Tori Hord completed her undergraduate degree in graphic design at Coastal Carolina University and her Masters in Graphic Design at North Carolina State University. During her time at NC State much of her research centered around digital correspondence and how the development of new technologies such as Virtual Reality could not only facilitate, but also enrich emotional expression and connectivity in an age of digitally mediated communication. She remains very much interested in how new information environments can enhance communication, the role designers might have in shaping such experiences and what that might mean in terms of design education. Other areas of research that she is passionate about are the evolution of typography, and the impacts of visual metaphor and semiotics within visual storytelling. Tori considers inspiration to be an integral pillar of both design practice and education. Inspiration sparks creativity, evokes motivation, and facilitates progress. Design is about finding creative solutions to problems, but she has learned that simply imparting tools and skills is not enough. Ultimately, it is moments of inspiration that turn skills and tools into creative and successful design. Therefore, constructing an environment that creatively empowers and inspires is the most valuable thing that she can give her students and it is her hope that providing this will encourage them to create thoughtful, successful, and inspiring design solutions. In addition to her love of design and scholarship, she enjoys hiking with her husband and their dogs, spending time with her family, and tackling a good DIY project.