Julia comes to Heritage with a technical background and long history of teaching. She has a Bachelors degree from Villanova and a Masters and Ph.D. from Notre Dame, all in civil engineering. She began teaching as a graduate student - in fact, her first experience teaching was as a teaching assistant for an architecture course. She knew from those early days that her future was teaching, and ultimately became a tenured professor at Arizona State University. During that time, she won several teaching awards including Outstanding Engineering Educator of the Year, awarded by the Arizona Chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers.
She left ASU when her daughter was born so she could focus on family, and, as it turned out, remodeling her house. She loved working with an interior designer and particularly enjoyed the process of turning problems into features of the final design. Many years later, she wanted to design an addition for that same house. Stumbling on SketchUp, she thought she'd give it a try. She eventually came to love SketchUp after learning how, and more importantly, why it works the way it does. Soon after, she began teaching SketchUp at the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association. Focusing on the aspects of SketchUp that are unfamiliar and often disorienting rather than details that seem more familiar, she encourages students to harness SketchUp's power rather than fight it. She has taught SketchUp at the woodworking guild many times, including three times online. She's also written a book "A Need-to-Know Approach to SketchUp" and a YouTube channel that supports the book. She is excited to bring her teaching experience to Heritage and to share her love of SketchUp with interior design students, circling back to her earliest motivations to learn SketchUp!
Julia lives in San Diego with her husband, daughter and two gigantic Maine Coon cats. She loves cooking, gardening, step aerobics, hiking, woodworking and just about anything that involves design!