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Gretchen Caldwell Rinnert

Researcher, Designer, Project Instigator


My name is Gretchen Caldwell Rinnert, and I am a professor in the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University. I teach interaction design, motion design, as well as visual ethics, and design theory. As a graduate student at NC State, I was drawn to education and creating tools for children. My thesis was about giving pre-teen girls ways to be creative and participate together in classroom activities. I have continued this work at Kent State. Since 2015 I have been working on a suite of tools that help pre-literate children learn letters and numbers. 


I am one of the founding members of the MODE Summit, a motion design educators summit that takes place every two years and is a peer-reviewed, international event. I have served as the Associate Director and Undergraduate Coordinator, and I helped to establish the User Experience Design Minor in 2016. 

Selection of Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles 

Martens, M, Rinnert, G.C. and Andersen C.(2018) “Child-Centered Design: Developing an Inclusive Letter Writing App Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 9, Human Media Interaction, 06 December 2018, Edited by Jennifer L. Miller, Publishers: Frontiers in Psychology,  Lausanne Switzerland.


Mooney, A, Martens, M, and Rinnert, G.C. (2018) “Energetic Alpha: Co-Designing a Letter Learning Tool for Three-to-Six Year Olds” Dialectic, Volume 2, Issue 1, Summer 2018, Publishers: AIGA DEC (Design Educators Community) and Michigan Publishing, New York, NY.


Coorey, Jillian and Rinnert, G.C. (2014) “Critical Writing Strategies to Improve Class Critiques” Visible Language (April 2014). The Journal of Visual Communication Research. 47 (3). pp. 30–51. ISSN 0022-2224. 

Selection of Publications

Martens, M, and Rinnert, G.C (2019) Designing for Digital Inclusion: Developing Energetic Alpha for Preschoolers Joan Ganz Cooney Center, NB: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center is the research division of Sesame Street.

Rinnert, G.C. Mooney, A, and Martens, M, (2018) “Energetic Alpha: A Design Continuum Created Through CollaborationThe Theory and Practice of Motion Design: Critical Perspectives and Professional Practice, Edited by R. Brian Stone and Leah Wahlin, Routledge, New York, NY. 

Rinnert, G.C. and Martens, M, Mooney, A,  Talbot, J. and Rinnert, B. (2017) “Energetic Alpha, Playful Handwriting Practice for Children” Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Interaction Design and Children, Stanford, California / Stanford University. Stanford, California, USA — June 27 - 30, 2017 . ACM New York, NY. Peer reviewed, pp. 687-691. 

Rinnert, G.C. (2014) “Designing for a Better Patient Experience,” Experience Design: Key Concepts and Cases, Bloomsbury Academic, London, UK, Edited by Peter Benz

Motion Design Education Summit 2015 Edited Conference Proceedings
Co-Editors: Murnieks A., Rinnert G.C. Stone R.B. and Tegtmeyer, R.

Routledge Taylor and Francis Group

Recent Exhibitions and Presentations

Research Focus

+ Co-Design 

+ Motion Design

+ Interaction Design

+ Design for Children

+ Design Education 

Design Research

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