At the end of the academic year, CCAD faculty select one outstanding senior for each undergraduate major. Today, in part eight of our nine-part series, meet Outstanding Interior Design Senior Carolyn Zurawka.
Q. Outstanding Senior is an honor that’s earned. How did you stay focused and motivated to excel academically?
I always just had this ultimate goal in my mind. I knew if I didn’t work super hard, I would never get to it. I kept my goals in the back of my head when I was getting frustrated or tired of school.
Q: What was your proudest achievement while at CCAD?
It will be when my thesis is done. The thesis show is the biggest thing that we have to look forward to as Interior Design students.
Q: Do you remember a single point when you realized that you were meant to be here doing what you were doing?
For part of my original thesis research about interactive spaces for childhood cancer patients, I interviewed parents of children with cancer. After I interviewed one of the moms, I got an email from her thanking me for thinking of her and her child. That was the moment when I realized that interior design is how I’m going to help people.
Q: Who was your most influential professor?
Kelly DeVore. She just turned the Interior Design program around. She’s helped me with school work and on a more personal level, too. She’s been like a life coach.
Q: What is your fondest memory at CCAD?
Pulling all-nighters during finals is something that I’ll remember for a long time. Staying here on campus all day and night with my friends is the most fun I’ve ever had while working.
Q: What word or phrase sums up your feelings about graduation?
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
Right after graduation I’m forgetting about graduation and going to Europe. When I get back, I hope to extend my internship at Moody Nolan.
Q: What’s your ultimate dream job or goal?
My ultimate goal is to design children’s hospitals. My thesis is on interactive spaces for childhood cancer patients. I’m figuring out how you can design a space for isolated patients that still allows them to have interactions.
Q: Have any CCAD alumni impacted your time here? If so, who and how?
Interior Design alumnus Tommy Holmes (CCAD 2013). He helped me get my Moody Nolan internship.
Q. As a soon-to-be-alum, how do you hope to impact the next group of CCAD students?
I hope to help give people opportunities, like Tommy did for me. I would also love to come back to campus to help critique student work.
Zurawka is from Beavercreek, OH, and attended Beavercreek High School.
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