Baylor University Interior Design Students Propose Ideas to Waco Wellness Center

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    Baylor University interior design students present ideas to Waco Family Health Center (Photos by Brooke Battersby)
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    Baylor University interior design students present ideas to Waco Family Health Center (Photos by Brooke Battersby)
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    Baylor University interior design students present ideas to Waco Family Health Center (Photos by Brooke Battersby)
May 7, 2018

Media Contact: Terry_Goodrich, 254-710-3321
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WACO, Texas (May 7, 2018) – Sophomore interior design students from Baylor University's department of family and consumer sciences in Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences recently presented design ideas to the Waco Family Health Center's wellness center on May 2 as part of a service-learning project that uses interior design as a way to promote well-being.

"Our assignment was to create two design plans – one budget-friendly and one more high-end – for the redesign of this community building," said Katey Bourget, a student in group four from Hebron, Maine. "Our goal is to provide a vision for the center so that they can draw upon ideas from all the groups and integrate our design plans. It is a wonderful experience to serve the community in this way."

After a preliminary meeting with the wellness center staff, each of the seven teams developed two design plans to assist the center in better contributing to the health and well-being of the local community. Students displayed poster presentations, material samples and booklets of their ideas.

"Our very talented sophomore students did a fantastic job developing thoughtful design solutions for the family health clinic wellness center," said Debra Harris, Ph.D., associate professor of interior design. "The service-learning project was a great opportunity for the students to consider the impact of interior design on the built environment and the social and physical outcomes for the patient population. The project was focused on nutrition education and physical fitness to improve outcomes from the surrounding community. Learning from individuals within the health care system provided insight and understanding of the project and goals."

Each group focused on the wellness center's mission to make the building more user-friendly and to redesign the community kitchen for classes. Students were then able to add their own creative touches using a variety of materials, colors, innovations and ideas.

While some groups focused on utilizing colors to promote relaxation and concentration, others used key words and emotions to drive their designs. Some designs emphasized comfort and the feeling of home, while others designed the center with functionality in mind.

Many groups channeled the outdoors through neutral colors and natural light, and some even used color psychology in each distinct room of the center. All of the groups focused on the client's needs by incorporating budget-appropriate steps for growth and user-friendly innovations.

"This experience was so exciting for me because it was the first time that what I was designing could possibly make a difference in someone's life," said Madeline Dietze, a member of group seven from Texarkana, Texas. "Knowing that my Baylor education is being used to serve the community through projects such as these is incredibly rewarding."

The Waco Family Health Center's wellness center is located in the Madison Cooper Community Clinic, 1601 Providence Drive. The space to be renovated serves as a gym, community kitchen, break room and conference room. The center's goal is to integrate concepts from local gyms, food pantries, cooking courses, fitness classes and other health centers to create an inviting and resourceful facility.

"We've been thrilled and anticipating this presentation and conversation since we were first put in contact with Debra, Michelle (Brown) and these students," said Jackson Griggs, M.D., associate program director of the Waco Family Health Center. "Debra knew that if she could get her design students in front of us, it would seed our imagination for what is possible here. Going forward, our team will explore what funding opportunities are available for interior redesign of the wellness center to make it more patient-centric and to improve the user experience."

For more information about Baylor's interior design program, visit the Family and Consumer Sciences website.

by Brooke Battersby, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University's oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and seven academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit


The Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences at Baylor University was established in 2014, a result of identified priorities for strengthening the health sciences through Baylor's strategic vision, Pro Futuris, which serves as a compass for the University's future. The anchor academic units that form the new College – Communication Sciences and Disorders, Family and Consumer Sciences and Health, Human Performance and Recreation – share a common purpose: improving health and the quality of life. The College is working to create curricula that promote a team-based approach to patient care and establish interdisciplinary research collaborations to advance solutions for improving the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. For more information visit

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