Interior design students at Utah State University completed a clean sweep of the 2017 National Daltile Scholarship Competition. Their task was to design an office space that would promote healthy lifestyles and the well-being of employees for Washington D.C.-based consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.
The competition was open to all college or university students studying interior design. There were around 110 interior design students competing for scholarship money.
Utah State came away winning all the awards at this year’s competition and was granted $10,000. This is the second year in a row that USU has come away from the competition with the grant, which will provide educational funding and programming from Daltile.
The grand prize was awarded to Baileigh Petty. She received a $10,000 scholarship and a trip to Neo-Con East in Philadelphia to receive her award. Petty was able to accept her award and meet Brinda Gupta from Booz Allen Hamilton, Tiffany Westover-Kernan from the American Society of Interior Designers, and Gabriela Goodman the Daltile Marketing Manager.
First, second, and third runners-up were Brianne Brooks, Amanda McRae and Sasitorn Wangspa, who were all awarded $2,500 scholarships.
“This year’s Daltile competition was particularly challenging and our students fared well under the pressure of the competition guidelines,” said Susan Tibbits, assistant professor of interior design at USU. “I’m not sure that anyone expected such a successful outcome. It is a fantastic win for our program.”
Both Brooks and McRae said they were “surprised” to hear they won. Brooks is a junior in the interior design program and McRae is finishing her last year in the program.
“I hadn’t done interior design before college, but I thought it would be fun. I’ve loved it ever since,” Brooks said.
McRae said the interior design teachers use the Daltile Competition as a starting project each year. Each student came up with a different way to improve the corporate office of Booz Allen Hamilton.
“I designed a yoga room,” Brooks said. “I wanted to make it positive and fun for employees, a place where they could take a break. I was interested in businesses making offices better for employees and more sustainable.”
Brooks and McRae are planning on continuing their interior design careers into the future.
“I would love to be able to do commercial design in the future, things like high end restaurants, retail, and some residential,” Brooks said.
McRae said she will be working remotely for a construction and design company out of Las Vegas.
“I would love to eventually move into residential design,” McRae said.
Both Brooks and McRae expressed appreciation for the Utah State and attribute much of their success to the interior design program.
“The success from the Daltile competition just shows how strong our program is and how much effort our teachers put in,” McRae said.
Brooks said the professors of the interior design program are the reason USU students win competitions.
“They put so much time into helping us do our best,” she said.