“This is the best job I’ve ever had,” reflects Interior Design Department Head, Judy Plattner. Plattner, or “Miss Judy” as she’s known to her students, is celebrating her 20th year of teaching at Stevens – the Institute of Business & Arts, and will be retiring from her position as department head in March. Plattner began her career at Siba as an adjunct faculty member in 1999, and accepted the role of department head a few years later. Under her leadership, Siba’s interior design program and her students have benefitted greatly from her design expertise, her contacts in the interior design community, and her mentorship.
In 2008, Plattner played a major role in the development of a Bachelor of Arts program at the college, which was designed to meet industry standards for interior design professionals. The curriculum continues to evolve, most often in the technical realm of software such as CAD, Revit, and SketchUp. Plattner’s ever-present involvement in the St. Louis regional design community has served as a valuable pipeline of information about what employers’ needs are so that class content can be updated and modified accordingly.
As she looks back at her career and the accomplishments of her alumni, how does Miss Judy measure her success? “Watching former students excel and get to the tops of their fields. We have graduates running programs at some of the largest interior design, architectural design, and engineering firms in the region.”
Plattner isn’t saying a final farewell, though! She’ll continue teaching classes part-time, as her retirement schedule allows. Leadership of the program will fall into familiar hands – veteran faculty member, Janelle Schrumpf, will take over the Department Head duties upon Plattner’s retirement in March 2020.
What grain of wisdom would Plattner impart to existing and future designers? “Constant networking and studying. It shouldn’t start or stop when you graduate. Start networking as a new student and don’t ever stop studying or learning.”