about me.

You ever drive down an unfamiliar road, explore too far in a video game, or come across a group of hostile ninjas, and think to yourself , "this probably wasn't the way to go"?

I have! Except it wasn't in any of those previous situations. It was the second day of moving into my freshman year dorm, realizing that I didn't want to pursue medicine. To specify, the second day of moving into the pre-med side of the STEM dorm building.

I remember it like it was four years ago.

I was raised by two amazing people (who were my parents) who happened to be nurses (who also happened to want me to go into medicine) and I thought that was my career path. My passion of for design, education, and video production were only meant to be mere hobbies (my dad justified my hobbies by saying he could see me be both a doctor that made aesthetically pleasing videos about pre-operation procedures for patients, which makes for a sick alliteration).

My biggest worries were that I never really knew how those passions could turn into an education (aside from being an educational YouTuber, which is the ultimate goal). It wasn't until I learned about the world of Informatics that I realized there were several ways to apply creativity and design into the work that I do for other people. Through that, I started my new game of life with a dream to max out my  design skill trees, defeat the dragon, and save Princes- t-that's for a different story, ignore that, my bad.

Anyway, I want to be a designer, and I don't know if I want to focus on just one discipline: I love focusing on user needs and building the architecture for solutions as a UX Designer. I love to painting on the final touches as a Visual Designer. I love to giving what I create energy and life as a Motion Designer. I love to make things, especially when they're for people.

So that's the goal right now. Eventually, I'd love to go back into academics and be a lecturer for concepts around design, informatics, or human-centered problem solving. I have the privilege to be a TA for the Information School at the University of Washington and have loved every second of it.

Oh, right... I should also talk about stuff other than work. Hmmmm... I'm a coffee addict, I love bouldering, avatar: the last airbender, the legend of korra, and japanese funk. Big fan of Tatsuro Yamashita right now.

I'm always happy to meet new people, and would love to know your story too. You can reach me at jojosaunders99@gmail.com if you like to talk over coffee!

inspirations
and thank yous.

I would not be here today if it wasn't for my friends, mentors, and educators that I've had in my life.

Thank you to Heidi Buchwald, Eric Moran, Travis Wood, Brad Pizzaloto, Vincent Howard, Wendy Lundquist, James Abernethy, Dave Stearns, Marilyn Ostergren, Scott Barker, Jason Yip, and Richard Sturman for all being such passionate educators that have instilled a passion for education and mentorship in me.

Thank you to Daniel Kim, Scottie Lau, Brian Fling, Khang Lee, Amanda Czarnik, and Raphaela Hunter for being both inspirations and educators throughout my journey to become a better designer.

Thank you to Alexis Choi, Andrea Diep, Suvir Copparam, Sayarpreet Walia, Jenny Feng, and Jenny Zhang for all of the mentorship and guidance you've given me throughout my life.

Thank you to every student that I've ever had the opportunity to be a TA for.

Thanks for reading this, too.