Kami Stutzman – Looking to educate the next generation through enrichment and experiential learning

Department of Design and Merchandising instructor Kami Stutzman smiles outside of the Nancy Richardson Design Center

Kami Stutzman, instructor in the Department of Design and Merchandising at Colorado State University, is poised to use her experience to facilitate growth in the department through a dedicated teaching style. Stutzman is focused on lighting design, and passionate about sharing her expertise with students. 

Tell us a bit about yourself!  

I am a proud Colorado native who was born and raised in Greeley, and I’ve called Fort Collins home for the last 28 years. I took a scenic route before obtaining my interior design degree from CSU. I also have a biology degree from Point Loma Nazarene University, a Secondary Science Teaching Credential, and an M.Ed. from Regis University. The third degree was the charm it seems! 

Outside of academia, I enjoy attending sporting events and wholeheartedly support all the Colorado teams except for CU. I am also a diehard Husker fan, but they are not in the same conference as CSU, so there is no conflict of interest! I also love to travel, attend concerts, and design spaces for clients when time allows. 

What brought you to Design and Merchandising at CSU? 

I know firsthand how reputable and respected the Interior Architecture and Design Program is, so when the opportunity arose to join the team as a faculty member, I was thrilled to be able to contribute to my alma mater. 

What are your research and/or teaching interests, and how did you get interested in that topic? 

Lighting Design has become a passion of mine through observation, study, and teaching of the subject. A space can really sing when enhanced with great lighting, and it impacts the overall health, mood, and productivity of occupants. It is a powerful design tool that I enjoy sharing the importance of with my students. 

I hope to expand experiments in our Lighting Lab and potentially conduct research on productivity using different lighting conditions and sources to further understand the impact of lighting on occupants and users of a space. 

What impact do you hope to have at CSU? 

I look forward to contributing to the curriculum, projects, research, and success of our students to ensure we remain one of the top ranked IAD programs nationwide.  

What is your teaching philosophy?  

I believe it all comes down to four E’s: Engage all students within the classroom; Enrich their lives by teaching and demonstrating course relevance through Experiential Learning, and display Enthusiasm for the course content as well as through feedback given to students. 

What is your favorite thing about CSU and the campus?  

My favorite thing about CSU is that it does feel like a “Ramily” and the College of Health and Human Sciences has taken the time to invest in me and get to know me.  

On campus, I do miss Aylesworth Hall given I spent so many hours there, but I love walking around the Oval and Guggenheim Hall. While in the IAD program I completed a project on the history of that building, and I’m still amazed it housed Betty Crocker’s first high altitude baking kitchen! 

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