Hepworth, Katherine

A portrait of a woman with a grey background.

Hepworth, Katherine

Assistant Professor, Visual Communication

Office Location: RSJ 205

Office Phone Number: (775) 784-4423

Dr Katherine Hepworth is a visual communication design practitioner-researcher with a passion for studying how the designed world influences people’s lived experience.

As a practitioner-researcher, Dr Hepworth uses her professional experience as a visual communication designer to inform her research, teaching, and public engagement activities. In her visual communication design practice, Dr Hepworth works on data visualization, information architecture, and web interface design for a broad range of media. She also has considerable professional experience in visual strategic communication, including advertisements, art direction, branding, editorial design, illustration, and logo design.

Dr Hepworth’s interdisciplinary research is highly collaborative and publicly engaged.  Her combined professional career and research experience give her an in-depth understanding of the powerful influence visual communication design artifacts have over their designers, audiences, and users. This understanding informs Dr Hepworth’s research in two broad areas: her basic research on the relationship between visual communication design and power, and her applied research on visual communication effectiveness. In the first research area, Dr Hepworth works on how to visualize data ethically, and investigates how visual communication mediates power. In the second, she works on improving students’ communication effectiveness, and investigates visual teaching practices in higher education.

Dr Hepworth teaches visual communication design, data visualization, science communication, user experience design, and digital humanities courses at the Reynolds School, the College of Science, and the College of Liberal Arts. She also teaches students at prestigious international venues such as the Digital Humanities Summer Institute in Victoria, Canada.


Ph.D. in interdisciplinary history, 2012, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

G.Dip. in graphic design, 2006, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

B.A. in international studies, 1998, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

Katherine’s website

Katherine’s Google Scholar Citations