CSU Interior Architecture and Design students celebrate at senior show

A model is displayed on the second floor of the RDC.

For the first time since 2019, seniors in Colorado State University’s Interior Architecture and Design major in the Department of Design and Merchandising gathered in person to celebrate the work presented in their senior capstone projects. Students, families, faculty, industry professionals, and sponsors for the day’s events gathered at CSU’s Nancy Richardson Design Center to admire the posters and models created by the students followed by a reception and awards ceremony.


The event was made possible by the support and generosity of industry sponsors. Many of these sponsors have maintained a history of working with the Interior Architecture and Design Program and actively employ many students and alumni. Thank you to our platinum sponsor, Miller Knoll (formerly Herman Miller); gold sponsors, Sherwin-Williams, Neenan Archistruction, and Andrea Schumacher Interiors; and our silver sponsors, Steelcase and Abel Design Group.

Keynote speaker Carla Dore

Carla Dore (’83) was keynote speaker for the afternoon’s event. Dore earned her CSU degree in interior design with a minor in industrial construction management and is the Owner and President of Workplace Resource, a Miller Knoll (formerlyHerman Miller) Certified Dealer. Dore serves as a board member of the Denver metro Chamber of Commerce and sits on the executive committee of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. Dore has been an active supporter of the Interior Architecture and Design program and the Department of Design and Merchandising, and shares alumni and industry insights as a member of the Executive Leadership Council for the College of Health and Human Sciences. Her generosity contributed to the creation of Inspiration Alley, the Design Exchange (where the event was held), and the [d]lab at the Nancy Richardson Design Center; each of those spaces is named in her honor.

Dore’s speech encouraged students to embrace discomfort for the sake of growth and to embrace the opportunities brought on by challenging circumstances. She noted the quality of student work was exceptional and inspirational.

keynote speaker, Carla Dore
Keynote speaker, Carla Dore.

Award recipients

The night included several award presentations. The program first acknowledged three awards that were determined and voted on by the senior class, similar to awards you might see in a yearbook setting. The award recipients included:

The Most Likely to be Featured in Architectural Digest – Eunwoo Sam Jun

The Award for Spending the Most Time in the Richardson Design Center – Yesenia Avila

The “Who You Gonna Call” Award – Sara Bovaird

Next, the department faculty chose both an honorable mention and an award winner for the Birdsong Outstanding Senior Capstone Portfolio Award. The award honors the legacy of Craig Birdsong, faculty emeritus, and is given to a student who has demonstrated design excellency through their senior capstone portfolio.

The Honorable Mention for this award went to Renee Choksey for her project redesigning the St. George Regional Airport to meet the needs of the fast-growing city as it serves as the gateway to Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks.

The Birdsong Outstanding Senior Capstone Portfolio Award went to Katy Jackson for her project Navy Pier Symphony Center. Her project reflected the creation of a secondary, world-renowned home for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the historic Navy Pier.

The evening culminated with recognizing Sara Bovaird, the College of Health and Human Sciences Outstanding Senior. Bovaird was recognized for her work earlier in the semester at the All-College Awards Ceremony.

Dean Youngblade, Associate Dean Aberle, Marcus Appleby, Katy Jackson, Eunwoo Sam Jun, Yesenia Avila, Renee Choksy, Sara Bovaird, Jain Kwon, and Carla Dore
Pictured left to right: Dean Lise Youngblade, Associate Dean Jen Aberle, Industry Outreach Coordinator Marcus Appleby, Katy Jackson, Eunwoo Sam Jun, Yesenia Avila, Renee Choksy, Sara Bovaird, Assistant Professor Jain Kwon, Keynote Speaker Carla Dore.

Online show

If you missed this year’s Interior Architecture and Senior Show, you can still view all the student work via an online show. Each student shares a brief summary of their work and you can observe their poster presentation.

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