IIDA Campus Center: Philadelphia University
IIDA Chapter: Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware Chapter
Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Co-Presidents: Christine Migliore, Student IIDA, and Rachel Thode, Student IIDA
Secretary: Kaitlyn DeBeras, Student IIDA
Events Coordinators: Caitlin Bakofsky, Student IIDA, and Bridget Sax, Student IIDA
Treasurer: Julia Strange, Student IIDA
IIDA Liaison: Emily Nelson, Student IIDA
ASID Liaison: Chela Humber, Student IIDA
AIAS Liaison: Gabriela Morales, Student IIDA
Social Media Coordinator: Paige Hocker, Student IIDA
Number of Student Members: 93
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 is what we learned after sitting down with the IIDA Campus Center at Philadelphia University.
IIDA HQ: Tell us about your campus center – What does your Board of Directors look like? How does your campus center operate?
IIDA Philadelphia University Campus Center: Our board consists of interior design students of all grades. We have a secretary, event coordinators, a treasurer, an IIDA liaison, AIAS liaison, ASID liaison, and a social media coordinator. We hold monthly board meetings, which allow us to come together and gather our ideas and plan events. These meetings are typically held a week before our monthly campus meeting where all ideas and events are then discussed with all of our campus center members. These meetings allow us to get any feedback from all of our members on any suggestions for events we hold, as well as answering any questions they may have.
IIDA HQ: What kind of events and activities do you host at your campus center?
PU: This past semester we held Milkshake Monday to help raise money for future IIDA events. This was open to all students and faculty on campus to gain awareness of IIDA.
We also hold a mentor-mentee program within our campus in which we pair underclassman with upperclassman. This gives the underclassman an extra resource to go to for help regarding design and any other classes. We held a pizza social to introduce the mentees to their mentors. At the end of the semester we also held a potluck, which was open to all students in our interior design program – not just those who are IIDA members. This allowed everyone to come together and encouraged those who are not already members to join.
This upcoming semester we plan to hold firm and showroom visits as well as host our annual product showcase to help familiarize students with the industry.
IIDA HQ: What are your favorite or most successful events and activities that you host?
PU: Our potluck was our most successful event that we have held so far. We had a significant turnout that included not only our students but faculty as well. This event allowed everyone to get involved since it was open to all of interior design. It was also a relaxing event to have before the end of the semester.
IIDA HQ: And because we have to ask: What is the biggest benefit of being an IIDA Member and having an active campus center?
PU: The biggest benefit is that we have a constant support system. This support system is created through our mentor-mentee program. Since we do hold events that are open to all of the interior design students on campus, another benefit of being an IIDA Student Member is becoming involved with the Philadelphia Chapter through networking events and competing in competitions. There is always an opportunity for networking and meeting so many new people! Being a member also allows students to participate in the IIDA Student Mentoring Program, which is beneficial in gaining further industry knowledge.