What's News!

Serious and not-so-serious happenings at Rickes Associates

2019

December:  Rickes Associates is excited to present our refreshed website!

November:  Persis Rickes was privileged to attend an advance screening of the first episode of the new PBS documentary series, “College Behind Bars.” The series follows student inmates earning degrees through the Bard Prison Initiative in New York State. There are over two million people in the U.S. prison system. While nearly half of all formerly incarcerated people return to prison within three years, the recidivism rate of those in the BPI program is just four percent, demonstrating the transformative power of education. Ken Burns, far right, is the Executive Producer of this powerful new series.

2019 November PBS Revised

October:  Persis Rickes and Susanne Personette were delighted to take a curated tour of the new Science and Research Center and the interconnected Learning Commons, recently completed at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. The project consisted of the construction of a new three-story addition with teaching laboratories and active learning classrooms, followed by the comprehensive renovation of the vacated Science building to create a variety of student collaboration spaces, including a quantitative commons, speaking center, and small café. The facilities were designed by CBT Architects, which has completed other campus projects. Rickes Associates prepared the space program for both building components.

July:  Persis Rickes, Chris Timmerman, and Elyse Skerker Sigal attended the annual SCUP conference, held in Seattle this year.

March:  Monica Meyerhoff and Persis Rickes attended the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities annual conference in Washington, D.C.

January:  

Hope White “gets crafty” with her job responsibilities!

2018

July:  Persis Rickes visited Reykjavík University, which she programmed when it relocated to newly constructed facilities at its current site.

July:  Chris Timmerman, Hope White, and Persis Rickes were part of a comprehensive team, led by Urban Strategies of Toronto, that received the SCUP Planning in Excellence Award, Merit, for the Princeton University Master Plan.

June:  Rickes Associates is delighted to announce that Kevin J. Kerchaert has joined Rickes Associates as Senior Planner. He brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise gained from over 30 years as an architect, including work on many college and university campuses.

May:  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. Using nature as her inspiration, Susanne’s artwork provides a glimpse into the light, color, and shadow that she sees in the everyday.

Suzanne Personette

March:  Monica Meyerhoff co-presented at the American Association of Community Colleges annual conference in Dallas with the session entitled, “Designing through Realigning: Solving Campus Space Concerns.” Her fellow speakers included J. B. Messer, Chief Facilities Officer, and Diane Jacobs, Registrar, both of Allegheny County Community College. The session touched upon non-capital ways of improving space utilization and leveraging existing campus resources.

March:  Persis Rickes was surprised and delighted to be honored by the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education as the 2018 Distinguished Alumna. Persis holds both a master’s degree as well as a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the Neag School.

February:  Eva Crowley has joined Rickes Associates as Marketing and Operations Manager. She will oversee the preparation of marketing submissions, the development of collateral material for the firm, and day-to-day office operations.

January:  Chris Timmerman is promoted from Senior Planner to Associate in recognition of his project management and leadership skills, both within the firm as well as in his interactions with clients.

2017

November:  Norm Beauchemin celebrates 10 years with Rickes Associates.

October:  How does Rickes Associates show its Halloween spirit? Here are Hocus Pocus (aka Monica Meyerhoff) and Snow White (aka Hope White) showing off their costumes.

October:  Rickes associates is pleased to announce that Elyse Skerker Sigal has joined the RA team as a Programmer and Design Strategist. She will be instrumental in applying her knowledge of analysis and assessment of space use to help clients make data-driven decisions. Elyse holds a Master of Architecture with a specialty in Inclusive Design.

July:  Persis Rickes and Chris Timmerman, along with Lisa Kopecky of California State University Fullerton presented at the annual SCUP conference in Vancouver. The session, titled “Reframing Campus Space Ownership: Data, Dialogue, and Determination,” addressed the challenges encountered while conducting a campus planning study, including the importance of transparency and communication.

July:  The Community College of Philadelphia Facilities and Academic Space Master Plan earned the Merit Award for Excellence in Planning for an existing campus from the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). Congratulations to Monica Meyerhoff and Normand Beauchemin, part of the WRT Design team, for their contribution as planners and programmers!

June:  Norm Beauchemin is promoted from Data Analyst to Senior Data Analyst/Programmer in recognition of his exceptional analytical skills as well as his expanded role in the firm.

March:  Ever wonder what a data analyst does on the weekend for fun? Here at Rickes Associates, Hope White used her non-number-crunching hours to cosplay as Chell from Portal to take part in this year’s PAX East, held in Boston. PAX is a series of international gaming conferences where attendees can go to see, hear, and experience everything “gaming.” There were even conference sessions about how today’s educators are using gaming principles in the classroom to keep students engaged – so does that count as work?

March:  Rickes Associates was awarded a trademark by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase “Futuring Higher Education” – which we are pleased to announce is now the firm’s official tag line.

Photo 7 RALogo
Photo 8 Norm Beauchemin

February:  Normand Beauchemin was honored to serve as the only public member of an accreditation team charged with reviewing the Veterinary Technology program at Massasoit Community College. The team, which included veterinarians as well as representatives of the American Veterinary Medical Association, evaluated the program according to 11 criteria covering instruction, administration, educational resources, admissions, student outcomes, facilities, and equipment. The team’s findings were presented to the Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.

January:  Persis Rickes was invited to deliver the keynote address, “Generation Z Goes to College: Preparing Our Facilities for the Next Generation,” at the State University of New York Physical Plant Administrators Association winter conference in Cooperstown, New York. 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.

Photo 9 Persis Keynote Speaker

2016

Rickes Associates proudly celebrates its 25th anniversary, and would like to thank its colleagues and clients for their contributions to the firm’s success!

Photo 10 Monica UMaine

October Monica Meyerhoff presented findings to stakeholders at the University of Maine at Fort Kent during a facilities master planning meeting. As part of master planning efforts for the seven campuses of the University of Maine system, Rickes Associates reviewed current space use and identified current and projected space needs for each of the campuses. Recommendations included integrating changing pedagogies, aligning programmatic offerings with local area needs, and overlaying future trends in higher education.

JuneChris Timmerman was appointed a Council Member At-Large to the North Atlantic Regional Council of the Society for College and University Planning, where he will contribute to regional council activities. Responsibilities range from helping expand the visibility of SCUP to determining what kinds of programming would best serve the region.

Photo 11 Timmerman_Chris SCUP

AprilPersis Rickes, in conjunction with the talented staff of Rickes Associates, contributed the lead chapter, “What Makes a Good Classroom?” to Classroom 360°: Environments and Learning Experiences, Volume II, published in Spanish in Bogota, Columbia. Rickes Associates staff provided 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, to the ways in which learning is impacted by design considerations. The remaining chapters, sourced from global experts, provide numerous precedent examples specific to Columbia and Latin America.

2015

November:  Vice President Monica Meyerhoff celebrates 20 years with Rickes Associates.

JulyAs the Society for College and University Planning approached its 50th anniversary, it named “Make Way for Millennials,” written by Persis Rickes, one of the 50 most influential articles published in the Society’s journal, Planning for Higher Education, over the past 50 years. Click here to read the article.

Photo 12 Queen's Univ

JulyChris Timmerman was part of a larger planning team headed by Urban Strategies of Toronto that prepared the Campus Master Plan for Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. The project received the Award for Excellence in Urban Design from the Canadian Institute of Planners, their highest honor.

2014

October:  Rickes Associates is delighted to welcome aboard Hope White as Data Analyst. Her strong computational skills will be well-received as will her enthusiasm for her work!

JulyPersis Rickes was interviewed for Facilities Manager magazine as part of APPA’s 100th anniversary celebration. The article, “A Century of Campus Planning,” discusses some of the past, present, and future challenges confronting higher education. Click here to read the article.

JanuaryThe American Association of State Colleges and Universities interviewed Persis Rickes for an article entitled “Designs on the Future,” published in Public Purpose magazine, about how campuses need to focus on how campuses need to rethink instructional space over the next decade. Click here to read the article.

2013

October:  At the North Atlantic SCUP one-day symposium held at Gateway Community College in Connecticut, Persis Rickes presented “Framing the Need” on how the enrollment projections and subsequent space program were developed for the newly opened campus in downtown New Haven. Both Monica Meyerhoff and Persis Rickes have had a long-term relationship with GCC as campus space needs have evolved.

Dr. Persis Rickes (left), with President Dorsey Kendrick and Vice President Lou D’Antonio.

OctoberThe Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed Persis Rickes for an article entitled “Colleges Adapt (Slowly) to Classrooms 2.0,” about how classrooms are evolving to accommodate new pedagogies.

JulyPersis Rickes was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Society for College and University Planning at SCUP-48, held in San Diego, 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 and has served as conference presenter, author, editor, reviewer, and national Membership Chair. She also held multiple posts within the North Atlantic Region, including Regional Representative.

Photo-14-SCUP2013DSA

JulyInterviewed by the American Council on Education’s The Presidency magazine, Persis Rickes provided commentary for the article: “How Much Campus Do You Need?” Dr. Rickes noted that the most successful master plans are grounded in strong strategic plans. Click here to read the article.

MayIn conjunction with Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC) Persis Rickes prepared a detailed space program for the European University at St. Petersburg in Russia, after spending four days on site. The campus is currently located with an 18th century building known as the Small Marble Palace and offers internationally-known graduate programs in Humanities and the Social Sciences.

MarchPersis Rickes was delighted to visit the country of Columbia for a second time, making presentations in Bogotá, Medellin, Cali, and Baranquilla during a weeklong invited speaking tour as part of a “rolling” Second International Conference for Environments and Learning Experiences. By request, she reprised her 2011 keynote, on the topic of how space influences learning. Ideally, the Columbian government would like to see at least half of young Columbians continue on to higher education.

JanuaryPersis Rickes delivered the keynote address at the State University of New York Physical Plant Administrators Association Annual Winter Conference, held in Cooperstown, New York. In the session entitled “Polishing Your Crystal Ball,” Dr. Rickes explored the topic of “futuring” campus space, grounded in changing demographics and evolving student characteristics. Conference attendees represented SUNY campus administrators from all over New York as well as senior officials from the SUNY Central Office. This marked a repeat invitation to speak at this conference; she last presented in 2007.

2012

July:  Chris Timmerman and Persis Rickes were part of a larger team helmed by Goody Clancy Architects of Boston that prepared the Campus Master Plan for Drexel University. The project received the Excellence in Planning for an Existing Campus award from the Society for College and University Planning at its annual conference.

MarchBricks and Bytes, a periodic conference sponsored by the American Bar Association, invited Persis Rickes to speak at their San Diego conference about “Determining and Maximizing Space Utilization” in law schools.

MarchPersis Rickes, along with Christine DePalma and Anne Agee of UMass Boston, presented at the North Atlantic SCUP Conference with the session: “Improving Classroom Space Within Existing and New Facilities.”

2011

Rickes Associates celebrates its 20th anniversary!

October:  Persis Rickes was one of 50 individuals selected by the Association of College Unions International to participate in a multi-day summit to consider the relationship between physical place and campus community. Members of the group included architects, planners, consultants, campus administrators, and higher education association leaders. Click here to read the report.

NovemberPersis Rickes contributed a chapter to the book “Classroom 360°: Environments and Learning Experiences,” published in Bogotá, Columbia and describing how instructional spaces influence student learning. At the book launch, she was invited to deliver the keynote address at the First Annual Conference for Environments and Learning Experiences, held in Bogotá. Participants ranged from K-12 teachers and administrators to university faculty and staff. She was also interviewed by a national news outlet as well as by Proyectodiseño, a Columbian design magazine.

MarchMonica Meyerhoff and Persis Rickes were profiled in “Helping Campuses Pave a Brighter Future” in the Boston Women in Business section of Forbes magazine. Click here to read the article.

2010

October:  The Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed Persis Rickes on whether windows in faculty office doors work -- or don’t -- for a piece entitled: “To Monitor Office Behavior, Colleges Add Windows to Professors’ Doors.” She even provided a few photos from her own collection of some creative ways that faculty members have used to obscure their windows and preserve privacy.

2009

October:  Rickes Associates is delighted to hire Chris Timmerman as Senior Planner. Chris holds a Master of Architecture and will be responsible for data analysis, conducting interviews, and determining campus space needs.

Photo 17 Make Way for Millenials

January“Make Way for Millennials: How Students are Shaping Higher Education Space,” authored by Persis Rickes, was the featured article in Planning for Higher Education, the journal of the Society for College and University Planning. It was one of the first published articles to specifically link generational cohort theory with evolving college and university space needs. Click here to read the article.