Blog Update

& Then has a new look and reorganized content! Class Notes are now integrated on the main page  (an archive of Class Notes prior to September, 2012 can be found just above the post archive in the right-hand menu). We’ve developed new icons denote whether a post is a feature story or a class note:




We’d appreciate feedback about our new look, please email your comments to Sara at

2012 – Rebecca Goldstein

2012 – Rebecca Goldstein (Interior Design), who went to work for Winter Street Architects in Salem (MA) immediately after graduation (well, she went to Europe on vacation first, but then started at Winter Street) has moved to Salem to shorten her commute. While she finds working there “a lot of work” and “still pretty cool”, she admits to missing Europe “almost daily. My current dream for later in life is to live in Barcelona with a vacation home in Capri. Not bad right?” Until then, she’s working on multiple projects for Harvard Medical School, along with a few office spaces. You can get in touch with her at


2009 – Christina Watka

2009 – Christina Watka (Fine Arts), who had been Display Coordinator for the Anthropologie in Natick, has relocated to New York. Having decided to move to New York in order to further her career, Christina worked with Anthropologie on a transfer position but, “when the time came to move, there were no positions open in NYC, so I moved anyway and planned to keep in touch with Anthropologie until a new position opened. Then I was contacted by an old manager at Anthro who is now the Regional Visual Manager for Free People (a sister company, on the rise!). She had heard that I couldn’t find a job in NYC right away and said she wanted to hire an additional District Display Coordinator for Free People. I obviously accepted!! I couldn’t be happier. I ended up getting a promotion out of taking the scary leap into NYC without a job…. I took two months off to discover the city, visit family and move in completely. I start with Free People tomorrow [October 22nd] when I will spend the entire week in Philadelphia prototyping the new holiday display. As far as I know, I am one of six District Display Coordinators and I will be based in NYC (Soho specifically), overseeing three specific stores as well as travelling to do store openings and workshops.”  For more information, email Christina at


2001 – Nicole Wang

2001 – Nicole Wang (Graphic Design) posted on the NESADU Facebook page an item announcing the “new look to The Bold Italic, an online magazine about San Francisco, for San Francisco, and contributed [to] by San Francisco talents. I feel especially honored to have worked with a brilliant team on the redesign: UI Developer KC Oh and Creative Director Tyler Walseth, who actually cares about typography. And it’s just gratifying to design something for the community! ;-)” Check out The Bold Italic at and get in touch with Nicole through Facebook or email her at


2001 – Stephanie Rossi

2001 – Stephanie Rossi (Interior Design), Principal of Spazio Rosso Design, has been chosen to re-design the master bath in this year’s Junior League of Boston Show House, the Potter Estate in Newton. Renamed by Stephanie “La Sala da Bagno: The Bathing Room”, the master bath, as Stephanie says, “houses the famous ‘Needle Shower’ and apparently has already garnered the nickname ‘The 50 Shades of Grey Bath’. I had nothing to do with that unofficial title but, if it gets people talking, then who am I to judge?” Featuring 35 designers chosen from 100 applicants, the roster of Show House designers is heavy with NESADSU talent: Elizabeth Benedict (Decorative Arts 2007) is redoing the “lady’s den”; Hilary Bovey (Fashion Illustration) a guest room; Laurie Gorelick (Interior Design 2000) a third floor studio (the “Mommy Time-Out Room”); Jeanne Finnerty (Interior Design 1995); and former student Dianne Ramponi. Another former student, Kristen Rivoli, is on the show house advisory committee. The Show House, a Second Empire Victorian on the campus of the Jackson Walnut School, is open to the public until November 18th and is located at 71 Walnut Park, a short hop from the Newton Mass. Pike exit. For ticket information, visit You can get in touch with Stephanie at, with Elizabeth at, Hilary at, Jeanne at, Laurie at, and Dianne at


1968 – Lorna (Finch) Sussman

1968 – Lorna (Finch) Sussman (Interior Design), who was profiled in the September Class Notes, sent us another update on what she’s been doing since NESA. “After graduation in 1968, I moved to Toronto and had no problem finding a job. I worked for a small residential interior design company, [for] a well-known senior designer and her architect husband. They had a very well established business doing beautiful stately homes in the Forest Hill neighborhood. My experience of living in Boston and studying the art and architecture there gave me such an appreciation of tradition, history and elegance and the importance of preservation. At a later date I worked as an assistant designer at a Yorkville interior design and custom lamp company, later leaving to get married. Nowadays, with four grown children, six, soon to be seven, grandchildren, and three step-grandchildren, there is little time for my chosen career but the enrichment and life skills it provided me, including a love of fine art and furniture-making, was invaluable.” You can get in touch with Lorna at


2012 – Jacquelyn Schaab

2012 – Jacquelyn Schaab (Graphic Design) has followed a tradition of some years by landing a job at Digitas in Boston, where she’ll be working with Matt Adams (Graphic Design 2011) under Tony Capozzi (Graphic Design 2001). “I start October 29th [and] I’m really excited!” Jackie added, in an email to Graphic Design Program Director Laura Golly, “I just wanted to thank you again. NESAD really gave me the skills that I needed to set myself and my work apart and allowed me to get the job! Even the fact that I am working with two NESAD alumni just reinforces that as well!”  Email congratulation to Jackie at

Adoption Story of Hope, Opportunity, Family, Survival and Reunion: Marissa Borst (Interior Design 2006)

As you may or may not not be aware, November is National Adoption Month, a time of celebrations of adoption nationwide. For one, there will be a celebration of reunion.

Marissa Eve Borst (Interior Design 2006), born Marissa Sumal-Jag Lanticse, was the 13th child born into a poverty-stricken family in Tagum, Davao, Philippines. Only eight of these children survived. At seven months old, Marissa was declared second-degree malnourished, had parasitic and respiratory infections, had lost vision in her right eye, and was dying of the measles. Christ the King Hospital, now known as Bishop Joseph Regan Memorial Hospital, in Tagum City admitted Marissa as a charity case. She spent months fighting for her life and won, thanks to the staff at the hospital. Worried about not being able to cover the medical expenses, no one came to claim her. Marissa became a ward of the state and spent nine months in two orphanages.

In September of 1983, Marissa was adopted by the Borst family, a true silver lining to her story. Though born into a difficult world, she spent the next 27 years blessed, surrounded by people who loved her. Her life was enriched with music, dance and art. The latter brought her to NESADSU.

In the spring of 2011, about to turn 30, Marissa started to pine for something more – a need to know what was missing in her life. She started the search for her family. Through Facebook, she found a group of other adoptees from the same adoption agency, International Alliance for Children; she connected with others through FAN (Filipino Adoptees Network), and was able to find many of the caretakers from the hospital. She also connected with her biological brothers and sisters, and just recently “met” her father for the “first” time through video chat. It was an emotional, life turning moment. Marissa hopes to return as soon as possible to the Philippines to be reunited with everyone who played an important role in her survival, and to meet her family once again.

Marissa graduated from NESADSU in 2006, with a BFA in Interior Design, and is currently a commercial/hospitality interior designer with Architecture + Design Associates, Inc. ( in the metropolitan Washington, DC area, as well as the owner of All’s Well That Ends Well Designs (, which specializes in miscellaneous art and graphic design. She is a member of Cambridge Who’s Who, Filipino Young Professionals DC, and will be the 2012 Director of Programming for the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality ( This fall, AWTEW is teaming up to develop and execute an arts program with FACETS Cares. FACETS is a non-profit organization that helps those in need of emergency shelter, food and medical care, helping them gain safe, sustainable and permanent housing, while working with them to end the cycle of poverty through educational, life skills and career counseling programs ( In her spare time, Marissa teaches piano and choreographs competitive dancing, takes yoga and dance classes and spends as much time as possible with her three-year-old daughter Eve.

For more information on any of Marissa’s activities, email her at