Elizabeth Gilboy, Director
Elizabeth has been involved in leadership roles at the Design Center since 1990 and as Director since 2000. She has a Masters of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from the University of Massachusetts. Her primary area of interest is planning and design assistance that affords healthy living opportunities and interaction with the natural environment while at the same time helping preserve the environment and open space. The purpose of Healthy Living by Design is to address two specific crises in this nation and how community design can help address the problem. They include the crisis of obesity (and other consequential health issues) and nature-deficit disorder, the cost of alienation from nature. Such work includes, in part, conceptual open space master plans; parks and greenway designs; landscape designs for outdoor learning; and rain garden designs for reducing stormwater runoff. She has overseen over one hundred projects at the Design Center, as well as initiating several publications and events including Lost Communities of Virginia, The Motorcycle Tour Guide to Lost Communities of Virginia, and Streetscapes of Virginia and The Lost Tour 2007.
Nick Proctor, Project Manager
Nick comes to CDAC after spending three years with the 501(c)3 non-profit Friends of Southwest Virginia (FOSWVA) based at Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway in Abingdon, VA. As a Community Development and Outdoor Recreation Specialist at FOSWVA, Nick worked with over 15 communities across a 19-county region in southwest Virginia, assisting communities in capacity building, local leadership development, visioning, project development, and grant management. His efforts became associated with nearly $3 million of public investment in planning and physical improvement projects related to outdoor recreation and cultural heritage tourism. Nick holds both an undergraduate and graduate degree in Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech with an emphasis on the added value of community engagement in public design. He is originally from Abingdon, VA and enjoys woodworking, cooking smoked bbq, beekeeping, and photography in his spare time.
Terri Fisher, Lost Communities of Virginia Project Manager
Terri holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science from the University of New Hampshire and completed the coursework for a Masters of Architecture degree at Virginia Tech. Terri has worked with local historic sites and is the author of several books about local history including the CDAC publication, Lost Communities of Virginia. Her interests are in the areas of preservation and sustainable design: “Our most livable communities and sustainable buildings are in many of our older neighborhoods that were built for ease of transportation, longevity, and response to the environment in a less mobile and disposable time.” In her spare time, Terri enjoys exploring back roads, playing the clarinet, making art, and rehabilitating a historic house in the once-booming town of Narrows where she is also a member of the citizens group helping to revitalize downtown.
Maxine Lyons, Office Manager
Along with overseeing office duties, Maxine also handles the fiscal responsibilities of the Center. She holds a BS from Radford University and is very active in Virginia Tech governance which, at present, includes serving as the president of the College of Architecture & Urban Studies Staff Association and Secretary of the University’s Staff Senate. Among other groups, she has represented VT staff on the University Council and the Commission on Equal Opportunity & Diversity.
Kevin Jones, Visiting Faculty; Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design
Kevin Jones is a practicing architect and Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture + Design. He teaches 4th-year Integrative Design Studio and Professional Practice. Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, he practiced in Richmond, VA and served as Adjunct Faculty in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. His experience in practice is diverse in type and scale and includes numerous adaptive reuse projects as well as housing, institutional, community, and cultural works. Kevin has particular expertise with the sensitive addition of modern design in historic contexts. He has been privileged to work with both urban and rural communities on a variety of community-oriented projects – first in Richmond, with Storefront for Community Design, and most recently with the Virginia Tech Community Design Assistance Center. His academic pursuits lie at the intersection of teaching, practice, and community engagement and he has a firm belief in the power of architecture to enrich the lives of people and places.
Elif Tural, Assistant Professor, Interior Design
As an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture + Design, Elif Tural currently teaches the junior interior design studios, professional practice, and building systems courses. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, she taught interior design at undergraduate and graduate levels at Oregon State. Her research interests include design factors for active living with a focus on senior residential environments. In line with her recent research on how green design and occupant health intersect, she strives to integrate socially- and environmentally-responsive design aspects to her teaching. Dr. Tural has a B.Arch and an MFA in Interior Architecture. She received her PhD in Environmental Design and Planning from Arizona State University. With her multidisciplinary design background and doctoral research on community design centers, Dr. Tural is passionate about community-based studio projects, and interdisciplinary teaching and research collaborations.