Department of Design and Merchandising April faculty feature – Leah Scolere

The Department of Design and Merchandising want to highlight the incredible talent that fosters the community of Design and Merchandising at CSU. Every month the department will be highlighting two of its colleagues in the hopes we can showcase the unique passions that make up the design and merchandising staff roster.

leahscolere on a ladder at the pop up eventName: Leah Scolere

Pronouns: she/her/hers

What program or class best represents you? I’m an Assistant Professor and the Program Coordinator for Interior Architecture & Design. I’m also the faculty mentor for the Design Materials Library & the student groups IIDA and Design for America.  I currently teach Interior Products and Materials (INTD 340) and the AUCC course Visual Expression of Interior Environments (INTD 110).   I’m currently conducting research with emerging technologies for enhancing and assessing interior environments (VR eyetracking, augmented reality, and sensor technologies). 

What do you try to emphasize in your teaching experience? My teaching is informed by my own design industry experience at firms such as SOM and Gensler.  I believe in the power of experiential learning and want students to experience that amazing feeling of accomplishing something that at the beginning seemed nearly impossible. I approach teaching like an iterative creative design project- it is about exploration, testing, and feedback.  I intentionally create opportunities for students to take creative risks without it always being tied to a grade.  

What is a goal you have? Expanding Experiences!  I continually seek out new experiences and push myself to change because I know the initial discomfort will lead to new dimensions of who I am and what I have to offer.  Don’t be afraid to change it up for new experiences! 

What is your favorite aspect of being a part of the DM department? All the creativity of students and faculty in DM! Leah scolere and a student in the design library

What is a fun fact about you that would connect with the students? Two facts about me: 

I grew up in Scranton, PA. After a long day, you will often find me re-watching episodes of the Office:) 

I’m a studio junkie! I’ve always loved studio and find projects exhilarating–  the excitement and scariness of new project, the late nights, the crazy ideas, the playlists, and the bonding & silliness that ensues after way too many hours together in the computer lab.   I feel grateful to have such close friendships from my college studio days. Try to savor your studio experiences with your peers!  

What is a hobby you enjoy outside of teaching? I love playing with my pups (Chip & Reykja), hanging out with my family, running 5Ks and cross-country skiing with my husband Zeb, paddleboarding, playing tennis, and enjoying treats. Things always look brighter after smashing a tennis ball across the court and enjoying a slice of pie! 

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