Lesley Sager is a professional interior designer who has practiced in Wisconsin for over fifteen years and now teaches interior design in the School of Human Ecology. As the Interior Design Program Coordinator, Sager is responsible for managing the course curriculum, student enrollment, and ensuring that the program meets the Council for Interior Design Accreditation standards (CIDA). Sager teaches a verity of courses with topics that range from design thinking, to design fundamentals, to residential and commercial space planning. With degrees in both social work and design, Sager’s work and teaching is routed in the goal of improving the quality of how we live today. A prime example of this work is the micro-enterprise projects that Lesley facilitates for women artisans in Tharaka Nithi, Kenya. Lesley is also the founder of Merry-Go-Strong, a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the community of the Village of Gatunga, Kenya, by supporting women and children to expand their craft, mind, and resources.
“I took the long way to find my true passion. My journey from photography, to social work, to interior design, has shaped who I am as a person and a teacher. I am passionate about design and how powerful the design process can be to help change how we live. I love watching and guiding the students on their path to becoming inspired, innovative designers with an eye towards making the world a better place to live. I am honored to be able to provide students with design opportunities both large and small. They get to design everything from light fixtures, to furniture, to homes, to offices, to a women’s maker studio in Kenya! I believe that an education is a powerful toolbox that can open up many doors, but passion, motivation, and perseverance are the tools to get you to where you need to be. I am almost there.”
Affiliations: Interior Architecture Faculty Associate in the School of Human Ecology; Founder of Merry-Go-Strong (MGS)