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


Emily Kraus

Emily KrausEmily Kraus is currently the Senior Assistant Director of Admission, CRM, in the UCLA Office of Undergraduate Admission, where she leads the implementation and development of a new CRM system (Slate) that serves the entire Enrollment Management division. She also leads the University of California Slate workgroup and participates in multiple UCLA campus committees. Her experience at highly selective institutions includes marketing strategy, event planning, program management, and learning design. She spends her free time exploring local coffee shops, traveling, and hiking.




Dipali Patel

Dipali PatelDipali Patel graduated from DePaul University with a dual degree in Finance & Marketing. She is currently pursuing a M.S. in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in Data Science. She is currently working full-time as a Data & Analytics senior consultant in Chicago. There, she helps lead and manage Strategy, Data Visualization, and business transformation projects. She is most proud of herself when she is able to see that she made a positive impact on client operations. In her free time, Dipali enjoys spending her time volunteering in her community, reading, painting, and trying out new restaurants and activities.




Michelle Bannerman

Michelle BannermanMichelle Bannerman graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Marketing and earned a User Experience Design Professional certification from University of California San Diego. She is pursuing a M.S. in Information Design & Strategy with a specialization in Content Strategy. Michelle has worked with Fortune 100 companies in a Senior Project Management role leading projects in Xbox IT, Call Center Management, Recruiting, and Sales & Marketing Enablement. She is building a digital marketing consulting practice working with small businesses on their websites and social media. When she’s not working, she is on a long walk, doing Pilates or Yoga, reading a book, practicing piano, trying vegan recipes, or planning a fun trip with friends and family.




Michael Swanson

Michael SwansonMichael currently works at Grayslake Community High School District 127 as a Systems Integration Specialist. His educational technology background revolves around easy, efficient, and equitable access for all students, staff, and stakeholders. Outside of work and school, Michael enjoys traveling with friends and family and spending time outdoors.




Jordan Pohlman

Jordan PohlmanJordan Pohlman graduated from the University of Iowa with a BSE in Electrical/Computer Engineering and a BA in Studio Arts. She currently works at SonderMind as a Software Engineer in Denver, CO full time while she pursues her masters in Information Design and Strategy with a specialization in Learning Design. 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 power lifting.




Gregory Barber

Gregory BarberGreg Barber graduated cum laude from Morehouse College with a B.A. in Psychology. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Information Design & Strategy with a concentration in Data & Storytelling at Northwestern University with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Studies. In his professional career, Greg has worked with Fortune 500 companies where he led projects focused on ERP implementation, market research, solutioning, business transformation, and innovation. Greg is most passionate about inclusive design and designing experiences to create a more equitable world. In his free time, Greg enjoys working out, trying new recipes, writing poetry, hanging with friends, and engaging his community at the grassroots level.




Josh Madej

Josh MadejAfter six years leading data scientists in clinical oncology, including two years completing his MS 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.




Amanda Ho Sang

Amanda Ho SangAmanda is currently a Principal Business Consultant at CCC Information Services. She works on sales enablement and product initiatives to bring CCC’s new mobile and AI solutions to market for enterprise customers. Throughout her career, Amanda has worked on customer experience and digital strategy consulting projects for various Fortune 1000 companies. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys hiking, volunteering, journaling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. 




Rachel Schreiber

Rachel SchreiberRachel is currently a Senior Account Manager at digital research company, dscout. After graduating with a journalism degree from Indiana University, she worked in the travel industry before deciding it was time to dive into her passion for information design and enrolled in Northwestern University's IDS program. She lives in Austin, Texas, and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and one-year-old daughter, Sabrina.



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