Facilities Feature: Anna Ruth Gatlin

Anna Ruth GatlinInterior Designer Anna Ruth Gatlin loves to dance and to design beautiful and functional spaces for her Auburn campus customers.  She earned both a B.S. degree in Interior Design and an M.S. degree in Consumer and Design Science from Auburn and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accredited professional.

You have been working on a new project called Engaged Active Student Learning.  What Does This Mean?

This means that the faculty are “flipping the classroom”—meaning that instead of arranging the classroom in rows of tablet arm chairs or rectangular tables and chairs and listening to a lecture, the students are learning the content of the course on their own and are applying it via discussions and activities when they’re in the classroom. This type of classroom setting requires a different approach and a different design—instead of rows of furniture, we have “pods” in various table shapes (because we’re also trying to assess what pod shape is preferred and works the best for collaboration and interaction). Of course, with this type of classroom your technology requirements are drastically different than in a traditional classroom. This not only goes for what exists in the classroom to be used by the students but also allowing for and planning for the student to bring their own connectivity devices to class.

Is This The First Project Like This On Campus?

This is the second. Contina McCall and I worked together with Wiebke Kuhn in Liberal Arts on the previous one as well, which is in the Haley Center (this current project is for COSAM and is in the Science Center Classroom Building). The first project supported 45 students. The current one is much larger and will likely support 72.

Is This One Of Your Most Interesting Projects?

This is one of the more interesting ones that I’m working on right now. I’ve had some really interesting projects in the past though! The Library of Architecture, Design, and Construction stands out as a challenging project and ended with a beautiful result. The Small Animal Teaching Hospital just finished. That was my largest project here, and one of my most challenging.  

What Styles Of Dancing Do You Enjoy?

I learned classical ballet for 15 years before coming to college, 10 years of jazz dance, modern dance, and Israeli folk dance, and 2 years of tap dance. So I love to dance. When I started college, I learned how to East Coast Swing (ECS) and fell in love with partner dancing. So I, and my dance partner at the time (his name was Calvin), got to be competition-level proficient with ECS. We also picked up waltzing and the fox trot. Then he moved away, and I met Lionel Lei, my dance partner for 5 years. We learned to salsa together and worked really hard at it to get good enough to teach. We also learned and then taught Merengue, Bachata, and West Coast Swing (WCS). Now WCS is where my dance-heart is. I can take everything I learned about salsa and use it in WCS—and the beauty of WCS is that you can dance to any music! Country, R & B, top 40, Disney, and conceivably rap. If we ever want to offer a Facilities-wide dance class, I’m your girl.

Last Updated: April 01, 2014