Two Joliet Junior College interior design students achieved top awards at the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Student Design Competition for projects they created in an Advanced Interior Design class.
Victoria Frentzel, of Romeoville, who won first place in kitchen design, received a $2,500 scholarship prize, and Susana Alzamora, of Oak Lawn, who won second place in kitchen design and honorable mention in bathroom design, received a scholarship prize of $1,500. In January 2015, both will go to Las Vegas for the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show for an award ceremony sponsored by the NKBA.
Frentzel and Alzamora competed against other interior design students from both community colleges and four-year schools across the country.
Oksana Alfredson, interior design program coordinator, said Frentzel and Alzamora, who actively rise to challenges in her classes, are ambitious and have great potential to exceed in the interior design field.
“They are two very different people, but equally passionate about interior design,” Alfredson said. “Their accomplishments in this competition are huge. The last time a student placed in the competition was five years ago, when JJC first became accredited with the NKBA.”
Frentzel said it was no surprise to her parents when she told them she wanted to study interior design at JJC, because she was always artsy as a kid. Frentzel believes the quality of instruction at JJC is what helped her to hone the skills she needed to win the interior design competition.
Frentzel’s future goals include getting a job in commercial or residential kitchen design, but first, she wants to land an internship.
“I love this field because you get to help people who have an idea of how they want something to look, but they’re not sure how to do it,” Frentzel said. “So I work with what they want, and we come up with something together.”
Alzamora, on the other hand, began thinking about a career in interior design after watching HGTV network shows. Then, three years ago, she began a new hobby: flipping houses. This piqued her interest even more.
“I first became interested in interior design because I like rebuilding things and setting the mood for a room, using different colors, lighting, and other fixtures,” she said. “I always wanted to pursue a career in the creative arts, but my analytical side took me into business administration. When I started the house flipping business, interior design became my perfect match.”
JJC’s interior design program teaches students the elements and principles of design, textiles, color, history, codes pertaining to residential and commercial interiors, and marketing/business practices in interior design.
After a student graduates from JJC’s interior design program, they are required to put in five years of experience before taking the Illinois licensure exam. Students also have the option to continue their education at a four-year school.
The NKBA is an organization that promotes excellence, ethical business practices, leadership, and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide. There are 40,000 industry professionals and 70 NKBA chapters in the United States and Canada.