My philosophy on teaching is based on my belief that an active and hands-on environment strongly influences student learning outcomes. Marosi White , Faculty , The Art Institute of California—Sacramento, a campus of Argosy University
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
In 1996, I had the privilege of coming to the United States to go to college, and it was then when I knew that I would be able to pursue a career as a creative professional. My specific interest has always been Interior Design, and I was excited to know that many of the colleges and universities here in the United States offered degrees in Interior Design.
I am a native of Malawi, and the education programs there do not offer many options for one to study the creative arts. Ever since I was young, I would often visualize multiple ways in which an interior space could be arranged and/or rearranged, and would in turn execute the vision with ease. I knew I was destined to become an Interior Designer.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
My philosophy on teaching is based on my belief that an active and hands-on environment strongly influences student learning outcomes. I also believe that the content of my courses must reflect current practice. I go above and beyond my duties and responsibilities as an instructor to put the necessary resources in the hands of students so they can engage with professional practitioners at any stage during the course of their education. This includes guest speakers, field trips, and professional networking opportunities with the local Chapters of The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), The International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). I also share with students my experiences in working with clients in the field.
How do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their perceived limits?
I adopt various learning styles to help my students successfully meet the student learning outcomes required in a course. Through visual presentations, audio, video media, guest speakers, and professional networking opportunities, I am able to effectively help students connect textbook content to practical experience. These resources help equip students with tools and information that aid them in solving problems or proposing feasible, practical, and cost effective solutions for a project.
This approach helps inspire students to perform at their highest level of communication in conveying their design ideas.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
Collaboration is key in the field of Interior Design. Relating life, industry and professional experience to the learning environment gives students the opportunity to experience a ‘hands-on’ practical application of information from their textbook.
Students are employed to work in teams within the Interior Design program, and with other students in other programs, so that they get experience working with others.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
Building and maintaining good connections and relationships is very important in the field. As much of the work requires collaboration with individuals from various trade groups, it is important to be respectful and to establish good working relationships with those that can help you realize the design dreams of your client.
Being a faculty member of this institution, role model, and mentor to the students is very rewarding.