facultydetails | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Interior Architecture (MIA) Faculty and Staff

Kathleen Sullivan

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.


  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA., M.S., Art Education, 1978
  • Edinboro University, Edinboro, PA, B.S. Art Education, 1969
  • Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA., Associates Degree, Interior Design, 1987


  • Projects:
  • Seven Springs Mountain Resort: Rooms, Lobbies, Restaurants, Shops (Champion, PA)
  • Consolidated Natural Gas Corporate Headquarters, Executive Floor (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • WXII – News Set (Winston Salem, NC)
  • WTVJ – News Set with robotic integration (Miami, Fl)
  • WPXI – Complete renovation for north wing to accommodate new sound and control rooms.
  • John Frazer Senior Living Tower (East Pittsburgh, PA)
  • KMTV – News Set (Omaha, NE)
  • WSAZ – News Set (Huntingdon/Charleston, WV)
  • On Q – News Set, WQED-TV (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • PBS TV – Sets for Welfare Reform, ZAP! (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • KOIN – News Set with robotic integration (Portland, OR)
  • KGUN – News Set (Tucson, AZ)
  • UPMC Heath Talk Set, WQED-TV (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Age Wise Set, WQED-TV (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • DOO WOP sets located at the Benedum Theatre, national syndication (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Community Life Center, Senior Living (Tarentum, PA)
  • Community Life Center, Senior Living (Homestead, PA)
  • 900 Penn Avenue Apartments for visiting actors performing at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Saint Alphonsus Elementary School and Gymnasium (Wexford, PA)
  • Cranberry Township Children’s Library (Cranberry, PA)
  • North View Animal Hospital (North Hills, PA)
  • Duncan Manor Animal Hospital (Allison Park, PA)
  • Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church and Education Wing (Allison Park, PA)
  • Billco Mazda Auto Dealership (Wexford, PA)
  • Billco Volkswagen Auto Dealership (Wexford, PA)
  • NorthSide Bank Headquarters (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • NorthSide Bank (Cranberry, PA)
  • Western Pennsylvania Humane Society (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Kreb’s Dodge (Gibsonia, PA)
  • Cranberry Golf Course Club House (Cranberry, PA)
  • Three Rivers Rowing (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Memorial Park Youth House (Allison Park, PA)
  • Norwin Public Library (Norwin, PA)
  • Good Samaritan Hospice (Wexford, PA)
  • Clean Town Car Wash (Hampton, PA)
  • AUMA USA Corporate Headquarters (Southpointe, PA)
  • Saint Catherine’s Roman Catholic Church (Allison Park, PA)
  • Holy Sepulcher Roman Catholic Church (Glade Mills, PA)
  • Bethany Presbyterian Church and Education Wing (Bridgeville, PA)
  • Ingomar United Methodist Church and Education Wing (Ingomar, PA)
  • Karndean International USA Headquarters (North Huntingdon, PA)
  • North Hills YMCA (Franklin Park, PA)
  • Rose E. Schneider YMCA (Cranberry, PA)
  • Charter Oak United Methodist Church and Education Wing (North Huntingdon, PA)


  • Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate: Art


  • 1987 Allegheny Center, Creative Use of Building Materials in Residential Design, Third Place.
  • 1999 Preservation Award, bestowed by The City of Pittsburgh and The Historic Review Commission for the interior design of the 900 Penn Avenue Building, which was repurposed with a focus on sustainable design to house the actors performing at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre.
  • 1999 Honored in the One on One/Mentor of the Year Exhibition at LaRoche College, nominated by a former student.


  • Interior Design Education Council, IDEC


  • Her expertise in the classroom earned her the privilege to supervise student teachers from colleges and universities within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Additional activities include acting as the yearbook advisor, organizing art exhibits on a yearly basis, and spearheading student participation on all levels in the statewide youth art month activities. Kathleen was trained and involved in curriculum writing and coordinated the implementation of new and innovative strategies within the school district. She attended a variety of seminars regarding specialized training in behavior management, negotiating, youth drug and alcohol abuse, and special needs students to name just a few.
  • While teaching in Florida she organized the exhibits for all of the schools in the district for the Florida state educational fair. That same year she designed the education float for the county which went on to win first place in state competition.


  • "Sustainable/Green Teaching Methods", National Interior Design Education Annual Conference (Tampa, FL), 1999