Jody Luna, M. Arch, Ed. D.
The Illinois Institute of Art — Schaumburg
The harder you work, the more success you'll have. Jody Luna, M. Arch, Ed. D. , Associate Professor , The Illinois Institute of Art — Schaumburg
Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?
I grew up around architecture and construction, because my dad was a contractor. When I took art and drafting in high school, I knew I had to incorporate a creative aspect into my career...it just felt right creating art and design.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I simulate a real-world environment whenever possible. I play the role of project manager, and guide students through the process as though they’re design professionals working in a commercial design firm. We also go on-site to visit interior design firms and projects to introduce students to the resources available in the industry.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
I keep the lines of communication open with my students. To me, that’s the most important part of building a classroom environment.
In what way do you inspire students to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?
I try to lead by example—by continuing to push myself beyond my limits, and sharing my experiences with students I hope they can see the value in pushing themselves.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
Interdisciplinary projects are my favorite. I believe we should work together between departments to help students get comfortable collaborating with others who bring different specialties to the table. The more a student gets involved in the school community, the more invested they are in accomplishing their goals.
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
The harder you work, the more success you’ll have. Hone those skills now while you’re in school.
Anything else you’d like to share?
This is truly a community...we’ve created a collaborative work environment—not just for employees and faculty, but for students.