Alumni to Inspire Art and Architecture Students Futures

Friday, March 8 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho – Helping students prepare for life beyond the classroom, the University of Idaho’s College of Art and Architecture will host a day-long symposium on Wednesday, March 20 to provide insight and advice for students seeking their first post-college job in an increasingly more interdependent and complex world, or contemplating their fields of interest and passions while in college.

The inaugural event, themed Inspiring Design Futures, is designed to encourage current students to think creatively about their role in the design world at large and concurrently consider unique career options that are fulfilling and engaging. Speakers will address three different but interconnected themes: building personal and professional identify, exploring unique paths to building one’s career and the role of community engagement in designing for and leading in the real world. Attendees are invited to attend sessions in all three tracks to form their own stories as they listen, reflect, network and engage.

“Especially today, in a time of economic uncertainty, interdependent global systems and increased demand for more integrative approaches to deal with complexity, our graduates are prepared with design thinking and creative agency to contemplate, create, and lead inspiring and beautiful futures. This symposium opens dialogues and opportunities to see niches, possibilities, and intersections for all of us” said Rula Awwad-Rafferty, professor of architecture and interior design.

College of Art and Architecture alumni from the past several decades will share their stories of professional achievements, inspiring journeys and visionary engaged community involvements to prepare students for real-world experience in the workplace. They will present the paths they took through a variety of presentations, workshops and panel discussions.

The College of Art and Architecture chose to bring back alumni to emphasize the diversity, vibrancy, and focus on what a University of Idaho education can offer. The speakers hail from near and far, with diverse perspectives and backgrounds, and intentionally represent the five programs within the college equitably. There is a special bond between alumni, faculty, students and their institutions; University of Idaho is both the physical, and social milieu of identity, growth and rejuvenation.

"The entire CAA family is dedicated to the professional development and success of our students, whether on or off campus. We have a legacy of engaged careers and identities in local and global communities; the Inaugural Inspiring Design Futures continues this legacy and intergenerational connection with hands on learning and professional leadership,” said Mark Hoversten, dean of the College of Art & Architecture.

The day kicks off at 8:30 a.m. in the Student Union Building Ballroom with a welcome by the lecture committee and Hoversten. Three tracks of sessions, each led by interdisciplinary teams of alums, will follow from 9-11:45 a.m. in the ballroom, Borah Theater and Silver and Gold Rooms.

Sessions in the three afternoon tracks will take place from 1:30-4:15 p.m, and will end with the Inspiring Conversations Town Hall meeting at 4:30 p.m. in the ballroom. The town hall meeting will be facilitated by the College of Art and Architecture Student Congress and will provide time for any final thoughts, reflections or a time to ask more questions. The session is another layer the symposium builds upon; participants are life-long learners connected with a vision to build inclusive, resilient and prospering futures.

The event will wrap up with alumni greetings and cheer at 5:45 p.m. in the ballroom, followed by a celebration and reception at the Prichard Art Gallery, located at 414 S. Main St. in Moscow, at 6 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or contact Rula Awwad-Rafferty, CAA Lecture Series Committee Chair at
# # #

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: