Ellen Christensen is an Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design in the School of Design and Gallery Director of DesignSpace at San Francisco State University. She completed an MFA in Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, where was the recipient of a RISD Research Grant, a Graduate Division Fellowship, and a RISD Fellowship. Her graduate thesis at RISD, Placefulness, researched design strategies of care and community placemaking. She received a BA in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, and Magna Cum Laude. At Berkeley, she formed her own concentration within the American Studies major, “Ethnicity and Visual Representation,” and was the recipient of the William Stout Award. Her work explores collaborative methods of physical and virtual community building.