Debra Harris, Ph.D.

Debra Harris, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in Interior Design
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Associate Professor in Interior Design

Personal Statement:

My research is interdisciplinary and focuses on materiality in the physical environment, particularly as it relates to health. Several topics of interest are contained within that central theme: 1) active design for health and wellness. The focus of the active design research is a plug-in app and website that assists the architecture and design community in using evidence driven design applications to support behavior to improve health; 2) material science and the role of the built environment in the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms that contribute to healthcare and community acquired illness; and 3) the health and safety convergence of chemical exposures from performance materials.

Education:

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Architecture, emphasis Health Systems Planning & Public Policy, Texas A&M University (2000)
  • Master of Interior Architecture, University of Oregon (1994)
  • Bachelor of Science, Human Ecology, Interior Design, Southwest Texas State University (1986)

Certifications:

  • Fitwell Ambassador 
  • Certified Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID) Certificate No.0025
  • National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) Certificate No. 013690
  • Certificate for Indoor Air Quality Testing, Texas Engineering Extension Service

Academic Experience:

  • Baylor University, Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, Department of Human Sciences and Design, Interior Design Program, Associate Professor
  • University of Florida, College of Design, Construction and Planning, School of Architecture, Gainesville, FL, Assistant Professor (2003-2007)
  • The University of Tennessee, College of Architecture + Design, Knoxville, TN, Assistant Professor (2000-2001)
  • The University of Texas, School of Architecture, Austin, TX, Lecturer (1999)
  • Texas A&M University, College of Architecture, College Station, TX, Lecturer (1997-2000)
  • University of North Texas, College of Visual Arts and Design, Department of Design, Denton, TX, Assistant Professor (1994-1995)
  • University of Oregon, College of Design, School of Architecture & Environment, Interior Architecture, Eugene, OR, Graduate Teaching Fellow (1992-1994)

Awards & Honors:

  • Guest Editor, Special Issue, Impact of Interior Design on Health Behaviors, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH), Impact factor 4.614, ISSN 1660-4601 (2023)
  • Baylor University Research Award, Faculty Summer Sabbatical (2022)
  • Baylor University OVPR Postdoctoral Hiring Program, Postdoc Award (2021)
  • American Society of Interior Designers Foundation Research Award: Pre- and Post-Occupancy Evaluations – a Means for Contributing to Positive Outcomes, JSR Associates, Inc., RAD Consultants, and Baylor University (2020)
  • Top Downloaded Article, Chemical Exposure and Flammability Risks of Upholstered Furniture, during its first 12 months of publication in Fire and Materials (2020)
  • Top Downloaded Article, A material world: a comparative study of flooring material influence on patient safety, satisfaction, and quality of care, Journal of Interior Design (2019)
  • Interior Design Educator’s Council, Regional Conference, Best Poster (2019)
  • Baylor University Research Award, Faculty Summer Sabbatical (2018)
  • Baylor’s Office of Vice Provost Research (OVPR), Rising Star Award (2017)
  • Judge, Modern Healthcare Design Awards (2009)
  • Nightingale Award for Centé Patient Chair, consultant to Brandrud (2007)
  • Teacher of the Year, College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida (2006)
  • TeamVISTA Award, American Society for Healthcare Engineering (2003)
  • ASID Joel Polsky Achievement Award (2002)
  • ASID Design Award, First Place, Davis Partnership Architects/PVHS (2002)
  • The Architectural Research Centers Consortium/King Student Medal for Excellence in Architectural + Environmental Design Research (2001)

Publications:

  • Stolpman, Williams, D. N., D., Solouki, T., Harris, D. (2022). Improved decontamination of metals from firefighter turnout gear with Decon7, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 19(2). https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2021.2015071
  • Barr, K. L., Williams, D. N., Sturdivant, R. X. and Harris, D. (2021). Bacteria Associated with Healthcare Associated Infections on Environmental Samples Obtained from Two Fire Departments, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(22): 11885. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211885
  • Barr, K. L., Ronca, S. E., Sturdivant, R. X., and Harris, D. (2021) Efficiency of coronavirus inactivation on environmental surfaces: a comparison study of two available disinfectants. Journal of Hospital Administration, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.5430/jha.v10n5p1
  • Davis, A., Ryan, P.B., Cohen, J., Harris, D., Black, M. (2021). Chemical exposures from upholstered furniture with various flame retardant technologies, Indoor Air, 31(5). https://doi.org/10.1111/ina.12805
  • Ronca, S., Barr, K., Sturdivant, R., Harris, D. (2021). SARS-CoV-2 viability on 16 common indoor surface finish materials, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 14(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/1937586721991535
  • Harris, D., Davis, A., Ryan, P., Cohen, J., Gandhi, P., Dubiel, D, Black M. Black, M. (2020). Chemical Exposure and Flammability Risks of Upholstered Furniture, Fire and Materials Journal, 45(1). doi: 10.1002/fam.2907: https://doi.org/10.1002/fam.2907
  • Harris, D., Taylor, K., Napierkowski, K., and Zeckmann, B. (2021). Indoor Finish Material Influence on Contamination, Transmission, and Eradication of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Healthcare Environmental Research & Design, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1177/1937586720952892
  • Committee to Establish Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design (2020). Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design, Ninth Edition. Journal of Perinatology, 40: 2-4 (Supplement 1), Aug 28, 2020, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41372-020-0766-2
  • Funderburk, L., Cardaci, T., Fink, A., Taylor, K., Rohde, J. and Harris, D. (2020). Healthy Behaviors Through Behavioral Design - Obesity Prevention. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(14), doi: 10.3390/ijerph17145049. Open source: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/14/5049/htm
  • Taylor, K. and Harris, D. (2019). Cleaning and disinfecting protocols for hospital environmental surfaces: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of Hospital Administration, 8(6), 27-40. doi: 10.5430/jha.v8n6p27. Open source: http://www.sciedupress.com/journal/index.php/jha/article/view/15960
  • Harris, D. (2017). A material world: a comparative study of flooring material influence on patient safety, satisfaction, and quality of care. Journal of Interior Design, 42(1), 85-104. doi: 10.1111/joid.12100. Available: https://web.s.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=bad5c81b-595f-4bfc-b881-08a5e6b462dc%40redis&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=asu&AN=121502128
  • Harris, D., & Fitzgerald, L. (2017). Life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA): a comparison of commercial flooring. Facilities, 35(5/6), 303-318. doi:10.1108/F-10-2015-0071. Available: https://www.proquest.com/docview/1884004942