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College of Health and Human Sciences

Design professionals provide mentorship to graduating interior design students

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Manhattan- This spring’s graduating interior design students in Migette Kaup and Barbara Anderson’s senior studio received some extra guidance and professional mentoring for their final capstone project. 37 design professionals from around the country provided over 100 hours of mentorship to graduating seniors, providing professional feedback on their final comprehensive projects. One of the hallmarks of K-State’s top-ranked interior design program is the multiple opportunities students have to meet design professionals throughout their college careers through networking events. This is the second year professional mentors have worked with students one-on-one and provided insight for the final semester-long project before graduation.

Pairing professional mentors with students not only allowed students to gain design feedback from a practicing professional, it provided students the opportunity to develop their skills in presenting and communicating their ideas clearly; hone their ability to ask questions to get advice and feedback; and practice using the provided feedback to improve their comprehensive projects. According to DesignIntelligence, an independent company focused on the design and construction industry, 96% of design professionals believe willingness to learn or be mentored is either important or very important trait for interior design graduates to possess.

Mentor Audrey Koehn, Global Interiors Leader and Principal of DLR Group, said “This mentorship program gives students the opportunity to see their design projects through the eyes of expert practitioners and teaches skills that lead to professional success. Students learn to critically evaluate their design choices, be open to other perspectives, and strengthen their understanding of the power of design to change lives. These are all key traits for growth and success in the industry, as collaboration is an integral part of the design process.”


Through this mentorship experience, students developed a level of confidence to prepare them for their careers following graduation. The mentorship also provides students an immediate professional contact as they begin to build their professional network following graduation. “Working with a variety of professionals in different A & E firms from across the country improved my design project, portfolio, and communication skills,” said Brooklyn Burnett, May 2020 graduate from Amarillo, TX.  It also gave me a network of encouraging professionals as I start my interior design career.”

K-State’s program is the only interior design program in the state of Kansas for student who want to earn a four-year baccalaureate degree from a program accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. In 2020, the program was the number eight most admired design program in the nation according to DesignIntellience. The program also ranks in the top 10 in 10 of 12 focus areas surveyed by the organization. These areas include transdisciplinary collaboration across architecture, engineering and construction; research; project planning and management; interdisciplinary studies; healthy built environments; engineering fundamentals; design theory and practice; design technologies; construction materials and methods; and communication and presentation skills.

The interior design program would like to extend their deepest appreciation to the following professionals for their time and talents that were donated to the students: Aaron Anderson; Conway, Gensler, Dallas; Scott Barton, Hollis + Miller, Kansas City; Gwen Bonnichsen, Huckabee, San Antonio; Mary Campbell, HOK, Kansas City; Andrea Brundis, PGAV, Kansas City ; Nicole Burman, US Army Corp., Kansas City; Emily Cochran, GWWO Architects, Baltimore; Ross Conway, Gensler Dallas; Rhonda Engelken, Gensler, Dallas; Will Fisher, HOK, Kansas City; Krystal Gantz Fensky, ACI, Kansas City; Sydney Hall, ACI, Kansas City; Emily Hayes, HTK Architect, Kansas City; Kristen Henriksen, David Stark Design Production, New York; Kelley Hoffman, RDG Planning and Design, St. Louis; Karla Jackson, StudioSIX5, Austin; Jessica Janzen, Smith Group, Dallas; Kaitlin Jones, Page Southland Page, Dallas; Lindsay Hampton, Pulse Design Group, Kansas City; Stacy Kerl, Hoefer Wysocki, Kansas City; Sanja Kerr, Forrest Perkins, Chicago; Audrey Koehn, DLR Group, Denver; Foster Kutner, Gensler, DC; Pilar Wiley BRR Architecture, Kansas City; Hillary L’Ecuyer, Hollis+Miiller, Kansas City; Emma Mais, HOK, Kansas City; Brenna McKee, Gould Evans, Kansas City; Megan Patchen, Hoefer Wysocki, Kansas City; Katie Pohlman, Gould Evans, Kansas City; Laura Roth, Hoefer Wysocki, Kansas City; Hannah Rubin, DLR Group, Dallas; Jordan Sawyer, Pulse Design Group, Kansas City; Catie Shaffer, GLMV, Wichita; Erin Schambureck, CRW Architecture + Design Group, Rochester, MN; Lisa Schroeder, WDM Architects, Wichita; Lauren Tines, StudioSIX5, Austin; and Amanda Wilson, Amazon, Seattle.

This article was posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, and is filed under College News, Interior Design and Fashion Studies.