Outstanding Educational Achievements – NKBA


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Outstanding Educational Achievements

NKBA|KBIS is proud to recognize outstanding achievements in education for the 2023-2024 academic year, highlighting schools and individual student success through the following awards.

NKBA | KBIS Excellence in Education Award 2024

The Excellence in Education Award is based on student submissions to NKBA’s Student Design Competition. The award is given to schools with at least three entries, from three separate students, scoring 80-100 or better. The association receives hundreds of entries annually to the student design competition.

This year’s award recipients include:

  • Lakeland College, Vermilion, AB, Canada
  • Century College, White Bear Lake, MN
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA

Rochelle Horne, IDT, CKBD, Leed Green Associate, is an instructor and the Program Head of Interior Design Technology Trades & Technology at Lakeland College where students participate in numerous NKBA | KBIS programs.

“Our Interior Design Technology program at Lakeland College is grateful for the nurturing programming the NKBA offers, ensuring our students, graduates and professionals are aligned for success” said Rochelle Horne, IDT, CKBD, Leed Green Associate, who is an instructor and the Program Head of Interior Design Technology Trades & Technology at Lakeland College where students participate in numerous NKBA | KBIS programs. “We are honored for our program to be recognized and thank our Prairie Provinces Chapter for their ongoing support of our program.”

At Century College, Kitchen & Bath Design (KBD) Program Director and Faculty member, Margaret Krohn, CKBD, NCIDQ, utilizes NKBA resources such as the Student Design Competition to enhance student learning both in-person, and online. “It is so wonderful to see all of the hard work and successes of our KBD Students at Century College and we are very honored to win the Excellence in Education Award this year and last year” said Krohn. “We have KBD students in the classroom and online and all work so hard to achieve their successes. It is so great to have an organization like the NKBA and all of its support.”

Sharing in this achievement is University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Part-Time Lecturer of Interior Architecture + Design, Cait Lanza, AKBD, NCIDQ, includes the Student Design Competition as part of the students’ studio class. “My favorite part of the job as a professor is to introduce students to the residential field and give them confidence within this unique area of design and part of their professional experience,” said Lanza. “The NKBA student competition has been a wonderful addition to our studio class because it is such a realistic design project with context in a home and design constraints.”

Recipients of the Excellence in Education Award receive a certificate of achievement, as well as a digital badge to display on their campus website and in faculty email signatures. For 2025, schools can expect to see this award presented earlier as NKBA aims to honor next year’s winners at the student and educator event during KBIS 2025 in February.

Ellen Cheever Award

The Ellen Cheever Award is presented to students pursuing a course of study related to the kitchen and bath industry. The 2024 Ellen Cheever Award recipients are:

  • Kayden Smith, Lakeland College
  • Madeleine Clune, Virginia Tech
  • Fanny Cartujano, Gwinnett Technical College

To apply for the award, students complete an essay outlining their classroom performance, desire to pursue NKBA  credentials such as certification and badges, involvement in co-curricular activities, and professional goals. 

The award package includes valuable NKBA resources to the winners  free of charge, including a copy of the NKBA Kitchen & Bath Planning Guidelines, access to the Knowledge Base platform, and enrollment in an NKBA Badge program of the recipient’s choice. 

Kayden Smith sees the pursuit of NKBA Certification and badges as an ideal next step in the achievement of professional goals. “Pursuing NKBA certifications and badges aligns seamlessly with my academic and career goals: said Smith. “These credentials will not only validate my expertise, but also provide me with access to a network of industry professionals and resources that will facilitate my professional growth and advancement.”

Participation in student activities, such as NKBA Student Chapters, is another way that students can enhance their professional growth. Campus involvement has played an important role in Madeleine Clune’s academic career as a Residential Environment & Design (RED) major. “On campus I am currently involved in two organizations related to my major. The first is the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Ambassador Program. I get to talk to prospective RED students and students who have been accepted into the RED department” said Clune. “The second organization I am involved in is Home Design at Virginia Tech (HDVT). I joined last fall and this coming fall I will be the President. Through this club I attended KBIS as well.” 

As members of NKBA, students are encouraged to get involved with their local, professional chapter. Fanny Cartujano took this involvement one step further by innovating a new chapter program as a Student Representative for the NKBA|KBIS Georgia Chapter. “As a Student Representative, I took the initiative to create and manage the NKBA Student Shadowing program for our Georgia Chapter” said Cartuano. “This program, which allowed students to shadow a Kitchen and Bath Design professional for a day to a week, was a testament to my commitment to fostering a stronger, more knowledgeable kitchen and bath industry community.” 

To learn more about NKBA|KBIS Affiliated Schools and student resources, visit https://nkba.org/learning/ or contact Kelly Ann Ryan, Learning Programs Manager, at kryan@nkba.org