Industrial design program director receives IDSA Young Educator award

LAWRENCE — Betsy Barnhart, assistant professor and program director of industrial design at the University of Kansas, has recently been awarded the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) Young Educator Award.   

According to IDSA’s website, the award “began in 2008 and recognizes junior faculty, non-tenured, or tenure-track educators who have made a noteworthy impact on industrial design education within the early years of their academic career.”  

Recipients were nominated by peers and students, evaluated by the IDSA’s Awards Committee and approved by IDSA’s Board of Directors.   

“We are so pleased to see Professor Barnhart recognized for her innovative teaching, generous mentorship to her students and the positive impact to the community through her service and research,” said Jeremy Shellhorn, design department chair. “She is so deserving of this award, and it reflects the high quality of faculty we have in the design department at KU. As the program director for the industrial design area, she also excels in leading her colleagues as we all redesign design education for the future.”  

Barnhart has 10 years of design experience with Nike, STX LLC, Newell Rubbermaid and Sardi Design. She brings her knowledge of the professional field into her classroom by introducing real-world experiences to her students through industry partnerships.   

In addition to teaching, Barnhart serves as the student chapter liaison for IDSA’s Kansas City Chapter and as leader of IDSA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.   

“It is no surprise to me that Betsy won this year’s prestigious IDSA Young Educator Award,” Interim Dean Mahbub Rashid said. “She is both capable and deserving. Her dedication to our industrial design students and program is exemplary. Though early in her career, Betsy has already made a significant impact on our communities through her abilities to develop new industry relations and promote social equity using human-centered design as her platform. We are all very proud of having her amongst us.”