Southeast Missouri State University
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Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 10, 2002 - Southeast Missouri State University student Natalie Raeder, of Washington, D.C., was able to help the country restore itself after last year's attack by terrorists by interning with the Pentagon Renovation Program over the summer.

Raeder, a Southeast interior design major who will graduate this December, worked with 3-D International of Washington D.C. to complete an interior design internship for her degree in Human Environmental Studies. 3-D International is part of the Team Joint Venture Company which was contracted to perform the Pentagon Renovation Program even before it was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. The wing that was destroyed in the attack already was under renovation at the time, five days from completion, and many lives were saved because it was unoccupied, she said.

"The best expectation was that by Sept. 11 it would look complete on the outside but not be occupied," Raeder said. "Since the architects, planners, interior designers and construction workers have been working around the clock, 600 people will occupy those offices by the anniversary."

All summer Raeder worked with the Pentagon Renovation Program and was given a variety of responsibilities. She assisted interior designers, space planners, relocation specialists and architects; participated in on-site interviews with tenant Department of Defense agency representatives; worked with space surveying and planning and compiled space survey information into a central database for the 6.5 million gross square feet of the Pentagon; worked with furnishings vendor representatives in coordination with orders and logistics; and assisted other designers and tenant client presentations.

"The whole experience of working in the Pentagon was great. I loved it," said Raeder. "This was my way of helping in a situation where most people felt helpless."

Raeder's experience at the Pentagon is not the only connection that she has to the Sept. 11 tragedy. The day that the Pentagon was attacked, Raeder's father, who also works on the Pentagon Renovation Project, was on his way to work. Over Christmas break, her father, Jerry Raeder, took his family to the site where the Pentagon was attacked.

"People our age have not experienced war, and that is the closest I have come to it," Raeder said. "The overall effect was a major shock - in Washington D.C., New York City, even in Cape Girardeau; but my parents' lives were in danger, and I got to visit the site. It was sad to know that all those people died there."

When Raeder graduates in December she will be one of many Southeast students who had the opportunity to gain an education through experiential learning. Her work on the Pentagon has enhanced her experiences as a Southeast student, she said.

"The education from the interior design program has made me capable of helping the Pentagon Renovation Program and has made me feel honored to help our country rebuild our greatest office building," Raeder said.


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