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IFDA Carolinas Chapter Names Rising Stars

Student designers were honored at the recent Night of Luminaries & Rising Stars. 

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IFDA 2022 Rising Stars
Students of home furnishings and design were honored as Rising Stars.

The International Furnishings and Design Association’s Carolinas Chapter celebrated the most outstanding design students from colleges and universities across the Carolinas as well as presenting the organization’s prestigious Luminary Award at its 10th anniversary Night of Luminaries & Rising Stars.

The Markor Art Center (MAC) in the heart of downtown High Point’s market district hosted the evening’s festivities. The MAC is home to showrooms for leading brands, Caracole, Jonathan Charles and A.R.T. The students were treated to a private tour of the showrooms and the buildings sweeping panoramic rooftop deck, guided by professional designers, prior to the awards ceremony.

Rising Star winners for 2022:

  • Janine Allen, Wake Technical Community College
  • Melanie Calan-Sanchez, Salem College
  • Allison Paige Casper, East Carolina University
  • Ethan Davis, Queens University
  • Joscelyn Gallego, Converse University
  • Hannah Nicole Gerstner, Winthrop University
  • Annette Gomez, Western Carolina University
  • Katelyn Lane, Central Piedmont Community College
  • Aubrey Maness, Randolph Community College
  • Madison Potter, Meredith College
  • Emma Reamer, Appalachian State University
  • Ella Richardson, Cape Fear Community College
  • Lily Smoot, Appalachian State University
  • Sierra South, Forsyth Technical Community College
  • Katie Taylor, High Point University
  • Ian Waddill, University of North Carolina—Greensboro


Rising Stars are senior-level undergraduates selected by their colleges or universities across North and South Carolina as their most outstanding home furnishings or design student.These young people represent all facets of design, including furniture design, industrial design and interior design. Each student chose a recent project that best exemplified his or her work and design philosophy. The projects were displayed at a special cocktail reception held in their honor. Following the reception, the students were introduced to the industry and community leaders in attendance, presented a Rising Star certificate and gift bag.

Four other students, all industry scholarship winners, were also recognized. Anna Lee from Converse University, Lauren Hellner of UNC-Greensboro and Elaine Mansure of Appalachian State University were awarded 2023 merit scholarships from the International Furnishings and Design Association Educational Foundation, IFDA-EF.

John Conrad, executive director of ISFD, the International Society of Furniture Designers, was on hand to announce that association’s annual scholarship recipient. ISFD selected Tomoki Nomura, a furniture design student at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, CA, as their scholarship winner. ISFD is a partner in the Luminary Awards ceremony.

The Luminary Award winner, Furniture Today, was represented by the publication’s founder, Stephen Pond, and current editor-in-chief, Bill McLoughlin, both of whom offered insight and advice to the near-graduates in their acceptance speech.

The Night of Luminaries and Rising Stars is held annually to recognize leadership,
innovation, and contribution to the home and design industries as well as highlighting
the most outstanding young designers of tomorrow.

Luminary Award presenting sponsors are Century Furniture, Davis Furniture Industries,
Thayer Coggin, Gefen Productions, Libby Langdon Design, Markor, IFDA-EF and Nancy
High. Industry Partners are Benjamin Moore, Hunter Douglas, European Home, The
Shade Store, Theodore Alexander, HPxD and Sherrill. Rising Star supporters are Barclay
Butera, Davis Furniture Industries, High Point Market Authority, International Market
Centers, Thayer Coggin and The Media Matters.

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