Najla Mouchrek, Ph.D.
Designer and scholar with a M.F.A. in Design, Innovation, and Sustainability (State University of Minas Gerais, Brazil) and an interdisciplinary PhD focused on human centered design applied to empowerment and exploration of meaning and purpose in the transition to adulthood (Virginia Tech). After a 17-year career working in communication and design for public universities in Brazil, Dr. Mouchrek worked for four years in Academic Affairs at Virginia Tech supporting student-centered initiatives and systemic change strategies. She now serves in Student Affairs as Program Director for Interfaith Leadership & Holistic Development. In her work, she applies participatory design and college student development frameworks to create meaningful experiences for students, with a focus on interfaith engagement and purpose-driven exploration. Dr. Mouchrek co-chairs the Interfaith Advisory Council and the Interfaith Living Learning Community Steering Committee. She was the first student to graduate with an Individualized Interdisciplinary PhD from Virginia Tech. Her areas of interdisciplinary scholarship include human centered and participatory design, communication, design for social innovation and sustainability, sustainable futures, design for youth development & empowerment, purpose & humanistic values-driven career construction, college student holistic development, and interfaith leadership & cooperation.