What is your background?: I grew up in north-central Iowa and graduated from Ventura High School in 2006. It was a small school with only 23 students in my graduating class. I have two brothers, a husband who has three siblings, two nephews, two nieces and another niece or nephew on the way.
What brought you to Kirkwood and why?: I will be graduating from the Interior Design program in May, which will be the second time that I’ve graduated from Kirkwood. I chose Kirkwood because of its small class size and proximity to my extended family. I graduated from the Surgical Technology program in December of 2007 and worked in that field for eight years. I started taking prerequisites for the nursing program in 2010 because I thought I wanted to continue working in healthcare, but while taking the prerequisites I had a change of heart.
During my last semester of nursing prerequisites I discovered Kirkwood’s interior design program, so after that semester finished in 2014 I decided to start the interior design program rather than finish the nursing program. I have always been a creative person and wanted to build on that ability as a professional career and I didn’t think nursing was the way for me to do that. I’m very happy with my decision, as I’m getting the chance to do what I love most.
What interests you about interior design?: I have always enjoyed decorating and thought that I would love to do that professionally, but Jillissa Moorman, Kirkwood’s Interior Design Program Coordinator, inspired me to reach much higher. As an Interior Designer I can do so much more and there are so many exciting opportunities that I never knew existed in this field!
With my interior design education from Kirkwood, I am not only able to pick out the perfect set of curtains, but I’m also able to produce construction documents and a sustainable project with LEED certification, design a healthy space for end users, and create a space that accommodates accessibility needs. I have always been a problem solver and this program gives me the ability to find innovative solutions to design problems.
Are you involved in anything else on campus?: I’ve been a member of Kirkwood Student Interior Designers (KSID) since I started the program last year, and this year I am KSID president. KSID members volunteer in the community and tour architecture and design firms and tour major construction projects being done in the area.
I’m also the Campus Center Student Liaison representing Kirkwood in the Great Plains Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), a professional organization with 15,000+ members from 58 countries. Other campus centers in the Great Plains Chapter include Iowa State University, the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and the University of Northern Iowa.
I have also been the resource room manager for the interior design program, organizing the sample materials and working with various vendors to ensure our program has access to the latest materials available in the market.
Are involved in anything off of campus?: If so, what and why?: After starting the program I realized how many different opportunities interior design offers. I completed my internship this summer at Light Expressions by Shaw in Coralville. They are a lighting showroom and stay very busy with the growth happening in this area of Iowa. After my internship I started working at Corridor Kitchens in North Liberty. They are a kitchen and bath design business that also offer flooring and tile. I have been lucky to have opportunities to work in the community to facilitate networking with professionals in the area. I also feel that interning not only teaches you the tools you need to work in the field of interior design, but it also helps you to understand what will be the perfect fit going forward.
What do you do for fun?: This program is very time consuming. We are creating a portfolio in two years that compete with Iowa State and UNI, which are four-year programs. I am working part-time as well, so when I have spare time I try to share it with my family. My nieces and nephews are young and so fun to be around. My husband and I also try to use our free time to complete projects on our house. I am lucky to have such a tight knit group of classmates. We have fun every day learning from each other while offering support and ideas on design decisions. Morning coffee and lots of laughter are the components to a perfect day in Nielsen Hall room 334D.
Where do you see yourself in five years?: In five years I would like to be working in the field of interior design, possibly in residential design while raising a family. I would also love to design a dream house for my husband and I. Five years ago I had no idea this is what I would be doing now. It is crazy how life changes. I am excited to start this career path and can’t wait to see what the next five years has in store for me.