Milena Radzikowska, MDes, PhD (Chair)

Milena Radzikowska’s research aims to challenge existing design conventions and explore unique alternatives to complex problems. She has led several teams in digital-material remediation, with physical and immersive exhibition components. Her research is functionally feminist, and she is currently working on such “wicked” design problems as marginalisation through data display and reconciliation in post-conflict zones.

Gilbert V Wilkes IV, PhD (Associate Professor)

Gilbert Wilkes specialises in the study of the production, composition, distribution, and the use of text in various media conditions, especially online and technical communication. He also studies and teaches rhetoric and how we can use language to both inform and to connect. Both in his research and in the classroom, Gilbert Wilkes uses computer-assisted tools for text analysis, from concordancers to semantic-network visualizers to topic resolution tools.

Kelsey McColgan, MEd (Assistant Professor)

Kelsey McColgan’s work is characterised by a strong commitment to civic engagement and changemaking, often through systems and service design projects that involve facilitating communities through design processes and visually synthesising information. Other areas of exploration and expertise include visual identity systems for place branding and experiential graphic design, particularly related to exhibition design and wayfinding systems. She is committed to the study of teaching and learning (SoTL) in design education.

Naureen Mumtaz, MDes, PhD (Assistant Professor)

Naureen Mumtaz’s research areas are at the intersections of critical design, participatory design and innovation in teaching and learning practice in higher education. She employs design-based participatory research methods to inform designing community-responsive curricula and their relation to complex social justice issues. Her expertise is in contextual sense-making and designing customised projects that drive social transformation in culturally diverse contexts. Her research and academic practice include developing projects that engage local community organisations, academia, professionals, and students through co-creation.

Carlos Fiorentino, MDes, PhD (Assistant Professor)

Carlos Fiorentino is a visual communication designer and educator, with research interest in design for sustainability and biomimicry. Before joining MRU, he taught in the Department of Art & Design and the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta and in the Design Studies program at MacEwan University. His research and scholarship on sustainability allowed him to be part of the Sustainability Advisory Committee for the University of Alberta’s Sustainability Plan 2016-20. He is co-founder of the Biomimicry Alberta regional network (2013) and the UAlberta Biomimicry Innovation Hub (2018).

Lauren Dwyer, PhD (Assistant Professor)

Lauren Dwyer holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from Toronto Metropolitan and York Universities. Her dissertation, titled “Isolated Circuits: Human Experience and Robot Design for the Future of Loneliness,” explored the intersection of human experiences of emotion and technological design, particularly in relation to the growing issue of loneliness in our modern society. Before joining MRU, she was the academic chair for Data and AI in the School for Advanced Digital Technologies at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology where she oversaw the development of programs that focus on utilizing data and AI to drive innovation.

Our faculty and staff bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom. Most faculty members have worked extensively in the disciplines they teach; and many continue their industry involvement through participation in local and national associations and conferences and as adjudicators, evaluators, commentators, and consultants. Many of our faculty have well-established research agendas and mentor interested students towards graduate studies. Faculty and staff members alike demonstrate a genuine commitment to the success of our students and our program, developing innovative learning materials, working directly with students, and dedicating the time and energy required to ensure that success.

four professors standing together at convocation


Kelly Williams-Whitt, PhD, MBA
Dean, Faculty of Business and Communication Studies

Adam Cave, PhD
Vice Dean Academic, Faculty of Business and Communication Studies

Leah Hamilton, PhD
Vice Dean, Research and Community Relations, Faculty of Business and Communication Studies


Brian Traynor (Associate Professor)

Ben Kunz (Associate Professor)

Glenn Ruhl (Professor)