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Rickes Associates News

Showing Our Halloween Spirit at Rickes Associates

Hocus Pocus and Snow White teaming up here at Rickes Associates to defeat dead space on campus by linking institutional objectives with physical space requirements. Here, Vice President, Monica Meyerhoff, along with Data Specialist, Hope White (aka Snow) show off their Halloween spirit. 


Elyse Skerker Sigal Joins Rickes Associates

Rickes Associates is proud to announce that Elyse Skerker Sigal has joined our team as a Programmer and Design Strategist. She will be instrumental in applying her knowledge of analysis and assessment of space use to help formulate standards for better stewardship and interdisciplinary collaboration among campus stakeholders. Elyse will employ her knowledge of higher education to recommend planning solutions to optimize overall space and enhance utilization.  Elyse holds a Master of Architecture with a specialty in Inclusive Design.

Elyse Skerker Sigal Joins Rickes as a Programmer and Design Strategist. 

The Many Talents of our Rickes Associates Team

Susanne Personette has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember. Her formal arts training began at the early age of 10 with watercolor classes. Today, Susanne paints using pastels alongside fellow artists in a group that she formed – Amherst Plein Air Society or APAS. Together, they have taken their love for art en plein air (French for “in the fresh air”) or outdoors. Using nature as her inspiration, Susanne’s artwork provides a glimpse into the light, color, and shadow that she sees in the everyday. For Susanne, she sees the act of painting as “being fully present to this very moment of ephemeral light and color and shadow, responding to and becoming one with the beauty that I see in our natural world, intimately interacting with the natural world.” As an Associate of the firm, Susanne Personette works closely and collaboratively with an academic institution to help them identify their real space needs and to solve their space challenges.  

Susanne Personette posing alongside her pastel paint palette. 

At Rickes Associates – We Work Hard and Play Hard

Ever wonder what a data analyst does on the weekends for fun? Here at Rickes Associates, our own data analyst, Hope White, used her “non-number crunching” hours to cosplay as Chell from Portal and venture into Boston to take part in this year’s PAX East (originally known as Penny Arcade Exposition). PAX is a series of international gaming conferences where attendees can go to see, hear, and experience everything “gaming.” This year’s Boston show served up over one hundred thousand square feet of show floor with all genres, platforms, and styles of games represented as well as sessions on a range of topics including how today’s educators are using gaming principles in the classroom to keep students interested and engaged. Of course, for us here at Rickes Associates – we are quite interested in how virtual reality impacts educational space on campus!! .

Hope White at PAX East 2017.


Monica C. Meyerhoff Speaks to Stakeholders at the University of Maine, Fort Kent

Ms. Monica C. Meyerhoff, Vice President/Principal at Rickes Associates, presented to stakeholders at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, during a facilities master-planning meeting. As part of the on-going Master Planning efforts for the seven campuses of the University of Maine system, Rickes Associates is reviewing current space use utilization and identifying current and projected space needs for each of the campuses. “We look at a number of strategic drivers when assessing campus space needs,” said Ms. Meyerhoff. “Our recommendations integrate changing pedagogy, aligning programmatic offerings with local area needs, and overlaying future trends in higher education with the overall mission and vision of the campus.” .

Photo credit attributed to Fiddlehead Focus, a Bangor Publishing Company.

Normand Beauchemin Serves on College Accreditation Team

February 2017 – Normand Beauchemin, Data Analyst and Space Planner at Rickes Associates, served as the only public member of the Massasoit Community College accreditation team. Tasked with reviewing the college’s Veterinary Technology Program, the site visit accreditation team which included representatives of the American Veterinary Medical Association, veterinarians, and a representative of the Commonwealth’s veterinary technicians, evaluated the program according to 11 criteria covering instruction, administration, educational resources, admissions, student outcomes, facilities, and equipment. The team met with faculty, students, administrators, and the program’s Advisory Committee and toured program spaces at Massasoit’s Canton, MA, campus as well as those facilities used by the program at Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole, MA.  Based on information gained during the site visit and a program self-study prepared by the College, the team’s findings were presented to the Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities and a decision regarding the program’s accreditation status is expected in April.

Dr. Persis C. Rickes Speaks at SUNY/PPAA and NYAPPA

January 2017 – As one of this year’s invited speakers at the State University of New York joint Physical Plant Administrators Association (SUNY PPAA) and NYAPPA Winter Conference in Cooperstown, NY, Dr. Persis C. Rickes presented “Generation Z Goes to College: Preparing Our Facilities for the Next Generation.” With attendees from various campuses and administrative offices throughout the SUNY system, Dr. Rickes provided a glimpse into the potential impacts that the next upcoming generation – Generation Z – will have on physical space on college and university campuses. Much like the Millennials before them, Dr. Rickes outlined how this rising generation with its unique characteristics and preferences will dramatically influence campus space. Whereas Millennials helped spawn the “amenities race,” Gen Z will be more concerned about value, affordability, and employability.

Dr. Persis C. Rickes Explores Gen Z’s Impact on Higher Education

Dr. Persis C. Rickes explores how Gen Z will continue to transform higher education space in her most recent article, Generations in Flux. The generational characteristics and traits of the rising Gen Z cohort will drive physical changes on college and university campuses, just like the generations that came before it. It is likely, however, that the increased emphasis on accountability and graduate employability, coupled with a heightened sensitivity around unchecked student debt, will slow new construction.

Rickes Associates Renews it National Certification as a WBE

Rickes Associates proudly announces the renewal of it certification as a National Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) for 2016/2017. This certification, granted to us by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, affirms that we are a woman-owned, operated, and controlled business and have national recognition to operate as such. In this capacity, we continue to serve as stewards in advancing the role of women in non-traditional fields.

Christopher J. Timmerman Appointed Council Member At-Large to SCUP North Atlantic Region

We congratulate Chris Timmerman, M.Arch., Senior Planner at Rickes Associates who has recently been appointed Council Member At-Large for the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) North Atlantic Council. He joins other esteemed council members in this capacity for a three-year term where he will be involved with regional council meetings and conferences, and programs.  As part of a network of 5,200+ SCUPers, Chris will collaborate throughout his appointment with leaders in higher education from all areas, on and off campus, to share in the knowledge of best practices and protocols that make up today’s evolving campuses.

Chris J. Y=Timmerman, Rickes Associates

Rickes Associates Collaborates on New Volume

In conjunction with the Colombian manufacturer Kassani, Rickes Associates has collaborated on the creation of “Aula 360: Ambientes y experiencias de aprendizaje” (“Classroom 360: Learning environments and experiences”), a new volume that explores how design and other considerations contribute to classroom quality, and by extension learning outcomes. Authoring the introductory chapter of the book, Rickes Associates staff provide a broad survey of multiple factors impacting classroom design, ranging from visual and auditory considerations to those related to physical comfort and issues of sustainability. The ways in which learning is impacted by design considerations are explored, as are factors that affect the efficacy of various teaching pedagogies. Following the introduction, other chapters, sourced from global experts, provide numerous precedent examples specific to Colombian and Latin American contexts, as well as discussion of other related research topics. Featuring a vibrant, engaging graphic layout, Aula 360 provides a vital compendium of current thought leadership on the issues facing instructional space design, particularly appropriate given the rapid pace of pedagogical change driven by technological advances and emerging research into topics as diverse as sustainability and ergonomics.

Rickes Associates has collaborated on the creation of “Aula 360: Ambientes y experiencias de aprendizaje” (“Classroom 360: Learning environments and experiences”)

Campus Master Plan Wins National Award

Rickes Associates is pleased to have contributed to the Campus Master Plan for Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), recipient of the 2015 Award for Planning Excellence in Urban Design from the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP). The Award for Planning Excellence is the CIP’s highest honor for work by Canadian planners. Kudos to Urban Strategies of Toronto for their outstanding leadership of the Master Plan process! The Canadian Institute of Planners, Awards for Planning Excellence

Queens University

Persis C. Rickes, Ph.D., Receives Distinguished Service Award

SCUP-48, San Diego, California – July 28, 2013 – Persis C. Rickes, Ph.D., President and Principal of Rickes Associates, was recognized by the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) for her exceptional contributions to the activities and success of the organization. For more than two decades, Dr. Rickes has been an active member of SCUP. She has acted as presenter, author, committee member, editor, reviewer, and has served on the Northeast Regional Council. Dr. Rickes has spent her career in the service of institutions of higher education. In 1991 she founded Rickes Associates, a solution-oriented, higher education planning firm dedicated to providing colleges and universities with analysis and planning for issues affecting people, programs, and space. Dr. Rickes is not the only member of her team to receive this award. In 2009, one of her long-time associates, Thomas B. Flaherty, Ph.D. was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award at SCUP-44.

SCUP Award 2013

Dr. Persis Rickes recently returned from the European University at St. Petersburg located in St. Petersburg, Russia

In conjunction with Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC), Dr. Rickes assisted in the preparation of a detailed space program to quantify current and projected space needs. The University campus is currently located within the 18th century Small Marble Palace also known as the Mansion of Count AG Kushelev-Bezborodki. While beautiful and historic, the current space is less than ideal for the needs of today’s students. Dr. Rickes and the ARC team spent four days reviewing data, walking the current campus, and sharing findings and recommendations with key administrators. A space program of 70,000 ASF was recommended. The results of this study will be put use as part of an international design competition which seeks to re-envision the physical campus.

Rickes Associates at Russian College.

Dr. Rickes Returns to Colombia

In March 2013, Dr. Persis Rickes participated in a four-city speaking tour in Columbia where she had been invited back as a keynote speaker for the Second International Conference for Environments and Learning Experiences.  Dr. Rickes was asked to reprise last year’s presentation “Classrooms 360,” in which she discussed the classroom environment, the way in which today’s student learn, and general trends in higher education spaces. Speaking venues included Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, and Barranquilla – the four largest cities in Columbia. The expansion of this conference from last year’s single city event to a four-city event is testimony to the educational renaissance taking place in Columbia today. The Columbian government’s goal is that half of young Columbians continue their education after high school, an audacious undertaking that will require significant expansion of the country’s higher education system.

Rickes Associates at Bogota College

Annual SUNY Physical Plant Administrators Association Winter Conference

Persis C. Rickes, Ph.D. was invited to present the keynote address at the Annual SUNY Physical Plant Administrators Association Winter Conference, January 29th-30th, 2013, held in Cooperstown, New York. In her presentation entitled, “Polishing Your Crystal Ball”, Dr. Rickes explored the topic of “futuring” campus space. Trends explored by Dr. Rickes included: changing demographics, Millennial and “Homeland Generation” student characteristics, the evolution of the classroom, and the “amenities race.” Conference attendees represented SUNY campus administrators from all over New York as well as senior officials from the SUNY Central Office. This is not the first time Dr. Rickes has been invited by SUNY PPAA to present at this conference. In 2007, Dr. Rickes presented “Make Way for Millennials”. The expansion of this conference from last year’s single city event to a four-city event is testimony to the educational renaissance taking place in Columbia today. The Columbian government’s goal is that half of young Columbians continue their education after high school, an audacious undertaking that will require significant expansion of the country’s higher education system.