S2 E13 - Using Design Thinking to Create a Diverse and Curious Student Body (Part 1) - Murillo Soranso

As an assistant dean at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Murillo Soranso played an integral role in leading and developing the school’s First Year Experience program. Each year 2200 incoming freshmen, led by peer educators, are introduced to campus life and encouraged to create goals for their educational journey in this 8-week program. In his conversation with host, Jeff Yan, Murillo shares how he and his colleagues incorporate design thinking into the program, taking guidance and inspiration from Stanford University’s d.School. He relates the concepts of design thinking to his own lifelong love of learning, and his experiences in pursuing higher education after immigrating to the U.S. from Brazil. “We want them to practice things like being curious and being open to failure and trying things out and getting outside of their comfort zone and radical collaboration. These are all mindsets that in some way live in design thinking” The conversation concludes with Murillo sharing his observations regarding the prevalent desire for mental health support and resources among students, and the vital need for educators to consider their own role in the campus mental health crisis. Note: since the recording of this conversation in the summer of 2021, Murillo has accepted a position at a different organization.

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