Katie Rothfield is an award-winning educator, certified interior designer, and champion for student success. Born and raised in midcoast Maine, she earned a BA in Clinical Psychology and a minor in Studio Art from Tufts University while taking courses at several renowned institutions, including the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Maine Media Workshops + College, and Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia. Katie combined her education in creativity and systematic analysis to earn an MFA in Interior Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Graduating at the top of her class, she found passion and inspiration when exploring the deep connections between the interior environment and human psyche.
Rothfield’s professional practice experience spans over twenty years, including more than seven years in the hospitality and high-end residential interior design industries with noted firms such as The Gettys Group and blue, a design company, inc., and as a freelance interior designer, where she expanded her practice to include the corporate and institutional sectors. While Project Manager at The Gettys Group, she was a key contributor to the revolutionary Hotel of Tomorrow™ (H.O.T.) Project, a thought leadership forum spearheaded by The Gettys Group and Hospitality Design magazine to conceptualize the future of the hospitality industry.
At Florida International University (FIU), she currently serves as Assistant Dean of Students for the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) and Associate Teaching Professor and Internship Coordinator for the Department of Interior Architecture. As Assistant Dean of Students, she works directly with the Dean, collaborates with the College’s academic department chairs, the Office of Admissions, and the Center for Academic Success, and oversees the Academic Advising and Career Specialist teams to develop, assess, and support programs, initiatives, and processes that enhance student recruitment, retention, engagement, time-to-graduation, graduate school readiness, and career employment. As Associate Teaching Professor, she teaches design studios and lectures, mentors faculty, and advises students regarding professional examinations and careers, and she organizes local and national field trips to design firms, trade shows, museums, and architecturally significant sites each year. In addition, she managed the Interior Architecture Master’s Thesis Mentor Program, Super Jury + Celebration for seven years and facilitated the Festival of the Trees annual interior architecture scholarship fundraiser for four years.
Katie is the creator and past chair of the highly successful FIU School of Architecture annual conference, D3E (Designers Engage, Empower, Emerge), an event that brings together design students, professionals, educators, and manufacturers’ representatives for a variety of informational sessions, portfolio and resume reviews, and cutting-edge workshops that encourage students to rethink the way they design. She also originated the FIU Interior Architecture Department’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate Exam Achievement Award, which reimburses students who successfully pass the exam.
For more than a decade, Katie has developed and taught a wide range of graduate and undergraduate curricula, including hospitality, experimental, and mixed-discipline studios, and courses in sustainable practices, building systems, project programming, professional practice, and personal branding. She is National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Certified and LEED Accredited in Interior Design + Construction (ID+C). She is also a Professional Member of the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) and served as the Educational Representative for the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH) South Florida Chapter as well as the Vice President of Forums for the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Florida Chapter.
Recent accolades include the 2020 FIU Top Scholar Award for Engagement Beyond the Classroom, the 2017 FIU CARTA Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, the 2016 FIU Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the 2016 NEWH South Florida Chapter Silver Star Award, and the 2015 IIDA South Florida Chapter Educator of the Year Award. Katie is a published chapter text contributor to “100 Architects and Interior Designers,” by Damir Sinovcic, and she has presented at numerous conferences.
Crediting her mother, an accomplished artist/educator, and father, a witty jack-of-all-trades, Katie values ingenuity, authenticity, humor, and grit. Never one to slow down, she dabbles in podcast production, copyediting, writing, UX and UI design, and filmmaking, and she unwinds by listening to nonfiction narrative podcasts, discovering new alternative music, and searching for vintage and antique treasures while summering with her family in Maine.