School of BusinessFaculty and Research

Allison Schumacher
Program Director, Product Innovation
Area: da Vinci Center for Innovation

da Vinci Center
807 S. Cathedral Place
Richmond, VA 23284
Office: 209
Phone: (804) 828-7188
Teaching Interests: Graphic Design, Human-centered design, Product Innovation, Systems thinking, Design thinking, Book Arts, Typography, social innovation
Research Interests: Authenticity in design, human-centered design, product design/innovation, social innovation

With a passion for student success and cross-disciplinary education, Allison Schumacher joined Virginia Commonwealth University’s da Vinci Center as Program Director for Product Innovation in April 2015. Ms. Schumacher’s experience with the da Vinci Center began back in January 2010 by serving as a faculty mentor for the Center’s Product Innovation culmination course: INNO 460: da Vinci Project. She has since worked with seven cross-disciplinary student teams with various sponsors including, Pfizer, MWV, State of Virginia Agency for Aging, Science Museum of Virginia and the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce. Before joining the da Vinci Center full time, Allison was an active member of the VCU School of the Arts serving as a full time faculty member and undergraduate advisor in the Department of Graphic Design. During this time, Ms. Schumacher implemented several new advising methods to show students the paths available beyond their major. Within two years of advising all 175 graphic design students, the number of students to enroll in minors, certificate programs, study abroad, etc. grew by 327%. Allison is also a practicing freelance graphic designer with a client base focused in the Southeast U.S. Her academic research centers on cultural and memory studies with considerations for authenticity in the design. In teaching, she emphasizes the importance of research, experimentation, efficiency, and attention to craft. Ms. Schumacher holds a MFA in Visual Communication from VCU and double-major BFA in Graphic Design and Printmaking from Appalachian State University. In her spare time, Allison enjoys gardening, book making, cooking, camping, and travel.