Kirsten Montalbano, 4th year Interior Design Student, wins 2018 Angelo Donghia Foundation Scholarship

Fourth year Interior Design student Kirsten Montalbano has been awarded the 2018 Angelo Donghia Foundation Scholarship. Kirsten is one of twelve students nationwide to receive the scholarship this year. The Angelo Donghia Foundation’s scholarship program, which was launched in 2002, awards scholarships to deserving students who are entering their senior year in an undergraduate interior design degree program. Each winner receives up to a $30,000 scholarship toward the completion of their studies in interior design.

Kirsten states, “Receiving this scholarship has been a blessing and I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for the generosity of the Angelo Donghia Foundation. I am a first generation college student, and my parents had a small college savings to get me through my first year of community college, but since I have been at Virginia Tech, I have been paying for my own education by working part-time and taking student loans. This scholarship will go a long way to help me achieve my goals.

“However, this award goes far beyond the monetary reward for me. I am so humbled to have received the recognition and represent Virginia Tech’s Interior Design program. It is inspiring to work alongside so many talented students in our program and with a staff that consistently encourages innovative design thinking. We are a hard-working group, and this scholarship is just one of the many honors that the students and faculty in our program have received since my time at Virginia Tech.”

Named for internationally recognized interior designer Angelo Donghia (1935–1985), the Angelo Donghia Foundation provides support for the advancement of education in the field of interior design. Since its launch, including the amounts distributed to scholarship winners, the Foundation has awarded in excess of $15,000,000 to education and other causes.

Kirsten’s Explanation of her Project: “Linked Student Innovation Center is an extension of the Virginia Tech Carillion Research Institute in Roanoke. The space houses advanced active learning environments, design and creation spaces, and collaborative work areas that foster interdisciplinary engagement opportunities for faculty, students, industry partners and the community. The design focuses on creating meaningful and lasting connections by bridging the gap between university and community. I explored the idea of both visual and physical connections by introducing varying degrees of openness within the architecture that encourage communication and provide glimpses of student collaboration to the community. The design also features a large kitchen and event space that opens up to an indoor “green space” with a living wall that provides the perfect setting for student research fundraising events. By creating a space that brings community and university together under one roof, I hope to encourage collaborative research and provide a platform for communal support to students.”