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IFDA Educational Foundation Announces 2017 Scholarships for High-Achieving Design Students


New Bern, NC—A panel of judges empowered by the Educational Foundation of the International Furnishings and Design Association has chosen seven high-performing design students to receive its 2017 scholarships. In announcing the winners, EF Chairman Linda Hunt expressed pride that “we could assist the development of these individuals and look forward to seeing what they and other designers on the cutting edge will contribute to the field of design.”

            Here are this year’s winners:

            • IFDA Leaders Commemorative Scholarship ($1,500), open to full-time students engaged in volunteer or community service projects who have held leadership posts during the past five years. It was won by Taylor Thormahlen of the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology, who hopes that “winning this scholarship would allow me the benefit of continuing my education and help me achieve my goal of helping others achieve their dreams through interior design.”

            • Part-Time Student Scholarship ($1,500), for a degree-seeking undergrad in an interior design or related program, was won by Tova Tropp of the New York School of Interior Design, Manhattan. Tova’s stated short-term goals “are to gain experience in as many facets of design as possible, so that I can find a place where I can really make a difference.”

            • IFDA Student Member Scholarship ($2,000), designed for a student member of an IFDA chapter who has completed at least four interior-design or related courses, was awarded to Maggi Feldman, of New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology, who hopes to become a design consultant. “My goal is to create spaces and products that benefit society,” she says.

            • Vercille Voss IFDA Graduate Student Scholarship ($2,000), conceived for a full- or part-time grad student who has completed four design courses and is majoring in interior design or a related field, was awarded to Aisha Coats of Harrington College of Design, Chicago. “My specific areas of design within interior design,” she says, “are furniture design, hospitality, branded environments, lighting and sustainability,” adding that she hopes to create “designs for interior spaces that will elevate the human spirit and provide an indelible benefit to our society.”

            • Ruth Clark Furniture Design Scholarship ($3,000), available to any full- or part-time undergraduate or grad student specializing in residential wood- or upholstered-furniture design, was won by Hannim Song, of the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. “There is a deep interconnection between furniture and our lives that we often overlook,” she says, to explain why she “focuses on the context, the form, the materials, the building process and the end-user experience” of designing furniture.

            • Tricia LeVangie Green/Sustainable Design Scholarship ($1,500), established for full-    or part-time undergrads who have completed four or more design courses and plan to be educated participants in the green movement, was awarded to Megan York, of Ball State University, Muncie, IN. “I want to integrate my position for environmental architecture into innovative design,” she says. “I desire to practice regenerative design.”

            • Window Fashion Certified Professionals Fast Track Scholarship ($1,000),  created for students enrolled in interior-design programs who seek workroom or design certification, was won by Christina Anastasio, of High Point (NC) University, who hopes to continue gaining experience in multiple internships before graduating, and upon graduation, as well.

            In recalling her role as one of this year’s panel of judges, EF Diector of Scholarships and Grants Chairman Linda Mariani says she “was impressed by the high-caliber design work I saw in the student scholarship applications.”

CONTACT: Mervyn Kaufman, IFDA-EF, 212-724-2457;

TOP ROW, L-R:    Aisha Coats, Christina Anastasio

BOTTOM, L-R:     Hannim Song, Maggie Feldman



TOP ROW, L-R:    Megan York, Taylor Thomahlen

BOTTOM, L-R:     Tova Tropp



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