IFDA Educational Foundation Announces Grant Winners for 2023

Pursuits Vary from Sustainability and Inclusivity to Universal Design and Historic Preservation

The Educational Foundation (EF) of IFDA, the International Furnishings and Design Association, is pleased to announce its grant winners for 2023. Since the early years of this 76-year-old global design industry alliance, EF has awarded grants to talented professionals as well as scholarships to high-achieving design students annually. The funds awarded this year total $30,000. The judging is conducted by a subset of the EF’s Board of Trustees.

“Congratulations to all these deserving individuals! We are very pleased to present the grants for a diverse array of projects,” said Karen Dzendolet, Chairman of the Board of the Educational Foundation of IFDA. “The grant winners’ skills and initiative in undertaking new challenges are impressive and each exemplified the goals of the award they were granted, whether universal design, historic preservation, professional development through expanding horizons or the advancement of interior design programs.” Earline Feldman, FIFDA, Director of Scholarships and Grants, echoed the sentiment. “Though the judges were challenged in selecting winners, each one was very deserving of the award.”

IFDA Educational Foundation Grants are offered to all professionals working in the interior design or furnishings related fields, but not to undergraduate students. Winners were notified late last month. For more information, visit: ifdaef.org.

Kim Dutkosky

Elizabeth Brown Grant to Interior Design Programs ( $2,500)
Kim Dutkosky, a Lecturer at Indiana University, focuses on teaching students about the design process, building codes, materials, finishes and methods of construction. Utilizing her 20-plus years in the interior design industry, she creates hands-on activities and assignments that mimic working world scenarios in the classroom. By concentrating on the details and fundamentals of design, Kim has been able to help students enter the workforce with skills that set them apart from other candidates.

Stephanie McGoldrick

Irma Dobkin Universal Design Grant ($2,000)
Stephanie McGoldrick is a member of the Interior Architecture + Design faculty at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Her experience teaching for the past ten years at various institutions includes specialties in universal design, environmental sustainability and lighting design. Prior to entering academia, Professor McGoldrick worked as an interior designer and project manager at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. where she oversaw design solutions for the Institution’s museum stores and cafés.

Her grant will support Professor McGoldrick’s endeavor to bring back a universal design symposium to the UMass Dartmouth campus. The Universal Design Symposium will bring together students, educators, community members with various backgrounds and abilities, individuals with disabilities and design professionals to collaborate and share experiences related to universal design across multiple platforms.

Andrew Grider

Ina Mae Kaplan Historic Preservation Grant ($2,000)
Andrew Grider attended Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in Interior Design and minoring in Craft and Material Studies. He will recreate new bed hangings and canopy ceiling with textiles for two rooms at the Historic Hill House Museum in Olde Towne, Portsmouth. The house was erected in 1825. For museum purposes of educating visitors, one room will be furnished as if it were Winter and the other Summer to show how the rooms changed to accommodate climates in the bed hangings, window treatments, slipcovers and so forth. This grant has given Grider the opportunity to recreate the testers, a key element to the bedsteads that are missing from the two mahogany American Empire style bedsteads that will house the new bed hangings and canopy ceilings with textiles.

Michele Kiefert

Tony Torrice Professional Development Grant ($1,500)
“Over the past twenty years, I’ve deeply immersed myself in the world of interior design, culminating recently in my role as Design Project Manager for a distinguished luxury custom home builder. I am elated to share that I’ve been selected as the recipient of a $1500 educational grant.” said Michele Kiefert. “With this generous support, my aspiration is to explore specialized courses that delve into innovative design techniques, environmental sustainability and inclusivity in interior spaces. My goal is to not only enrich my own understanding but to also contribute to advancing our industry’s standards. I am profoundly grateful to the foundation for recognizing my commitment and for fueling the next chapter of my professional journey.”

Sandra Reicis

Valerie Moran Memorial Grant for IFDA members ($3,000)
Sandra Reicis is a Professor of Interior Design and Program Coordinator at Villa Maria College in Buffalo, N.Y. “I am honored to receive the Valerie Moran Grant, which will support my participation in the International Conference for Caring Communities (ICCC) Windsor High-Level Consultations, Strategies and Solutions – Partnerships and Practice to be held November 6-8, 2023, at St. George’s House, Windsor Castle, U.K.,” said Reicis. The ICCC is a not-for-profit organization that has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. ICCC acts as a bridge linking government, civil society organizations, the private sector, universities and the United Nations in their efforts as a catalyst for new solutions that enhance and encourage adaptation and or replication in both developing and developed countries.

“This year’s conference areas are sustainability, leadership and the creative economy. These three areas closely align with my work and interests as a professional designer and college professor. My goal in attending this conference is to learn, collaborate and expand my leadership skills in order to provide mentorship and professional opportunities to emerging designers and professional colleagues as well as to expand my personal business aspirations,” concluded Reicis.

In addition, EF will have awarded $4,000 in grants to IFDA Chapters by this fall and is a Silver sponsor of the Future Designers Summit at Bienenstock Furniture Library in High Point, N.C. from September 20 to 22, 2023. EF is also covering travel expenses for the award recipients at IFDA New England Chapter’s Awards Gala.

IFDA Educational Foundation is a non-profit, tax exempt, 501c(3) organization. It’s nine scholarships support both full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of interior, green/sustainable, product and textile design. In addition, the grants support professional development opportunities for IFDA members and other design industry professionals as well as needed resources for design schools, and IFDA programs for chapters and members. Visit ifdaef.org or follow us on instagram.com/ifdaef/ and facebook.com/ifda.educational.foundation/.