Thermador has announced its inaugural student recipients of the Diversity in Design Pipeline initiative, which was launched earlier this year to empower a new generation of talent from underrepresented communities.
- Aleah Mazyck, UNC Greensboro
- Kayla Martin, California State University
- Raquel Rodrigues, Texas Tech University
- Jonathan Martin, The University of Northern Iowa
- Chrystal McLeod, Georgia Southern University
The Thermador Diversity in Design Pipeline Initiative, in partnership with the Interior Design Society (IDS), was designed to support students in their senior year at an accredited interior design program to aid the transition into a successful, burgeoning career. The program was informed by a survey commissioned by Thermador that found mentorship and financial support to be the biggest obstacles for students of underrepresented backgrounds to become professional designers.
The program was designed to address the urgent lack of diversity across the interior design community by tackling the top-noted barriers to entry for underrepresented communities. These students, who impressed judges with applications that outline ambitions of using design to create public housing and projects to create a nonprofit to benefit sickle cell anemia research, will begin receiving a tailored mentorship program with a nationally recognized interior designer along with a comprehensive scholarship package.
Mentors for the students were hand selected by IDS from a wide pool of professional designers from across the U.S.
- Ami Austin, Nationally acclaimed and award-winning designer
- Kelly Finley, CEO and Creative Director of Joy Street Design
- Bria Hammel, Creative Director and CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors
- Liz MacPhail, Founder of Liz MacPhail Interiors
- Jonathan Savage, Highly acclaimed Nashville designer
“I am so grateful to be involved in this incredible mentorship program,” Savage said while describing the importance of mentorship, “When I was a student, I was lucky enough to have a well-known and accomplished interior design mentor, Mr. Albert Hadley, and hope to give as much design insight as possible to my mentee. It is always rewarding to help out an upcoming design student to get a real-world understanding of a working designer. I am very much looking forward to this experience.”
The students were chosen by the esteemed panel of judges who were impressed by the passion and unique point-of-view found in each application. Among them were Oh Joy! Founder Joy Cho; HGTV Design Star contestant Justin Williams; House Beautiful Market Director Carisha Swanson; award-winning interior designer and co-founder of Bauer/Clifton Interiors Jeremy Bauer; and award-winning interior and product designer David Santiago of Casa Santi Interior Design.
Student essays included personal stories and inspiring goals — from wanting to design public space solutions for the homeless to beginning a nonprofit to benefit sickle cell anemia research.
“Thermador is honored at the opportunity to work with these talented students as part of our brand’s commitment to opening more pathways for underrepresented communities in interior design,” said Beatriz Sandoval, Head of Brand Marketing for Thermador. “These students have exceeded our expectations and demonstrated an invaluable perspective for the design community. In learning about their ambitions and goals, it is our responsibility to make an impact and pave the way for the future of design, and to provide key opportunities for this young group as they embark on their own careers.”
“This scholarship program was thoughtfully created with longevity in mind — it provides more than just financial support,” said Jenny Cano, Executive Director of Interior Design Society. “The mentorship aspect was included to prepare recipients to effectively navigate our industry outside of the classroom. Each recipient has been paired with a successful, well-rounded interior designer who not only is invested in the future of design but also believes in the importance of diversity. We are looking forward to watching these relationships form and grow over time.”
The mentorship program pairs students and mentors who will meet on a monthly basis to discuss the essential and tangible skills needed to be successful in the highly competitive world of design. As part of the scholarship program, students and mentors are invited to attend Thermador brand immersion experiences and seminars on cutting-edge trends and innovation across the kitchen and bath categories. Students also receive $10,000 toward tuition and a student membership with IDS.
“Being chosen for the IDS + Thermador Diversity in Design Pipeline Scholarship Program means so much to me and my family,” said Aleah Mazyck, a Diversity in Design recipient and senior at UNC Greensboro. “Reducing the financial burden of earning two degrees simultaneously will allow me to more acutely focus on my studies and continue excelling as a top student at my university.”
For more information about the new Diversity in Design Pipeline Initiative, please visit the Thermador website: https://www.thermador.com/us/build-and-design/diversity-in-design