the timeline and end goal, she both moved the project along at a brisk pace and allowed the entire team to participate in the design. Creative, adaptable, and curious, Thea had ideas of her own and was great at making final decisions but was open to everyone’s contributions and often combined the strengths of everyone’s versions. Her epic enthusiasm for our project was infectious, as was her humor, and we were really proud of the final result, even though we changed directions midway through based on our research.
If Thea were hiring for a position, I would apply to work for her in a heartbeat.
Thea is incredibly humanistic and insightful, always thinking deeply about the problems humanity faces. In her work, this translates to a passion for thoroughly considering each solution from a social, ethical, financial, and philosophical perspective. She sees the big picture, beyond the scope of any given problem. In my interactions with her professionally, it’s evident that to her, design is a part of everything we experience. She also knows that people are behind it all. She values people who value people, and when she’s in alignment with a team that’s making a difference in the world, she gives it her all and more. She really was born to do UX work, and I’ve always witnessed her ability to dig deep in brainstorming and be a team player to see a project through to completion. She balances both fun and focus extremely well, which helps keep a team or project on track while also maintaining a positive culture. More than anything, she’s an enthusiastic leader. You can see her radiate joy when she’s overseeing others and giving them the tools to succeed. From my experience working on community initiatives with Thea, I can confidently say that anyone would be remiss to pass up a chance to work on a team with her in any capacity.
During our time as Board and Committee members for Young Professionals of Wichita and Dress for Success, I had the pleasure of working closely with Thea on several high profile projects. Upon completion of those projects, it was also our responsibility to present our solutions back to key stakeholders and board members. From the very beginning, she was eager to help in any way possible, and to learn all that she could in order to meet the goals of the project at a high level. I was, and still am, continually impressed with her ability to concentrate on valuable information and untangle the key tasks necessary to ensure successful outcomes. The ability to conceptualize and present a solution at a high level is rare to find in just one person. I can say without a doubt that Thea is one of those people. Her willingness to accept new challenges and to seek out creative solutions is matched well with her ability to articulate ideas and concepts clearly to executives and business leaders regardless of their industry or background knowledge on the subject. Thea is a positive force on anything she is working on, and I am confident in her ability to accomplish any goal or project that is fortunate enough to have her working on it.