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Marsha R. Cuddeback is the director of the School of Interior Design and the Ruth Z. McCoy Professor in Interior Design. Cuddeback holds degrees in interior design, architecture, and design studies (sustainable design) from Ryerson University in Toronto and Boston Architectural College. She is a National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certificate holder, licensed architect, LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction, and is accredited by the International Living Future Institute. She has served as the teaching collaborative coordinator and chair of the Academic Integrity Task Force for the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) and as a member of the NCIDQ Champions Task Force. Currently she serves as the director of teaching on the IDEC Board of Directors. She is a practicing interior designer and architect in the firm Desmond Cuddeback Architects, which was awarded an AIA Gulf States Regional Honor Design Excellence Citation for the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center exhibition building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Cuddeback’s research interests include sustainable design theory and practice; ethics and the natural and built environment; a narrative approach to understanding the creation, selection, and application of materials; and the scholarship of teaching and student-centered learning. Her research has been supported through multiple grants, including funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Louisiana’s Department of Social Services, Department of Transportation and Development, and Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Her creative scholarship explores the relationship of natural and interior terrains. She has conducted research and published extensively on the subject of advancing teaching and learning pedagogy, and was awarded the LSU Communications across the Curriculum (CxC) Outstanding Faculty Award (2016), the LSU Tiger Athletic Foundation Teaching Award from University College (2014), the Gulf South Summit Outstanding Service-Learning Faculty Award (2010), and the LSU Outstanding Service-Learning Faculty Award (2009).
Prior to her appointment in the School of Interior Design in 2012, she served as director of LSU’s Office of Community Design and Development (OCDD) and was a faculty member in the School of Architecture. OCDD was established in 1999 as an interdisciplinary community outreach center, funded through grants and sponsored research, and committed to a practice-centered pedagogy strengthening the efficacy of student learning through a comprehensive approach to professional education, active learning, and assessment. During her tenure as OCDD director, the office was recognized by NCARB with a 2010 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of the Profession in the Academy. For more than 10 years, Cuddeback served as Louisiana’s state intern development program coordinator and as a member of the NCARB IDP Advisory Committee, and the IDP educator coordinator in the School of Architecture. Her efforts, in collaboration with the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners and AIA Louisiana, were recognized by an AIA Grassroots Excellence Award for Component Outreach Communications.
Before relocating to Southeast Louisiana, Cuddeback practiced in the office of Kallmann, McKinnell & Wood, Architects, in Boston, Massachusetts; was associate director of academic affairs at Boston Architectural College; and career advisor for the Career Discovery program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.