Academic Excellence Award Student News

Amber Beavens Recognized for Academic Excellence

Academic Excellence Award: Amber Beavens, School of Design | Interior Design

It would not be unusual to see Amber Beavens with a sketchbook in hand, or mapping out ideas for buildings and spaces on scraps of paper if her sketchbook is out of reach. She has always appreciated good design in the world around her and likes to be ready when inspiration strikes.  

Back in 2010, after graduating high school, she set out to learn more about how to take those sketches and turn them into a reality. She attended the University of Minnesota to study Architecture. 

“I have always been interested in the affect good design can have – the impact a well-designed space can have on the people that use it,” Beavens said.  

In 2014 she graduated with a Bachelors of Design in Architecture, but ultimately struggled to find employment in the field aside from a brief contract position. 

She found herself working outside the field for a number of years, but never lost sight of the fact that she wanted a career in design. It wasn’t until she was furloughed from her job during the pandemic that she gained the confidence to make sure that dream became a reality. 

The difference this time, however, was that instead of focusing on the exterior of buildings she wanted to focus on the interior.  

She wanted to take her passion for design and apply it in a new way, and she knew that to do that she would have to go back to school.  

“It had been something I had thought about for a while after graduating from the University of Minnesota, but I knew that I wanted to handle all aspects of designing a building,” Beavens said. 

So, she looked into options for accredited Interior Design programs and found her way to Dunwoody

“I loved that Dunwoody offered a hands-on approach and practical course work that will apply in the real world,” she said.  

She dove headfirst into her studies, pushing herself to learn as much about the field as she could. And her instructors took note. 

“The work that Amber does is consistent and excellent. She frequently goes above and beyond,” said Associate Professor Jessica Ainsworth-Truong. “As a non-traditional student pursuing a second degree, she sets the bar very high for herself and encourages others to aim high as well.” 

Beavens also took on a leadership role during the 2022-23 academic year, serving as President of the Interior Design Student Society.  

“She did an amazing job organizing the group and delegating responsibilities to other officers. She is always supportive of her classmates and other School of Design students,” said Ainsworth-Truong. 

Beavens hopes to continue to inspire and mentor design students in the future as well, helping them gain confidence for a successful career in the field – just as she said the instructors and staff at Dunwoody have done for her.    

“They go the extra mile to help you reach your career goals,” she said. 

While her path to becoming a professional in the interior design field wasn’t traditional, she knows that having a background in architecture has helped to make her a stronger and more well-rounded designer.  

“Both of my degrees go hand in hand. It is so beneficial. It helps with understanding the larger picture, down to the smaller details,” Beavens explained.  

She notes that it is already helping her in her day-to-day life as an Interiors Intern with UrbanWorks Architecture. A position that will become full-time after she graduates.