Designing Her Future: Elise Batten

by Frances Badgett

Two years ago, Boise native Elise Batten (industrial design, 2024) was looking for a college that reflected her values and would give her the creative freedom she had enjoyed at her project-based, student-led high school One Stone. When she spoke to Jacob Joens-Poulton, a regional admissions representative, she was worried about her irregular transcript (her high school didn’t issue standard grades), but he helped her navigate the admissions process. As she celebrated her acceptance, her tuition remained a concern.

But Elise didn’t need to worry—she received the Western Award for Excellence. That scholarship filled the gap for her that enabled her to attend. In her time at Western, she has worked hard as a dedicated student and received numerous scholarships.

When she started Western, Elise wanted to be a social worker or a trauma therapist.

“I was worried about burnout. My father is a mechanical engineer, my brothers are engineers. My dad asked me if I had considered industrial design,” she said.

The combination of problem-solving and serving her community made industrial design a perfect discipline for Elise. She is also drawn to the fact that fewer women enter the field, and those who do, often leave.

“If I’m a woman in industrial design, it forges a way for other women in the field. The women who stay in industrial design are making spaces for other women. I want to do that, too.”

Elise had a solid record in designing for public good: “As a high school student, I designed portable ramps for the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise to help people who had trouble with the gravel.”

Elise is flourishing at Western. Not only is she a dedicated student, active in student clubs, invested in community service and designing projects for the common good, she is also applying her love of creative problem-solving at HP Inc. in an industrial design internship. And though she can’t disclose what exactly she’s working on, she is excited to be doing it.

“My project is about how to combine furniture and print to meet the needs of Gen Z.”

When she graduates, Elise dreams of combining her love of the outdoors, her passion for accessibility, and her creativity as an industrial designer to make the outdoors more accessible for those who have mobility issues.