Cristina Fernandez

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Thank you for visiting my e-portfolio and blog site and welcome! I am currently a first year graduate student working towards a M.S. in Architecture with a concentration in Interiors and a Future Professoriate Certificate. I received my B.S. in Interior Design from Virginia Tech in 2007 and was excited to have to opportunity to return.  After 10 years of working as a senior designer and project manager at both architectural and interior firms, I decided it was time to make the move to higher education.

To be completely transparent, I had not always planned on becoming an educator. As my career as a designer advanced, I continued to think back about my undergrad experience and how it shaped me as an individual. During my time as an undergraduate, my income status and first-generation student background created barriers for my success. It took me six years to graduate, mainly due to the combination of being unprepared for the culture of college and having to work full time during classes. I wanted a connection with my teachers, and I wanted to be on the same playing field as my peers. This feeling of exclusion leads me back to Blacksburg now, in hopes of one day filling the gap of educators needed to promote inclusion and equity in the classroom.

My interest in inclusion and equity in education aligns with my views of design curriculum as well. I hope to encourage students to think about the built environment as an individual experience and a means to social equity. We all see things differently from each other, and that is something to celebrate, not condemn or disregard. If during this process of educating I can change only one person’s life for the better, than I will regard myself as successful.