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Spartanburg, SC — The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Educators Roundtable, held Friday, Sept. 29 through Saturday, Oct.  1, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, tackled the important topics of interior design education, diversity and inclusion in the industry, and how to support design students to ensure a successful transition into the profession. Hosted by Milliken, the lively, engaging, and useful discussion was moderated by IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, and culminated in IIDA and allied organizations committing to aggregating information and resources for design students, including a scholarship database.  
 
“What does a rigorous design education mean, what does it do, and how does it prepare students? These are significant issues facing the Interior Design industry today, and answering these questions was the fundamental purpose of the IIDA Educators Roundtable,” said Durst. “Bringing educators from a broad range of interior design programs together with industry professionals gave us an opportunity to address the gaps that exist in how we teach, mentor, and train the next generation of design professionals.”
 
Diversity in design education and recruiting and retaining students who are representative of diverse backgrounds were a vital focus of the Roundtable. A conversation about this topic can be viewed on Milliken Floors’ Facebook page. The group also discussed how the IIDA Foundation Diversity Award, which recognizes and celebrates an educator who is actively advancing diversity in the Interior Design industry, could be expanded to further support diversity in interior design. An executive report detailing the Roundtable will be available in late 2016.
 
“Milliken is committed to creating innovations that help solve the world's problems, add value to people’s lives, improve health and safety, and make this world sustainable. We look to the next generation of designers to drive these innovations, and we recognize the critical role that educators play in shaping these up-and-coming professionals. We were honored to host and participate in the inaugural IIDA Educators Roundtable,” said Stacy Walker, Industry IIDA, Director of Customer Experience at Milliken.
 
Five previous IIDA Educator of the Year honorees participated in the Educators Roundtable, including Amy Campos (Principal, ACA – Amy Campos Architect and Associate Professor, Interior Design Program, California College of the Arts); Liset Robinson, IIDA (Associate Chair, SCAD-Atlanta); Virginia San Fratello, IIDA (Associate Professor, San Jose University); Lisa M. Tucker, Ph.D., IIDA, FIDEC, FASID, AIA, LEED AP BD+ C, WELL AP (Professor and Chair, Interior Design, School of Architecture + Design, Virginia Tech); and So Yeon Yoon (Associate Professor, Cornell University). The IIDA Educator of the Year award is sponsored by Milliken.
 
Additional participants included: Bill Bouchey, IIDA (Director of Design, Interiors, HOK); Mary Bledsoe, IIDA, RID, LEED AP ID+C (Design Director, Studio Director, Gensler); Annie Chu, IIDA, FAIA (Principal, Chu + Gooding Architects and Professor of Interior Architecture, Woodbury University); Pamela Evans, Ph.D., IIDA, FIDEC, LEED AP (Chair Board of Directors, CIDA and Director, Interior Design, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Kent State University); Tara Headley, Assoc. IIDA, Allied ASID, NEWH (Junior Interior Designer, Hendrick); Migette L. Kaup, Ph.D., IIDA, IDEC, ASID, EDAC IDEC (President, Interior Design Program, College of Human Ecology, Kansas State University); James Kerrigan, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C (Design Principal of Interiors, Jacobs); Jon P. Otis (Principal & Creative Director, Object Agency and Professor Interior Design, Pratt Institute); Felice Silverman, FIIDA (Principal, Silverman Trykowski and Assoc., Board of Trustees member, Boston Architectural College); and Mary King Sullivan, IIDA, CDT, LEED AP BD+C (Workplace | Interior Architecture, Director of Strategic Relationships, Little).
 
For questions and more information, please contact Vera Reinke, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, at 312.379.5171 or vreinke@iida.org.

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