School-to-Work Transition: Reality Check

Get tips on what to expect in the working world as you launch your professional path.

Transitioning from school to professional life is big change and a major step in your career. Hear from emerging professionals about what to expect and how to prepare as you transition, in addition to what they wish they would have known. You will have the opportunity to connect with presenters to ask questions and learn from your peers to support each other. 

Kelsey Davidson, ASID

Principal Interior Designer


Kelsey is a Principal at SALT, an Interior Design firm, located in Anchorage, Alaska. She was born and raised in Sitka, Alaska, and attended the University of Nevada, Reno, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design in 2011. Kelsey worked as a residential interior designer, specializing in kitchen and bathroom design for two years before she switched gears to commercial interior design, and began working for SALT in 2013 (formerly RIM Design). Kelsey has been a project designer on a variety of projects since joining SALT, participating in projects from programming through construction administration, becoming familiar with all aspects of the profession. Kelsey's ability to methodically and efficiently work through the various technical complexities that come with any design project, and her keen communication skills have made her an invaluable member of the team at SALT. She thrives on organization and enjoys the many intricate layers of design that make up any project. Kelsey's favorite parts about design are improving the function of space, and figuring out how it will all go together -- it's all in the details!


Kendra Locklear Ordia, ASID, RID, LEED AP

Assistant Professor, Interior Design

University of Nebraska

Kendra Locklear Ordia is a Registered Interior Designer in Texas and Assistant Professor of Interior Design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has previous academic experience as an Assistant Professor at Texas State University and Kansas State University. Ordia teaches courses in materials and design studios focused on urban and contemporary issues. Kendra has presented at national and international conferences on biophilic design, spatial narrative/ecology, and design representation. As a designer and researcher, her work is rooted in broader topics of human behavior as they are expressed in the themes of biophilic design, health and well-being, environmental quality, and spatial ecologies. Her professional work at top firms like Perkins & Will, Gensler, and CallisonRTKL focused primarily on workplace and large-scale healthcare interiors. Her creative biodesign work has been exhibited at several international exhibitions, including the DesignLAB Next Nest Exhibition and Curtains: The Center for American Architecture and Design Symposium.

Santiago Rivera, Allied ASID

Foundations, Associations & Organizations Regional Leader | Associate


Santiago has been an integral member of the teams behind education, not-for-profit, workplace, and hospitality projects. He co-leads New York’s Community Impact team (Gensler’s volunteer group), is a firmwide leader for ECC 2.0 (the next generation of leaders for the Education, Civic and Culture practice area), and is regional leader for the Foundations, Associations and Organizations practice area. He leads pro-bono projects, works on research initiatives and has moderated panel discussions and round tables. In 2015, Santiago served as cultural ambassador to the new Gensler Office in Mexico City where he oversaw the development of the office culture.  Working with Change for Kids, Santiago helps fundraise and provide opportunities to over 5,000 students in the NYC public school system. He is a board member in Build Out Alliance, an organization seeking to promote and advocates for LGBTQ+ people serving openly and with pride in the building design and construction industry.

Suzanne Frasier, ASID, FAIA, CID, NOMA, CPHC (Moderator)

Associate Professor and Department Chair at the School of Architecture and Planning

Morgan State University

Suzanne Frasier has made a viable connection to international themes in her academic and professional work. Her research and pedagogy generates and disseminates new ideas about interior design that empower and educate future generations in design principles and construction technologies around the world. As an NCIDQ certified interior designer and registered architect in the United States, Suzanne has over 25 years of professional experience in the design and construction industry. She was in private practice in New York for 10 years, and taught for over a decade at one of America’s top design schools, The New York School of Interior Design. Currently, she is an associate professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University in Baltimore, one of the nation’s historically black universities (HBCU). 


School-to-Work Transition: Reality Check
09/12/2021 at 10:00 AM (EDT)   |  45 minutes
09/12/2021 at 10:00 AM (EDT)   |  45 minutes Join us in the Cabinet Room for this morning breakout.