Meet Joe, a user experience designer who's pursuing his passion of writing a book on artificial intelligence.

Joe Toscano

When planning to pursue a PhD in behavioral economics, Joe realized that he didn't want to spend his life researching theories, he wanted to be out in the world applying them, and it seemed like an additional advertising major would do the trick.

Joe recently left his job as an experience designer for R/GA in San Francisco. Some of his clients were Google,, Lyft, TGIFriday's and several other global brands. He's now pursuing his passion of writing his book "Design Intelligence." It will help people understand both the practical application of designing artificial intelligence as well as the economic impact their decisions will make.

To get to this point, though, Joe had to go the extra mile. His work weeks often double the regular 40 hours.

"There is no doubt plenty of luck was involved as well, but I believe luck stems from being prepared when an opportunity presents itself, and that preparation stems from faithful, persistent work over time."

During his time in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Joe claims that Adam Wagler had one of the most profound impacts on his life. Joe often struggled to follow rules, preferring to learn and test things his own way. Adam allowed Joe to learn how he needed to, regardless of how off the wall his ideas were.

"The freedom he gave me helped me see that the real world isn’t about grades, it’s about getting things done and doing it well."

When looking back on his life, Joe realizes that there's never a "right" or "perfect" time for anything, and there never will be. He advises to "work hard, live faithfully and be nice. Don’t follow the crowd just because it’s easy."