By Valerie Metrejean
Students, faculty, staff and HGTV enthusiasts filled
Tolliver Hall Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. to hear Alice Fakier, a “Design Star”
finalist, tell of her experiences on the design reality show.
Fakier’s visit to Tech’s campus
was also a homecoming. As a 2002 Tech graduate of architecture, Fakier enjoyed returning to her alma mater to share the
behind the scenes of “Design Star.”
After receiving 1700 applications, HGTV picked her to be
among the 10 final contestants, Fakier said.
“I figured they would get hundreds of applications so I
didn’t expect to be chosen,” Fakier said. But Fakier did get chosen and was even one of the final two
After watching the program as it was shown on television,
Fakier said, “I wish viewers could have seen more of
the elimination process.”
The process actually lasted eight hours instead of the
ten minutes the viewers saw.
With many offers coming in from TV appearances to
publishing opportunities, Fakier said she is trying
to sift through her options.
When asked how her “Design Star” experience benefited
from her time at Tech, she said, “I took a lot of classes that encouraged
“My worst nightmare was doing badly on a challenge and
having the judges ask, ‘You got a degree where?” Whatever her fears, Tech’s
family is in agreement that Fakier represented the
school very well.
Guy Carwile, an associate
professor of architecture, taught Fakier as a Tech
student and was very proud of her success thus far.
“I knew by the way she handled herself that she would be
successful, but I couldn’t have predicted this,” Carwile
He also said she was an excellent student. “Her
personality and effervescent was exactly like what you saw on TV.”
Linda Martin, Fakier’s mother
and a former associate professor of speech communications at Tech, said she was
also proud of the character Fakier showed throughout
“She was thrown into a group situation and conducted
herself like a lady,” Martin said.
She attributed some of her daughter’s success on the show
to the commitment and availability the architecture professors had given to Fakier as student.
Dedication from Fakier’s
professors continued even after she received her diploma.
“Her Tech professors got in touch with her to offer
encouragement,” said Martin.
Fakier and Martin could not say
enough how thankful they were to Tech for all the encouragement and support.
“Tech was one of my biggest supporters from the beginning. I really appreciate