Posted on February 15, 2023
Lakiesha Stanley ‘15, is no stranger to blazing her own trail. After earning her BA in Visual Arts and Design at North Carolina A & T State University in 2008, Lakiesha worked as a trauma technician in the Moses Cone Hospital Emergency Room for over 6 years. While working bedside with patients, she was pulled to look at other avenues of creating a positive patient experience that was just as impactful as her work in the ER, but also fit more into the lifestyle that she wanted. Eventually, she discovered the world of Interior Architecture and knew this was the best way to use her artistic talents while also serving her community.
Lakiesha thinks back fondly of her time at UNC Greensboro’s Center for Community Engaged Design (CC-ED) where she worked on multiple projects, one of which being the Mustard Seed Clinic in Greensboro, NC. The Mustard Seed Community Health Clinic, which first opened its doors in 2013, is nationally recognized as a model for integrated patient care. Patients of this office are some of the most vulnerable people in Guilford County, with many patients not having health insurance, who are living in homes that make them and their families sicker, and are struggling with trauma or struggling simply to put healthy food on the table (source).
“The CC-ED fellowship not only allowed me the scholarship opportunity, but also furthered my design knowledge and expectations.”
After graduating from UNC Greensboro in 2015, Lakiesha has been nothing less than extraordinary. She first began working for Group 70 International, Inc. in Honolulu, Hawaii. During her time with this firm, she became the first black president of the Hawaii Pacific Chapter of IIDA and was awarded the chapter’s 2019 Emerging Professional Award. Now, she works as one of the few interior designers of color at Gresham Smith where she focuses her time on interior design for healthcare. In May of 2022, Lakiesha was a guest on The Imagine a Place Podcast where she spoke of her transition from ER Nurse to Interior Designer.
If Lakiesha was to speak with a current or prospective UNCG Interior Architecture student, she would tell them to “Continue to push as hard as you can, network, and do as many internships as possible.”