RISD/Boston STEAM Discussion

RISD has been talking a lot about STEAM lately, but what is it really? STEAM is a RISD-led initiative to add Art and Design to the national agenda of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and research in America. STEM + Art = STEAM. The goal is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer. RISD President John Maeda and other members of the community have been championing the idea that STEM expands into STEAM when art is part of the equation.

OK, now what does it mean really? We've brought together 4 members of the RISD community—faculty, alumni and students—who will share with you how they are using their art and design education to explore new solutions  to current economic, social, political, organizational and environmental challenges. Come on out and be part of the conversation

This event is FREE, but you must register at http://risdsteamboston.eventbrite.com.

Light refreshments will be served. Panelists include:

Catherine Schmidt 14 GD
Catherine is a rising senior in Graphic Design at RISD and the president of the RISD STEAM club. With Sarah Pease 13 FD, she is working to develop a vision for STEAM in K-12 schools and at the university level. Catherine is interested in non-latin scripts and the relationship between design & code.

Ryan Scott Barsdley 98 ID
Ryan is a researcher who's work is dedicated to making the field of medicine safer. For the past 15 years, he has worked to improve medical education through the advancement of simulation technologies for both the Massachusetts General Hospital and the U.S. Army. He is currently tinkering in surgical gesture recognition, 6mm cardiac ablation robots,and an ultra low-flow infusion monitoring system. He lives in Boston with his wife and two fine sons.

Samantha Dempsey 13 IL

Samantha Dempsey is a senior in illustration at RISD and a Maharam STEAM Fellow. She is a fierce advocate for collaboration between designers and medical professionals and spent the last summer working with the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation to develop new methods of visual communication between doctors and patients. She is always looking for the fuzzy areas where art and science combine and most recently found this at the TEDMED conference where she performed as a graphic facilitator.

Lucy Spelman
Lucy is a biologist with an unusual background: she is one of a handful of veterinarians certified in zoological medicine. Her patients have included giant pandas in China, Asian elephants in Burma, giant river otters in Guyana, and mountain gorillas in Rwanda. She is also a writer and an educator with a keen interest in exploring new ways to use the arts to communicate and interpret science.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Microsoft New England Development + Research (NERD) Center One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Event Type

Alumni Event


Alumni Relations




Recent Activity

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.