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Date: January 7, 2005

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Montgomery College Students Win Interior Design Scholarships
Award Contest Sponsored By Network of Executive Women in Hospitality


(L-R) Montgomery College Interior Design students Emilia Lipsman, Chang-Ping Lin, and Jennifer Sparks.

Four Montgomery College interior design students recently received top honors in a scholarship contest sponsored by the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH)-Washington D.C. metropolitan chapter.  Student Chang-Ping Lin won first place in the design category and a $4,000 scholarship.

MC Students Emilia Lipsman and Jennifer Sparks tied for second place with Svetlana Casey, a Montgomery College student who is also enrolled at Marymount University, where she will apply her scholarship money towards tuition. Second place winners each received $1,000 scholarships.  The awards were presented on December 7 at the NEWH-DC 2004 Scholarship and Holiday Awards Gala, held at the new Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center.

Four Montgomery College interior design students recently received top honors in a scholarship contest sponsored by the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH)-Washington D.C. metropolitan chapter.  Student Chang-Ping Lin won first place in the design category and a $4,000 scholarship.

MC Students Emilia Lipsman and Jennifer Sparks tied for second place with Svetlana Casey, a Montgomery College student who is also enrolled at Marymount University, where she will apply her scholarship money towards tuition. Second place winners each received $1,000 scholarships.  The awards were presented on December 7 at the NEWH-DC 2004 Scholarship and Holiday Awards Gala, held at the new Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center.

NEWH is an international non-profit organization, with 17 chapters and 4 organizing groups, which links professionals from every facet of the hospitality industry and related fields.  Members come from fields, such as hospitality, food service, interior design, and senior living.  In addition, NEWH sponsors scholarships and promotes the education of students interested in the hospitality industry.  The NEWH-DC chapter holds an annual scholarship contest for area college students who major in interior design, culinary, or hospitality management programs.

First place design winner Chang-Ping Ling, a Gaithersburg resident, will use her scholarship to help pay for her remaining semesters at Montgomery College.  When she learned that she had won first place, Ling said she was excited and “didn’t think it was true.”  Reflecting on the contest, Ling believes including a design sketch along with the required essay made her application stand out. 

“I submitted a large, colorful spa design,” said Ling.  “It was well-planned with lots of options for relaxing treatments.”

Ling’s goal is to join an interior design firm and add fresh, innovative ideas.  But first, she wants to try her hand at other interior design scholarship contests.  Ling believes the NEWH scholarship has given her the boost of confidence she needs to win again. 

Second place winner Emilia Lipsman, a Rockville resident, expects to graduate from Montgomery College this May.  A native of Poland, Lipsman plans to get her first post-graduation job at a design firm, but eventually open her own small design business. 

“I couldn’t believe it [that I had won],” said Lipsman.  “I was surprised.  This money will allow me to not worry about my last semester’s tuition at Montgomery College.”

Second place winner Jennifer Sparks, a Columbia resident, will graduate from Montgomery College in May 2005.  The Sherwood High School graduate and former network engineer believes that interior design is a better fit professionally.  She plans to pursue a career in commercial design, specializing in restaurants.

“Interior design provides a creative outlet for my ideas,” said Sparks.  “It also allows me to problem-solve, which I enjoy.” 

Montgomery College offers college-level interior design courses for students who wish to transfer to four-year institutions or go directly into the profession.  Courses are taught in subjects, such as drawing, color, presentation techniques, and kitchen design. Currently, two associate’s degrees and three certificates are available in interior design.       

For more information about the interior design program at Montgomery College, contact Professor Pamela Gragg, program coordinator, at 301-251-7597.  

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County. The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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