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IAD students secure scholarships for success

Published September 20, 2022

The study of interior design is a rigorous, time-intensive undertaking, as any student in the IAD Department will tell you. It is also by its nature an expensive endeavor, requiring not only tuition and room and board funds, but also the means to purchase project materials, computers and software, textbooks and design tools. Participating in field trips and internships are critically important growth opportunities too, but also cost money.

Several IAD students have recently met with stupendous success in securing scholarships that acknowledge their excellence while providing them funds to further their goals.

Haley Valtz

Haley Valtz is a fourth-year student in the IAD Department with strong drive and a keen mind that brings an important voice to the learning community in her classes. She also serves on the IAD Advisory Council as a student representative. Haley is the recipient of the Catherine Schneider Johnson Scholarship this year that enables her to pursue experiential learning so important to her professional skills. This gift has afforded her the opportunity to intern with her current employer, Inside-Eye Design, and also supports her service as a mentor to other IAD students in the Department.  Notes Haley, “receiving the Catherine Schneider Johnson Scholarship has enabled me to remain proud and honored to represent and be a part of the Interior Architecture and Design program here at Florida State University. It has allowed me to explore endless opportunities and I will be forever grateful for this gift.”

Celia Pena

Celia Pena is a highly engaged fourth-year student whose co-president role in the Department’s Interior Design Student Organization positions her to represent the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) to the Department’s students. Through her leadership, she is striving to build a sense of community through a mentorship program along with other workshop and networking opportunities for students. Celia secured a 2022-2023 Diversity in Design scholarship award from the product manufacturer Thermador in partnership with the Interior Design Society. This award also permits her engagement in a valuable year-long mentorship program to learn more about professional design, industry connections, and behind-the-scenes look at products and brand insights, research, and trends. Celia’s professional engagement will soon add another role to her record as she begins service as the regional student representative to the ASID Florida North Chapter interior design practitioner board. Celia describes, “I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to join the program. Apart from the scholarship, the mentorship program is an amazing outlet to provide incoming seniors within underrepresented communities to transition designers from school to the real world through networking with current practitioners and professional development.”

Eva Neri

Graduate student Eva Neri is a vibrant presence in the Department, and her teaching assistantship responsibilities make her familiar to many undergraduate students. Eva has secured a scholarship from the Sunshine Chapter of the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH) organization. Eva is currently working on her Master of Fine Arts thesis, which examines college students’ attention to thinking and tasks and the potential role of the built environment in supporting this function. Notes Eva, “The experience of winning validates my always-evolving passion and efforts to contribute to the body of interior design knowledge.” She is dedicating the funds of this award to the acquisition of interior products that make possible the data gathering for her study. She also hopes to apply these funds to help underwrite the costs of future research presentations at academic and professional conferences.

IAD undergraduate and graduate students’ work is examining the human condition and taking active steps to make the world a better place through thoughtful, well-planned interior environments. As these students’ efforts show, their efforts are garnering attention beyond the FSU campus. The Department is proud of their achievements!

To learn more about the academic programs and research of the IAD Department, click here. The Department is grateful for the exterior support of donors and organizations that help students’ work go farther, deeper, and positively impacting the future.