The Department of Interior Architecture and Design held an alumni reception at the Ringling Museum on July 12. Over 40 alumni and friends had the opportunity to catch up with former classmates, hear about the department’s activities, and tour the Ca d’ Zan mansion. Department chair Lisa Waxman and associate professor Karen Myers shared the recent successes of the department and the summer program at the Ringling. Advisory board member Ron McCarty, curator of the Ca d’Zan hosted the event and provided a behind-the-scenes tour of the mansion.
A Tampa/St. Petersburg FSU Interior Design Alumni gathering was held in February, 2012, at MarketPlace Interiors, Decorative Arts Center of Florida, Tampa, FL. The event was coordinated by Advisory Board members Natalie Scott and Judy Brett. An Atlanta AlumniEvent also occurred in February at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC). Board members and alumni Craig Anderchak and Bobby Johnston coordinated the event.
Dr. Weale is remembered by many alumni as our first Interior Design Department Chair. Sadly, Dr. Weale died in June 2010. In honor of the achievements of this significant member of the faculty, a “Mary Jo Weale Fund for Excellence” was established with the FSU Foundation. The fund allows the department to support those projects and needs for students and faculty that lead to national prominence. Donations by check to this on-going fund can be made out to “FSU Foundation-Mary Jo Weale Fund, Interior Design” and sent to the department at 1038 William Johnston Building, FSU, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1231.
The interior design department announced the gift of $100,000 to the Interior Design program from Judy Brett (BS 1973). The gift was in the form of a universal life policy with the ID program as beneficiary and was given in honor of Dr. Mary Jo Weale. This donation will allow the program to have funds needed in the future to seek continued excellence. Ms. Brett is a member of the FSU Interior Design Advisory Board.
FSU Alum and Interior Design Advisory Board member Julie Schulte was awarded fellowship in ASID at their awards celebration in June. Julie has been an active member of the Florida Coalition for Interior Design since 1986. She played an active role in the passage of favorable legislation in the state. She currently serves on the ASID Foundation Board of Trustees and has served on the ASID National Board, the national nominating committee and the education training and advisory council. She has also been active in the North Florida Chapter of ASID. FSU is very proud of Julie!
Grant Eric Gribble (BS 1984) is serving as chair of the FSU Interior Design Advisory Board. He is a partner in the firm Gribble Interior Group in Orlando. An FSU interior design alumnus, Grant was a founding member of the Interior Design Advisory Board. Grant’s projects have been published in many local and national magazines and he is an ASID Chapter Medalist Award winner. He is a Past President of ASID Florida North Chapter and currently serves as a National Spokesperson in the Residential Category.
Kyle Coon (MS 2002) currently serves as VP of Operations at COSCO & Associates, Inc., an architectural firm and general contractor that provides design/build services nationwide. “Since graduating from FSU, I have also obtained my General Contractor license in both Florida and North Carolina, so I am able to straddle that fence between design and construction. We specialize in Houses of Worship, with current projects stretching from Pittsburgh to Dallas and ranging from $3M-16M in overall project cost. My interior design education has enabled me to interact effectively with our in-house architects, interior designers, and graphic designers, while also allowing me to utilize my construction background. Many thanks to the FSU Interior Design faculty!”
Nikki Nguyen (B.S. 2012) has accepted a position with Studio M in Tampa. NIkki writes, “I already love the team and environment here. I can’t think of a better way to start my design career!” Congrats Nikki!
Karen Johnson (Gabbert-Fleming) (BS, 2005) joined the firm, Long & Associates Architects / Engineers, Inc. in Tampa in 2006. She has been involved in all aspect of interior design working on projects such as the AIA award winning Strawberry Crest High School, Manatee High School Davis Building, and the Pinellas County Health Department Mid County Center. In 2012 she became the proud mother of a little boy, Harper.
Crysti Rife-Fafard (BS 2001) is licensed by the FL Board of Architecture and Interior Design and has been w/ Harris Corporation(NYSE: HRS) for over a decade. She started her career as a Space Planner, preparing AutoCAD layouts for construction and providing overall interior design project execution for a variety of corporate spaces. In January 2012, she was promoted to a new position in the Facilities Management organization as Operations Supervisor, responsible for daily physical plant functions for 75+ buildings (~3.4Msf) and 452 acres. As one of two LEED Accredited Professionals on staff, her main responsibilities center on supporting activities to ensure a certification on new, major construction projects. Crysti and her husband, Steven, live in Rockledge, FL and are the proud parents of three boys Aubré, Ezra and Deacon.
Krystil Hernandez (MS, 2009), is working at Gettys in Miami as a designer. She writes, “We’ve done several projects from the Hard Rock, Cancun to the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. Since some of our projects have been out of the country, using the metric system during Studio IV was very helpful!”
Katie LaCamera, a recent (BS 2012) graduate has begun her design career with Jonathan Parks Architects in Sarasota. Her first project is an Alzheimer’s facility. Katie says, “the goal is to create comfortable resort style living that appeals to seniors and their children who come to visit.” Congratulations Katie!
Monte Olinger (MS 1983) is the Creative Director and a Principal of Baker Barrios Architects in Orlando. Congratulations to Monti on the publication of his article titled, Making a Difference: Resident-Focused Models for Memory Care Facilities in the Journal of Interior Design 37(3).
BAKER BARRIOS | Architecture | Interior Design | Planning | Landscape Architecture
Stephen Pararo (BA 1974) and Zach Azpeitia (BS 2002), pictured at left, ofPineapple House Interior Design in Atlanta, GA have enjoyed several industry honors in 2010. The team won the GOLD for the Best Interior Design of a Custom Home from the Dream Home 2010 National Competition, then shared recognition by Veranda magazine and ADAC as the Southeast Designer of the Year : “Best Living Room.” Additionally, the duo won the Georgia Chapter’s ASID Design Excellence GOLD Award for a Residential Single Space that they created in Jupiter, Florida. They are joined at Pineapple House by a third FSU alum, Mollie Chalk (BS 2007) who was recently interviewed and profiled on Designer Discussion by Orchid Ceramics.
Sue Markham (BS 1975, MS 2002) was the first chair our Interior Design Advisory Board, and sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council. She has served as a member-at-large on the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) National Board and served as Chair of the National Nominating Committee. At the ASID Interiors 05 Conference she received a Presidential Citation for her work on the Member Services Delivery Task Force. Sue served as a judge for the Best of NEOCON 2005 awards in Chicago, and was the keynote speaker for the 2005 IDEC South Regional Conference. She is a Fellow of ASID.
Kenan Fishburne (MS 1978) has been appointed to the Florida State Board of Architecture and Interior Design to serve a 3-year term. She is the owner of Main Street Design, Inc., in Quincy, FL, a four-member, full-service, licensed interior design firm specializing in both commercial and residential projects for over 20 years. She is a new full-time Assistant Professor in the FSU Interior Design Program.
Chase Lackey (BS 2011) has been living in Florence, Italy since graduation and has worked with a travel agency seeing the world! “One thing i noticed in Italy is the enormous amounts of recycling they undertake, especially cardboard! So as I walked the streets of Italy I decided that I would give some of this cardboard a new life.” Check out Chase’s latest endeavors with furniture design and recycled cardboard here.
Ashley Weatherstone (BS 2009) earned her MFA at SCAD Atlanta and is now on the IIDA Georgia Chapter Board as the Social Media Leader. She works full time at VeenendaalCave in Atlanta as an interior designer.
Stacey Bitzer Schimka (BS 1995) writes that since graduation she has worked in Atlanta and Chicago in high end residential design. She and her husband ran an up-scale kitchen and bath showroom for eight years outside of Chicago. She is now looking to return to school for a masters degree in order to eventually become a design educator, and hopefully teach design history!
George Scammell (BS 1983) is Vice President of Global Interior Design for Wyndham Worldwide. He is responsible for creating, coordinating, disseminating and administering all hotel and timeshare interior design brand standards globally . He and his team are charged with creating imaginative state of the art design for Wyndham’s hotels utilizing in-house and consultant resources, with an emphasis on full service and mid-scale brands. He is a licensed interior designer with over 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry. His career focus has been hotels, resorts, international resorts and restaurants. He is also a Professional Member of both the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). George started his career in hospitality at age 17, working as a host at Walt Disney World.
Tina Apostolou (BS 2009, MS 2010) writes from New York, “I’m having an amazing time and meeting a lot of great people. The city is amazing… so much to do and so much inspiration! I’m living in the East Village with a friend of mine. I just started an internship with Jonathan Adler Design. I’m working with the Head Designer and Mr. Adler himself. I’ve already done complete construction drawings for several furniture pieces along with 3D renderings, am helping with the redesign of their showroom, and chose a complete color palette for a new line of pottery. It is an amazing opportunity. Everyone who has seen my portfolio has been really impressed with my work and I owe a big thanks to all the FSU faculty!!”
Brenna Lang (BS 2006) has now been with the Commercial Interiors group at HKS Architects, Inc. in Orlando, Florida for 6 years. “I am enjoying every opportunity that they throw my way. Our Interiors group works on a range of market sectors such as corporate offices, higher education, & sports and entertainment, among others. I strongly believe that the ID program at Florida State prepared me well to enter the design community. Not a day passes that I don’t use the knowledge I gained in the program.” Brenna is also LEED® AP.
Craig Anderchak (BS 1997) has recently become a Senior Project Director for Veenendaal/Cave, Atlanta. Craig is a member of our Interior Design Advisory Board.
Corey Ciampi Greer (BS 1994) has been with SOM New York for years and has now been promoted to an Associate Partner in SOM’s interior department in their San Francisco office. A mother with two small children, she has been traveling all over the world doing space planning for British Petroleum In Qatar and projects in Spain. She writes. “I have such fond memories of FSU and the program.”
Jim Scholtens (BFA 1981) is the Project Management Supervisor for Missco Contract Sales. MISSCO has been headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi since 1919, and has an excellent in-house design staff and experienced sales representatives located throughout the South. Jim has been with the firm over 20 years.
Raghavendra (Shan) Shanbhag (MS 2006), left, wrote that he has returned to his former employer (WATG) in Orlando. “I have been working as a Project Designer withWATG since April 2010. Right now I am working on a Hotel/ Convention center project in India.”
Sofia Cabassa (BS 2009) writes from Guatemala that she has just gotten two part time jobs (despite a bad global economy!) ” The job consists of helping design a hospital for kids with cancer. I truly love it and the interior architect I am working with is great and I know I will learn a lot. The second job involves designing the common areas and the model apartments for an assisted living building. I am very excited because this one is all on me,although that makes me super nervous! Thank you, for without all of you I wouldn´t have had this opportunity. I truly learned a lot and I loved it.”
Rachelle McClure (MFA 2008) and Magnet Lab employee Sean Coyne received a patent for their cradle design for homeless shelters aptly named “Cradle of Hope”. Their collaboration began in the summer of 2007, when they were classmates in a Graduate Furniture Design class led by Associate Professor Jill Pable, whose research and instructional focus had long included projects for the homeless. Having received much publicity, the “patent holders” are looking for a manufacturer to get the cradle into production. For more information click here.
In the file under “adventure”, Sam Wloch (BS 2010) and Courtney Sptizner (BS 2010) write that they’ve made it to Korea, and teaching English to elementary students in Pohang, South Korea. “We’re having a really good time here!” They teach at different schools and live in different parts of the city. Check on their lives in Korea through their blog https://stumblingthroughsouthkorea.blogspot.com/. Sam and Courtney both write in it, so there is always something new… and they post lots of pictures!
Joseph Hittinger (BS 1990), was recently appointed to the Accreditation Commission of CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation). He is principal of Joseph Hittinger Designs, Los Altos, CA.
Alicia McCorkle (BS 1995) writes that she is 1 of 2 designers that handle the state of Florida for Business Interiors by Staples. “It was one of the best times of my life being in school at FSU and studying Interior Design. But I really do enjoy what I do now!”
Amy O’Keefe (MS 2003) is an Interior Designer with The Sechrest Design Company in Tallahassee. She is NCIDQ Certified and licensed in the State of Florida as a professional Interior Designer. Amy is an active member of ASID and is currently serving as the Tallahassee Design Community Coordinator. Her work experience includes time spent in retail management and sales, marketing, advertising and public relations. Amy has been an active member of the Junior League of Tallahassee since 2003 and has utilized her skills to assemble the Community Outreach Committee in the Tallahassee Design Community. They have worked on a year-long interiors project for the Tree House, which is a program operated by Children’s Home Society of Florida.
Phil Bulone (MS 1997) was recently promoted to the Dean of Education at the International Academy of Design & Technology (IADT), Tampa, Florida. Congrats, Phil!
Giselle Newman (BS 1982) has joined STG Design, a national architectural and design firm with offices in Nashville, Austin, Houston and Tucson. STG Design welcomes Giselle to their Nashville office and states “this collaboration of talents increases the involvement STG Design enjoys in the Nashville community while giving STG’s clients and staff expanded resources and design depth in meeting the challenges of today’s business and design environment.
Sheena Wurm (BS 2005) was promoted to Associate at Baker Barrios Architects Inc., Orlando. She was been with the firm since 2006 as an Interior Designer. Her experience and abilities across the markets of hospitality, corporate, retail, restaurant, and healthcare made her a valuable member of the team. Recognized for its innovative and award-winning designs, Baker Barrios Architects Inc. is a leading architectural, interior design and planning firm and. serves clients throughout the United States.
Peter Overman (BS 2006) writes that he’s living in Chicago and working at a mid-sized firm called Archideas. “We’ve had some really great projects, one of which was featured in the 2006 edition of Corporate Interiors. I’m really enjoying my job. Currently I am working on a 72,000 sf, 5 story office project in Seattle. In my short time here, I’ve been able to have a strong influence on the project and have worked on many conceptual renderings, SketchUp models, as well as typical drafting stuff like construction details and RCPs. It’s great to put so many skills to use in my job. Let the students know that FSU grads can get great jobs in the big city!” Peter will start a Masters of Architecture degree at the University of Illinois in Fall 2009.
Ashley McGrew (MS 2008) Despite a worsening economy, Ashely recently went to work at Government Services IPT, out of Lanham, MD on government contracts around the world. “Right now, I am working as a space planner specifically on the Department of Energy contract in SW DC. We are in charge of all of the DOE facilities and all of their renovations and building updates. Working in DC has been fun. Our building is located directly behind the Smithsonian castle so there is always a lot to do. When it’s nice out we walk over to the mall and the museums for our lunch break. At the moment, Angelina Jolie is shooting a movie outside our building so we’ve been taking our lunch breaks when they’re filming to try and get a peek of her and Brad Pitt 🙂 Always something going on…! “
Hannah Mendoza (MFA 2004) is a full-time assistant professor in Interior Architecture at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She and her studentsare currently engaged in designing a primary school that will be built in Ghana. The students are working toward raising the $50,000 for the materials and have been instrumental in bringing in community and industry support. In January, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity, the students will be traveling to Ghana to participate in the build. This is the first of what will be an ongoing design/build projects around the world (Mexico is the 2012 project location).
Laura Smiley Bryant (MS 2007), left, was recently featured in Home & Design magazine (Vol 6/Issue 3, p. 8 and 9). Laura works with Design & More in Tallahassee.
Sarah Zorn (MFA 2008) reports that she has been hired as a design assistant atAdrienne Neff Design Services in New York. “I have been doing a little bit of everything this past year–3 internships and a lot of freelancing with various designers in the city. Things have been a little slow here in the city for most design firms, so it was hard to find work in the beginning. I think it’s picking up though.”
Marisa Grande (MS 2006) is working at STG Design, Inc. in Austin, TX. ” My title is interior designer, but I work on everything: Revit construction documents, proposals, pricing notes, detailing, finish selection, client meetings, construction administration, graphic rendering, animations, etc… Ii feel that I have been pretty lucky to have had the opportunity to wear so many “hats”. I hope all is well there in Tallahassee.”
J. Emory Johnson (BS 1972) was recently honored by the College of Human Sciences at FSU with a bench dedicated in his honor, for his long-term leadership of their college Development Board. Emory has practiced design in Tallahassee for years and has been an avid supporter of design licensure. He continues to share his time in serving on our Interior Design Advisory Board and chairs the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Council. Thanks, Emory, for all your service to FSU and the profession!
Stepahnie Moss (BS 2008) has been working with VOA Associates in the Orlando office. She recently completed a graduate degree in Interior Design at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). “I know that I would not have been able to perform as I did at the graduate level had I not been prepared by the faculty of FSU. I would like to thank all of the professors who challenged, inspired and encouraged me during my undergraduate studies as the lessons learned have continued to inform my decision making and design process.”
Susan Huey Oster (BS 1990) after studying lighting at FSU was selected for an IALD internship and shortly after graduation founded LIT Light ing Design, having workedfor more than a decade with some of the leading lighting designers in the country. LIT has been recognized in national and regional publications such as Record Lighting, Interior Design, Architectural Lighting and Architectural Digest. Several of LITs projects have won International Illumination Design Awards by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, including the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, San Francisco Fashion Center and Hawaiian Electric Company/Honolulu.
Kelly Bruss (BS 2006) writes that after graduation she moved back to Orlando and began working for IKEA as an Interior Design Co-worker. “Not only have I been able to work on room designs for IKEA Orlando, but have also been able to participate in the build-ups for IKEA Sunrise and Tampa. Later this year I will be heading to the Elizabeth, NJ store to be a part of the remodel team. I’m really excited that I’m part of such a great company where my design skills can thrive, and that empowers people to create their own spaces affordably. Thanks so much to the FSU faculty for the solid foundation that has prepared me for a career I love.”
Nezar Saleh Abdul-hafeez, Ph.D. (MS 2005) is now serving as an Assistant Professor of Arts and Art Education and Vice Dean of Community College at Taibah University, Saudi Arabia. “You cannot imagine how much I miss the Department and all my teachers!”
Lindsay Goeb (BS 2006) took a year off after graduation and then entered the master’s program of architecture at FIU in Miami. “With a year and half left, I am definitely engulfed in the midst of projects galore. I am definitely learning a lot and am in a great learning environment and city. I am still using everything I learned in Interior Design and FIU professors were impressed with things I knew already from FSU. I plan on eventually finding a job after graduation in Tampa in the hospitality category and pursuing LEED certification.”
Jennifer Luckey (BS 1994) moved to Atlanta right after graduation and worked for Nancy Braitwaite Interiors, doing high-end interiors. After 4 years she then went to work with Gandy Peace, also in Atlanta. During her 5 years there she had two projects published, in House Beautiful and Veranda. Now on her own, she also teaches a design class at the University of West Georgia. “I still refer to my notes from history classes!”
Nick Hernandez (BS 2008) writes that he is now with International Design Concepts in Miami. The firm specializes in high-end hotels, resorts and spas in the Carribean. “The hotel project I did for Studio IV was just so interesting to me that I decided to look into the hospitality field. We are now working on a Spa/Club community in St. Lucia. It’s thrilling to show up to work every day; it’s amazing, I love it!”
Teresa Finch (BS 1984) has been a representative of Wilsonart products for over 15 years, 9 years with the manufacturer. She calls on specifers in the Central Florida territory. She is a member of IIDA and ASID and most recently joined the FSU Interior Design Advisory Board
Meredith (Green) Feeney (BS 2000) After graduation Meredith worked for several years at the architecture firm of Cannon Design in Jacksonville, Florida. She became a licensed interior designer in 2003 and served on the IIDA Board of Directors in 2005-06. ” In 2005, I got married and moved back to Tallahassee, where I started my own interior design business called Conundrum Design & Consulting, Inc. in January 2007. In December 2007, my daughter was born.”
Michelle VanderDoes (BS 2006, MFA 2008) was recently hired by Epstein in Chicago. For over eight decades A. Epstein and Sons International, Inc. has provided companies worldwide with expertise in architecture, engineering, construction, interior design and graphic design. “I’m working as a sustainability analyst! Basically I’ll be working on the different projects to make sure the design teams are keeping on track for a sustainable/LEED building, helping to determine sites, materials and other aspects. Plus I’ll be acting as a consultant for clients who are interested in LEED certification and other aspects of sustainability. I’m extremely excited about this opportunity! Thank you ID faculty for everything! I am truly here because of your guidance.”
Whitney Schaap (BS 2008) moved to Chicago and was offered a position with high-end residential design firm,Frank Ponterio Interior Design. “Right now I am working on a 30,000 square foot David Adler mansion with an original Frances Elkins interior. Most of the original pieces from the home were auctioned off, but a few remained intact. The new homeowners want us to recreate the original interior with a modern twist. I have been on an antique hunt looking for original pieces all over the US and Europe. This has been an unreal experience.”
Michelle Price (BS 2008) has accepted a position at Design Group West in Naples, FL. DGW has numerous FSU grads. “I am so excited! They have a beautiful office and a very friendly staff!”
Tara Kosinsky (BS 2008) writes: “I am happy to say that I am now a Chicago resident! I got a job with The Childs/Dreyfus Group. They specialize in contract and model design. I want to thank you all at FSU for all your advice, encouragement, and knowledge. I would not be here today if it weren’t for my mentors. I know there is alot to learn in the real world but I am ready and willing to soak it all in. I am excited about all the traveling and opportunities that come along with this job and with living in Chicago.”
Melissa Wallace (BS 2008) is part of an increasing trend toward recent graduates quickly achieving LEED AP status. After her exposure to sustainability in the program and having taken the Sustainability elective, she writes: “I just wanted to let you know that I took the LEED-CI exam yesterday morning and passed!! I also wanted to say thank you to Dr. Lisa Waxman for helping me do that by introducing me to this part of design that has become so important to me.”
Jennifer Williams (MS 2007) now works for Heitz Parsons Sadek, an international luxury hotel design firm in West Palm Beach. “We mainly do work in China, India, and Australia with some other Asian countries as well. So I am only using the metric system. We have another office in Beijing so I am actually working with people from China which can be interesting… especially with the language barrier.”
Lauren Howell (BS 2007) is now in Chicago working with the architecture firmZimmerman Weintraub Associates, located on Michigan Avenue. “I love the job, the workplace, and the office environment. The office is actually located in the Fine Arts Building, where Frank Lloyd Wright used to have an office. So during breaks, I’ll sometimes go stand outside of his door and absorb the vibes. My desk in right in front of a big window looking out on Michigan Avenue and the lake. My position is half funded by Marriott, so I am a Marriott employee, and the other half is working on architecture and design projects that come into the ZWA office. The position with Marriott is reviewing and working on the development of new Marriott Fairfields. Thank you for all you did for me as a student and thereafter. I am constantly reminded of the superior education I received as a student at FSU. I often find myself to be better trained than designers with 2-3 more years of experience, and that is a testimonial to the fantastic professors at the FSU ID department and the passion they put into the classrooms.”
Claudia Blackwell (MA 2002) is now an instructor at the new Ai (Art Institute) of Jacksonville teaching the design curriculum..
Jorge Mateo (BFA 1993) is a principal of MDG Studio Inc. in Tallahassee. Before founding MDG in 2000, Mateo worked for Thompson, Ventullett, Stainback and Associates in Atlanta. His local projects include the Governor’s Club Lounge, The Red Elephant Pizza and Grill and Sharkey’s Coffee & Bistro, as well as historic renovation projects such as the Federal Historic Courthouse in downtown Tallahassee.
Lena McLane (MS 2002) has been working since graduation in the field of museum and exhibit design, as well as environmental graphic design with a firm in Tallahassee. Last fall she took the NCIDQ exam and PASSED all three sections! Congrats! She has projects all over the country – from Minnesota and Ohio to Florida and Louisiana, as well as on several islands in the Caribbean. Among her current projects is the National Museum for the Cayman Islands, where she is working together with an architect and historic preservation specialist from Jamaica on restoring the late 18th-19th-century building and integrating the museum exhibits with minimal intrusion into the structure and fabric of the original edifice. The projects (pictured above) are the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Ohio and the other is the National Environmental Center in the Turks and Caicos Islands. “I wanted to express my sincerest gratitude to all of the professors and faculty of the Department. I would like to consider my success to be a success of the Department as well. Thank you all very much!”
Anna Daugherty (BS 2006) writes that she can’t believe “It’s been a year and a half since I graduated from the wonderful Interior Design program at Florida State! I am working at a firm called The Argyle Group as an Assistant Designer in New York City for a year now. We are a design-build firm with a focus on sustainable design. I love it here! My office is located in SoHo among many amazing furniture and lighting showrooms. I have had the chance to draft out plans for an organization building orphanages in Kenya, work on my own projects, and pretty much everything in between. We are beginning to develop our own furniture line as well. Working in a small firm is great but lots of work. My bosses are constantly telling me how I am the glue that holds everything together- which I take as a great compliment. They are also supported (and paid!) my quest to become a LEED A P. Working on projects in the “real world” is so much different then working on studio projects. The difference being- BUDGETS! I wish I was back in Studio specifying ten $8,000 light fixtures without blinking an eye or thinking of how I had to sell the client on it. I must say- there have been fewer all-nighters to get projects done since making the transition from school to the “real world”. Let the students know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!”
Alyssa Prohias (BS 2007) was working for RTKL in Miami, FL., but really wanted a full New York City experience! She is now working with Mancini Duffy in New York. “I’ve found a fabulous apartment in Chelsea… walking distance to my job in Union Square…. and am just thrilled to be pursuing a dream. It was very hard to leave my job in Miami, but reassuring to know that I had everyone’s support… and more importantly their respect. This also made me realize how much potential I have to make an impact in NYC. Thank you for preparing me for my career! I’ve realized that I truly love design and that I entered it with enough knowledge and confidence that I developed at FSU to be successful. Thank you all!”
Krupa Patel (MS 2007) is now working with Mulvanny G2 Architecture. She will be working on corporate mixed use projects.
Rachel Sawyer Clements (BS 2003) worked in Naples for three years as an award-winning residential designer for Design Group West, and relocated to Ocala in January. She is working at OEC Business Interiors. She writes that she is “interested in making contacts in the area (especially considering I’m trapped in “Gator Country”!!) so feel free to contact me (email@example.com).”She passed the NCIDQ (March 2007) and just received licensure.
Katrina Kostik (BS 2007) writes that after her first and only interview, after a month of waiting, she finally was made an offer. “I guess all of my worry and waiting had truly paid off. I am now working as a designer with Hirsch Bedner Associates in Atlanta, and love every second of my job. I started working on a hotel located in Macau, China, and am now working on the new Park Hyatt Hotel in Mexico City. It’s amazing how challenging hospitality design can be! I love the office. There are a lot of young designers at the Atlanta office which I think helps keep fresh ideas coming in. Plus, I get the chance to make new friends and work with great people. Thanks FSU Interior Design Dept. for all you’ve done!”
Grant Preisser (MS 2002) emailed that he is now the Director of Design for the interiors group of Heery International, Atlanta, GA. He continues to teach as an adjunct professor at American InterContinental University in Buckhead, and, good news… just passed the NCIDQ!
Emily (Perkins) Ely (MS 2006) was recently married and is now working as an Interior Designer for Gilchrist Ross Crowe Architects in Tallahassee. “They do mostly institutional facilities such as FAMU Pharmacy, FSU’s Johnston Building (the Suwannee Dining Hall), FSU’s Landis Hall, etc. My FSU grad studio projects really helped, so thank you! I’m really happy here because they are very practical in terms of design and budget, which I think are some of my strong points.”
Melody Prescott Osborne (BS 2003) continued her education after leaving FSU and graduated from Louisiana State University in Spring 2006 with her Master of Architecture degree. Since then, she’s relocated to Tampa, Florida where she has been working full-time at a local architecture firm, and studying to become a licensed architect. “Please add my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome other FSU ID alumni to contact me for a networking contact in the Tampa Bay area. Go Noles!”
J’aime (Brock) Kent (MS 2004) is a Residential Designer with Carolina Design Group in Charlotte, NC. They design high-end custom homes in the Charlotte Region and throughout the Southeastern United States and were just awarded a Gold Metal for “Best in American Living” at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. She is also an adjunct Interior Design Instructor at the Art Institute of Charlotte by night, teaching History of Interiors II, Professional Practice, and Residential Design.
Kelly Williamson (MS 2006) was recently informed that she has been awarded first prize for the EDRA38 Student Paper Award. As recipient of this award, she will receive: airfare allowance of up to $500, conference registration fee paid by EDRA, EDRA one-year membership, and even one banquet ticket. The purpose of the Environmental Research Association (EDRA) is the advancement and dissemination of environmental design research, thereby improving understanding of the interrelationships between people, their built and natural surroundings, and helping to create environments responsive to human needs. Congratulations Kelly!
Lora Moore (BS 2006) has moved back home to >Maryland, where she is an Associate Lighting Designer withPalindrome Lighting Design. She just filmed a screen test and met with a producer for an HGTV lighting special. ” I am going to be on TV! It will be very good exposure for the company. So you’ll have to look for me on TV later in the year. I supposedly look a lot like the host of the show, so they are probably going to use me in a limited way so as to not confuse the audience. Maybe if I dye my hair another color I will get more TV time!”
Kathryn O’Neil (BS 2005) began with Robb & Stucky (www.RobbStucky.com) in Fort Myers directly after graduating but has now moved to the Tampa location. Katie holds the position of Design Assistant/ CAD Specialist. “I just wanted to say thank you for the state of the art program that landed me such a great position.”
Christopher Priest (BS 1985, MS 1988) is now the with the Art Institute Online. He has a background working in virtual classrooms and hosting web based seminars.
Keri Ferguson (BS 2004) now works for ERICKSON ASSOCIATES, LLC in Naples, FL, that specializes in high-end residential. “I absolutely love my job, and am amazed at the opportunities and responsibilities that I have been given at such a young age. I am actually accompanying the firm’s biggest clients to Paris this October to visit the showrooms and markets! I would not be where I am without the help of the faculty at FSU.” She will soon sit for the NCIDQ exam.
Eric Jones (BS 1990) has been with Rooms To Go since its inception eleven years ago. Living in Lakekland, FL, Eric is a regional design manager overseeing twenty-five stores and ten designers and…”loving every minute of it!”
Amy Boyce (BS 2006) took our sustainability elective in the Spring 2006 term. She now tells us that she just took the LEED AP exam and PASSED!! “I am officially the youngest AP in Atlanta!! The class was a great way to begin preparing for the exam.” She works at MSTSD, a mid-sized commercial firm offering Master Planning, Architecture and Interior Design. “It is such a learning experience working so closely with other parts of the design profession. I am so proud to hold a degree from the FSU Interior Design Program. My knowledge is being put to good use!” FSU is helping keep Atlanta GREEN!
Maccarena Aguilera (BS 2006) reports good news right after graduation: “I flew up to Seattle a couple of weeks after graduation for interviews, and got a job offer on the spot and I’m loving it here! I am working for Christian Grevstad, Inc. We are a small firm that does mainly residential work. We work on VERY high end projects, and custom design a lot of the furniture we use. The company has done some amazing projects, and has won many awards for the work they have done. Our webpage is christiangrevstad.com. Thanks to all the faculty for everything they did for me!”
Erica Wich (MS 2006) has taken the position of Assistant Interior Designer with Lindy Thomas Interiors, Naples, FL. The firm focuses on high-end residential work. She will be assisting the lead designer on all projects as well as providing in-house CAD. Ms. Thomas is currently working on a 17,000 sq. ft. residence for an ambassador. “I am amazed and utterly excited to have the opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted,” Erica wrote.
Ashley (Priest) Combs (BS 2002) is currently the head of the in-house design/project management department of Phillips Development & Realty in Tampa, FL. View aspects of the firm at www.phillipsdevelopment.com.
Brad Whitney (BS 1994, MFA 1998), was awarded “Best Paper Presentation: Member’s Choice ” at the 2006 Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) International Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. Brad ’s paper was entitled: “Immersion of the Senses: Installation and the Interior ”. He is currently an associate professor at Virginia Tech. Brad serves IDEC as the coordinator of the annual Design Competition and served as the moderator for the Creative Scholarship Session at the conference.
Stacey Kirby (BS 1994), Peter “Gage” Hartung (BS 1991), and Amy O’Keefe (MS 2003), left to right above, were prominantly featured in the November 2005 edition of the Florida State Times. These three outstanding alumni represent how graduates can build on an excellent education to find success in the design industry. In the articles, under “Designing Seminoles”, all three credited strong Interior Design faculty as major influences in their lives. In the articles Dean Sally McRorie was quoted: “With a revised undergraduate curriculum, fast-growing graduate program and nine full-time faculty, the department of interior design provides remarkable academic and professional preparation for the best new designers in the field.”
Karla Wilkinson Cavalier (BS 2004) has been working as an interior project designer since May 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia for Ai Group, a top 15 rated commercial interior design firm, specializing in hospitality. Since she started her career she has worked on the following projects; Grand Hyatt Atlanta (as designer), Ritz-Carlton Buckhead (as designer), Ritz-Carlton Atlanta (project designer/management), Hyatt Regency Reston Ballroom (project designer/management), and most recently the public spaces of the Hyatt Regency Reston (project designer). Also, she will be sitting for the NCIDQ in October. “For some really exciting news… my first project has been published in the most recent issue of Hotel Design magazine. I want to thank all of the FSU faculty for the excellent education and encouragement you have provided me. I would not be where I am today without your help and high expectations.”
Dorry (Robuck) Christy (BS 1974) is presently working as an interior designer in Sebring, Florida. She has been a professional member of ASID since 1978. “I have had what I would call a successful career for 30 years working in interior design and have been so grateful for all of the opportunities this career has afforded me.” A true Seminole Family, her husband, Ed Christy, is an FSU graduate and their son Trey graduates in Spring 2006 (an English major.) Dorry was here in Tallahassee for the Mary Jo Weale Reception in October 05. “Thanks for keeping the Interior Design program at FSU top notch. I am always proud to tell people that my degree in design is from FSU. What a great job you are doing!!”
Fran Murphy (BA 1955) was just featured in Florida Design (Vol. 17 #1). The beautiful home of John and Marlene Boll of Key Largo, Florida evokes villas found along the lush Tuscan coast. Fran has been featured inArchitectural Digest and other premier design publications. She is owner of Fran Murphy Interiors of Juno Beach. Kristy Mylott (BS 2007) has started work at Fran’s firm. Kristy writes: “I’m learning a lot more about high end residential design and Fran’s times at FSU! Thanks for a rewarding experience at Florida State.”
Shou-Jung (SJ) Wei (MS 2006) wasted no time after graduation getting a great job! She has signed on with WATG (Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo) in Orlando. They are one of the world’s leading hospitality, leisure and entertainment design firms. You may find out more about the company at www.watg.com.
Dana Hotchkiss (BS 1975) has just moved back to Tallahassee to be at least “temporarily” retired. While living in New York she designed and made furniture for sale at Bloomingdale’s stores and wholesale to showrooms across the country. Welcome back to Florida!
Jen Shafe (BS 2005) is now employed with Pavlik Yacht Design, that is now separate from Pavlik Design Team in Ft. Lauderdale. “I can’t believe I was able to find a job so soon, so I guess all the hard work I put in the ID Program really paid off. My teachers were great and all the incoming students are really lucky to have teachers who enjoy teaching and helping students understand what it is like in the real world!”
Nezar Abdul Hafeez (MS 2004) is now an assistant professor in the department of art education at Taibah University in Medina, Saudi Arabia. He also acts as the assistant director of the English Language Center at the university. He writes: “what is cool about the center is that all of the English teachers that we have are native speakers (Americans and British), which is good for me to continue practicing my English language!” Nezar also received his PhD from FSU in Art Education.
John W. Lay (BS 1996) is the Vice President Design/Marketing for the Casablanca Design Group in Marietta, GA. The firm is a design/manufacture facility that focuses in the arena of restaurant design. You may find out more about the company at www.casablancadesign.com.
Amy Hill (BS 1996) emailed: “I can’t believe it’s almost been 10 years since I left FSU. I still think fondly of my time there, especially within the interior design department. I am still working at Visnick & Caulfield Associates in Boston, and have been with them for almost 7 years now, doing mostly corporate work. I recently started teaching as an adjunct professor at the New England School of Art & Design (a division of Suffolk University), which has given me so much more respect than I already had for my professors at FSU! They have asked me back for the spring semester, so I guess I did OK – although I must admit the first semester is a bit nerve-wracking!”
Benjamin Lynn (BS 2002) writes that since his visit last March, he has settled in San Antonio, Texas. Throughout the summer he worked with Kimberly Marks (another fellow alumni …BS 1981) as an intern atMarks Design Group drawing illustrations for a book she has written to serve as a study guide for the codes and structures portion of the NCIDQ. Through a friend he got an interview at Lake|Flato Architects (AIA firm of the year 2004) and started working there after Labor Day. “I’m working with a fantastic team on a really exciting project,” he said, “the master plan to transform a 100 year old former brewery into an urban rejuvenation – mixed use res/com/entertainment complex. I’ve already learned a ton and am very enthusiastic to be surrounded by so many like-minded individuals working to set a precedent for environmental responsibility in the design/building industry.”
Stacey (Steger) O’Keefe (BS 2005) is now living In Baton Rouge, La. and is working for Tipton Associates,architecture | planning | interiors, a commercial architectural firm. She is one of two interior designers on staff and works with about 10 architects. The majority of their work load is from universities all over the country. They work with Aramark in designing dining halls, restaurant areas, and conference areas. They also do other projects, such as banks, and private restaurant facilities. “I love my job and have been given great design freedom. It is wonderful being able to be accepted into the architecture world and I am looking forward to my future here.”
Jillian Kaplan Tribble (MA 2005) is now a LEED Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System® is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. As a LEED AP Jillian will facilitate an integrated design and construction approach that includes multi-discipline green resources and tools. Results are reflected not only in project interiors, but also in site use, construction methods and materials, and systems design and results. Her graduate research focuses on areas of influence for Interior Designers in the LEED Building Certification process. She is teaching as an adjunct in Basic Design in the fall term.
Lisa (Moskowitz) Yaker (BS 1999) and her then fiancé relocated to Naples shortly after both graduated from FSU. After working for a prominent design firm and notable builder in Naples for just three years, Lisa openedDesign Elements of Florida, Inc. The business has successfully grown into a thriving design firm specializing in children’s rooms and nursery décor, as well as a focus on architectural interior elements. Lisa will be featured this September ’05 in Gulfshore Business magazine as one of the 40 Under 40 successful business owners in southwest Florida under 40 years old. Lisa has also been featured in a regional newspaper for her design work and was published in Southwest Florida Parent & Child magazine for an article she wrote about decorating children’s rooms. Lisa and her husband Dany now live in Estero, Florida with their twin boys Ari & Noah.
John Turpin (BS 1989) was twice awarded “Best Paper Presentation” at Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) Annual Conferences. John’s 2005 paper was entitled: “Dorothy Draper & the Moderns”. He is currently an associate professor and ID Program Coordinator at Washington State University. Aside from his research on design history (“My love of history started in Karen Myers’ class!”), John served as the 2008-2009 national President of IDEC.
Emily (Mattingly) Fraser (BS 2005) emails that “things have been a whirlwind for me these past few months but I’ve been loving every minute of it. After graduating in April, Jason (my husband) and I got married in May and moved straight to Atlanta after our honeymoon. I was able to get a job with a great interior design firm called Design Classique here in Buckhead, where we also live. I was hired here at Design Classique on the spot (they loved the dossier and said FSU has the best portfolio’s they’ve seen). Almost every single skill that FSU has taught me was being put to use within the first week! I never thought that I would enjoy working for a small firm as much as I do.”
Erin Westmorland (MS 2004) writes that she moved down to Miami and is now working for contemporary designer Toby Zack. Check out their firm at www.tobyzackdesigns.com.
Grant Eric Gribble (BS 1984) is a partner in the firm Gribble Interior Group in Orlando. Grant’s projects have been published in many local and national magazines and his awards include ASID Florida North Chapter Design Competitions, Aurora Awards sponsored by South Eastern Builders’ Conference and the ASID Chapter Medalist Award. He is a Past President of ASID Florida North Chapter and currently serves as a National Spokesperson in the Residential Category. Grant is a member of our Interior Design Advisory Board.
Mary O’Brien (BS 2001) writes that she has been working with Design Group West, Naples, FL since graduation. The firm now has four FSU graduates of the ID program working there, and the company owner agrees that FSU grads are the most prepared for the job! Design Group West specializes in residential design (vacation homes – turn key and model homes), and some commercial design (clubhouses and resorts).
ID grad Pamela Moss (BS 2004) reports she has joined Perkins & Will in their Atlanta office. “I am so excited about my decision to join P&W. Everyone in the interiors department was very welcoming,” Pam emailed. By her third day there, she was already working on a library in Cobb County.
Interior Design Project Manager Stacey Kirby (BS 1994), pictured above, has been named a partner at Seiber Design Inc. She previously had been an associate at the company. Founded in 1987 by architect Ed Seiber, the Atlanta-based firm specializes in custom restaurant, commercial and residential architecture, as well as interior design. Having worked on several commercial and residential projects at Seiber Design, Stacey’s projects include the restaurants Maverick in Charlottesville, VA; California Dreaming in Augusta and Duluth, GA; Cosi, Food 101, Garrison’s, Bridgetown Grill, and Spice, all in Atlanta. She also designed several private residences, including her own home in Buckhead, GA, and a new prototype for MetroPCS retail stores.