Interior Design

Interior Design Faculty

Full Time Faculty

Cheryl Gulley, IDEC, EDRA, LEED AP ID+C
Professor and Department Chair
MFA Interior Architecture and Design, Academy of Art University
MA Psychological Science – Environment & Behavior Studies, Austin Peay State University
BID Interior Design, O’More College of Design
BS Chemistry and Psychology,  University of Tennessee – Knoxville

In 1991, following ten years of interior design practice with a commercial design firm in Nashville, Gulley began teaching at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, then Watkins Institute. Gulley devoted herself to interior design education with the years 1996 through 2006 spent as the Department Chair. During the past twenty years, her credits include the creation of the initial BFA in Interior Design program, as well as securing the first CIDA accreditation for the BFA.

Gulley has been active in furniture and lighting design production for the past ten years. Her designs have been submitted as part of juried exhibitions. The submitted furniture and lighting designs have received recognition through awards received in national competitions. More recent designs have featured the manipulation of materials that are part of the sustainable movement, including recycled metal and concrete.

In 2010, Gulley added an MFA in Interior Architecture and Design to her credentials. The graduate-level coursework provided an avenue toward additional research and application of sustainable principles. Her thesis focused on the renewal of a site near downtown Nashville, which provided an opportunity for renovation and new construction within sustainable guidelines throughout the proposal. An additional credential was added with LEED Approved Professional status in 2009. Gulley now holds a LEED AP ID+C certificate (Interior Design + Construction).

Adjunct Faculty

Paul John Boulifard
M.Arch, Architecture, Yale University

Designer/Architect Paul John Boulifard has a wide range of professional and academic experiences. Professionally he has worked on large scale projects ranging from skyscrapers, healthcare facilities and performing arts centers while at Pelli Clarke, Pelli Architects in New Haven, CT, to small scale civic buildings at Cherry Huffman Architects, in Raleigh, NC. He has worked at Manuel Zeitlin Architects in Nashville, TN, working on multi-use projects, civic facilities, and small scale residential architectural projects. Currently, he maintains a thriving consulting practice.

In conjunction with these professional activities, Boulifard has taught at the university level on an adjunct basis at such notable institutions as Wesleyan University and Connecticut College, which are both located in Connecticut. He also taught as a full-time tenure track faculty member at the Drury University Hammons School of Architecture. He specialized in fifth year level teaching and computer technologies in relation to the exploration and practice of architecture.

He holds an undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University, College of Design and a Master’s Degree from Yale University, School of Architecture. He also has also studied in France and Spain.

Dallas Dedmon
MFA Candidate, Architectural History, Savannah College of Art and Design
BS, Interior Design, Lambuth University
BS, Psychology, Union University

Ms. Dedmon’s career has involved interior design and project management, as well as undergraduate interior design instruction. With a special passion for items related to architectural history, her background has included work as a furniture and decorative arts preservationist.

Nancy Inman
AFA, Interior Design, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

Nancy Inman is a Principal and Senior Designer for I-Group. In her eighteen years of professional experience, Ms. Inman has completed projects for hotels, hospitals, restaurants, nursing homes, recreational facilities, schools, churches, and military installations. Her design of local restaurant favorites includes The Bound’ry, South Street, Cabana, and Urban Grub Fish Pit and Southern Cantina.

Katherine Kennon
MA, Architecture, Clemson University
BA, Design, Clemson University

Ms. Kennon’s architecture practice has included spaces that vary from private residences to commercial spaces, such as financial institutions, healthcare environments, and retail establishments. She is the co-author of the popular textbook, The Codes Guidebook for Interiors, now in its fifth edition.

Susan Kurtz
BFA, Interior Design, O’More College of Design

Ms. Kurtz has her own residential interior design business and is currently developing a design package for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, as well as for the caregivers themselves. She is highly skilled in design presentation techniques, including computer-aided renderings using AutoCAD, SketchUp, Lumion, Photoshop and Revit.

Rachel Martin
M.Arch, Architecture, University of Tennessee
BS, Interior Design, University of Tennessee

With degrees in both interior design and architecture, Rachel Martin brings a diverse mixture of pertinent information to her students. Her professional practices includes a focus on large scale commercial projects, including healthcare facilities and American embassies, as well as custom residential projects located in Portland, Oregon and Nashville, Tennessee. Ms. Martin is a co-owner of (n)habit, a retail showroom and design services firm that focuses on sustainable building materials. She and her husband received the 2011 NEXT Award for Sustainable Start-up and have been listed in the Nashville Post’s annual 50 “Green Heroes” since the inception of (n)habit.

Shonna Sexton
BFA, Interior Design, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
BFA, Fine Art, University of Tennessee – Martin

Ms. Sexton’s professional practice began as an interior designer for several prominent architectural firms in the Nashville area. Currently, she is practicing as the driving force behind Shonna Sexton Studio. Sexton creates spaces to fulfill the needs of the client, while striving to improve day-to-day quality of life through art and design. Her focus is to make decisions that are respectful of the past and will stand the test of time, while requiring a limited amount of maintenance. Ms. Sexton is a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and has served on the Board for the IIDA Tennessee Chapter for the past several years. She is the recipient of the Tennessee Chapter Service Award.

Connie Vernich
BA, Art History, American InterContinental University
AFA, Interior Design, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

Ms. Vernich is an accomplished residential designer whose work has been featured throughout Nashville and the surrounding area for the past fifteen years. She is also known for her skillful renderings and artful blending of the old with the new. Vernich brings her knowledge of the history of architecture and interior design to life in her classrooms through her detailed lectures. Students connect with her descriptions at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film and on-site in France.