“I wanted to be a librarian. I loved to read, and I couldn’t imagine anything better than being surrounded by books. I went to the library every week and checked out the maximum number of books allowed.
Later, in high school, I wanted to be a psychologist, but then I had a dismal and uninspiring psychology teacher and scrapped the idea. I became interested in interior design after that. My interest grew most likely due to the fact that my family moved a number of times while I was growing up, and my parents did extensive remodeling projects. In high school, I frequently redesigned my bedroom layout and its aesthetic."
“I initially wanted to be a secretary because my mom was a secretary. So I focused all of my attention on learning how to type. Today, I can type 120 words a minute, and I had a number of paid internships because of my typing skills.
I became interested in architecture in junior high because I liked drawing and painting and the arts, but I was good at math as well. I went to a small school in Iowa, and I was usually the only girl in my advanced math and science classes. In computer programming and statics I was always the only girl, but I didn’t mind. Boys would tease me and say, “Why do you bother? You will end up pregnant and sweeping the floor.” Today they are contractors and I tell them what to do!”
“I don’t think I could pinpoint the exact timeframe when I started thinking real thoughts about being an architect, but I have a framed picture in my office that hints at it. It’s a floor plan drawn on grid paper of one of my childhood bedrooms. And then when I was in high school, I used to doodle buildings and floor plans during class. Then, when my parents built another house, I remember sitting with my dad at the kitchen table late in the evening as he marked up drawings.”
“I decided I wanted to be an architect at age 10. I had the chance to tour Europe and spend some time in Chicago, where my mother took me to visit Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and Bucky Fuller. It made me excited about architecture.
My science class at that time had a very clever sort of Tom Sawyer-strategy to seduce good students to do more. If you earned A’s on the tests, you didn’t have to attend class. Instead you had to do a special independent study project on a topic related to what we were studying. All of my projects were about architecture, including designing a school from the perspective of acoustics, lighting and sight lines, and designing an inflatable moon station.”
“As a child, I liked to solve puzzles and draw imaginary creatures and places. There was also a brief time when I wanted to be like Emma Peel from the British spy show, the “Avengers,” solving mysteries, helping people and fighting bad guys. In my role as a healthcare architect, I work with really talented planners and designers to solve problems, overcome challenges and create solutions that can have a positive impact on the delivery of healthcare.”