International Interior Design Association, South Florida Chapter: Katie Rothfield is “2015 Educator of the Year”


Instructor Katie Rothfield has been named the 2015 Educator of the Year by the South Florida Chapter of the International Interior Design Association. She received the award at the chapter’s Annual SANDI Awards Gala at Jungle Island on Friday, July 10th, 2015.

During her career at FIU, Rothfield has linked the FIU Interior Architecture Department to the external design community and has encouraged design students to aim for excellence in their coursework. Rothfield has organized community engagement opportunities with Lotus House Thrift and the Actors’ Playhouse, allowing students to seek ways in which design can contribute to society. She has also guided students in Graduate Design 1 on the design of luxury hostels. To ensure their success, she asked Graduate Design 1 students to follow the guidelines for the annual NEWH Sustainable Design Competition. Additionally, Rothfield has organized a series of special talks called PROsessions in her Professional Office Practice course; the talks have included speakers from both the design and hospitality industries who advise students on career preparation, business practices, and professional services/project management.

Katie Rothfield is an instructor in the Department of Interior Architecture at Florida International University (FIU), a Florida-licensed and NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Certification)-certified interior designer, and a LEED AP ID+C (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional in Interior Design and Construction). Rothfield earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design with her thesis, Communicating Preference: An Exploration of Methods for Obtaining Client Preferences for the Interior Environment, and she also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology, with a minor in Studio Art, from Tufts University.

Her professional practice experience consists of work in the hospitality, high-end residential, and corporate design industries with noted design firms such as Gettys and blue, a design company, inc. While a project designer and project manager at Gettys, Rothfield was a key contributor to the revolutionary Hotel of Tomorrow (H.O.T.) Project™, a thought leadership forum spearheaded by Gettys and Hospitality Design magazine to conceptualize the future of the hospitality industry.

Rothfield has presented at numerous Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) Conferences and was awarded “Best Paper” at the IDEC South Regional Conference for her presentation, Pedagogy 2.0 in Practice: Linking Your Students’ World with the Classroom.  She is a past Vice President of Forums for the IIDA Florida Chapter, and she currently serves as the Educational Representative for the South Florida Chapter of NEWH (Network of Executive Women in Hospitality).

While an instructor at FIU, Rothfield has developed and instructed courses on building systems, project programming, professional practice, interior architecture studios, and sustainable design practices. In her Sustainable Practices for Interior Architecture course, students have completed service-oriented interior design solutions for organizations such as the Actors’ Playhouse and the Lotus House. In 2014, Rothfield originated the FIU Interior Architecture Department’s LEED Green Associate Exam Achievement Award, which reimburses students who successfully pass the LEED Green Associate Exam after completing her course, Sustainable Practices for Interior Architecture. A successful initiative, the award continues to encourage students to pass this professional exam before graduation.

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