Maren has been at Columbia since 2004, first as an adjunct faculty member, and then as Academic Manager since 2007. In addition to teaching, she is responsible for working with faculty to plan and implement curricular changes, evaluate programs, and set the schedule of over 800 classes per year. She enjoys the interactivity of the classroom environment, and is passionate about fostering not only students' understanding of the designed world around them, but also their role as future artists and designers in shaping that environment. Her research topics are varied, from current sustainability issues in design to 18th century English landscape architecture. Her prior work experience includes teaching at UIC and Harrington College of Design, program management at a nonprofit design foundation, and working in curatorial departments at both the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Art Institute of Chicago. She received her BA in Art History, with minors in Italian and Foreign Studies from the University of MN, and her MA in Design History from the Royal College of Art, London, UK. She has lived in England, Italy, and the Netherlands, and traveled throughout Europe and to Cuba, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. Recently she has been concentrating on travel within the various regions of the U.S.