Published on August 24, 2018 by Ashley Smith  
IARCDR
Samford Interior Architecture Students Impact Lives in Dominican Republic

Samford’s School of the Arts Interior Architecture program has been making a global impact over the past few years with projects in India, Ecuador and most recently in the Dominican Republic. Students work with clients that have specific needs and then provide design direction and on-site management through a site visit early in the year and a return trip to assist with the initiation of the actual building.

This year, students tackled two design challenges through New Covenant Baptist Church  in the Dominican Republic which has also facilitated orchestra tours for School of the Arts students.  The first undertaking was to design a new community center in Villa Altagracia and the second was to create a senior living establishment in San Cristobal. The senior living concept is very new to the Dominicans as they typically care for the elderly in family homes. This hands-on experience allows the students to work with real clients and solve problems in the classroom and in the field. 

Jeannie Krumdieck, chair of the Department of Interior Architecture traveled with students last November to preview the sites and then Joe Hopkins, Preston Hite and Charles Ford returned with a group in June to start construction.  Pastor Hector Santana with New Covenant shared his gratitude in a recent letter to Jeannie Krumdieck.  “We give glory to God for the lives of those who represented Samford in our country in the past months, because they made us feel loved, and they made a great effort to satisfy the needs that we presented to them in our projects. Dean Joseph Hopkins, professors Preston Hite, Jeannie Krumdieck, Charles Ford, have been great witnesses for our lives.  Flexibility and patience were qualities that we appreciate(d) in each one of you, as well as the respect and obvious appreciation of our culture….I would not do justice if I did not (also)mention Alli Simmons, Allison Carrier, Alyssa McCourt, Betsy Shuttleworth, Celia Gannaway, Emilie White, Emma Doering, Katherine Mixson, Kaylee Britton, Liz Brannon, Rich Fridy, and Tré Mason. Each one of them put all his effort into interpreting and making our dreams come true. Tré, Celia and Emma, thank you for coming back on behalf of the entire team and putting the work in motion. We feel that you are part of us.”

 As Krumdieck shared this letter with her students she noted, “I want our students to realize the impact they have on individual lives as well as a church and even a country.”  These projects have been the prototype for the School of the Arts new Catalyst arts curriculum senior project which allows students across the School of the Arts to gain valuable hands-on experience in their arts area.