MTSU’s Julian honored with interior design Volunte...

MTSU’s Julian honored with interior design Volunteer Excellence Award

Middle Tennessee State University professor and Interior Design Program Director Kristi Julian has been honored with the 2022 Keith Hooks Volunteer Excellence Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and interior design education.

Dr. Kristi Julian, director of the Interior Design Program and a professor in the MTSU Department of Human Sciences
Dr. Kristi Julian

Julian began her service with CIDA in 2013 as a site visitor and was quickly promoted to a site visit team chair role, according to a CIDA news release. She has conducted 21 site visits over the past decade and “consistently contributes excellence in abundance, contributing volunteer hours and expertise well above and beyond threshold expectations for volunteers,” the release states.

CIDA established the Keith Hooks Volunteer Excellence Award as a legacy to former Director Keith Hooks whose 20-plus years of volunteer leadership impacted thousands of students in CIDA-accredited programs. Over 100 interior design educators and practitioners currently volunteer for CIDA, and only one Hooks excellence award is presented annually. 

“The Board applauds Dr. Kristi Julian’s exceptional volunteer leadership in both interior design education and as a CIDA program evaluator and review team chair. Dr. Julian is a shining example of excellence, generosity, and positive impact. The Board is delighted to recognize her with this award, and we congratulate her on this highest honor and her outstanding achievements,” said Vincent Carter, CIDA Board chair.

CIDA officials said Julian’s willingness to participate significantly supported the organization’s ability to conduct accreditation program reviews during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when volunteer time and resources were scarce. From summer 2020 through spring 2021, Julian served on six different CIDA visiting teams, “which is an astonishing gift of volunteer service,” the release states.

Department of Human Sciences logo

Beyond Julian’s time spent on CIDA accreditation reviews, CIDA officials said she is “an enthusiastic ambassador” for the council, furthering the community’s understanding of the valuable role CIDA plays in the interior design profession and education. Julian is also a regular panelist and presenter at CIDA’s accreditation workshops, offering a wealth of knowledge from her perspective as an interior design program director and a CIDA peer evaluator, the release states.

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation is an independent, non-profit, accrediting organization responsible for setting standards and evaluating degree granting interior design programs. Learn more at

MTSU’s Interior Design Program is part of the Department of Human Sciences in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. For more information about the program, visit

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