BGSU expands Life Design Program


Heidi Gasser

Outside the entrance to the new Geoffrey H. Radbill Center for College and Life Design.

Heidi Gasser, Reporter

Bowling Green State University is preparing to officially welcome students to the Geoffrey H. Radbill Center for College and Life Design. 

The Math and Science Building recently underwent renovations to build a brand new life design space in the heart of campus. Plans to expand the program had been in the works for several years, and the project kicked off after BGSU received a 7.5 million dollar gift from BGSU alumnus Geoff Radbill ’68 last spring. Adrienne Ausdenmoore, Executive Director of the Radbill Center, said she is “thrilled” at this opportunity for students. 

“I want everyone at BGSU to feel welcome to the Radbill Center,” Ausdenmoore said. “Life design is an opportunity meant for any student.” 

Originally, the Life Design Program shared a space with Academic Advising on the second floor of Central Hall. Although BGSU students may be familiar with traditional academic advising services, some might not be aware of all that life design has to offer. Life Design Student Ambassador Dana Prenger said it felt like the program needed more room to breathe. 

“The thing about the second floor of Central Hall, it was combined with all of the academic advisors, so there was a lot of confusion of whether someone was there for life design or just meeting an academic advisor,” Prenger said. “The new space makes us more known, especially the front of the building, and people seeing it. Some people are enrolled in life design, and some people aren’t familiar with it at all, so I think having its own space really helps establish its identity and become a bigger thing.” 

Prenger is one of several first-ever Student Ambassadors for Life Design since the university created the position during the program expansion. 

Ausdenmoore said that the program launched in 2020, inspired by the bestselling book “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. She said, while other colleges worked to implement plans to help students cope with the effects of COVID, BGSU already had life design ready to fulfill that need. 

“What life design actually means is, how do we empower students to have the tools you need and the confidence you want to design your future – to design the college experience that works best for you, and how to design life after college,” Ausdenmoore said. 

Inside the new Geoffrey H. Radbill Center for College and Life Design. (Heidi Gasser)

In Ausdenmoore’s words, “Life design is all about taking small steps in the present to prototype experience in the future.” Coaches can assist with picking majors, connecting to career professionals and practicing better habits. 

“Instead of feeling like you have to make a huge decision, what can you do today to move you one step forward?” Ausdenmoore asked. 

The Life Design Program implements six mindset goals in student advising: get curious, reframe, collaborate, take action, embrace the process and share your story. Ausdenmoore noted that the new space was designed to encourage the “collaboration” mindset amongst students. For instance, rooms open to students and coaches are strategically located around the perimeter of the space. 

“The idea of the coaching rooms was to make coaches more visible to students,” Ausdenmoore said. 

Prenger affirmed that the space was an excellent place for collaboration and for students to seek out coaching without any pressure. 

“I really like that there’s more seating, more of a relaxed vibe. It’s a great place to meet up and hang out with friends,” Prenger said. “Anyone can request a coach at any time.” 

Ausdenmoore wants the Radbill Center to feel like a safe and welcoming place that allows students to interact with the services that life design has to offer. 

“There’s this idea of a ‘third place’…so you have your first place, your home, and you have your second place…your job or school…and third places are things like coffee shops, libraries, community centers…and so the idea of the Radbill Center and space, for me, was this idea of how do we make [this] a third place for students?” Ausdenmoore said.  

The Radbill Center is currently open to all students to study, meet with academic coaches, and attend student programs. The ribbon cutting to officially introduce the space is set for Feb. 24. 

Programming details are available at