What's News!


March: Persis Rickes attended the North Atlantic SCUP conference in Boston and presented “Hiding in Plain Sight: Quantifying Opportunity Space at Babson College” alongside her co-presenters: Leila Lamoureux of Babson College and Gaia Giudicelli of Miller Dyer Spears.


February:  Monica Meyerhoff and Doug Brown presented “Canaries in the Demographic Coal Mine: The Impending Enrollment Crash and the Impact on Higher Education” at the New York Association of Physical Plant Administrators (NYAPPA) Conference.

January:  Dr. Rickes was invited for a second presentation in front of a SCUP Emerging Leaders group addressing the looming demographic cliff facing higher education.

January:  The 2024 pop-up calendars were sent out! Please let us know if you would like to be added to our mailing list.

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October:   Rickes Associates is excited to have been nationally certified as a woman-owned business enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

August:   For some summer fun, take our quiz here to see where students get to study near surf, sun, and sand!

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July:    Persis Rickes and Chris Timmerman (pictured), along with Doug Brown, attended the national SCUP Annual Conference in Cleveland.

May:    Colleges and universities make health and well-being a priority for students. Take our quiz here and test your knowledge!

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May:     Dr. Rickes was privileged to have been an invited speaker in SCUP’s Emerging Leaders series. She addressed the looming demographic cliff, where institutions will be confronted by a new structural reality. Some institutions have already begun experiencing enrollment shifts, eliciting a variety of compensatory strategies in response.

April:    Rickes Associates congratulates Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for winning a WoodWorks 2023 Wood Design Award for their design on Wellesley College’s Science Complex. We are privileged to have been a part of the project team as the space programming firm.


March:    Rickes Associates is happy to announce that Douglas H. Brown, Ph.D. has joined our team as an Associate. His 26 years in education, including a decade as a dean of science and mathematics at a community college, give him a strong understanding of institutional processes and culture. Join us in welcoming him to the firm!

February:    In honor of Valentine's Day, we created the "I <3 Higher Education!" quiz. See if you love it as much as we do! Click here to take the quiz.

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January:    Ms. Meyerhoff has completed her comprehensive exams at Notre Dame University Maryland and is working on her Ph.D. dissertation.

January:    Our popular pop-up calendars were sent out! Please let us know if you would like to be added to our mailing list!


September:    In recognition of their outstanding contributions, Rickes Associates is pleased to announce the following promotions:

Christopher Timmerman to Senior Associate

Kevin Kerchaert to Associate

Hope White to Senior Analyst

Eva Crowley to Marketing and Project Development Manager

August:    In order to beat the summer heat, Rickes Associates put together the College Town Creamery Cool Down quiz. Click here to sample it!

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May:    Graduation is a milestone for many! Click here to see how you fare on the University Seals, Regalia, and Commencement Traditions quiz!

March:    Chris Timmerman attended the 37th Annual SCUP North Atlantic Regional Conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After a long break during Covid, it was invigorating to attend in person.

March:    In honor of Women's History Month, Rickes Associates has put together a Women Pioneers in Education quiz. Click here to find out how much you know!

January:   Rickes Associates has mailed out the 2022 pop-up calendars! Please let us know if you would like to be added to our distribution list!

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December:   In the spirit of the season, try your hand at our Gifts and Donations quiz. Click here to take the quiz!

October: The Chronicle of Higher Education published "Planning the Campus of the Future" identifying trends based on responses to the 2021 Society for College and University Planning survey. Click here to read the article.

October:   Feeling ghoulish? Take our Haunted Campuses quiz that was posted on LinkedIn! Click here to test your knowledge!

October: On October 21, Monica Meyerhoff attended the much-anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new Agricultural and Clean Energy Technology (ACET) Center at SUNY Morrisville. Students, faculty, staff, industry partners, and VIPs, gathered to celebrate the new $16 million, 30,000 square-foot applied learning technology building, which houses the college’s renewable energy, agricultural engineering, and diesel technology programs. Rickes Associates, working closely with the architect, developed a space program for this new academic building to support these concentrations.

June:   Our newest quiz, "Campus Traditions and Mascots" was posted on LinkedIn. Test your knowledge on some eclectic customs and unique mascots. Click here for the quiz.

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May:   Benchmarking is one tool among many that shapes and informs space planning. Please click here to see our new thought piece, “The Promise and Perils of Space Benchmarking” and to check out our interactive tool to see where your institution falls on the ASF/FTE continuum. We can customize the list of benchmark institutions to meet your particular planning needs.

March :   An interview with Dr. Persis Rickes was featured in SimpsonScarborough’s March newsletter under the heading: “Is Your Brand Three-Dimensional?” The piece can be accessed here.

February:   Rickes Associate is pleased to offer a new thought piece! WICHE recently published its state-by-state update of projected high school graduate numbers. While the publication makes for fascinating reading, we have distilled the findings into an interactive map here – and have made comparisons to the prior edition. You will see that while the outlook for some states has improved, for others it will be even more challenging.

January:  Test your knowledge of our LinkedIn Trivia Quiz: Campus Firsts! Let's celebrate the New Year with these college campus firsts! Click here for the quiz.

January:  Rickes Associates is delighted to be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year! While technology has certainly evolved, and the challenges confronting higher education have changed, our commitment remains to ensuring that campuses have the right amount of space, in the right place, at the right time. Please get in touch and we can discuss ways to help make your campus more future-resilient in 2021 – and beyond.

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December:  Our 2021 pop-up calendars have been mailed! If you would like to be added to our annual distribution list, or have an alternate address that you would like to share, please let us know.

December:  Persis was one of 40 thought leaders from around the country interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education regarding thoughts on how the pandemic will shape higher education space. The resulting brief, "Rethinking Campus Spaces: How to Prepare for the Future of Learning and Work" is available from the Chronicle's on-line store. Please click here for the article.

November:  North Atlantic SCUP presented a quartet of panels around the topic, “Lessons from the Fall.” Persis Rickes was invited to make opening comments for the two-day virtual symposium as well as to moderate the panel on Academic Affairs, “Mission Critical: Academic Delivery in the Time of COVID and Beyond.” Please click here to read the comments.

September:  Did you know that wood has antimicrobial properties?
As part of a four-person panel on “Mass Timber Residence Halls in the Northeast,” Persis Rickes contributed some thoughts on residence hall trends, which include an emerging preference for micro rooms on the part of some students. This and other trends then made their way into a protorypical space program for a mass timber residence hall. The session was part of the 18th Annual New York State Green Building Conference. The other amazing presenters included Jodi Smits Anderson of DASNY, Jim D’Aloisio of Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt, and Paul Crovella of SUNY-ESF. Given that Gen Z students want to connect with nature, then what better way than through a mass timber living-and-learning environment?

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August:  Lights, Camera, Campus! Quiz. College and university campuses play important parts in many famous films. More than just a visually striking backdrop, the campus setting often influences the characters' moods and experiences. For our second campus trivia quiz, we have assembled some questions about campuses in the movies. See how many you can identify and have fun! Click here for the quiz.

July:  What's Cooking on Campus Quiz. Food and drink are an integral part of the campus experience. We've assembled some questions about college and university food and drink trivia, for you to test your knowledge about what's cooking on campus. Click here for the quiz and Bon Appetit!

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March:  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff of Rickes Associates transitioned seamlessly to working from home.

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March:  At the North Atlantic SCUP conference, held in New Haven, Connecticut, Persis Rickes presented: "Canaries in the Demographic Coal Mine," discussing how higher education enrollment is going to dramatically change, and where there are institutional precedents for adapting.

January:  Rickes Associates is proud to announce our recertification as a WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) in the State of New York. The firm is also certified in Massachusetts and Virginia.


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.

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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!

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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 Merit Award for Excellence in Planning for the Princeton University Master Plan.

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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.

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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.
Read more about the celebration here.

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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.


November:  Norm Beauchemin celebrates 10 years with Rickes Associates.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

June:  Chris 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.

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April:  Persis 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.


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

July:  As 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.

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July:  Chris 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.


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!

July:  Persis 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.

January:  The 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.


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.

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

October:  The 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.

July:  Persis 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.

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July:  Interviewed 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.

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May:  In 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.

March:  Persis 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.

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January:  Persis 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.


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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.

March:  Bricks 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.

March:  Persis 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.”


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.

November:  Persis 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.

March:  Monica 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.


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.

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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.

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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.