The Educational Foundation of the International Furnishings and Design Association is pleased to announce its design student scholarship winners for 2022. Since the early years of this 75-year-old global design industry alliance, EF has awarded scholarships to high-achieving design students. This year, the nine scholarship winners received a total of $16,000. The judging was conducted by a subset of the EF’s Board of Trustees.
“Congratulations to all the winners!” said Helen Wagner, Chairman of the Board of the Educational Foundation of IFDA. “We are very pleased to award scholarships to these talented individuals who will shape the design and furnishings industry in the years to come. Nurturing and supporting talent is what we are all about.”
Jane Nichols, FIFDA, Director of Scholarships and Grants, echoed the sentiment. “We received many applications from across the country, and the judges were challenged to select the winners,” she said.
Applicants must be currently enrolled, and scholarships are paid to the school for the 2022 fall semester tuition. The eight scholarship winners share a passion for creating interior environments that are healthy, sustainable and enhance the quality of life. They are as follows:
Dylan Boroski of Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, won the IFDA Leaders Commemorative Scholarship for $1,500, open to full-time undergraduate students. He is a fourth-year student in the Interior Architecture and Design program, focusing on a career in interior design and architecture. “As a designer, I adhere to taking an individualistic approach to the concept and philosophy behind my work,” he said. “I believe that architecture and design have a responsibility and purpose to cohesively adapt the built space and the surrounding environment in both a functional and aesthetic way.” Boroski wants to focus his career on sustainable design.
The Part-Time Student Scholarship for $1,500, open to undergraduate students, was awarded to Elaine Mansure, a furniture design student at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, graduating in the spring of 2023. She is excited by the world of furniture design and inspired by the vibrant colors and soft forms that characterize her home in the mountains of North Carolina. She looks forward to experiencing future opportunities within the furniture industry.
Brianna Lee, a third-year college student at Converse University in Spartanburg, South Carolina, studying interior design was the winner of the IFDA Student Member Scholarship for $2,000, open to undergraduate IFDA student members. “As a passionate and self-driven creative student, I’m drawn to how interior designers have the power to subconsciously influence people’s emotions, lifestyle and personal interactions,” she advised. Her goal after graduation is to work in an interior design firm doing commercial and hospitality design.
The Vercille Voss IFDA Graduate Student Scholarship for $2,000 went to Abel Peter, a graduate student at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. He is pursuing a master’s in architecture with a concentration in interior design. Born and raised in Cochin, India, Peter worked in several firms before deciding to pursue his master’s. He specializes in ‘Building Adaptive Reuse’ and is a licensed architect. “As a pragmatist, I believe in striving to do the most good possible with the minimum of resources,” he said. “Sustainable design, particularly building reuse, will be more and more important in the future. An admirer of Lacaton & Vassal, I closely identify with ‘never demolish’ principle.”
Tomoki Nomura of ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, won the Ruth Clark Furniture Design Scholarship for $4,000, open to full- or part-time undergraduate or graduate students with a course emphasis on furniture design. Born and raised in Japan, Nomura has lived and worked around the world since the age of 13. “My peripatetic background heavily influences my design process and enables me to find unique perspectives and approaches,” he said. “By combining my wide and deep understanding of cultural variances with my technical skills, I create forward-thinking designs that appeal to a global market. As a furniture designer, I emphasize quality and refinement in my designs and strive to create products that enrich the ambiance of a space. In addition, my designs are produced ethically, and everyone involved makes a livable wage.”
Sarah Lewis, a senior at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, studying industrial design, was awarded the Tricia LeVangie Green/Sustainable Design Scholarship for $1,500 for full- or part-time undergraduate students. Growing up in Asheville, North Carolina, Lewis loves outdoor activities like hiking, playing soccer, skiing and running. Her passion for the outdoors drives her focus to create and develop sustainable products as an industrial designer. In the future, she sees herself developing eco-circular products that inspire consumers to live sustainably. “It is my responsibility as a designer to only create products that are healthy to be harvested and returned to the Earth,” Lewis said. “I’m looking forward to learning more about sustainability and design throughout the rest of my undergrad and professional career.”
Melanie Calan Sanchez, a student at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with a great love of art, was named the winner of the IFDA Philadelphia Scholarship for Graphic Design for $2,500, open to two-, three- or four-year undergraduates. Sanchez will graduate with a bachelor’s degree this upcoming year and is working toward a major in graphic design with a minor in visual and performing arts. “I come from an immigrant family but am privileged to have been born in New Jersey,” Sanchez said. “Because of my background, I am aware of all the opportunities available to me. It motivates me to challenge myself and strive for excellence.”
Lauren Hellner, a fourth-year student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, won the Window Fashion Certified Professionals Fast Track Scholarship for $1,000 (one full registration for the webinar series) that is open to undergraduates in a two-, three- or four-year design school program. She is studying interior architecture and minoring in professional selling. “It is an absolute pleasure to be receiving this scholarship and with this reward, I plan to continue to pursue my dream of helping others through Universal Design,” Hellner advised.