Nancy Oyos Rourke was raised in San Diego, California. After high school she attended NTID/RIT. She was a cross-registered student in RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences with a graphic design major and a painting/illustration minor. Rourke continued on to earn her Master of Fine Arts degree in computer graphics design from RIT. She has worked for Xerox, IBM, and Microsoft. Rourke's Lyon lecture covered the topic, "Succeeding in the Competitive Workplace."