CSU interior design program is nationally recognized

Gina Spoden

Two awards were given to CSU’s American Society of Interior Designers this summer.

The organization won Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year, awarded for the chapter’s exceptional service to its student members, professional associates and community. Stephanie Clemons was also awarded Faculty Advisor of the Year for her commitment and guidance to the student members.

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CSU’s Interior Design Gallery. (Photo Credit: Sarah Fish.)

“To hear us recognized as a chapter gave me goose bumps, making me strive to make this year just as great and to inspire others to reach new heights with us,” said Samantha Ward, president of the ASID Student Chapter at CSU.

The interior design program, part of the Department of Design and Merchandising, is within the College of Health and Human Sciences.

The ASID Student Chapter holds two to three events per month for its members, inviting design experts from around the world to speak and provide insight into the industry. Students have the opportunity to meet these professionals and forge relationships that could help them in their career down the road.

“Our top goals include helping students grow as leaders, while providing networking opportunities and the chance to grow as a designer in terms of skills and abilities,” Ward said.

The chapter also gives back to the Fort Collins community by volunteering time to events around campus, such as the Fall Clean-Up. It presents workshops where students can explore and experiment with software programs that are not covered in class and learn other skills, such as interviewing. The purpose of these events is not only to further members’ skills and experiences, but also to help them interact with other students in the interior design program, expanding their resources and connections.

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CSU’s Interior Design Gallery. (Photo Credit: Sarah Fish.)

The CSU ASID Student Chapter is also grateful for winning the awards because it nationally highlights some of the core reasons behind the organization’s success, Ward said.

“It has brought publicity and recognition of the strong foundations CSU, the students and faculty have built in order to have such a solid program,” Ward said.

Clemons, a faculty member of over 25 years, said that overall, the student members are to thank for the big win.

“I have always considered our ASID Student Chapter truly a ‘student’-run chapter,” Clemons wrote in an email to the Collegian. “The student chapter board brainstorms and develops their annual events schedule, community service projects, fundraising ideas, competitions, site visits and guest speakers. We have incredible students and leaders.”

Although she had no doubts about the students’ potential, Clemons said she was shocked to receive an award herself. The president and vice president had mentioned that they were putting her name forward for the award and wrote the nomination during spring break. Clemons said she is touched that they would use personal time in order to honor her.

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“She has always been there for the chapter, offering advice and new ideas while being enthusiastic with what the student chapter does every year,” Ward said.

Moving forward, Clemons said she wants to continue to allow the students to grow and expand the organization in a way that fits their needs. 

Ward said the chapter will be getting more involved with other related organizations on campus and within Colorado throughout this next year. Her goal is to maintain the foundation that has helped them to be nationally recognized while expanding their connections to continue being one of the top American Society of Interior Designers Student Chapters in the nation.

“My plans are to support the students as they strive to improve the interior spaces where people live, work, worship and play,” Clemons wrote. “Their work and designs truly impact the human experience.”

Collegian Reporter Gina Spoden can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @gina_spoden5.