Valerie (Sherry) Caruolo
Serving as UIF Since: Fall 2013
School: University of Maryland, College Park
What she does now: Architectural Designer, Hord Coplan Macht (HCM Architects), Researcher (HCM/Salk Institute)
What that means: …Architecture: I design learning environments, spaces and experiences (especially for Higher Education Institutions and public/private sector work environments)! Research: I am part of a core research team considering how biophilic design might impact learning. Biophilic design ties together nature, human biology and design, highlighting aspects of nature that most impact human satisfaction in the built environment.
Contact her about: pop up classes, designing learning experiences, maker spaces, SPACE in general, language as a mechanism for inclusion, brainstorming, reaching marginalized groups, working with faculty & administrators, catalyzing faculty learning communities, her love of travel or just because!
Phone: (410) 790-7356
Valerie is a former University Innovation Fellow who graduated from University of Maryland, College Park for graduate school in 2015 and joined Hord Coplan Macht Architects in their education design studio. Valerie now designs learning environments and experiences, especially relating to higher education, including creating ways for students and university stakeholders to connect & converge in spaces on campus. At the University of Maryland, Valerie joined the University Innovation Fellows program in the Fall of 2013 to explore ways to reach across disciplines and engage fellow university community members in cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset. Her work at UMCP began with pop-up classes and pop-up student gatherings to promote project based learning, passion projects, and the coming together of traditionally silo’d discipines that had been marginalized from the innovation and entrepreneurial learning opportunities sponsored at the school at that time. Her main goal was to spark creative thought and action by bringing people together to solve wicked problems. This goal soon led to founding the Maryland Design Impact Lab (mDIL) – a cross disciplinary student-focused lab where ideas could be tested and teams formed to pursue applied social impact projects through the use of a variety of techniques including Lean Start up and design thinking. Meanwhile the growing Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UMCP began in the fall of 2013. Through Valerie’s UIF training and landscape canvas analysis of the I&E landscape at UMCP, she came across the amazing AIE and partnered to become part of the growing team of Design Thinking Facilitators whose mission was to engage all 35,000 undergraduates in innovation and entrepreneurship through curriculum. Her work at UMCP involved bridging students and faculty and helping university stakeholders realize how their respective disciplines could contribute to and navigate within the innovation and entrepreneurship resources on campus in order to demonstrate the power of their ideas turned to action - to catalyze change in the world. Valerie’s work now involves ethnographic research, stakeholder engagement, designing, prototyping and helping institutions design their plan for future spaces on campus. Valerie works from planning and visioning phases through to construction administration to bring spaces from concept to reality. Valerie is currently also helping to facilitate research as part of a core team working with a broader team of architects, students, school administrators, neuroscientists, behaviorial scientists, and industry partners to explore the emotional, physiological, and psychological benefits of biophilic design and how it might improve human health and well-being. We are specifically considering how biophilic design might reduce stress and enhance creativity in the context of learning environments. Valerie holds a B.A. in Architectural Studies from Brown University as well as a Masters in Architecture from University of Maryland, College Park.