May 25, 2021 By IIDA HQ
2021 IIDA Member, Student, and Educator of the Year
IIDA is pleased to announce our 2021 Member of the Year Marivel Ansera, IIDA, Student of the Year, Jen Khor, Student IIDA, and Educator of the Year, Olivier Vallerand, Associate IIDA.
By IIDA HQ May 25, 2021
Published in

Every year, IIDA recognizes members that embody the IIDA mission, and have demonstrated their commitment to the industry and dedication to the design community with our Of The Year Awards. Our 2021 honorees are exemplary models of dedication to advancing the profession, leadership, and outstanding accomplishments.

IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA says, "Our 2021 recipients are all inspiring IIDA members with a zeal toward competent leadership, adherent mentorship, dynamic insight, and involvement in steering the design industry to greater heights. We are delighted to be awarding them with these titles and to have them join us at the forefront of our mission.”

2021 Member of the Year

Marivel Ansera, IIDA, IIDA Northland Chapter
Senior Interior Designer at HGA

Marivel is actively involved in IIDA and has served in a variety of leadership positions including past president and VP of government and regulatory affairs for the IIDA Northland Chapter Board. She has demonstrated a dedication to advocating for the profession and volunteering her time to fostering a dynamic community at her chapter.

She has worked on a wide range of design projects at HGA spanning workplace, higher education, cultural and performing arts, and healthcare. Her empathetic approach to the design process involves listening first then diving deeper to understand each client’s strengths. She provides space for the most marginalized to voice their perspectives and believes interior design is about designing beautiful and functional spaces—and bringing human dignity and equity to our built environments.


2021 Student of the Year

Jen Khor, Student IIDA, IIDA Southern California Chapter
California State University, Long Beach

Jen is an active member and student pursuing a bachelor's degree in interior architecture at the California State University, Long Beach Campus Center. She has held various leadership positions in the interior design community there including vice president of the Design Student Association, student senator, and environmental aff­airs officer at SD Mesa College, CA, and treasurer of her ASID Student Chapter. Her leadership, insight, and involvement have significantly impacted the interior design program and community at her school.

She has worked as an interior design intern at Nevermore Group in Penang, Malaysia and Retail Design Collaborative in Long Beach. Khor is an advocate for sustainability and believes that design should foster a deeper connection between people and space as well as minimizing its overall environmental impact.

en Khor, Student IIDA, 2021 IIDA Student of the Year, California State University Long Beach
en Khor, Student IIDA, 2021 IIDA Student of the Year, California State University Long Beach

2021 Educator of the Year

Olivier Vallerand, Ph.D, Associate IIDA, IIDA Southwest
Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

Olivier is recognized for his outstanding accomplishments and commitment to interior design education, focusing on ensuring that cultural and personal identity are embedded in space in his current position at Arizona State University. His research focuses on self-identification, community identification, and its relationship to the design and experience of the built environment. With a focus on queer and feminist approaches to design education, and alternative practices of design.

He holds a Ph.D. in architecture from McGill University, and has previously held academic positions at the School of Architecture and the Department of Art History in Université Laval, Québec, QC, and Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. While he currently keeps an installation-based practice, Vallerand has practiced as a professional architect in various firms across the US and Canada including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Quebec.


A special thank you to OFS for sponsoring the 2021 Student of the Year Award, and KI for sponsoring the Educator of the Year Award.

Please join us in congratulating these members, and keep an eye out for discussions with these members about their work and design perspectives throughout the year.

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