Chatham University

Interior Architecture Faculty and Staff

Kathleen Sullivan
Assistant Professor

Hometown : Pittsburgh, PA
Joined Chatham : 2008

Academic Areas of Interest

Sustainable and Green Design Practices, Environment and Behavior Psychology, Color and Textiles, Drafting, Basic and Advanced Studio Courses

Personal Areas of Interest

Organic Gardening, Western Pennsylvania Stoneware, Antique Needlework and Textiles, Late 50's and Early 60's Cars and Music.


Kathleen Sullivan, a native of Pittsburgh, has been an educator on all levels which include primary, secondary, higher education, and adult education. Her career started in Martin County, Florida teaching art to underprivileged elementary age students. She returned to Pittsburgh to teach art and art history for fourteen years in the Fox Chapel Area District on the junior high and senior high school level. In addition to her teaching, Kathleen was a practicing artist and exhibited in Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Arts Festival and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts as well as other shows in the region. During her years at Fox Chapel, she earned her Master’s Degree in Art Education from the University of Pittsburgh. As part of the master’s program, she studied overseas at the University of London and the Sorbonne in Paris with a particular focus on the art and architecture of both countries. This experience evoked a desire to learn more about the built environment as a creative outlet. She then earned an associate degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in interior design where she earned several awards for her design skills. Kathleen went on to work for architectural and design firms that honed her skills as an interior designer as well as an on-air broadcast scenic designer. Burt Hill, Pittsburgh’s largest architectural firm and one of the country’s largest and top ranking establishments was highly influential in her career. She gained experience by being involved in high profile projects such as CNG corporate headquarters and multi-faceted projects such as Seven Springs Mountain Resort. She was then asked to join a firm called Performance Group, that specialized in broadcast design. This entailed designing newsrooms, control rooms, and news sets throughout the United States. It is here that she was able to truly integrate all of her artistic, interior, and architectural design skills. She designed, generated construction documents, and supervised the installation of sets from coast to coast. In 1993 she started her own business where she continued broadcast design on a national and local level, as well as designing commercial and high-end residential projects. When she took on a personal project of moving and restoring a 1780 log home that she calls home today, she accepted a position at Ross Schonder Sterzinger Cupcheck, an architectural firm near her residence. She designed a multitude of commercial projects ranging from churches, YMCA’s humane societies, and car dealerships to name a few. Since 1987 when she started her interior design career at Burt Hill until 2007 she also taught at LaRoche College as an adjunct faculty member in the Interior Design Department. One of the many honors that she received while at LaRoche College was that of being invited to speak at the national Interior Design Education Conference in Tampa, Florida where she would share her teaching methods regarding green and sustainable design. These skills lead two groups of her students to place first and third in a national competition sponsored by East Carolina University regarding sustainable design. She is active in her community and is an elected representative for her voting district in Richland Township, Pennsylvania.