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Meet the Class of 2015: Sam, Melody, Leroy

Sam Wander

Sam is a user experience designer from London. Before moving to New York to begin the MFA IxD program, he worked at a creative agency in the heart of East London (an area known wryly to locals as Silicon Roundabout and to the UK government as ‘Tech City’). In spite of the lack of inspiration afforded by a concrete roundabout, the area is home to a thriving startup cluster and some world-class agencies.

At Albion, where he worked until the move, he spent much of his time developing new products for established companies, in the spirit of the ‘corporate startup’. The agency works at pace and constantly reinvents itself – giving it a well-earned reputation as one of the UK’s most innovative. Prior to this Sam worked at Cogapp in Brighton, a small agency doing big things in the cultural sector (like refreshing the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website).

Sam set out earlier in life to become a designer, but after a BTEC Diploma in Art he found himself swayed by the intellectual challenge of a Philosophy degree at the University of Sussex. With a background straddling creative arts and academia, Sam is drawn to intersections between disciplines. Sitting at the crossroads between technology, design and culture – interaction design is his perfect concoction. Other than that he enjoys an Old Fashioned, if you’re offering.

Leroy Tellez

Originally from Los Angeles, Leroy is an interactive creative director with a BA in graphic design. He moved to New York City in 2008 to write a new chapter in his professional life.

After a fortunate 12-year career in advertising, Leroy decided to change the course his life was headed in. Feeling unfulfilled and with the desire to do more for the world, Leroy has decided to use his talents to contribute to social good.

A strong believer in the idea that design can solve social problems, Leroy wants to use his background in design and his fascination with technology to change health care and education in developing countries.


Melody Quintana

Melody is curious about a great many things. She comes to design by way of words, previously working as a writer and content strategist at Facebook. There, she used language to structure and shape experiences for over a billion people around the world. She holds a degree in Comparative Literature and Society from Columbia University. Her interdisciplinary soul was delighted by everything from cultural anthropology to magical realism.

Melody thinks in patterns and pictures. Nothing is more pleasing than organizing chaos into simplicity. She’s fascinated by the alchemy of words and visuals working together to create something bigger. Growing up in New Jersey, she used to write, illustrate and bind homemade stories in her free time.

After five wonderfully sunny years living in San Francisco, Melody is excited to rediscover New York City. She’s missed the pizza. Other yay-worthy things she’s looking forward to: expanding her creative practice, meeting likeminded people, and making cool stuff.

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