Growing up, Gab built imaginary worlds. Of the many songs and stories she wrote about these worlds in her red spiral notebook, most famous was “Kalabalawungaworth: it’s nothing like earth.” You could not pull the kid inside, except maybe with ice cream. She spent hours on end as the first girl on the New York Knicks, holding locker room huddles on the swings after hitting the game winning 3-pointer. Gab’s Grandpa once said, don’t say “O” “U” “T” cause then she’s gonna want to go out.” And she did. She always wanted to be out exploring and creating. It is no wonder she landed at the d.school.
Her journey to be the most recent member of the K12 Lab Network team was a winding but purposeful one. It started with a keen interest in how different types of learners engage with materials. As a bookmaker in college, she studied the psychology of child imagination and visual literacy. Gab went on to live and work in a no-excuses Charter school in Boston, research risk and resilience in a longitudinal study at the Yale Child Study Center, where she stumbled on a museum team championing visual thinking and creativity with educators. She felt immediately at home. This inspired her to attend grad school in Harvard’s Arts in Education program where she worked with Howard Gardner and multiple intelligences. From advising and researching creativity and team process in Harvard’s first “Innovator’s Practice” course and creating an award-winning storytelling platform start-up for tweens in the Innovation Lab, she stumbled on this little process called design thinking– and like so many others with their first exposure, she be like DUH.
The rest is history! Gab moved on to be the Curiosity Director at The Future Project. She led research and impact analysis for this incredible organization putting Dream Directors in High Schools across America. To keep both her analytical and design mind alive, she formed partnerships with Project Breaker and The Design Gym along the way, using the design process to solve real world challenges. In 2014, Gab moved to Santiago, Chile, where built the first global team and branch of The Design Gym through participating in Start-Up Chile. Upon her return, she co-built the first comprehensive professional development offering for Project Breaker.
She has facilitated people of all ages, shapes, and sizes through many design challenges in the name of building the future of learning. Gab is happy (x10) to have a true home for this work at the K12 Lab Network. She’s working with a network of schools to implement design mindsets and challenges that educators can bring to life. She believes everyone observes, synthesizes, and feels their world differently — and school should be a place where individual learning potential is activated and people are encouraged to explore and create beyond school walls.