Letter from the Chair:
Welcome back! Each year, as fall approaches and the summer fades away, Tallahassee transforms from a sleeping small city to a bustling college community. Faculty begin their class preparation and students return to campus. The band is practicing and there is a wonderful energy in the air! We kicked off the year with a Mass Meeting of Majors and an ice cream social (see photo).
This year the Department of Interior Architecture & Design welcomes three new faculty members. Dr. Lena McLane has come on board as our resident historian, taking the position of long-serving faculty member Karen Myers. Dr. McLane is passionate about history and has a strong research agenda in the histories as well as in spatial syntax. She worked as an exhibition designer for twelve years before joining the faculty. Stephanie Sickler, a new assistant professor, comes to us from the University of Alabama. She received her MFA from FSU in 2009. Amy O’Keefe, who has taught as an adjunct faculty member, has moved into a specialized faculty position. Amy is also an FSU alum in both business and interior design. She practiced locally with Sechrest Interiors since graduation.
Our internship program, headed by Jim Dawkins and the recently retired Kenan Fishburne, saw record numbers of students placed with design firms this summer. Across the pond, I kicked off the first London Study Abroad program with nine students taking History II and exploring all that London offers. Lena McLane led our summer program at the Ringling in Sarasota where students worked with curator Ron McCarty at the historic Ca’d’Zan mansion.
To enhance our graduate program, the department created a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in which students can complete up to 12 hours of their master’s while undergraduates. We currently have seven students enrolled in this new program. As a testament to the quality of our graduate program, we are happy to report that Design Intelligence ranked out graduate program as the Most Admired in the nation for five of the last six years.
Our advisory board will meet in Tampa in late September and is taking on an initiative to raise money for student travel to conferences. The goal is to help students jump start their professional careers through attendance at events such as Highpoint, NeoCON, IDEC, and EDRA conferences. The department is grateful to the board for opening doors for faculty and students through field trips, scholarships, competitions, and enhanced funding.
This year we will hold our second annual career day, initiate a distinguished alumni award, and begin a speakers series. For more information, stay tuned to our web site at https://interiordesign.fsu.edu/ , Facebook page, LinkedIn, or our new Instagram @fsu_iad.
Lisa Waxman, Chair