The College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) at Illinois State University is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! This series, CAST 50×50, is designed to highlight 50 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and organizations within CAST that make the college special. These notable people will tell you that every day in CAST is a great day to be a Redbird!

Featured today in #CAST50 is Taneshia West Albert from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Tell us about your position within CAST.

I am an assistant professor of interior design in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. I currently teach our Human Factors of Interior Design course, which is a course that focuses on the physiology of interior design and how it affects the human experience; Studio II, which is our student’s first commercial studio; and am building an emerging technology course that will focus on new technologies used by practicing interior designers. My goal is get students to think outside of their preconceived notions of the world and interior design and understand how they can affect the human experience through design.

You are given a plane ticket to go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Armenia because why not. I like to explore the frequently unexplored or under-rated and immerse myself into a culture I have never experienced.

What is a motto that you live by, or what is your favorite quote?

I have so many, but I think my lifelong mottos have been the following:

“Being happy is a goal, but greatness is my mission”

“Keep integrity at every cost”

“Even the genius asks his questions”

Starbucks or Dunkin’ coffee order?

Neither, I stick with New Orleans’ French Market brand coffee! Yum-o!

What do you enjoy most about your job/what is the most rewarding part of your job?

This is lame, but EVERYTHING! My students are wonderful, bright, and make teaching so fun. I learn from them as much as they are learning from me. I love seeing them “get it,” meaning that moment when they understand a concept or see how a theory I am teaching has affected their lives without them knowing. It is great! My colleagues and department are amazing and so supportive. They actually listen to my crazy suggestion on how I want to change something and they encourage me to run with it and support me through it.  Everyone in CAST is always smiling and happy to be here. It feels like a family, and that has been the million-dollar difference!

The most rewarding part of my job is pushing my students to reach beyond a limit they have placed in front of themselves. The moment they break out of that symbolic box and go crazy with liberation and possibility is worth every second and every sip of coffee I need to keep going.

Think you know someone that should be featured? Contact us!