Shannon Grant ’96MS has always viewed Annie Wright as “a place of grounding – a place of reflection, nurturing, tradition and strength.” Now she has brought these values back to our community. As former alumni director, current Alumni Association co-president, and the driving force behind our Alumni App, Shannon combines her passions for education and innovative technologies to work for Annie Wright.
Shannon’s current work involving architectural innovations to create inspiring learning spaces embodies this Strength magazine’s theme of “tradition meets innovation.” As director of client relations in Shannon Grant ’96MS charge of business development, strategic growth and marketing at the San Francisco architecture firm MKThink, Shannon collaborates closely with clients to re-envision new models of design and education.
Despite being an architecture firm with the implicit goal of creating, MKThink’s mantra is “the greenest building is the building you don't have to build.” After they collect and analyze data, many times they talk clients out of new buildings and instead re-program the existing structures, enabling them to maintain tradition and minimize environmental impact.
Innovative strategic goals are central to almost every design project at Shannon’s company. Examples include collaborating on a new technology model to individualize students’ learning experiences, brainstorming a 21st century classroom prototype with cutting edge technology, converting a liquor store into a pirate supply store and children's tutoring center in the heart of the Tenderloin (the most crime-ridden areas in San Francisco), and contributing to a technology platform called the Minerva Project, which brings small group seminars to students around the world.
One of her main goals this year at Annie Wright is to bolster alumni connections through Facebook, LinkedIn and the AWS Alumni app. “Last year, two AWS alumnae discovered through the Alumni App that they live in the same apartment building in the West Village in New York. The same building – how cool is that?! The technology merely discovers and enables connections,” she said.
Shannon’s creative design spirit and passion for technological innovations, first spurred at Annie Wright, are only building momentum. It will be exciting to see what she does for our community and the world.