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NCC Grad Returns to Decorate New Residence Hall

Myra Saturen ,

What is it like to return to your alma mater, not just to visit, but to design the interior of a new residence hall?  

Suzanne Mura '04, who earned her associate degree in applied science in interior design and a specialized diploma in kitchen and bath design at Northampton Community College (NCC), did just that.  

"I wanted to use 'fun' functional, collaborative, moveable multipurpose pieces that will grow with changing needs," Mura says.  

To achieve this, Mura first met with key administrators to discuss their functional requirements, aesthetics and overall scope.  "My role was to use my design expertise to assist NCC to achieve its design through space planning, furniture selection, and the choice of fabrics and finishes for the project," she says.  She worked on the reception area, the residence assistants' meeting room, a computer study lounge, a computer café area, and an office.  She also did design work on the Student Life Zone in College Center.   

Architecture and interior design have fascinated Mura since she was seven.  When she was 28, she returned to school, to NCC, for formal education in these areas. She held her first position as an interior designer, in a furniture dealership, while still a student at NCC.  She moved on to Home Depot as a kitchen and bath designer and décor specialist.  As an account manager in the design and sales departments at a Danish furniture manufacturer, she had responsibility for accounts such as Office Depot, Staples, Relax the Back, Scan International, and Techline.  She also managed accounts for Staples, Office Depot, Macy's, and Relax the Back.  Later, at Ethan Allen Furniture, she designed solutions for interior needs and recommended furniture, window treatments, wall coverings, flooring, lighting, arts and accessories.  

Mura is now employed at Office Service Company in Reading, PA.  The company has had a long-term relationship with NCC.  "When I heard that my company was calling on NCC for a new project, I made it known to my employer that I wanted to be involved, since NCC was my alma mater!" she says.