Interior design students make the cut

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    Twelve students can rest easy after passing the portfolio review Oct. 27 to be officially accepted into the interior design program.

    Unlike most majors, students do not declare interior design as their majors. They must first take beginning design classes where they develop a body of work and then pass a sophomore-year portfolio review to be officially accepted into the major.

    Gayla Shannon, assistant professor of professional practice in interior design, said in previous years the program has cut some students during the portfolio review. But this year all twelve applicants were accepted.

    All the applicants met the high standard of work expected by the interior design program, Shannon said.

    For the review, the interior design program brought in two professionals — an architect and an interior designer—  who both practice in the Fort Worth area to evaluate the students’ work, Shannon said. The students’ portfolios included work from their first year and fall semester sophomore classes as well as up to three additional pieces.

    The students are judged on their potential for success in the program, Shannon said.

    “If we see a consistent lack of potential for success, that is when we might not admit a student into the major,” she said.

    If a student does not pass the portfolio review, all hope is not lost. Students have the option to keep working and resubmit their work the following year if they do not make it, Shannon said.

    The interior design program also offers advice and information about other majors to students who do not make the cut. Students starting out in their first years of interior design classes are required to submit an alternative plan in case they do not pass the review, Shannon said.

    For Christina Montecalvo, a sophomore interior design major, the alternative plan was a last resort. She said her approach was to focus on making it through the portfolio review.

    “If I had had a backup plan, I probably wouldn’t have worked as hard, so I didn’t focus on that,” Montecalvo said.

    Michelle Goulet, a sophomore interior design major, said having the backup plan was helpful as many students were unsure whether they would make it. 

    Goulet said the review was stressful but well worth it. She and her classmates worked many extra hours outside of class to prepare for the review.

    “Every girl in my class is crazy talented,” Goulet said. “We all have awesome potential.”

    The students who passed the review would move onto more advanced design classes, such as Interior Design -Illustration, Interior -Components and -Interior -Design I.

    “I’m just really proud of them this year,” Shannon said. “I think we’ve really got an excellent class going through.”