The Center for Health Design awarded its annual Changemaker Award to Mardelle McCuskey Shepley, professor at Cornell University, department of design and environmental analysis, and associate director in the Cornell Institute for Health Futures, during the 2017 Healthcare Design Expo & Conference, held Nov. 11-14 in Orlando, Fla.

During the awards presentation, Shepley shared her thoughts about the intersection of art and science before sitting down for a Q+A with D. Kirk Hamilton, co-recipient of last year’s Changemaker Award. Shepley talked about how her students have inspired her and how they continue to be one of the driving forces in her career. “I’ve seen the next generation step up to the plate—their ability to take huge personal risks, and professional ones, to make a positive impact on the world despite its many challenges,” she says.

Shepley’s discussion with Hamilton touched on such topics as how her career started, hobbies, successes and challenges as a professor, practitioner, and author, and what the future holds for her and the industry at large. Her professional work spans years as an architect and researcher with a focus on vulnerable populations, and Shepley continues to collaborate on some research projects as well as mentor students, a role she says she genuinely enjoys.

“Like most of us, I hope to have a legacy,” she says. “In my case, I’d like that legacy to be that I’ve shared in the creation of a culture that recognizes that design is a responsibility. We must be held accountable for its results.”