Design Students Vie for Spot in Northeast Industrial Designers Society of America Contest

A juried panel will determine IDSA Student Merit Award from RIT on March 13

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Top industrial design students from Rochester Institute of Technology present their work to a panel of professionals on March 13 in hopes of advancing to the Northeast District Conference of the Industrial Designers Society of America. The panel will select one student to compete for IDSA’s National Student Merit Award.

Fawn Brokaw, Amy Koster, Robert Modzelewski, Jason Pennell, Jason Sauers, Jake Silsby and Julie Zepke, all seniors in RIT’s industrial design program, are the nominees. A panel of four industry experts will listen to the students’ presentations and review their portfolios. RIT’s student winner competes for the National Student Merit Award at the IDSA Northeast District Conference March 27-29 in Cambridge, Mass. RIT is up against such top design schools and universities as Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Syracuse University and Philadelphia University.

In the five-year history of the IDSA National Student Merit Award, an RIT student has won top honors three times in the Northeast division. IDSA gives out five National Student Merit Awards annually.

“Unquestionably, RIT’s consistent success in this juried competition has raised the visibility and reputation of our program in the professional design community,” says Alan Reddig, industrial design lecturer in RIT’s School of Design. “We believe that translates directly into pushing RIT up the list as high school students narrow their choice of design schools in an increasingly competitive higher-education market.”

RIT’s three past National Student Merit Award recipients have gone on to launch successful design careers at Reebok, Bose Corp. and Motorola Inc.