Up Close with the IIDA Texas Tech University Campus Center

IIDA Campus Center: Texas Tech University

IIDA Chapter: Texas/Oklahoma Chapter

Where: Lubbock, Texas

Number of Student Members: 81

IIDA Campus Centers are the first point of contact interior design students have to IIDA. Each one is unique in design, programming, and initiatives, which makes for a varied student experience across chapters. We want to highlight the diversity of IIDA Student Member experiences by introducing you to a handful of campus centers. From how they run their group to what activities garner the most student interest, here’s what we learned from the IIDA Texas Tech University Campus Center.

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IIDA Student Members at their first member meeting. (Back left to front right) Rachel Carroll, Hayley Richburg, Emily Castleman, Liz Morgan, Emily Garth, Grace Swart, Katelynn Franklund, Anamika Kaewloyma, Sarah Castaneda, Marisa Somsiri, Olivia Oldham, Ryann Flack, Braxton Rutledge, Allison Reinacker, Cara Shoemaker, and Adrian Ibanez

Give us a snapshot of your IIDA Campus Center.

The IIDA Texas Tech Campus Center (IIDA TTU) consists of 50-60 graduate and undergraduate student members. Currently, there are nine elected officer positions: student president, president-elect, treasurer, treasurer-elect, public relations chair, special events chair, special events chair-elect, student mentor and secretary, and student mentor. At the end of each year, officers assess the ever-changing campus center needs and add or remove officer positions. IIDA TTU officers and student members also collaborate heavily with Michelle Pearson, Ph.D., faculty advisor, and IIDA West Texas (IIDA WTX) City Center council members for guidance and support.

Do you work with other organizations or design clubs?

We place a strong emphasis on collaboration with other organizations. We extend invitations to and collaborate with organizations such as the American Society of Interior Designers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Knights of Architecture, and the Student American Society of Landscape Architecture.

On the annual Arbor Day event, IIDA, ASID, and AIA volunteer together and plant flowers throughout the Texas Tech Campus. Each fall semester, ASID hosts the West Texas Design Expo, and IIDA plays a large role in ensuring this event runs smoothly. In exchange for a free table at the Design Expo, IIDA helps ASID set up and tear down the expo.

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IIDA officers and faculty advisor at the ASID West Texas Design Expo.
(Top photo, left to right) Grace Swart, Bailey Estes, Jasmine Chavez, Ivy Lane, Dr. Michelle Pearson, Sahara Johnson, Hayley Richburg, Yadira Martinez, Laura Thomas, and Kaylee Polasek (Bottom photo, left to right) Kaylee Polasek, Grace Swart, Bailey Estes, Jasmine Chavez, and Laura Thomas

What kind of events and activities do you host at your Campus Center?

We host a variety of activities that are both educational and social in nature. Each event gives members the opportunity to network with IIDA professionals and other local design professionals. We offer events that are multifaceted and engaging such as the IIDA TTU Breakfast Roundtable and an NCIDQ Q&A session with a cupcake bar.

This year, IIDA events include: the IIDA versus ASID Olympics, the IIDA Annual Corn Maize social with interior design professionals, IIDA Student Conference, and a digital media workshop to teach members Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. This year, we’re excited to announce that we will be hosting our first IIDA TTU Annual Career Fair! This is an exciting opportunity for students to get advice on their resumes, portfolios, and potentially schedule interviews.

What are your favorite or most successful events and activities that you host?

The IIDA TTU Breakfast Roundtable is one of our most successful events.  We invite professionals from all over Texas to come have breakfast with the members and a guided discussion about a specific topic. This year’s topic was “Unfiltered Advice for the Soon-to-be-Professional.” This first-hand experience and advice is invaluable. We now know there are a wide variety of career opportunities available within the interior design industry than previously thought!

How do you collaborate with your local chapter?

IIDA TTU collaborates with the local city center by staying in close contact with the campus liaison and other council members. IIDA TTU officers are invited to the IIDA WTX council meetings each month and encouraged to ask for advice, share updates and event ideas, and discuss budgets.

The local city center also does a phenomenal job at making sure student members know they are not excluded from professional events—we are all IIDA members and are welcome to attend any IIDA event.

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IIDA Student Members at the annual Corn Maize Social (Top left to right) Adrian Ibanez, Nicole Byrom, Rachel Carroll, Kristen Chunn, Grace Swart, Bailey Estes, Kaylee Polasek, and Hayley Richburg

How do you get people engaged with your Campus Center and local chapter?

Social media plays a huge role. Each event is advertised through social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). We hang flyers throughout campus and in the Texas Tech Department of Design, and officers make announcements in our classes about upcoming events. We even make special trips to freshman-level classes to ensure they know they are welcome at all events! Occasionally, we have challenges or donated prizes which adds to the fun. We strive to make all events social and educational in nature. It is important that IIDA events are fun and engaging; however, it is also important members gain something that will help them in their professional lives.

What is the biggest benefit of being an IIDA Member and having an active campus center?

Being an IIDA Member opens a channel between students of different ages, creating a dialogue and camaraderie that would not otherwise exist. Students can mentor younger students and encourage them. The relationships fostered within the IIDA TTU Campus Center are relationships that will be further built upon as students move into the professional world. The opportunity to interact with peers in a professional-oriented and social atmosphere is invaluable.


See what the Texas Tech Campus Center is up to by following them on Facebook and Instagram! Visit iida.org to learn more about IIDA Campus Centers. 

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