interior design comp by student Veronica Van Arnem



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Engaged Learning: Designing Her Own Future

Watching the cable show Trading Spaces on The Learning Channel, Veronica Van Arnem, from Eagle, Idaho, knew her calling was interior design.

“Interior design is something I always wanted to do,” she says. “It was where I was happiest.”

She found the College of Art and Architecture at the University of Idaho to be a perfect fit. The University’s nationally accredited Bachelor of Interior Design (B.I.D.) is one of only a few professional B.I.D. programs in the nation. The B.I.D. program has a built-in minor in architecture, giving students a strong technical background and an edge in a competitive job market.

Van Arnem points to the interior design program’s emphasis on green design as another advantage. Students learn how to design in a socially and environmentally responsible way and practice using sustainable design concepts and materials.

She’s also values the practical experience she’s gained through hands-on learning opportunities, such as the Chair Affair in Boise, where she designed and built a chair judged by the Interior Designers of Idaho Association. Additionally, Van Arnem has contributed to real design solutions for clients in Idaho communities through service-learning projects. She also completed an internship at Cornerstone Design in Boise.

“It’s a really hands-on program and you get to interact with people,” she says. “And it’s a lot fun. The projects are always different.”

Beyond interior design, Van Arnem has been active in her sorority. She has held several leadership roles and was founder of her sorority’s Red Dress Poker Tournament, which has grown into an annual fundraising event for heart disease awareness. She also spends time volunteering at various groups throughout the community.

“I’ve met some really good people, and I’ve had so many good experiences,” she says. “I feel like I really got the opportunity to develop as a person and as a student.”

Learn by doing. Put your classroom knowledge into real-life practice—while you’re still here.
  • Trade stocks in the on-campus student stock trading room
  • Take field trips nationally and abroad to visit industry-leading companies like Boeing and Micron
  • Engage in on-location design studios in the nation’s largest cities
  • Collaborate with Fortune 500 executives and community and governmental leaders on course projects
  • Participate in national student competitions and professional conferences
  • Conduct meaningful research in the lab and in the field