Around the world and home again: Outstanding Graduate Kimberly Bartlett

Kimberly Bartlett has lived, worked, and studied in England, China, New York, Colorado, and Mexico. After receiving her first bachelor’s degree in elementary education and reading, she spent several years teaching in New York, where she is from, before teaching in both Colorado and China. When she moved to Fort Collins with her husband, she discovered the Interior Design program at CSU and, having always had an interest in interior design, decided to return for her second bachelor’s degree.

Journey through interior designKimberly Bartlett in front of a sunlit brick facade.

In Bartlett’s journey as an interior designer, her professors have provided guidance and inspiration. “They have challenged my ideas and demanded a level of exceptional work that I didn’t know I was capable of,” explained Bartlett, “Their faith in my abilities has given me confidence to strive for more meaningful solutions.”

Each professor’s individual character, service-oriented mind and professional leadership helped shape Bartlett’s experience in the Interior Design program. Bartlett adds that that many of her professors have emphasized the importance in finding the heart of a project. She has won awards from Industry Connections, Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity, and MERGE for her design work, and her time as an intern with Salt Design and CSU Remodel & Construction Services has prepared her to advocate for design in the community.

While at CSU, Bartlett has been actively involved as a student board member of both the American Society of Interior Designers and the International Interior Design Association, where she served as president. “Both programs are exceptional organizations,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett was also a teaching assistant for two interior design classes, a design studio class and a mixed media drawing and technology class. In addition, she volunteered to help students at smaller events, including several campus tours and design focus days designed for high school students. “I volunteered to help my peers succeed,” explained Bartlett.

As part of the interior design program, Bartlett traveled to Todos Santos to work on a service-learning project with a local recycling center. The group spent a week in Mexico and were able to brainstorm a variety of ways to improve the recycling center’s community space.

Her next adventure

Going forward, Bartlett will miss the people in her program. “My peers have been a light for me in ways that I could never have predicted,” said Bartlett, “We have grown so much together these last four years. We have been challenged, humbled and motivated together. We have pushed each other to be better and picked each other up when we couldn’t stand on our own. They have been my confidence when I didn’t feel like I had any. I’m truly going to miss our little family.”

After graduation, Bartlett is excited to start her next adventure. Like any adventure, there is always uncertainty, and Bartlett acknowledges that can be a little scary. “I feel confident in the skills I’ve learned from CSU,” said Bartlett, “so I’m ready to embrace the future- whatever that may bring.” Bartlett has a few prospects lined up for employment around the Fort Collins area that she is looking forward to pursuing.

No matter what the future holds, Bartlett leaves campus with a guiding principle to live by. “I believe that, no matter what the world holds, it’s what we do as individuals that truly makes a difference. Our values and motivations are key factors in who we choose to become which ultimately has the power to change the world.”

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.