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KI Congratulates 2021 IIDA Educator Diversity Award Winner Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

April 2, 2021

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- KI is proud to congratulate Dr. Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, the Northrop Professor of Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, for winning the 2021 IIDA Educator Diversity Award. KI and IIDA jointly honored Hadjiyanni in a virtual ceremony February 24.

“Dr. Hadjiyanni has driven positive change in the design community, and we’re proud to support her efforts,” said Bryan Ballegeer, vice president of education markets at KI, which sponsored the award. “At KI, we believe that creating an inclusive environment is one of the most important things an educator can do. And Dr. Hadjiyanni does that every day.”

The IIDA Educator Diversity Award “recognizes and celebrates an educator who is contributing to the advancement of racial and ethnic diversity in the interior design industry.” The winner receives a $5,000 cash prize from the IIDA Foundation.

Hadjiyanni encourages her students and her colleagues in the interior design community to leverage the power of design to combat racial disparities in health, income and education. She plans to use the award to strengthen dialogues around increasing Native representation in interior design education.

Hadjiyanni has taught at the University of Minnesota since 2002. She received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1999. Hadjiyanni’s latest book, The Right to Home – Exploring How Space, Culture, and Identity Intersect with Disparities (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) uses stories of Hmong, Somalis, Mexicans, Ojibwe, and African Americans in Minnesota to explore how elements of interiors support or suppress meaning-making processes, delineating the production of disparities.

“I’m humbled to have been recognized by IIDA and KI for my work,” said Dr. Hadjiyanni. “It's a privilege to be able to educate the next generation of designers about how they can use space to foster positive change in our world and create communities in which everyone can thrive, a vision I call Culturally Enriched Communities.”

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