Dr. Margaret Portillo honored with the Keith Hooks Volunteer Excellence Award

Meg PortilloDr. Margaret Portillo, FIDEC, Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Florida, has been honored with the Keith Hooks Volunteer Excellence Award in recognition of her many outstanding contributions to the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). CIDA established the Keith Hooks Volunteer Excellence Award as a legacy to former Director Keith Hooks whose 20+ years of volunteer leadership immeasurably impacted thousands of students in CIDA-accredited programs. “Margaret Portillo’s commendable, long-standing service, her support of CIDA’s mission in every respect, and the excellence of her work on behalf of CIDA and interior design education are worthy of this highest honor. The CIDA Board is very pleased to recognize her exceptional achievements with this award,” states Dr. Pamela Evans, FIDEC, IIDA, CIDA Board Chair.

Dr. Portillo’s involvement in CIDA volunteer leadership spanned 18 years. Most recently, she served as Chair of the CIDA Standards Committee during a three-year project to research and develop the next generation of quality assurance standards for interior design higher education programs in North America and abroad. Published in January 2016, CIDA Professional Standards 2017 will impact graduates from over 180 educational programs and ensure they are prepared for the rigors and complexities of the interior design profession in an increasingly globally interconnected future. Dr. Portillo’s expertise also was instrumental to CIDA issuing key timely updates to previous accreditation standards that improved the consistency and reliability on their application in the field.

In addition to her outstanding contributions on the CIDA Standards Committee, Dr. Portillo served on the former Research Committee from 1998-2004 and was an advisor in 2005-2006. As Research Committee chair, she was a lead investigator and champion for the ground-breaking Strategic Stories project, undertaken to demonstrate the power and benefit of narrative to document the value of interior design. At the time of publication, the Strategic Stories project garnered wide recognition in the interior design community, with numerous conference presentations and extensive design media coverage, including a dedicated special edition of the Journal of Interior Design. Dr. Portillo presented this project internationally, as part of an invited research delegation, to the World Congress on Environmental Design in Seoul. This project also received an Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) best paper award and resonated with practice audiences, including the readership of several feature articles on Strategic Stories appearing in the trade publication Interiors & Sources and in invited sessions, which Dr. Portillo helped lead at NeoCon—North America’s largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors.

Dr. Portillo consistently has gone above and beyond in her tenure with CIDA. She has helped organize and lead several presentations on various CIDA-related topics at IDEC conferences. During her concurrent service as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Interior Design, she encouraged CIDA to disseminate scholarly information about research, standards development, and CIDA’s Future Vision session, engendering confidence in CIDA’s mission and initiatives. Dr. Portillo also has been a frequent panel member at CIDA accreditation workshops and site visitor training sessions.

Over 130 interior design educators and practitioners currently volunteer for CIDA. Only one Keith Hooks Volunteer Excellence Award is presented annually. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation is an independent, non-profit, accrediting organization responsible for setting standards and evaluating degree granting interior design programs. Learn more at www.accredit-id.org.

For more information:
Holly Mattson, Executive Director ()
Telephone 616.458.0400