Lisa Villamil joined the School of Media and Journalism in 2014. She teaches environmental and science storytelling, experience design (UX), data visualization and visual design. She is also faculty advisor for Design for America, a national student idea incubator that teaches design thinking, collaboration, leadership and creativity.

Lisa’s research and creative scholarship seeks to bridge the gap between environmental science and social science—history, society, human geography, and public health—to help people find meaning and relevance in complex topics. Much of her work is centered in Appalachia where she partners with researchers, documentary teams, scientists, engineers, and museums on stories about the Appalachian people from Native Americans to present populations. Her primary interest is people's relationship with land, and the short and long-term rewards and consequences that follow.

Projects include “Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Bright Spots and Disparities”, a 13-state research study for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Appalachian Regional Commission. The Ohio Water Project for Ohio University, Scripps College of Communications and WOUB public radio station. Providing UX design and communication strategies to environmental scientists and engineers developing remote environmental technologies in the Appalachian Ohio Valley. And a museum interactive exhibit, “Migration on the Crossroads of History” in the Blue Ridge Mountains for the History Museum of Western Virginia.

Before coming to Carolina, Villamil was an assistant professor in the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University where she taught data visualization and information graphics. Prior to teaching, Villamil enjoyed a broad communications and design career working in architecture, advertising, publications, and product development for global brands and projects in the U.S., Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia.


  • M.A.E., Virginia Commonwealth University
  • B.A. and B.F.A., University of Missouri