Driven to Design with the Highest Standards
“Without the high standards that my CCM professors set for me, I would not be in the place I am.”
Since Monica Wilder was 19, she has been balancing interior design in the real world and in her studies. While studying interior design at County College of Morris (CCM), she also worked at a high-end wallcovering company and then later moved on to CenterPoint Design in Scranton, PA. After she completed her education at CCM, she transferred to Marywood University to pursue her BFA degree in interior architecture.
As a student at Marywood, she took part in a two-student interior design architecture team that received the first place award in the 2016 International Student Design Competition, sponsored by the International Interior Design Association. The project was selected as the best design from hundreds of entries submitted from around the world.
Her design was founded on a simple zoning strategy based on how people interact with each other. “We put in a ton of effort, but there were still so many things we wanted to change, as design is always improving,” says Wilder. “We also knew we were up against the top schools in the country and from more than 50 countries around the world, so it was surreal when we found out we won.”
Wilder adds that her CCM professors laid the foundation for fundamental and conceptual interior design for her. During her first semester at CCM, she was an elementary education major but her heart was in the design and creative fields, so she changed her academic focus. Design Professors Kelly Whalen and James Howard guided her throughout her years at CCM, she notes. They helped her think outside the box, but also very critically about unrealistic versus realistic design.
“I think my education at CCM absolutely played a role in the success of my design,” says Wilder. “Without the high standards that my CCM professors set for me, I would not be in the place I am.”
Wilder plans to continue to work for CenterPoint Design. “They’ve given me so many opportunities and are paying for my education in full,” she says. “When you work hard, it really does pay off, and I will continue to push the limits and think about design differently.”
In the photo (left to right):
Blair Lehman, junior interior architecture student at Marywood University and Monica Wilder, CCM alumna and junior interior architecture student at Marywood University, standing against a backdrop of their winning design from the 2016 International Student Design Competition sponsored by the International Interior Design Association.