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2018 IIDA Educator of the Year - Dr. Evans, Kent State University!

IIDA OHKY's members are at it again, this time with outstanding leadership, teaching and mentoring, and friendship! Dr. Pamela Evans, IIDA, FIDEC, LEED AP, Kent State Unviversity Director and Asociate Professor of Interior Design, was recognized as the 2018 Educator of the Year Award recipient. The IIDA Educator of the Year Award recognizes and celebrates a full-time design educator for outstanding accomplishments and commitment to interior design education. 


“With outstanding leadership, Pamela’s unwavering commitment to design education and understanding of the power of design is unmatched. She has an unparalleled passion for advancing the profession through education and advocacy,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. “In her multiple roles as a leader, an administrator, and an educator, she makes each a priority in her work. We’re proud to honor Pamela’s achievements and influence by naming her the 2018 IIDA Educator of the Year.”


IIDA OHKY would like to congratualte Dr. Evans on her oustanding accomplishment! You have molded numerous great designers who make up our OHKY community and we are thrilled to have you in our community as well!


Missed the annual meeting? Check out Dr. Evan's speech below!

Good afternoon everyone.
First I want to thank the Board of Directors for this incredible honor. I am truly humbled by this award. Also, thank you to Milliken not only for this award but their continuing support of education and educators.
I would like to recognize my colleagues from Kent State for their support in attending this event and their continuing support throughout the years. It has meant a great deal to me. For those alumni who are here and all the graduates over the course of my career a huge hug of appreciation for giving my life meaning. It has been a great pleasure to watch them continue in their career paths and attain their significant levels of success. Finally, thank you to my family that has been not only the core of my values but has been the support of everything in my life. In particular, thank you to my brother Bill who understands design, education, and how they intersect.
When I received the letter about this award, it informed me that I would need to speak to the audience for 3 to 4 minutes. Given a stage, a podium, and a microphone, my teacher's mind goes immediately to 50 minutes. Meaning lecture time!! I promise not to go that long or preach to the choir, but I do have one crucial aspect I would like to address today.
I have spent my career providing the knowledge and tools for graduates to move forward in their vocations. But primarily it has always been my intent to make sure that at any point in time I am an advocate for the interior design profession and for its place in the academic and professional world. For that purpose, I have tried to be available in any situation to serve. Including both academic and professional organizations.
Fostering advocacy is a crucial aspect of being an accomplished educator. I see my role as an advocate for the profession, for design education, for my colleagues and most importantly for students; this has been my life-long mission. Early in my teaching career, I became profoundly aware that trained designers need to advocate for their jobs, their professional abilities, and for the positions they hold in the workplace. That belief is integral to my role as an educator.
Advocacy is not a new notion but is undoubtedly one of the most critical aspects of our profession. Instilling this concept in students is a crucial aspect of moving the profession of interior design forward. But there are other “A” words that should be used in conjunction with advocacy.
Awareness. Be aware at all time how the profession is perceived, how it is being questioned and most of all the level of excellence that interior design portrays to the public. No one should settle for mediocrity.
Assertiveness. Be firm in your convictions in all situations where and when you or the profession is being challenged.
Aggressive. Be the first one on the line. Aggressive is not a negative unless it is used to demean. Embrace the word. It can be a badge of honor. Be tenacious. Only then do matters change.
Alone. We are never one. It takes a village, and we are more than a village.
Without the awareness, assertiveness, aggressiveness, and involvement of students and new
graduates, there are no individuals to carry the torch forward in the leadership of organizations, legislative issues, and academia. Carry all the “A” words with you at all times.
There is an innate difference between being an educator and being a teacher. Oxford Dictionary defines the word teach as “to impart knowledge to or instruct (someone) as to how to do something.” However, to educate is “give intellectual, moral and social instruction to (someone”). It is not only my purpose to provide design information to a student but to also guide them through all of the roadblocks, pitfalls and personal issues impacting their lives. My mission has been to expose, enlighten, encourage and empower my students. Their success at the professional level proves that my mission has been a meaningful one.
Thank you again for this incredible and amazing honor.



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