Jessica Maples ’01
When Jessica Maples ’01 came to Radford University she had one goal in mind, to become an interior designer.
“My father is a contractor and my mother is really creative. They shaped who I am today, which is someone who cares about design,” says Maples.
She knew instantly that Radford was the fit for her, not only for the competitive and top notch interior design program, but because it also had a field hockey team.
“I played field hockey all four years. It is where I hold most of my fond memories. I always loved coming to campus during preseason, because it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves,” says Maples.
She not only spent a lot of time with her teammates, but also with her classmates. As an interior design major, you are required to log many hours in the lab in order to complete your projects.
“McGuffey Hall was definitely a second home to me, but so were the girls that I would be up late with at night, laughing hysterically because we were so delirious,” says Maples.
Once Maples graduated, she knew that she wanted to work in an architecture firm.
“One of our professors, Holly Cline took us on many trips to architecture firms to enlighten us on the industry. Touring the firms gave us all an inside look at the profession and it reassured me on what type of firm I wanted to work for,” says Maples.
Today, Maples works as a senior associate for Hickok Cole Architects. “I have been here for 11 years,” says Maples. “I have been fortunate to work on various projects types and scales and now hold a senior leadership position in the interiors studio.”
Maples has a passion for work place design. She explains how rewarding it is when you help a client design their offices based on their organizations goals and needs.
“We really have the opportunity to get a look inside all kinds of organizations. One of my most recent projects was with the National Public Radio (NPR) building in Washington, DC,” says Maples.
Other projects include working with Blackboard, a technology firm that helps serve the needs of students, and currently working with Wedding Wire.
“During my first job, at Boggs and Partners, one of the first projects I worked on was the development of Sally Mae’s headquarters,” says Maples. “It opened my eyes and allowed me to take the skills acquired at Radford and put them to action. I got the chance to work with a large team and learned a tremendous amount about design and the business of design.”
Maples has had the opportunity to work on teams of all sizes. She often reflects back on those late nights in McGuffey Hall with some of the girls she still calls her best friends.
“I don’t pull all-nighters in a lab anymore, but this field is definitely inconsistent and sometimes you do find yourself working late,” says Maples. “But, the passion that I have for design and creativity is inexhaustible.”