Vice President, Strategic Design & User Research

Marcy (Carbajal) Van Horn joined BFF as a design strategist with 15+ years of experience in user research, experience design, and education.

A specialist in human-centered design and social innovation, Marcy leads strategic efforts through the framework of “design thinking,” including bottom-up, reflective, and equity-based methods. As a designer with a social-justice bent, she’s especially interested in promoting inclusion and wellbeing, changing narratives that uphold structural inequities, and exploring ways that social and financial innovations can create opportunities for students, such as DREAMers, who are not eligible for federal aid.

Marcy started her career teaching at the college level. Since that time, she has worked as an experience designer and strategist on a variety of software and service design projects—from multi-phase software transformation endeavors to non-profit program design. In the process, she has led both user research and user experience design teams. Just prior to joining BFF, Marcy operated a consultancy specializing in educational technology user experience.

Marcy earned a master’s in TESL/EFL (applied linguistics) with distinction from St. Michael’s College and a bachelor’s in international studies, summa cum laude, from Pepperdine University. In addition, she holds qualifications in web accessibility, Scrum product ownership (CSPO), interaction design, and LEGO Serious Play.

A first-generation college student and native of southern California, Marcy now lives with her family outside of Chicago. You can follow Marcy on Twitter and LinkedIn.

More Team Bios:

Kevin James, Founder & CEO

Barry Cynamon, Executive Vice President & CFO

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