Shepard designs dream room
“Coming into contact with a tiger shark” on a marine biology curriculum outing changed her career path, said Valerie Shepard, a guest speaker in Emilia Sasser’s Personal Skills class at Paul Knox Middle School.
While being instructed on the elements of design in preparation for designing a dream room project, Jaycee Lewis, a student in Sasser’s class, said her mother was a designer.
“That would be a perfect resource opportunity for students to experience Ms. Shepard’s expertise” who is a commercial designer with Affirmative Solutions in Augusta, said Sasser.
Shepard told students that existing conditions, function and budget are steps a designer has to follow when working on the conceptual planning stage with a client. Shepard, a cancer survivor, has sat in her own environment in a design area. She feels that experience contributed to the passion and expertise of her career. She can relate how color, comfortable appeal and environment contribute to the healing process.
The Heart Vascular Center interior furnishing design/space planning, MCG Cancer Research Center lobby design, Burke County ER design, Eisenhower Army Medical Center and the North Augusta Municipal Building casework design (assisting architectural firm) are just a few of the projects that have the trademark of Shepard’s design excellence.
She shared how she sat in the lobby area of the Cancer Center to reflect on design techniques. As a result, she placed a cancer cell, healthy cell area rug and a soothing water wall that appeals to a comfortable environmental design for the research staff and potential cancer research monetary donors.
She is currently researching specialized solid surfaces infused with copper and silver that resist bacteria for health care facilities.
Shepard said she loves what she does and loves going to work every day. She encouraged students to focus on their class work to prepare them for life skills that they will experience daily throughout their life. Shepard stressed to the students to find their passion.