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IA&D Studio IV Mentorship Program Connects Students with Industry Leaders

Published January 20, 2021

Colleen Thornhill’s conceptualized entry way space for a health clinic office building. Photo creds: Amy Huber

The Department of Interior Architecture and Design is proud to highlight the success of the new Studio IV Healthcare Design Mentorship Program, which was developed in the Fall 2020 semester by associate professor Amy Huber. In this program, students are connected with interior design leaders across the country, where they can share their conceptualized project spaces. The mentorship allows students in the program to receive feedback from professionals who have experience designing clinics in the healthcare environment. Along with receiving professional advice, students have been able to establish connections and benefit from networking opportunities, which will be of great value to them when searching for future jobs and internships. The Department of Interior Architecture and Design would like to thank the Interior Designers who have participated in the Studio IV Healthcare Design Mentorship Program.

“These professionals came from all over the country and held a variety of positions including interior designers, project managers, design principals, and more. Each of our mentors were paired with one or two students whom they would meet with throughout the semester as students developed their clinic designs.”—Caroline Mozo, Program Coordinator

Sarah Findley creates a lounge area suitable for a reception space. Photo creds: Amy Huber

Studio IV recognizes that connecting these seniors to real world circumstances is essential when it comes to securing prospective career opportunities. Students work with healthcare professionals to conceptualize functional environments and the students are responsible to reach out to their mentors, organize and schedule meetings, and maintain communications. Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, participating in on-sight internships was not possible, so program coordinators opened up their search for industry leaders currently shaping healthcare design to a nationwide scale. Through remote networking, these students were able to connect with top designers across the country. These meetings were made possible through digital platforms such as Zoom, as well as online discussion boards that allowed for students to receive feedback on their conceptualized design spaces from industry professionals.

“Each mentor added a layer of knowledge to the students’ projects, pointing out workflows, maintenance concerns, and other issues that aren’t always in the students’ lexicon of design problems to resolve,” said Amy Huber, Studio IV Professor. “I’d like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Caroline Mozo, the class teaching assistant, in helping to recruit and communicate with our mentors throughout the semester.”

Alongside constructive collaboration and respected feedback, students created long lasting industry networks, which could be instrumental when it comes to breaking into the professional design atmosphere. The experience of working with these designers who have such a variety of well-regarded work was highly educational to the seniors within the program. Whether these students continue to venture into the healthcare design space or explore different design environments, the Studio IV mentorship program encouraged professional relationships that will advance their career opportunities. The department would like to thank all the talented interior designers who participated in this partnership and offered their knowledge, experience, and career shaping connections to our students involved in the Interior Architecture and Design Department within the College of Fine Arts. For more information about the Department of Interior Architecture and Design visit