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Instructors announced for MDS in Design for Human Health

Experts and leaders in diverse field, passionate about the impact of design on human health

BAC Students learning with Dak Kopec, BAC Director of Design for Human Health, at the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) in Boston, MA. Photo by Sam Rosenholtz

BAC Students learning with Dak Kopec, BAC Director of Design for Human Health, at the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) in Boston, MA

© Boston Architectural College.; Photo by Sam Rosenholtz

The Boston Architectural College is pleased to announce and welcome the group of fourteen instructors who join us as educators within the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health (MDS-DHH), launching in the Fall 2014 semester.

"The MDS-DHH program is proud to have brought together a team of instructors from around the country who are widely diverse in expertise, and leaders within their communities and professions," said Dak Kopec, BAC Director of Design for Human Health. "Our team is comprised of physical therapists, psychologists, public and environmental health professionals, and many more that work and teach alongside architects, interior designers, and landscape architects. They all share a passion for education, and an understanding of the tremendous impact design has on human health."

With a joint emphasis on human health and the design of the built environment, the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health is a unique degree program developed to provide students with the knowledge to assess and design private, public, and community environments based on the human dimensions of physical activity, cognitive performance, and psychological wellbeing. Delivered in a low-residency, online format, the MDS in Design for Human Health allows students to maintain full-time employment while providing the practicing designer or health professional to specialize in the growing field of human health and wellness in relation to the built environment. This program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach that merges biological and social sciences with design skills to better serve those who have suffered a traumatic injury, have been compromised as a result of disease or chronic illness, or have diminished capabilities as a result of natural human development or aging processes.The following individuals join the BAC as the instructors for the Fall 2014 Launch of the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health:

Jennifer Renee Buergermeister, MA, CH T, MNLP, is based out of Houston TX and has her master's degree in Transpersonal Psychology. She is an instructor at Rice University and founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Breathe the Cure, an organization dedicated to stress reduction through the use of breathing and meditation techniques for children, the general public, and those experiencing symptoms of disease. She has also co-authored an award-winning children's book called The FUNdamentals of Breathing and Yoga, published in 2012, and is the founder of the annual Texas Yoga Conference. Jennifer teaches Neurobiology in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health. 

Liliane Choney, MM, is the founder/CEO of ReVisions Resources, a nonprofit agency that creates and delivers educational and housing resources for successful aging. The agency was founded in 1989 by working women who had encountered frustrating barriers while seeking caregiving resources and solutions for family members and friends. After successfully navigating the eldercare territory, they formed this nonprofit to make it easier for others to get help for themselves and their loved ones. Ms. Choney's private sector background includes contracts, licensing and project administration for the Bechtel group; world-wide training for NCR, marketing administration for international sales and licensing of computer products and software; and management of government contracts for military defense applications. She is the cofounder of a business and computer management consultancy that was bought by a public company and Technology Escrow, a business service to protect the interests of creators and users of intellectual property that was acquired by Iron Mountain. Today 90% of the Fortune 500 rely on this service. Liliane teaches Design Finance and Management in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health. 

Charlene A. Day, Ph.D. MPA, holds a doctorate degree in Health Education from the University of Maryland and a Master in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Based Las Vegas, NV, Charlene is the founder and Executive Director of Education for Quality Living. Charlene Manages and directs 50+ public health professional staff and community health educators in the provision of evidence based health promotion and disease prevention programs for federal government grantees, national organizations, local health departments, and community based organizations. She also assists clients and organizations in the coordination of program planning and evaluation. She is actively involved in the development and collection of needs assessment data, implementation and assessment of test pilot programs, and the collection of process and outcome data. Charlene teaches Epidemiology and GIS in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health.

Dr. Nicholas DeRenzis, DPT, is a licensed physical therapist based out of the Seattle Tacoma area, and member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). He received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology from East Stroudsburg University, PA. He also holds an Associate's Degree in Photography. Dr. DeRenzis has worked as a physical therapist for six years in a variety of settings, including: acute care and rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, home health, and outpatient skilled care. His tenure as a therapist has given him the skill set to treat diverse patient populations and medical conditions. He is also an avid runner and cyclist, and has logged over 3,000 miles over the course of numerous ultra marathons, marathons, and a half iron man. Nick teaches Biomechanics in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health.

Michael Fiorillo RA, RLA, is based out of Boston, MA where he lives with his wife and daughter. He is also a practicing designer and educator. He teaches several courses related to Design Studios, Design Theory and Building Science. His interests lie in helping people to productively connect with the natural, social and built systems that support overall health. Michael teaches the Design Theory and Inquiry course in The Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health.

Amanda Hatherly, M.Ed. is based out of Santa Fe, NM. She is the Director for the Center of Excellence for Green Building and Energy Efficiency and New Mexico Energy$mart Academy at Santa Fe Community College. Amanda also teaches courses for the Building Performance Institute, the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the National Center for Healthy Housing, and is the Principle Investigator for a National Science Foundation grant developing serious games related to building science. She is a member of numerous boards within New Mexico and nationally related to energy efficiency, health and sustainability, and she is on the National Center for Healthy Housing Curriculum Committee and the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission. Amanda is regularly invited to speak about energy efficiency, green building and healthy homes issues around the country including most recently at the MIT Women in Clean Energy Symposium and at a special event at the White House. She has a graduate certificate in Adult Online Education. Amanda teaches the Environmental Health course in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health program.

Barbara Marini, FASID, IDEC, is based out of Detroit, MI. For Barbara, design is an integral element of her DNA. She is passionate about interdisciplinary work and the integration of theory and practice as they relate to well designed interiors and business strategies. Her expertise in programming analysis and strategy, project management, and research is evidenced in her work. Ms. Marini is a consultant to architectural firms, developers, and clients on issues that influence interior space. She is a principal of Marini Interiors Inc., a commercial design firm and been the recipient of awards in both academia and design. Barbara is the Immediate Past President of ASID and Adjunct Professor at the Art Institute of Michigan. She has earned her Masters of Science in Interior Design and Specialist of Arts in Educational Leadership. Barbara is currently a doctoral candidate at Eastern Michigan University in the area of Educational Leadership and she teaches Habilitative Design and leads the Thesis Studio-Lab in The Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health.

Susan Morgan, AIA, LEED BD+C, is based out of Cambridge MA. She is also a practicing Architect with Bruner/Cott in Cambridge, MA and a design instructor at the Boston Architectural College with a focus on design in response to use and occupation. Her work with complex institutional projects and sensitive historic renovations layers research practice with user-centric data gathering. In studios for architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture students, Susan utilizes curricula that embraces universal access and introduces phenomenology and basic principles of environmental psychology and perception. Recent professional projects include the development of a pilot classroom for active learning, creation of a campus center which integrates student services, campus dining, and formal and informal learning spaces, and the renovation and accessibility upgrade of a Josep Lluis Sert library in Boston. Susan teaches the Environmental Health Studio-Lab in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health.

Linda Nussbaumer, Ph.D., is based out of Lake Crystal, MN. She has a Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D in interior design. Prior to becoming involved in education, she worked in both residential and non-residential design. Residential projects included selecting finishes and furnishings, designing kitchens and baths, designing and drafting of the entire residence, and so on. Non-residential projects included office design, multi-housing, and medical clinics. She has also worked with historic restoration and has been involved in the restoration of a historic home (Hubbard House) in Mankato, MN. She is a professor emeritus of South Dakota State University (SDSU). Her research interests include interior design education and quality of life (e.g., multiple chemical sensitivity, indoor air quality, and nursing home design). Linda is now the author of multiple textbooks continues to teach online for several universities, and she serves as a program consultant and CIDA site visitor. Linda teaches the course Environment and Behavior in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health program.

Tim Severo M.Arch. is an Architectural designer based out of Cambridge, MA. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the US Air Force Academy and graduated with Honors from the Boston Architectural College where after graduation he taught graduate design studios. Tim's belief in each person's right to quality design is made manifest in both his built and conceptual work; while the former exemplifies highly public and accessible buildings and objects, the latter explores morality, aesthetics, and design integrity. Tim's experience ranges from the exploratory freedom of "shoe-string" public art installation to multi-million dollar institutional project management. Tim co-teaches the Visual Representation course in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health program with Naomi Sherman.

Mandy Simons, M.A., Assoc. IIDA, SEGD is an interior designer based in Boise, ID. She has a master's degree in interior design from Washington State University and a decade of experience in the healthcare industry. She is a healthcare focused designer with Hummel Architects where she takes an active role in developing evidence-based design solutions for healthcare and education industry clients. Mandy's research interests include branding and wayfinding in healthcare environments, universal design, and aging in place. She teaches Research Methods in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health.

Naomi Sherman is a Boston based Architectural designer. She is a graduate of the Boston Architectural College, and is currently pursuing a Master's of Science in Architecture from The Israel Institute of Technology. Naomi's experience ranges from private homes to child-care facilities to aquariums and university labs. She strives to create buildings with which the user can interact in a variety of ways; her approach to materials, mechanics, and form is geared towards engaging the senses and creating a more nuanced relationship between the person, object, and space. Naomi has taught graduate courses in Visual thinking course, and co-teaching Visual Representation course in The Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health with Tim Severo. 

Melisa Stephens, M.S, is a community leader based in Roanoke VA. She works as an advocate at the local and national levels. She holds a Bachelors degree from Virginia Tech in Health Promotion along with Masters in Organizational Leadership and Development from Springfield College (MA). Melissa has been politically active on both the west and east coasts advocating, organizing and lobbying for sustainability related legislation. With an extensive background in nonprofit management, her career has embodied programs, projects, policies and planning at the nexus of health, environment and people. She strives to promote a lifestyle where we are all conscious stewards of our resources and proactive thinkers; thus being better prepared to make a better future. Melisa teaches Policy and Planning in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health.

Gerhard van der Linde, M.Arch, is based in Boston MA. He is an architectural designer with a background in psychological assessment and school counseling. He holds a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of the Free State in South Africa and a Masters Degree in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include the development and description of methodologies supporting the application of social and psychological research within architectural practice. He works as designer at Payette, a Boston based architectural firm focusing on technologically and programmatically complex buildings for the healthcare and science industries. Gerhard teaches Environment and Behavior Studio Lab in the Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health.