Opening Doors to Design Ideas through Intertech’s Scholarship Program
Intertech scholarship recipient Kaley McCorquodale, second from left, displays her scholarship at the UTSA scholarship banquet September 28 in San Antonio. With her from left are Analy Diego, UTSA Interior Design Program Coordinator, and Mark Jones and Tess Shelton with Intertech Commercial Flooring.
University of Texas at San Antonio interior design student Kaley McCorquodale recently wrote us about her experience at this year’s NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair in Chicago, an experience made possible through a scholarship program Intertech Commercial Flooring established 15 years ago.
“NeoCon was by far the most inspiring event I’ve ever attended,” said McCorquodale, an interior design major from Seabrook, Texas, who joined UTSA after graduating from Clear Falls High School in 2014. “The showrooms were absolutely amazing. It was very exciting for me to see all of the furniture and finishes I have used in studio projects in real life!”
That is exactly the type of experience we had envisioned for students when we established the $10,000 Intertech Flooring Endowed Travel Scholarship in Interior Design in 2002. Each year since then, the scholarship has enabled an interior design student in UTSA’s College of Architecture, Construction & Planning to attend the prestigious NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair which is held each summer in Chicago. NeoCon is North America’s largest conference and exhibition for interior design and facilities management, drawing more than 50,000 registrants. This year’s event was June 12-14 at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.
When it was established, the scholarship marked the first-ever UTSA College of Architecture scholarship offered specifically for interior design students. “We wanted to create a way for aspiring interior designers to gain a deeper understanding of the commercial sector of the design business,” said Intertech Flooring CEO Bill Imhoff. “As these students enter the interior design industry, their exposure to leading-edge commercial design trends will be a tremendous asset to their clients.”
At NeoCon, McCorquodale toured new products from nearly 700 exhibitors; interacted with professional interior designers, architects and facility managers; and participated in continuing education seminars typically offered to practicing interior design professionals only.
“The Intertech Flooring Endowed Travel Scholarship in Interior Design is an exceptionally rewarding opportunity for UTSA Interior Design students. This is the only travel scholarship in the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning. Thus, it uniquely supplements the college’s traditional scholarship offerings,” said Nicole Chavez, communications & development coordinator, UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning.
To choose the scholarship recipient, UTSA Interior Design faculty members reviewed the studio work of their most outstanding students from Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, and narrowed it down to the three top-performing students based on the following criteria: academic ability, character, motivation, as well as interest in learning more about other aspects of the field and creating a strong professional network by the time they graduate. Kaley was the top-ranked student on the list.
“I feel so lucky to have been given this opportunity as a student and I have already started using many of the things I learned at NeoCon in my studio work and lecture classes,” she said. ”I have a newfound appreciation for the interior design profession. Thank you Intertech Flooring for such a wonderful and enlightening experience!”