Interior design students bring home awards

  Friday, October 6, 2017 2:00 AM
  Milestones, News, Academics

Pittsburg, KS

Interior design students bring home awards

As a high school student in fashion design classes, Madison Vincent had experiences in putting together garments with traditional sewing materials like needles, threads, and scissors.

But at a recent regional competition in Wichita, Kansas, Vincent had only a stapler and a hot glue gun. 

And Vincent, a senior from Springfield, Missouri, had not fabric, but interior finishes: laminate samples, wall covering, tile, paint chips, tile, and drapery. 

The Pittsburg State University interior design student and her teammate, sophomore Samantha Marrs from Joplin, Missouri, was up to the task: They brought home one of three awards given. Another team comprised of PSU students also won an award. 

The competition was a first for PSU. Called Product Runway, it was hosted by the International Interior Design Association, Mid America Chapter and modeled after the hit TV show Project Runway 

"It was something I knew I wanted to compete in," Vincent said.  

Limited to using only the color yellow and with only two hours to design it, she said her team's inspiration came from the radiance of the sun and the fierceness of a lion 

"At the end of the night we took home the Judge’s Choice award, and I’d say that’s a good way to come out of my senior year as an interior design student," Vincent said. 

Associate Professor Denise Bertoncino said the purpose of PSU attending was to give students exposure to competing, networking with professionals, getting out of their comfort zone, and showing them that what they are learning makes them competitive in the professional world. 

Eight of her students participated on three teams, which were given the same materials and two hours to complete their garments and send their models to hair and makeup. 

Bringing home the People's Choice award was a team of juniors: Kearstin Johnson and Ashton Meyers, both of Webb City, Missouri, Alexis Severson, of Bentonville, Arkansas, and Jerica Stahl, of Lamar, Missouri. 

Also competing was the team of Kaci Gowen, of Pittsburg, and Briona Amos, of Kansas City, Kansas — both sophomores. 

In addition to the awards, Bertoncino said she believes her students came away with confidence and a sense of accomplishment.  

"Sometimes it takes validation from someone else to realize that you are great at what you are doing," she said. "I think they found it very challenging to complete a garment in two hours, but they were very proud of the items they produced. They also were proud that they could say that they were from Pittsburg State University." 

For information about Pitt State's interior design program, visit



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