Over 170 Attendees Participated in the 2nd Annual Emerge Event


FIU’s Department of Interior Architecture, in partnership with the IIDA & NEWH South Florida Chapters, hosted the 2nd annual Emerge event, on February 2, 2019. Approximately 170 students, alumni, speakers, sponsors, and industry manufacturers attended the event.

Emerge, formerly known as Student Day, is an all-day event that brings together students, design professionals, educators, and manufacturers’ representatives. The event showcases a  variety of sessions that educate students about different career paths within the industry, give them the opportunity to speak with working professionals about their portfolios, and introduce them to cutting-edge ideas in hands-on workshops that encourage students rethink the way they design.

Senior Instructor Katie Rothfield conceived of and spearheaded the student-oriented event with support from Department Chair Newton D’Souza and the event committee. Graduate student and event Co-Chair, Cassandra Charles, championed this collaborative effort as an instrumental leader of the committee.

“Emerge creates many unique opportunities for the design community,” said Katie Rothfield, “Students learn from and engage with professionals, manufacturers showcase their products and network with future and current designers, professionals recruit new talent, and alumni return to campus, joining other design professionals in giving back to and enhancing the learning experience for students.

This year, students received more than 180 portfolio and resume reviews from over 28 design firms and companies. The outstanding reception we received from everyone involved clearly indicates the value of the event. We only expect it to grow in future years.”

For the 3rd annual event, Emerge will undergo a re-branding with a new name, D3E (Designers Engage, Empower, Emerge), as well as revamped marketing initiatives to nationally target students from all design disciplines. As part of this re-branding, D3E will serve as a precursor workshop for the FIU School of Architecture Career Fair happening March, 2020.


Elena Manferdini, Principal and Owner
Atelier Manferdini



Barbarosa Leather


Daltile | Marazzi | American Olean

Design Within Reach

Don Pablo Coffee Growers & Roasters



Galaxy Glass & Stone


Herman Miller

IIDA South Florida Chapter


JC White

John Stillman Photography


LBU Lighting

Maya Romanoff

Miami Dolphins

Miami Marlins


Nora by Interface


Shaw Contract

Sherwin Williams

SmartArt Art Consulting

Spartan Surfaces


Yarn Design Associates

9 Lives Reserve


Jason Tapia, Principal
Building Center No. 3, LLC

Patricia Rothman Brown, Interior Designer & TV Personality

Steven Burgos, Technical Designer

Jennifer Delmas, Director of Operations
EoA | Edge of Architecture

Shayan Khalilahmadi, Brand Designer
Gensler, FIU Alumna

Andrea Tagliaferro, Founder
Taglia, Inc., FIU Alumna


Bryan Liska, Director of Design
Hilton Latin America & the Caribbean

Jissette Jimenez, Project Coordinator & FIU Adjunct Faculty & Alumna
TSAO Design Group, FIU

Scheherezade Marles, Interior Designer, FIU Alumna
Studio DADO, Inc.

Isabel Collazos, Design Coordinator, FIU Alumna

Claudia Machado, Project Director, FIU Alumna
HBA | Hirsch Bedner Associates

Leanne Yarn, Owner | Founder | Interior Designer
Yarn Design Associates

Adriana Lacruz, Senior Lead Designer, FIU Alumna
Adriana Hoyos Design Studio

Lisette Boosooboy, Interior Design Lead, FIU Adjunct Faculty & Alumna
M.C. Harry & Associates

Kristyna Borden, Associate + Designer/Manager, FIU Alumna

Nina Laguna, Senior Space Planner, FIU Alumna
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

Romina Vignolo, Design Program Manager, FIU Alumna

Yi Belanger, Healthcare Studio Director, FIU Alumna

Bobbie Olson, Senior Interior Designer
V Starr Interiors

Domonique Carey, Junior Designer
V Starr Interiors

Christian Triana, Senior Project Designer
EoA | Edge of Architecture

Elieser Duran, Interior Design Manager
Cube 3

Anel De Castro, Director of Design Services
DCOTA | Design Center of the Americas

Christina Conde, Senior Interior Designer

David Rifkind, Associate Professor & Chair
FIU Architecture & Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design

Jessica Nalasco, A+D Representative
Herman Miller

Rossana Diaz, Sales Manager
Construction Specialties

Jamnary Moreno, Interior Design Manager
Marriott International

Larry Weiner, Manufacturers’ Representative
Hospitality Furnishing Consultant

Elizabeth Irizarry, Market Sales Manager

James Padron, Founder & CEO, FIU Alumnus
The Padron Group

Carlida Tang, Designer, FIU Alumna
EoA | Edge of Architecture

Annette Lucille, Southeast Commercial Sales Executive

View Emerge’s photo gallery here.

For more information on Emerge or to become a sponsor next year, please visit our website.

Follow the Department of Interior Architecture on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Search this website