- Bachelor Of Architecture, University of Tennessee | 2006 | Summa Cum Laude
- Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness, University of TN Haslam College of Business | 2020
Expertise & Interests
After graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Tennessee, Jessica joined Design Innovation Architects where she contributed to the design of retail, office, and mixed-use projects for more than three years, gaining knowledge and skills in all phases of design. This experience prepared her well for her next position as program designer and director charged with leading a small non-profit initiative focused on housing for chronically homeless people.
She went from designing buildings to building communities.
After nine years working on solutions to the complex problems of poverty and homelessness, her focus shifted to work in schools to build out support, infrastructure, and other resources to engage and empower students, families, teachers, and the overall school community. Again, architectural education and practice experience equipped her to design, develop, and implement systems and programs and to install even physical environments, including outdoor learning classrooms and gardens.
On reflection, what Jessica values most about design is the creative process and attention to detail it entails. Community-building and partnership-making are vitally to leverage in the creative process. Jessica has excellent communication skills derived from personal commitments to listening, empathizing, and working toward cultural understanding.
Jessica has professional experience coordinating a neighborhood study of traffic and pedestrian travel patterns to identify the need for traffic calming measures and creating outdoor learning and play spaces. Jessica has owned and renovated multiple houses including a historic 100+ year old house and has collaborated with designers, tradespersons, and contractors to accomplish this work. Jessica’s teaching experience includes delivering lectures for Johnson University’s Family Studies/Psychology Internship Course and for UTK’s Graduate Public Health Seminar.
Jessica’s path demonstrates the many ways that the design programs housed within the UTK College of Architecture and Design prepare students to value education, to apply skills and knowledge across settings, and to pursue life-long learning.