About Lizbeth Paez

When New York City native Lizbeth Paez was applying to college, she was leaning toward schools with interior design programs but wasn’t ready to commit to an interior design major. 

What drew her to Russell Sage College, she said, was the variety of programs it offered in addition to Interior + Spatial Design, and the emphasis that all its programs place on internships. 

“I decided to go for this school,” she said, and started out in Sage’s Academic Exploration program.

Academic Exploration students work with a faculty advisor to select courses that let them explore potential interests while they meet general education requirements. 

“The people here are great at helping you feel like you fit in,” Lizbeth continued, noting the diverse resources from Admission to Advising to Residential Life that supported her as she transitioned to college and considered her major. 

Academic Exploration students usually select a major during their second year, but Lizbeth knew by the end of her second semester that her first instinct had been the right one. 

That’s when she took Interior + Spatial Design Studio I with Professor Lynn Capirsello. 

“The majority of the classes are very small, so I liked how I can have a one-on-one experience with most professors,” she said, adding that Professor Capirsello was easy to approach for help. 

“We had to do floor plans, and it really pushed me to get an idea of what being a designer looks like,” she said. “I was just like yes, this is what I want to do.”  

As a sophomore this year, Lizbeth will continue to build her portfolio in preparation for an internship during her senior year. 

In the meantime, she’s joined the Admission team as a student-ambassador and the Residence Life team as an RA. 

Admission and Res Life “really helped me get settled into the school,” she said, of what attracted her to these roles. 

She’s especially excited to share what she has found valuable about Sage with prospective Academic Exploration students who contact Sage’s Office of Admission.    

I will tell them, if you don’t know what type of major you want, there’s a bunch of different majors you can look into. Whether you have an idea or not, this school has a lot to offer.


“The people here are great at helping you feel like you fit in.”

Lizbeth Paez