Transitioning into UX from Academia

​Interested in learning about life beyond academia? How to translate your knowledge and skill set to a career in UX? Join UXPA and our panel of UX professionals, as they discuss their career trajectory, share their post graduate experiences, and making the transition from academia to UX.


​Elizabeth Allen (Brazen)

Elizabeth is the Principal of Brazen, a UX research and training consultancy based in Toronto, Canada. At Brazen, she helps companies identify and solve critical UX problems in digital and physical products, and trains design teams on how to do their own research. Her previous experience includes UX research roles at Shopify, Prosper, and Centralis, as well as a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. Elizabeth lives in Toronto with her cat, Eliot, and spends her free time speaking at conferences, mentoring junior researchers, and playing the banjo.

Amy Bucher (Mad*Pow)

Amy Bucher, Ph.D., is the Behavior Change Design Director at Mad*Pow. In her work, Amy focuses on crafting engaging and motivating solutions that help people change behavior, especially related to health, wellness, learning, and financial well-being. Previously she worked with CVS Health as a Senior Strategist for their Digital Specialty Pharmacy, and with Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions Group as Associate Director of Behavior Science. Her research interests include motivational design, patient and user engagement, happiness, and how social relationships influence health and well-being. Amy received her A.B. magna cum laude in psychology from Harvard University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan.

Becca Kennedy (Kennason)

Becca Kennedy, PhD lives in Albany, NY where she runs the UX consulting company Kennason and works remotely as the UX Designer for Agrilyst, an agtech startup. She is also a writer for UserZoom and a board member of AIGA Upstate New York.

Jen Romano-Bergstrom (Bridgewater Associates)

Jen is the UX Research Director at Bridgewater Associates. She has spent over a decade leading UX research for numerous organizations and products, including Facebook, Instagram, Nielsen, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the US Census Bureau. Jen specializes in efficient applications of empirical methods to ensure quality is not lost while working fast to get actionable results. Jen is a trained Experimental Psychologist and has spearheaded efforts around the world to get academics and industry collaborating on research. She is the co-author of ‘Eye Tracking in UX Design’ and ‘Usability Testing of Surveys’ and the director of marketing with UXPA International.


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