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Seven Top Design Students Receive Scholarships from IFDA's Educational Foundation

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Scholarships from the Educational Foundation of the International Furnishings and Design Association have been presented to seven high-achieving design students at accredited colleges and universities. Says IFDA President Penny Sikalis, "Receiving a scholarship from our foundation is not only recognition of a design student's record of achievement and potential but also a positive means for a student to connect with professionals in the field he or she has chosen."

Almost from its inception, in 1947, IFDA has awarded student scholarships annually, recognizing that advanced education is a major key to career development in the various furnishings and design professions. This year's applications were accepted from March 1st to 31st. Here are the foundation's 2018 scholarship winners:

  • Ruth Clark Furniture Design Scholarship ($3,000), which is open to any full- or part-time undergraduate or grad student specializing in residential wood- or upholstered-furniture design, was won by Samantha Holtman of Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. "In my mind, design is the ability to make your dreams a reality," she believes. "I have chosen a concentration in furniture design because of my passions for working in wood and designing sustainable furniture."

  • Vercille Voss IFDA Graduate Student Scholarship ($2,000), conceived to reward a full- or part-time grad student who has successfully completed four design courses and is majoring in interior design or a related field, was awarded to Laura Oviedo. Passionate about urban design, after receiving her diploma from the arcitecture school at Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, she was accepted into a graduate program at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. There she hopes to earn a master's degree and, she says, to ultimately help "build livable cities, one public space at a time."

  • IFDA Student Member Scholarship ($2,000), conceived for any IFDA student member who has completed at least four interior design or related courses, was awarded to Ashlyn Perlatti, an interior design major at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington. She says her educational focus on design "stems in part from my love of nature and fascination with the power of design to improve people's lives and unite cultures from around the world."

  • IFDA Leaders Commemorative Scholarship ($1,500), available to full-time students engaged in volunteer or community service projects who have held leadership posts during the past five years, was won by Rachel Carle, currently studying design and sales leadership at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. "My ultimate goal in life," she explains, "is to leave a lasting impression on people through my designs, just as others have done for me."

  • Tricia LeVangie Green/Sustainable Design Scholarship ($1,500), established for full- or part-time undergraduates who have successfully completed four or more design courses and plan to become educated participants in the green movement, was awarded to Emily Shaw. An interior design major at Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts, Emily says her career goal would be to "make positive changes in the world through the use of design."

  • Part-Time Student Scholarship ($1,500), available to a degree-seeking undergraduate in an interior-design or related program, was won by Angela Campos, an interior-architecture major at Columbia College Chicago. Her career goal is "creating sustainable and innovative spaces for hospitality and civic projects, while focusing on historical preservation and restoration."

  • Window Fashion Certified Professionals Fast Track Scholarship ($1,000), established to aid interior-design students who seek specific workroom or design certifications, was won by Olivia Mascatello, a visual merchandising and design major at High Point University, High Point, North Carolina. Her career goal is to work successfully in high-end retailing, but right now, she says, "my top priority is gaining knowledge in the field of visual merchandising."

"For design students," EF's director of scholarships and grants Karen Dzendolet believes, "being recognized and judged in their chosen professions by future colleagues is not only a reflection of their talent but also recognition of the skills and education they've acquired plus, of course, their own proven ability to communicate."


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