2016 Summer Program Fellows + Mentors

13 Fellows were chosen from Design (D), Engineering (E), and Occupational Therapy (OT).

D5Christina Glover (D)

Chrissy studies fashion and fibers at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and particularly enjoy sewing, pattern making, and weaving. She is interested in how technology can be incorporated into textiles and garments in a way that solves a problem for the wearer.

Leeoh (D)

CFDA endorsed designer, LEEOH, continues to bring his world of bold and original aesthetics to life through his work. LEEOH has been featured as lead designer for a fashion documentary by ABC and collaborating with industry leading videographer/photographer such as Gus&Lot.

Yuchen Zhang (D)

Yuchen Zhang is a multi-faceted designer who specializes in branding, interaction design and technology. Originally from China, Yuchen now lives in New York City and uses her skills in design and technology to consult clients on visual design, web design, branding and consumer experience.

Searom Jung (D)

Searom is a Product Design student at SADI. She has lived in India for 11 years and believes in creating wearables and designs that empower the underprivileged and disabled. Searom has participated in the Parsons Design and Tech Wearable workshop.

Jeongsu Lee (D)

Jeongsu is a Fashion Design student at SADI and has experimented with EL Wire and textiles to drive a closer relationship between clothing and technology.


Chika Uzoma Eke (E)

Chika is currently attending MIT for her master’s in Mechanical Engineering. With a love for creative problem solving and past experience as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor, she is passionate about using technology to enable inclusion for people with disabilities and hopes to pursue a career in assistive or rehabilitation technology.


Priyal Parikh (E)

Priyal is a creative technologist based in New York and is currently enrolled at the MFA Design & Technology graduate program at Parsons School of Design. She has experience working as a freelance graphic designer, art intern, and as a risk analyst at Ernst & Young. Priyal continues focus on working Internet of Things along with front-end web development and user experience.

Logan Sweet (E)

Logan is an undergraduate student at Olin College in Needham, MA studying engineering design. She is passionate about finding the right problems to solve and designing for people’s lives.

Uma Desai (E)

Uma just finished her first year at the Olin College of Engineering, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering. She has worked on projects ranging from modeling and simulating the mechanics of seesaw acrobatics to designing, building, and testing an off-road vehicle.


Amy Fleischer (OT)

Amy is a freshly minted occupational therapist with insatiable appetite for adaptive design. Energized by the hurdles and rewards of working on interdisciplinary teams, she curates collaborations between Occupational Therapy and Engineering departments at Tufts University.


Ruthie Merrell (OT)

Ruthie has worked in a variety of health and educational settings and with people of all ages, from newborns to nursing home residents. She has been a school-based occupational therapist for over twenty years.


Elizabeth Riley (OT)

Elizabeth is a 2016 Master of Occupational Therapy student from Bay Path University. She has a passion for adaptive design and wants to bring clinical experience from Shriners Hospital Springfield.


Morgan Kane (OT)

Morgan is a first-year graduate student at the Boston School of Occupational Therapy at Tufts University, and the Program Coordinator for the Center of Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord Conditions at Boston Children’s Hospital. With a background in Fine Arts and Fashion Design, Morgan hopes to integrate her love of the creative process in her future OT practice.

Four Mentors were chosen to help guide our fellows throughout the process.


Jason Rizzo (Mentor)

Jason is the Director of Prosthetics for Rogerson Orthotics and Prosthetics in Boston, MA, and is an ABC certified Prosthetist/Orthotist. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Newington Post –Graduate Certificate program in Prosthetics and Orthotics and has his BS Degree from Tufts University. Jason has over 15 years’ experience working in Orthotics and Prosthetics and worked as a physical therapy assistant before pursing his career in O&P. He has a passion for creating devices that enable his patients to be as independent and active as possible.


Dino Kasvikis (Mentor)

Dino is the principal/owner of DinoK Designs, a design consultancy that guides companies throughout the design process to developing emphatic and human centered medical devices. As a mechanical engineer turned designer, Dino approach balances companies and user aspirations while remaining grounded in science.  He’s been fortunate to collaborate on a broad range of projects; designing everything from tampons and diapers to life saving devices for Special Forces medics and surgical robots for brain surgeries. Dino spends much of his free time teaching and mentoring others.


Ruthann Brown(Mentor)

Ruthann Brown’s passion for all things textile began as a child, knitting and sewing garments for herself and others. After college she worked at several small start-ups designing garments, building patterns and practicing the zen art of production stitching. Ruthann came to Polartec 25 years ago to build concept garments, and she now oversees the production of field-testing and sales sample garments. Her initial proof-of-concept designs bring the first applications of new technologies to life and have resulted in some of the most celebrated technical apparel designs for consumers. She still finds time occasionally to sit down at the sewing machine.

Vanessa Sanchez (Mentor)

Vanessa Sanchez is a research fellow in the Harvard Biodesign Lab within the Wyss Institute where she works on soft, textile-based exosuits. She has a degree in Fiber Science from Cornell University as well as a Fashion Design background from FIT and is interested in pursuing the relationship between smart materials and functional apparel.

Johnny King (Visiting Fashion Designer)

I am a recent graduate from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design where I focused heavily on technical men’s and women’s ready-to-wear pieces. My design process has always been to connect mental disabilities with wearable garments. The Open Style Lab program allows me to explore this idea further with creating garments based on physical disabilities.

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Our Sponsors 2017

Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundations

Our Partners 2017

Parsons School of Design
MIT Museum
The Boston Museum of Science