VCUarts students from the Department of Fashion Design + Merchandising netted 11 wins in the annual Fashion Scholarship Fund case study competition. For the first time, two winners in the top eight ranking of students represent VCUarts, which had the second highest number of winners overall.
Winners by discipline include fashion merchandising students Jane Terrell and Katelyn O’Neal—both three-time winners—Samantha Son, Morgan Golden, and Ebonique Little; fashion design students Kylie Carroll, Christopher Pleasant, Shana Cave and Elyse Richey; supply chain student Delawit Assefa; and marketing student Katherine Pham. Terrell and Assefa both landed in the top eight, and separately presented their studies to the FSF Board of Directors on January 5. Following their presentations, they are afforded the opportunity to earn a scholarship between $15,000 and $35,000.
“Growing up, I was always surrounded by a household of really strong, amazing women,” said Assefa in a video for FSF. “I saw those similarities with the women in the fashion industry. I was really inspired by them. Winning this is just the confirmation that my hard work and dedication will pay off.”
“I am so inspired every year by what I see the students bring to the table,” Deidra Arrington, associate professor of fashion merchandising, told FSF. “They get internships from this, they get jobs from this, and you can’t buy that.”
The 2020 competition—which awarded $1.17 million in scholarships to 211 of 648 entrants—honored the winners at the FSF Awards Gala in New York on January 7. The 83rd annual gala invited candidates to meet their peers from other universities, network with potential employers, and shake hands with fashion icons. During the spectacular event, students partnered with the official VCUarts Instagram page for a takeover, where they shared their gala experience.
“It was absolutely wonderful to experience it all,” wrote Richey on Instagram. “I am beyond excited for where my future could land.”
Scholarship recipients are eligible to join the FSF Mentor Program and gain a professional mentor within a year of their win, in addition to having access to other internship and job opportunities through the organization.