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Thomas Mitchell
Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design

Last modified: Tuesday, February 13, 2007

IU apparel merchandising students receive fashion industry scholarships

IU Apparel Merchandising Program also honored at New York event

Feb. 13, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Eight Indiana University Apparel Merchandising students were recently honored in New York at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund AMY Awards, where IU's Apparel Merchandising program was also recognized as among the YMA's Top Scholar Schools.

YMA Fashion Scholarship

Eight Indiana University Apparel Merchandising students pose for a photo after they were honored in New York at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund AMY Awards.

Each of the IU students received a $5,000 scholarship and was assigned an executive fashion industry mentor at the January event. The students are: Stephanie Dorland, Rachel James, Kelly Painton, Whitney Parkhill, Kimberly Ruggles, Susanne Simeri, Susan Spears and Elizabeth Spille.

IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design (AMID) faculty members Katherine Rowold and Eloise Paul accompanied the students to the awards ceremony at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.

"The YMA scholarship fund is the nation's most competitive fashion industry scholarship program, and the fact that eight IU students received awards is a testament to their talent, academic achievement and hard work," says Janis Shaffer, senior lecturer in the AMID department and director of the Merchandising Education and Resource Center. "Our faculty members were honored to join them for this prestigious event, which is among the fashion industry's premier annual gatherings."

The eight scholarships awarded to IU students this year is an increase from the five awarded a year ago, the first year IU participated in this scholarship competition.

The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund is a non-profit organization that supports future fashion industry leaders through scholarships, mentoring and internship programs. Since its founding in 1971, the group has raised more than $5 million in financial assistance for college students studying fashion-related disciplines.

In addition to presenting scholarships to college students from throughout the country, the awards program also honored Paula Abdul, co-host of the "American Idol" television program; Ken Hicks, president and chief merchandising officer of J.C. Penney, Co.; and Karen Murray, group president of men's wear at Liz Claiborne. Tim Gunn, co-host of Bravo Television's Emmy-nominated reality series "Project Runway," served as the event's master of ceremonies.

Indiana University's Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design ( is a multidisciplinary academic environment within the university's College of Arts and Sciences that helps motivated students shape their futures in retail and design fields. The department's educational programs offer a blend of academic theory combined with practical knowledge and skill-building techniques to encourage critical, independent thinking by students and prepare graduates to be leaders in their chosen fields. Located in Memorial Hall on the IUB campus, AMID enrolled more than 450 undergraduate majors in the fall 2006 semester.