Student Spotlight: Barbara Polster

Barbara Polster

Barbara Polster
Major: Interior Design
Hometown: Roselle 

Barbara Polster came from a family of builders and architects.

"I was fascinated with drafting and blueprints as a child," she said. "I also loved sewing and fabrics. Later in life, I was constantly told that I had an 'eye for design' and encouraged to pursue it as a career."

Polster attended an Interior Design Open House at College of DuPage and knew she wanted to enter its program.

"I was blown away by what COD offered in that program for a fraction of the cost of other design schools," she said. "The campus and facilities were excellent, and the flexibility that it afforded was a major draw."

Although she worked in office management, Polster began attending COD, sometimes taking just a few classes at a time. She earned her associate in applied science degree in Interior Design in 2007, became certified as an "aging in place" specialist through the National Association of Homebuilders, regularly attends CEU classes and events, continually researches topics related to the profession, and keeps up with computer software.

Currently, she runs her own design consulting business, Barbara Ellen Home Interiors, which specializes in aging in place and universal design as well as designing on a budget. She also works with clients who need help visualizing a design concept by providing 3-D renderings.

Polster thanks College of DuPage for giving her the education necessary to succeed. In 2010, she worked with COD Interior Design students and the program's coordinator, Ann Cotton, on a Rebuilding Together Aurora and ASID partnership community service project.

"The courses and projects at COD were challenging, rewarding and current," she said. "A good example of what I mean by current would be 'green' design. We were learning about this movement and incorporating it into our projects long before it became a buzz word. The same could be said about universal design, which I strongly believe to be the next buzz word in our industry. Personally, it stretched my limits and taught me that you get out of something what you put into it.

"I highly recommend College of DuPage, especially the Interior Design program and its very dedicated staff."

More about the Interior Design program