Martha Sullivan Named Industrial Design Chair

The School of Architecture + Design is happy to announce the promotion of Martha Sullivan to Chair of Industrial Design. Starting this Spring semester, Sullivan takes over for Akshay Sharma as he happily resets his focus on teaching, research, and special projects. On the first day of the semester, the students and faculty thanked him for his dedicated service over Zoom and he smiled at the prospect of spending more time teaching and engaging with students.

Sullivan started at Virginia Tech in 2007, and specializes in ceramics. She has earned recognition for a service-learning project titled Empty Bowls, raising $40,000 for hunger relief in the New River Valley with Virginia Tech students. She teaches Ceramics, Industrial Design Laboratory, Summer Academy, and other interdisciplinary courses for the Creativity + Innovation Destination Area. Martha is a Co-Lead for the Education initiatives in the Creativity + Innovation Destination Area, she serves on the steering committee for a new CAUS Living Learning Community Rhizome, and is a Faculty Fellow in the Leadership and Social Change Residential College.

Sullivan states, “The opportunity to Chair the Industrial Design program at Virginia Tech is an honor. I hope to turn my passion for student success and my respect for my colleagues into forward momentum for all of us, including our broader community and the profession of design. We strive to provide a holistic and rigorous education for our students, I am excited to flow with all of the moving parts in an effort to improve and grow VTID!”