Interior Design

Interior Design Faculty

Full Time Faculty

Cheryl Gulley, IDEC, EDRA, LEED AP ID+C
Professor and Department Chair
MFA Interior Architecture and Design, Academy of Art University
MA Psychological Science – Environment & Behavior Studies, Austin Peay State University
BID Interior Design, O’More College of Design
BS Chemistry and Psychology,  University of Tennessee – Knoxville

In 1991, following ten years of interior design practice with a commercial design firm in Nashville, Gulley began teaching at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, then Watkins Institute. Gulley devoted herself to interior design education with the years 1996 through 2006 spent as the Department Chair. During the past twenty years, her credits include the creation of the initial BFA in Interior Design program, as well as securing the first CIDA accreditation for the BFA.

Gulley has been active in furniture and lighting design production for the past ten years. Her designs have been submitted as part of juried exhibitions. The submitted furniture and lighting designs have received recognition through awards received in national competitions. More recent designs have featured the manipulation of materials that are part of the sustainable movement, including recycled metal and concrete.

In 2010, Gulley added an MFA in Interior Architecture and Design to her credentials. The graduate-level coursework provided an avenue toward additional research and application of sustainable principles. Her thesis focused on the renewal of a site near downtown Nashville, which provided an opportunity for renovation and new construction within sustainable guidelines throughout the proposal. An additional credential was added with LEED Approved Professional status in 2009. Gulley now holds a LEED AP ID+C certificate (Interior Design + Construction).

Adjunct Faculty

Dallas Dedmon
MFA Candidate, Architectural History, Savannah College of Art and Design
BS, Interior Design, Lambuth University
BS, Psychology, Union University

Ms. Dedmon’s career has involved interior design and project management, as well as undergraduate interior design instruction. With a special passion for items related to architectural history, her background has included work as a furniture and decorative arts preservationist.


Katherine Kennon
MA, Architecture, Clemson University
BA, Design, Clemson University

Ms. Kennon’s architecture practice has included spaces that vary from private residences to commercial spaces, such as financial institutions, healthcare environments, and retail establishments. She is the co-author of the popular textbook, The Codes Guidebook for Interiors, now in its fifth edition.

Susan Kurtz
BFA, Interior Design, O’More College of Design

Ms. Kurtz has her own residential interior design business and is currently developing a design package for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, as well as for the caregivers themselves. She is highly skilled in design presentation techniques, including computer-aided renderings using AutoCAD, SketchUp, Lumion, Photoshop and Revit.


Shonna Sexton
BFA, Interior Design, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
BFA, Fine Art, University of Tennessee – Martin

Ms. Sexton’s professional practice began as an interior designer for several prominent architectural firms in the Nashville area. Currently, she is practicing as the driving force behind Shonna Sexton Studio. Sexton creates spaces to fulfill the needs of the client, while striving to improve day-to-day quality of life through art and design. Her focus is to make decisions that are respectful of the past and will stand the test of time, while requiring a limited amount of maintenance. Ms. Sexton is a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and has served on the Board for the IIDA Tennessee Chapter for the past several years. She is the recipient of the Tennessee Chapter Service Award.