Last week, the Florida State University Department of Interior Architecture and Design recognized four exceptional alums who have made significant contributions in their field at its annual Alumni Awards ceremony.
“Our alumni are a big part of what make our program great, and it is an honor to be here recognizing some of these truly outstanding individuals tonight.” said Department Chair and Associate Professor, Jim Dawkins. “It is incredibly valuable to have alumni and council members who continue to be so dedicated to our program long after graduation, and who continue to provide support and guidance to our students as they enter the industry.”
Dionne Jefferson (BS 1998) is Vice Present of Design and Project Management for Marriott International’s full service premium brands, bringing strategic leadership to the design studio focused on Marriott, Sheraton, Delta and Gaylord hotels. She is regularly featured as a speaker on trends in the hospitality industry, including a 2018 Panel at AVIXA on leveraging digital technology to redefine the guest experience and a 2020 panel organized by Boutique Design NY (BDNY) on Challenges & Design Breakthroughs. In 2022, she served as a guest speaker/panelist at the 2022 NEWH Leadership Conference – and as a judge for Hospitality Design magazine’s HD Awards.
Brandi Markiewicz is Managing Partner for CI Group, Orlando, a leading provider of commercial office furniture in the Southeast. With a passion for her community, she served as a volunteer leader for many local charities and in the business community as President of the Downtown Orlando Partnership, Leadership Orlando Class 96 and 2.0 and was named to Orlando Business Journal’s 2019 40 Under 40 list. Her dedication to the design industry extends far beyond her job, most notably to the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) – Central Florida Chapter.
Chandler Bonney serves as Director of Real Estate & Workplace Services for Dropbox, where she has worked since 2019. She was instrumental in shifting the company’s primary work mode to remote while continuing to provide opportunities for in-person connection. She is a licensed interior designer and was previously at AECOM before joining Dropbox.
Lauren Czarniecki is founder and Principal designer of Czar Interiors, based in Palm Beach, FL. A residential and hospitality interior designer, her projects include homes in Southern California, South Florida, Southampton and Michigan. Lauren was recently awarded with a Stars of Design “Stars on the Rise” award from the Design Center of the Americas and you can find her work in recent publications of Palm Beach Illustrated, Modern Luxury Interiors and Art&Culture magazine.
Each award-winner gave a presentation outlining their career journey and offering advice to the dozens of current students in attendance. They encouraged students to get out of their comfort zone, take risks and use the connections they’ve built as FSU students to open the door to exciting career opportunities.
Following the awards ceremony, a short reception was held in WJB, allowing current students to connect with the award winners.
FSU’s Interior Architecture & Design program is consistently ranked among the best in the nation. Learn more at interiordesign.fsu.edu.