HPU graduates are leading prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary graduate from the Class of 2022:
Name: Cayla Lowrey
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Major: Interior design with a minor in entrepreneurship
Post-graduation plans: Lowrey works as an interior designer with CJMW Architecture in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In her role, she works closely with clients and goes on-site to see the progress of the design vision come to life.
How HPU helped you get there: “I took a professional business practices course during the spring semester of my senior year taught by Gary Inman, assistant professor of interior design, that helped me get to where I am now. As a part of this course, we participated in the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) portfolio review. This event gave me and my classmates the opportunity to meet with local professionals in the design field and get feedback on portfolios we planned to submit for job applications. At the event, I met Paige Bischler, a designer at CJMW, who was able to pass along my information to the firm. This experience led me to land my current position with CJMW and I could not be more grateful. From studio classes to just overall support, I would not be where I am today without my interior design professors.”
Most impactful mentor at HPU: “My senior capstone professor, Cathy Nowicki, was one of the most impactful professors I had HPU. She got to personally know each of her students and supported us not only in our design efforts but in our personal lives. In addition to her, the entire interior design department taught me so much in my four years at HPU. Professors Kathryn Brandt, Jane Nichols, John Linn, Brandon Jones and Gary Inman all had an immense impact on not only my professional skills but on my life in general. All of these professors pushed me and my work to a level I didn’t believe I could get to. I would not be the person I am today if not for them.”
Most impactful moment at HPU: “My most impactful moments at HPU all happened in Norton Hall. From meeting my best friend on our first day of class freshman year to submitting my last project for my senior class. Having my younger brother join the HPU family as a freshman when I was a senior was another impactful moment. I loved getting to see HPU through his eyes, getting to show him the campus and see him fall in love with this place just like I did.”
How has HPU’s inspiring environment contributed to your success? “There is something so inspiring about being surrounded by supportive mentors and classmates who want to see you succeed. When you have a project-based major, constructive criticism is something you experience frequently. The respect my classmates and I had for each other made that criticism a lot easier to take. We all knew that the criticism we were giving was honest and intended to help push our work further. We were not in competition but rather cheering for each other. Being part of that environment, where everyone truly had the same passion for design as I did, made me want to do better.”
What are the life skills HPU helped you develop that prepared you for long-term success? “As an interior design major at HPU, I had to quickly learn the importance of time management. I can already see how this skill prepared me for success in the design world. Just like in school, this industry is fast-paced, and you have to figure out how to utilize your time for the best of the firm and the client.”
What are the values and virtues HPU’s campus helped you develop that you’ll take with you after graduation? “The concept of a God, family and country university is one of the many qualities that drew me to HPU. While there, I saw what those words truly meant to the HPU community and how they shaped us into the people we would become after graduating. I will carry these values of God, family and country with me far past graduation.”
Advice for underclassmen: “Get involved and try new things but most importantly, give yourself grace. I am a firm believer in the idea that everyone has a passion and purpose for something, it is just a matter of finding what that is. It is important to remember that you don’t have to have everything figured out right now. Take in the happy moments with your friends—those are the memories that stick with you.”
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