DAAP Graduate Student Ambassadors

DAAP Graduate Student Ambassadors

Get to know some of our current DAAP Graduate Students!

James Avant

Program / Year:

Master of Design / 2nd Year

Where are you from?

I’m from Cincinnati. It's an innovation hub, cultural playground, and an intimately connected ecosystem—Cincy feels like home, no matter where you're from. 

What are your research interests?

I am interested in using service design to help food entrepreneurs scale under ghost kitchen business models.

Where did you Co-op?

Vitamin Collective, Summer 2022.

Why DAAP?

The Master of Design program was one of the few I found that created space for me as a non-traditional designer to explore my interests in customer experience (CX) using design methodologies. I am obsessed with consumers and being a contributor to developing data-backed solutions is important to me. The program's interdisciplinary design requires students to explore other disciplines, work collaboratively and practice systematic thinking over a singular product or service development. And, as a native, Cincinnati holds a special place in my heart.

Headshot of James Avant

James Avant

Graduate Student, Ullman School of Design

he/him/his

Jain Rakshita

Program / Year:

Master of Architecture / 2nd Year

Where are you from?

Jaipur, India

What are your research interests?

I am interested in the Live-Work Relationship and understanding how these two most important building types can be morphed into one. 

Where did you Co-op?

I worked for Champlin Cincinnati. I also worked for a year in a small residential firm back in India and as a freelancer interior designer.

Why DAAP?

DAAP has one of the most rigorous yet comprehensive graduate programs. The curriculum provides the academic, as well as practical education one, could ask for.

Headshot of Jain Rakshita

Jain Rakshita

Graduate Student, School of Architecture and Interior Design

she/her/hers

Kayla Blackerby

Program / Year:

Master of Art Education / 1st Year

Where are you from?

Cincinnati, Ohio

What are your research interests?

Arts-Integration, Mental Health, Human Perception and Experience.

Co-op or Professional Experience?

I am currently an Elementary and High School Art Teacher. 

Why DAAP?

I chose DAAP because I have always dreamed of going to school here ever since taking a tour as an undergrad. There is something special to be said about DAAP. It provides me with a true sense of community where I feel like I am supported, challenged, and pushed out of my comfort zone. I love all the excitement and innovation that goes on here.

Headshot of Kayla Blackerby

Kayla Blackerby

Graduate Student, School of Art

James McKenna

Program / Year:

Master of Fine Arts / 2nd Year

Where are you from?

Cincinnati, Ohio

What are your research interests?

Mixed Media Arts: Steel, Wood, Graphite, Paint.

Co-op or Professional Experience?

I began as a metalsmith at Kent State, working with copper, brass, and silver.

Why DAAP?

As a Cincinnatian, I first came to the School of Art out of convenience. However, in time I found the MA program far more rigorous than expected. Though faculty expectations are high, and critiques can be challenging, my work has evolved rapidly from accomplished, but unfocused steel fabrication to contemporary and relevant manipulation of heavily painted canvas. DAAP has transformed my practice.

Headshot of James McKenna

James McKenna

Graduate Student, School of Art

he/him/his

Quincy Ipsaro

Program / Year:

Master of Landscape Architecture / 1st Year

Where are you from?

Cincinnati, Ohio

What are your research interests?

Biophilic and native plant design, implementing sustainable practices in landscape design, and living architecture.

Where did you Co-op?

UC Planning Design and Construction.

Why DAAP?

DAAP has one-of-a-kind programs and certificates that really enhance your education. Through my program, I am receiving a green roof certificate that will help me to apply to become a certified green roof professional. These academic opportunities coupled with the close-knit program and supportive faculty will prepare me for the profession while making me a better designer.

Headshot of Quincy Ipsaro

Quincy Ipsaro

Graduate Student, School of Planning

she/her/hers

DAAP Graduate Programs

College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
7210 DAAP
University of Cincinnati
PO Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016

P 513-556-4933