IFDA’s education foundation announces design student scholarship winners for 2024

Helping the Next Generation to Better the World through Interior Design

LEWISVILLE, N.C., July 2024 — The Educational Foundation (EF) of IFDA, the International Furnishings and Design Association, is pleased to announce its design student scholarship winners for 2024.  Since the early years of this 77-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 $20,500.  The judging was conducted by a subset of the EF’s Board of Trustees.

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“Congratulations to all the winners! We are very pleased to present the scholarships to them,” said Stephanie Graham, Chairman of the Board of the Educational Foundation of IFDA.  “From maximizing connections to the outdoors and various cultures and amplifying the work of classic artists in textile art, to exploring the relationship between situational and spatial awareness among nurses in critical care units, all the winners share a commendable passion for how the world can be bettered through interior design.”

Earline Feldman, FIFDA, Director of Scholarships & Grants, echoed the sentiment. “True to our mission, we awarded nine scholarships to the most deserving students. The judges were challenged to select the winners as there were applications from all over the U.S.” 

Applicants must be currently enrolled, and scholarships are paid to the school for the 2024 fall semester tuition.  The nine scholarship winners are as follows:

Anna Goodman of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., won the FBM Leaders Commemorative Scholarship for $3,000 open to full-time undergraduate students.  Anna is a third-year Interior Design honors student at Virginia Tech with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is highly motivated and passionate about the ways design can make a difference in people’s lives. “I believe that good design has the power to improve the quality of life for individuals as well as communities, and as a designer I hope to constantly explore ways in which I can use design to serve others,” she said. 

Olivia White of the New York School of Interior Design in New York City was awarded the Part-Time Student Scholarship for $1,500.  Born in Toronto and currently living in New York, Olivia has decided to continue her education and pursue her passion for interior design at the New York School of Interior Design.  Aiming to step into a career in residential or retail interior design, Olivia hopes to develop a masterful understanding of color, light and space during her studies.  Excitement remains high as she continues on her design journey and builds long-lasting connections with all of her peers.

The IFDA Student Member Scholarship for $2,000 went to Analiese Narum of the University of Idaho’s College of Art & Architecture in Moscow, Idaho. This scholarship is open to full-time undergraduate IFDA student members.  Said Analiese, “As I work towards my degree, I seek to always maintain my passion for creating, learning and growing.  I aspire to create spaces that are universally accessible to neurodivergent users, optimize cognitive function and maximize connections to the outdoors.” Upon entering college and realizing that she could pursue a career that integrates her passions for the outdoors, interior experiences, psychology and fostering creativity and well-being, she became certain that a career in interior architecture and design would provide lifelong fulfillment.

Hamed Yekita of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas captured the Vercille Voss IFDA Graduate Student Scholarship for $2,000.  Hamed is a PhD candidate in Interior and Environmental Design and serves as a Graduate Part-Time Instructor.  With industry experience as an Architectural Designer in Dallas, he holds multiple degrees, including a Master of Architecture in Healthcare Design and a Master of Science in Environmental Design.  Hamed has had several years of teaching experience at the university level and has managed research projects in healthcare design.  His current research explores the relationship between situational and spatial awareness among nurses in critical care units. He has published in the HERD Journal and received numerous fellowships and scholarships.

Lindsey Molitor of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. walked away with the Ruth Clark Furniture Design Scholarship for $4,000.  This scholarship is open to full- or part-time undergraduate or graduate students. Originally from the quaint town of New Melle, Missouri, near St. Louis, Lindsey is currently diving deep into her studies at the university, pursuing a master’s degree in industrial design with a Graduate Certificate in Furniture Design, slated for completion in May 2025.  “My passion lies in creating bespoke furniture pieces that blend functionality with artistry,” advised Lindsey.  “Beyond academia, I dream of establishing my own design business, where I can craft custom pieces that resonate with each client’s unique style and story.  Inspired by the charm of my hometown and the energy of the city, I’m on a mission to make my mark in the design world.” 

Estella Loudon, a senior studying Interior Design at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich. won the Tricia LeVangie Green/Sustainable Design Scholarship open full- or part-time undergraduate students for $1,500.  Finding interior design to have 

the ideal balance of creativity and detail, her goal is to use her passion for the subject to better the world, both aesthetically and economically.  “I desire to source items such as baskets, blankets, rugs, art and furniture from artisans in poverty,” she stated.  Aside from her love for interior design, she enjoys singing, playing guitar and piano as well as traveling and encountering new cultures.  She hopes to incorporate her experiences around the world into her future designs.

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Open to full- or part-time undergraduate and graduate students with course emphasis on Textile Design, the Barbara Beckmann Textile Design Scholarship for $3,000 was awarded to Joshua Archer, who is currently earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fibers at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Ga.  Much of his inspiration lies in the design movements and languages of the middle to late 20th century.  Joshua amplifies the work of classic artists in varying techniques that aim to feel authentic to their source material, yet original.   Overall, his work often evokes a sense of nostalgia, utilizing analog and hand processes to create works reminiscent of the past.

Michaela Simon of the Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, Pa., captured the IFDA Philadelphia Scholarship for $2,500, which this year focuses on Furniture Design. Michaela is a sophomore studying interior design and business and is a Visionary Honors Student in the college’s Honors Program leadership track.  A motivated and driven student,  Michaela achieved a 4.0 GPA and has made the Dean’s List.  “I have been interested in interior design since middle school but fell in love with it in high school after redesigning my bedroom,” said Michaela. “My passion for interior design has only grown during my time at Moore, and I cannot wait to continue my education.”

The Window Fashion Certified Professionals Fast Track Scholarship for $1,000 value was awarded to Elizabeth Velasquez, a multilingual Interior Design student at Indiana University Bloomington.  “My roles as a Research Assistant and Teacher’s Assistant have honed my research, communication and design software skills and creative design projects have enhanced my abilities, from safety compliance to creating presentations with Adobe InDesign,” she said.  “Additionally, my volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity highlights my commitment to community engagement.”  With attention to detail and a strong grasp of design principles, Elizabeth creates spaces reflecting individual aspirations. She excels in complex space planning, ensuring safety and comfort.  Her goal is to construct inspiring experiences that benefit the community and enrich design culture with innovative solutions.

IFDA Educational Foundation is a non-profit, tax exempt, 501©(3) organization.  Its nine scholarships support both full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of interior, green/sustainable, product and textile design.  In addition, five grants support professional development opportunities for IFDA members and other design industry professionals as well as needed resources for design schools.  Visit instagram.com/ifdaef/ and facebook.com/ifda.educational.foundation/

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