After 22 years in higher education, Lisa Tucker has received the Arnold P Friedmann Educator of Distinction award.

“I dedicate this award to all the students I have had the privilege of teaching over the years,” said Tucker, who heads the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management at Virginia Tech and is a professor of residential environments and design. “They kept me inspired.”

This award is presented to a current or former member of the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC). It recognizes their significant contributions made to interior design education. The award is named for Friedman, who founded the interior design program at the University of Massachusetts in the 1970s. This program has since become the Architecture Department.

“Dr. Lisa Tucker is the epitome of a design educator of true excellence,” said Ellen Fisher, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the New York School of Interior Design. “Throughout her career as an architect, historian, designer, author, and educator, her commitment to her students and deep understanding of interactions between people has made her unique among her peers. It’s an honor to be her colleague and friend.”

Tucker earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia in 1986. Following her bachelor’s, she received a certification of historic preservation and a master of architectural history in 1990, also from the University of Virginia. She completed her doctorate in architectural studies from the University of Missouri in 2008.

She joined Virginia Tech in 2001 as an assistant professor in the School of Architecture + Design. She has been awarded over 20 sponsored research and grant awards from organizations, including the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) at Virginia Tech, and Radford University. 

“The focus she gives to her students and colleagues ensures everyone has a fulfilling experience,” said Sydney Miller, a 2020 Virginia Tech graduate, an interior design major,  and former student of Tucker’s. “She is an exemplary educator as shown through her devotion to the wellbeing of her students and their learning experiences.”

At the national level, Tucker has been recognized as one of the most admired design educators four times by DesignIntelligence. In 2015, she was awarded the Nancy Vincent McClelland Award, ASID’s highest honor.

Tucker has written seven books related to sustainability and design, as well as multiple book chapters and journal articles.

By: Gabby Taylor