Interior architecture and design showcases outstanding grad, Meghan Jackson

Meghan Jackson at the trial gardens

In her time at Colorado State University, Meghan Jackson has distinguished herself as a highly capable, collaborative, and humble leader among her peers. Jackson, an outstanding graduate of the Department of Design and Merchandising, has adeptly balanced many leadership responsibilities and volunteer activities while maintaining a 3.96 GPA during her pursuit of dual degrees in interior architecture and design and art history.

Not only has Jackson showed her incredible scholarly dedication but she demonstrates herself as a compassionate, genuine, and kind leader on campus through her engagement and research.

Coursework and research

AR project Meghan Jackson helped spearheadJackson has been an invaluable contributor to the grant-funded Augmented Reality research team in her role managing and coordinating asset development across an interdisciplinary team, mostly virtually, including team members in computer science, art, graphic design, and interior architecture and design.

Through this research, Jackson is making a pivotal contribution to the active research that is taking place in the department showcasing “the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration,” she said.

“Through the research,” says Leah Scolere, assistant professor and program coordinator, “[Jackson] has demonstrated her ability to lead key aspects of the research project in the necessary timeframe of the grant including assisting with pilot data collection.”

Jackson and co-presenters Crispin Haro (CS), Dan Rehberg (CS), and Will Schmitz (Electronic Art) received ‘High Honors’ at CSU’s Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity symposium for the submission of their research poster, “Designing Augmented Reality Technology for Enhancing Building Design Strategies.”

Jackson leveraged knowledge from her double major in Interior Architecture and Design  and Art History in her culminating IAD capstone project  for a museum designed for inclusivity and community engagement. Her capstone project sought to make art approachable by prioritizing universal accessibility and elevating underrepresented voices.

Leadership and outreach

During her tenure at CSU, Jackson has plugged into many roles and responsibilities on campus. She served as the student chapter president to the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) this academic year and is also an active member of the student chapters for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the Student Hospitality Network (SHN), a division of the hospitality design professional organization NEWH.

Jackson has played a key leadership role as president of IIDA that has not only allowed her to showcase her passion with her peers but also with the community.

“Meghan is a collaborative leader and leads through consensus building and listening to others to foster strong commitment and dedication from her peers, teams, and larger network of designers,” said Laura Malinin an assistant professor and program coordinator for the Department of Design and Merchandising.

Jackson’s dedication to the community is demonstrated through her engagement as a volunteer with multiple entities in the Fort Collins community including Wildlands Restoration, Colorado State University’s School is Cool program, and her role as a mentor for students at Rocky Mountain High School.

“I grew up in Fort Collins and I think CSU is a fantastic community,” said Jackson. “Everyone I have interacted with has been kind and supportive.”

A special experience for Jackson was being a student on the campus while the Nancy Richardson Design Center was being built and opened. A fond memory Jackson recalls: “I remember being super excited because I got to mix the red paint for [the RDC] at my job at Sherwin-Williams. I’m looking forward to seeing how our connection to the RDC evolves as time goes on!”


Jackson has gracefully demonstrated her ability to balance school, and her many leadership roles on campus and off while also caring for her peers and community. For these reasons and manyMeghan Jackson, Outstanding Senior Graduate others, she was unanimously voted on by the department as the nominee from Design and Merchandising for the College of Health and Human Sciences Outstanding Senior for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Among the many skills the graduates of the Interior Architecture and Design Program take with them, Jackson said, “The main things I’m excited to bring to my career from what I’ve learned as an IAD student are research/evidence based design skills and the value of hard work.”

Jackson recently received word that she was accepted to the Politecnico di Milano to study for a Laurea Magistrale (Master of Science) in Architectural Design & History. Pending COVID restrictions, she plans to travel to Italy and begin her studies in the fall.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is beyond proud to have had Meghan Jackson in the program and are looking forward to seeing what the future brings!

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