The IDS Student Leadership Council

The Information Design & Strategy Student Leadership Council is a student-led organization that provides opportunities and resources to augment the IDS student experience and advocates for the student body. The IDS Student Leadership Council acts as a liaison with staff and faculty, plans events, keeps students informed on relevant topics, and curates spaces for IDS students to network and support each other. It plays a role in ensuring that IDS graduates and alumni are equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry of information design.



Mission Statement

The mission of the IDS Student Leadership Council is to support and enrich IDS students’ academic experience, develop personal and professional communities, and promote and protect inclusion of diverse perspectives.

Vision Statement

Graduates of the Northwestern IDS program will feel a sense of comradery with their classmates and a deep understanding of Information Design in practice.


Let's Connect

Current, former, and prospective students are invited to join our LinkedIn group, or contact us via email. Current IDS students and alumni are also encouraged to join our Facebook Group.



IDS Student Leadership Council FAQs

Where can I find more information about events and initiatives?

Information about about the latest activities and events for the IDS Student Leadership Council can be found in multiple places:

  • Canvas “MS in Information Design and Strategy” course
  • SLC LinkedIn Page
  • Facebook Group (for current and former students)

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to email

What is the history of the IDS Student Leadership Council?

The IDS Student Leadership Council was organized for the first time in the winter quarter of 2020–21. The founding members were selected by SPS staff through an application process. Student Leadership Councils exist in other SPS graduate programs, as well.

How can I get involved in the SLC?

Council positions are a two-year commitment and anyone interested in joining the council may apply for available positions when vacancies are announced.

Nonetheless, IDS students are encouraged to play an active role the initiatives of the SLC by participating in community discussions on social media, regularly attending events, checking the Canvas platform for current information about SLC activities, and providing feedback (which can be done via email, social media, or our Canvas discussion board).

What is the application process for the SLC?

Council positions require a two-year commitment and, when a term is set to expire, the position is opened for applications. The application process consists of (1) submission of required materials and (2) an interview process for final candidates. Priority for officer positions is given to current IDS students (with the exception of an Alumni Chair, if instituted) and new officers are selected by the sitting President and Vice President of Operations.

Is the SLC a volunteer-based organization?

Yes, all SLC positions are on a volunteer basis.

What are the roles of each SLC position?


  • Act as central representative of student leadership council
  • Determine and communicate council strategy, priorities, and agenda 
  • Take the lead in ensuring the continuance of the council from year-to-year, including transition planning and managing access to SLC assets (Box, GSuite, etc.)
  • Take responsibility of other offices or necessary duties, if assigned offices are unable to fulfill their responsibilities and General Council is unable to assist
Vice President of Operations
  • Serve as the lead for SLC operations and project management
  • Support President in determining council strategy, priorities, and agenda
  • Co-lead the scheduling and execution of board meetings 
  • Act as central representative of student leadership council in the absence of the  President 
  • Provide logistical assistance with board events 
Events Chair
  • Lead and execute event logistics
  • Serve as lead manager of Eventbrite or registration system
  • Coordinate event announcements and communications with Communications Chair
  • Provide event recap write-ups and work with Advocacy and Analytics Chair to assess event KPI’s, as well as propose improvements or ideas for future events
Communications Chair
  • Manage social media platforms and lead social media content strategy
  • Coordinate with Advocacy and Analytics chair to develop and maintain inclusive messaging and content
  • Create digital and print assets to promote the IDS program, SLC, and SLC events or initiatives
  • Capture and collect documentation and assets related to SLC events and efforts
Advocacy and Analytics Chair
  • Leads the collection and analysis of data in order to assess the effectiveness of SLC initiatives, as it pertains to fulfilling the SLC mission.
  • Researches developments in the field of Information Design, in collaboration with IDS faculty and students, to propose relevant curricular changes to the SLC and IDS program.
  • Collaborates with Events Coordinator and Communications Chair to insure that all events and communications reflect inclusivity and serve the SLC mission and student body.
  • Leads the response management of the general SLC email account
General Council
  • At least one General Council Chair must be in attendance at all council meetings and take minutes
  • Assist on basic event logistics, as well as capturing assets for the board to use for  communications purposes (video and photography of event attendees and panel  speakers) 
  • Assist with other council needs when other members are absent or positions are vacant; make sure there’s  council presence at the open council meetings and events

IDS Student Leadership Council Members


Brittany Holsman

Brittany HolsmanBrittany Holsman graduated from The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design and a Minor in Leadership. She is pursuing her Master of Science in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in UI/UX. Brittany is located in Chicago and currently works for Basis Technologies as a product designer. Brittany is also an executive member of the Children’s Research Foundation Junior Board, where she helps raise funds for the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, painting, and spending time with family and friends!




Rachel Soeder

Rachel SoederRachel Soeder graduated from O’More College of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication. At Northwestern University, she is pursuing a Master of Science in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in Learning Design in order to have the tools to research, understand, and teach people through strategic and impactful visuals as well as be an effective leader. For the past several years, she has been building internal creative teams while managing the creative output as a Design Director. At her current agency, she also serves on the DE&I committee, where she has a passion for creating an inclusive and supportive work environment so that everyone can have a safe space to reach their potential.




Michelle Bannerman

Michelle BannermanMichelle graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Marketing and earned a User Experience Design Professional certification from the University of California San Diego. She is pursuing a Master of Science in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in Content Strategy and plans to earn a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Learning Design post-graduation. When she’s not working, she is on a long walk, reading a book, practicing piano, or cheering (quietly!) at her daughter’s golf tournaments.





Jordan Martinuzzi

Jordan PohlmanJordan Martinuzzi graduated from the University of Iowa with a BSE in Electrical/Computer Engineering and a BA in Studio Arts. She currently works at Seesaw Learning as a Software Engineer in Denver, CO full time while she pursues her Master of Science in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in Communication with Data. She has a passion for visual communication and making software more accessible and inclusive. During her free time she loves to go hiking, Latin dancing, traveling, and powerlifting.




Victoria Gan

Gregory BarberVictoria graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and minor in Global Studies in the Arts & Humanities. At Northwestern University, she is pursuing her Master of Science in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in UX/UI. She is passionate about understanding and advocating user needs. Currently, she also works as a Market Research Assistant at a management consulting firm. Outside of work and school, she enjoys traveling, pottery, DIY projects, and hanging out with her cat, Bailey. As DE&I Chair, she hopes to create a safe and inclusive environment for all students to thrive in.




Josh Madej

Josh MadejAfter six years leading data scientists in clinical oncology, including two years completing his Master of Science in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in Data Science, Josh returned to school to pursue his MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management. Upon graduation, Josh co-founded and is the CEO of a health-tech startup, Carestry.

Leveraging the skills he learned at Northwestern and MIT, Josh wants to reshape healthcare through high-quality data, analytics, and design, so the doctor-patient-caregiver relationship evolves into a partnership in which the caregiver and patient, empowered with data, have more autonomy and can take a more active role in treatment decision-making. Outside of work, Josh enjoys personal fitness, socializing with friends, and having daddy-daughter dance parties with his three-year-old.




Lindsay Rexford

Lindsay RexfordLindsay has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and is an experienced Marcom and design professional with experience in the professional services and health fields. Currently, she works as a freelance communication designer while pursuing her Master of Science in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in Learning Design. She values the roles of writing and design in supporting audience understanding. Outside work and school, she loves skiing, mountain biking, cycling, and spending time with her husband and rescue pup.





Jeanette Bravo

Jeanette BravoJeanette Bravo graduated from Arizona State University, where she studied Communication and Tourism Development & Management. At Northwestern University, she is pursuing a Master of Science in Information Design & Strategy in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in Learning Design. Jeanette works for ENTRUST Solutions Group and serves as the Training Coordinator for 35+ offices. During her free time, Jeanette enjoys exploring Chicago, going on lakeshore walks, traveling, and spending time with her Beagle.



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