Marketing & Media Relations
Brady Butler, Director
9000 Babcock Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

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PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (July 14, 2011)—Interior design students from La Roche College are assisting with a local home makeover project later this month.

Dorothy Beavers and Toni Turner, a mother and daughter from Penn Hills, found themselves struggling to keep up with major repairs and maintenance of their home during the last few years. Beavers, 97, is a foster grandmother and her daughter, Turner, works multiple jobs and ministers young, pregnant females. Neighbors and friends stepped in to help the suffering family, calling upon local merchants for donations and assistance to not only clean up the Turners’ home, but to also re-design, re-organize and re-decorate the home as well.

WTAE Channel 4 Action News anchor Wendy Bell will be hosting a two-part special featuring the project on July 25 and 26. It was Bell who thought to include students from the interior design program at La Roche in the efforts to improve the Turners’ home. Students Kelsey Landis, Melanie Highberger, Molly Podplesky and Caroline Vranesevic collaborated to re-design the house into a more organized and functional space. All four students are members of the La Roche College Student Chapter of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers).

Highberger, a dual major in both interior design and psychology, was inspired by the overall sense of community involved with the project. “I believe that design can be very powerful and even healing. This project is proving to be just that,” she said. “It was amazing to see how willing and helpful the local companies and volunteers were. Even with the economy being in the shape it is in, people were still willing to help by donating time, gift cards, and supplies.”

The interior design program at La Roche offers students the chance to work with top-rated faculty and designers. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) has continuously accredited the program since 1985.

For more information regarding interior design programs at La Roche, or further information about the WTAE home makeover segment, please contact Lisa Kamphaus, at 412.536.1526 or

About La Roche College: A private, Catholic, co-educational college north of Pittsburgh founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche welcomes students of all religions, ethnic origins and talents. Undergraduates may choose from more than 50 majors, including the top 10 majors most in demand among today’s college students. La Roche combines a quality educational experience with clubs, athletics, social and community volunteer activities, spiritual well-being and more to prepare students for life in a constantly changing global society.

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