Program Assistant Positions in the Shapiro Design Lab

The University of Michigan Library's Shapiro Design Lab (SDL) seeks two Masters'-level students to become Program Assistants and help direct this ever-evolving experimental space founded on peer learning, engaged learning, and interdisciplinarity. The Lab encompasses a variety of learning opportunities and projects within three different spaces, all located on the first floor of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library:

PIE Space (Prototype-Inspire-Explore):
An open area that features a Prototyping Cart, collaboration hub with 55” monitor, Design Library, whiteboards, large screens, and a repurposed vending machine, the Design-o-Matic 4000.

Media Production Rooms:
Two rooms offering a variety of tools and software that can be used for audio/video production, CAD, graphic design, and more.

An area with a number of "making" tools (letterpress, sewing machine, vinyl cutter, soldering stations, 3D printers), as well as a collaboration hub and whiteboards.

In addition, we have three communities of students who work in the Lab: Residents, graduate students who work on interdisciplinary and creative projects over the course of the year within the Lab; Interns, undergraduate students who assist in the day-to-day operations of the Lab and contribute to the communities of the Lab through workshops and consultations; and Student Developers, who explore and create experimental tools and applications for the future of the Library.

Roles and Responsibilities

There are three areas that a Program Assistant can work as part of the Shapiro Design Lab, in conjunction with the Director.

  1. Coordination and management of the Design Lab's Interns and Residents, including scheduling meetings, facilitating consultations, and managing projects Interns and Residents work on
  2. Coordination and management of the Lab’s Student Developer program, ranging from internal, small-scale experiments within the Lab to contributing to large, open-source development projects like Zooniverse.
  3. Communications coordination for the Lab, including newsletter content development, designing signage for the different Lab spaces, coordinating blog posts by Design Lab staff, and working with the Library Communications’ office to best document and share the stories of the Design Lab. 

Program Assistants will be expected to work 15-20 hours per week at a rate of $20/hour. While much of the work should occur in the Shapiro Design Lab, we understand that some work will necessarily need to happen in other locations.

Required Qualifications

  • Current Masters student at the University of Michigan
  • Dependability and accountability
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and cooperatively
  • Capability for initiating projects and leadership
  • Experience supervising students (creating schedules, processing payroll, facilitating meetings, mentoring)
  • Software development and/or management experience (if applying for that part of PA)
  • Ability to respond to changing needs within the Lab, given its exploratory and experimental character
  • Interest in collaborating with individuals from a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and viewpoints

Desired Qualifications

  • Interest and experience in interdisciplinary scholarship and/or creative research, especially through the lens of the three themes listed above
  • Facilitation of partnerships across campus and with the broader community outside the University
  • Interest in various hands-on modes of learning
  • Planning and development of dynamic learning programs and communities

To apply, please fill out the following application and a CV/Resume to Applications will be accepted until September 24.

If you have any questions, please email