Life Design at BGSU: Honors College student empowered to design a future that fulfills career goals and personal interests
Briyanna Moore credits Life Design with helping her ‘connect the dots’
By Laren Kowalczyk ‘07
This is an ongoing series on the impact Life Design has on students and how it is reshaping undergraduate education at BGSU.
Briyanna Moore has never been one to limit herself, and that sentiment rang true as she began envisioning her college experience.
The Bowling Green State University junior and Honors College student wanted to pursue two different passions while still building a solid foundation for her future.
“I didn’t want to limit myself to only focusing on my career when I have other interests outside of that,” Moore said. “But my biggest question coming into college was, 'Can I make these two very different passions work?’”
Moore is majoring in biology, following the pre-physician’s assistant track, and minoring in general science and Asian studies. She wants to work in healthcare as a physician assistant (PA) or health educator and is deeply passionate about studying and living abroad in South Korea.
The concept of a cohesive existence between career and personal aspirations is a core tenet of Life Design at BGSU. Along with providing students with extra support through one-on-one coaching, the initiative aims to foster a student’s interests beyond their major with the notion that the journey to a successful career can follow many paths.
“We don’t want students to limit their potential by only focusing on opportunities directly related to their career path,” said Adrienne Ausdenmoore, executive director of the Geoffrey H. Radbill Center for College and Life Design.
“The essence of Life Design at BGSU is to equip students with the knowledge and resources to empower them to design their ideal future. One way we do that is by encouraging them to explore experiences and opportunities that could open the door to possibilities they may have never dreamed of."
Moore was introduced to Life Design as a scholar in the University’s Academic Investment in Mathematics and Science (AIMS) Program. The program strives to increase the number of women and people of varied racial and ethnic backgrounds who graduate with degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The AIMS program is one of several campus partners that offers BGSU 1910: Life Design at BGSU to its cohort of students.
The first-year seminar introduces students to design thinking principles — a creative problem-solving framework that provides students with the skills to overcome challenges and discover workable solutions to succeed in college and life.
“I was nervous about balancing the biology major and Asian studies minor, mostly because of outside noise and people telling me it’s not something they’ve heard of someone doing before,” Moore said. “I really liked how, through the BGSU 1910 course, I could explore what I truly want out of life and then map it out.”
That concept is part of the design thinking process called “wayfinding pathways.” It encourages students to explore multiple pathways for the future, rather than focusing on one single plan.
Moore said that exercise and working with Sarah Jurden, her BGSU 1910 instructor and director of the AIMS program, helped her feel more secure in her decisions.
“Having space to ask questions and work with Sarah to explore my career and personal goals was so helpful,” Moore said. “I gained perspective, confidence and reassurance that this journey is mine to design.”
Jurden wants to support students in exploring their career and personal interests while in college.
“I don’t think career and personal interests need to compete with each other," she said. "There’s a way of marrying them together, so one benefits the other.
“Most importantly, the University wants to support students in what 'doing well' looks like for them, which can mean many different things for many students. We want them to design an experience that is meaningful to them and to know it’s OK for that experience to change and for things to ebb and flow because that is the natural order of life.”
Studying abroad in Korea
Moore spent the Spring 2022 semester studying abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, where she improved her Korean language fluency and knowledge of the culture.
She’s hoping to return to South Korea this summer through the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship program, for which she is a semi-finalist, and move to the country temporarily after graduating from BGSU.
“Right now, I’m planning to teach English in South Korea for a few years before returning to the United States to pursue a graduate degree,” Moore said.
Moore said she believes immersing herself in another culture will only strengthen her communication skills and offer her a unique perspective that will benefit her future patients.
“I want to make an impact on the world,” Moore said. “I want to advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves. It would be so fulfilling to be able to advocate for American citizens from marginalized and at-risk communities and also for Korean immigrants.
“Life Design at BGSU has been a big part of helping me connect the dots, and seeing my dream start to take shape is so rewarding.”
Sharing her experiences
As a strong proponent of design thinking, Moore shares her experiences in Life Design as a student ambassador in the program.
She assists with weekly course instruction alongside a Life Design coach and is an additional resource for first-year students who may face similar challenges in their college journeys.
“Briyanna understands how impactful design thinking is,” Jurden said. “I think it’s really commendable that she wants to share her journey with others. She is a phenomenal person, and she is going to do so much good in this world.”
Updated: 02/16/2023 11:42AM