Nine PhilaU Fashion Students Win Prestigious YMA Scholarships

Fashion design program director Sheila Connelly with YMA scholarship winners (left to right) Julia Pogue, Maria D'Agostino and Megan Belz.

Fashion design program director Sheila Connelly with YMA scholarship winners (left to right) Julia Pogue, Maria D’Agostino and Megan Belz.

Nine Philadelphia University fashion students—the most ever in a single year—have won prestigious $5,000 scholarships from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, it was announced at the annual Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner Jan. 12 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The PhilaU awardees included fashion merchandising and management students Megan Belz ’16, Madeline Bill ’16, Nicole Braun ’17, Meghan DeMeglio ’16 and Melissa Hummer ’16. The winning fashion design students are Vivian Cooper ’17, Maria D’Agostino ’16, Julia Pogue ’17 and Emily Van Horn ’17.

“The YMA scholarship is a very prestigious award given to highly qualified fashion students,” said Beth Mariotz, Anthony J. DiElsi Term Chair and director of fashion merchandising and management. “The PhilaU students are to be commended for their dedication and commitment to their discipline.”

The awards dinner is one of the fashion industry’s biggest events of the year, and the PhilaU students got to meet and mingle with some top industry leaders and fashion celebrities. Actress and fashion entrepreneur Jessica Simpson, who runs a $1 billion fashion empire, received the Future of Fashion Award at the event. The student scholarship winners also were invited to attend a career fair the next day to meet with hiring managers of top fashion firms.

“The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund is the gold standard in student scholarship programs,” said Sheila Connelly. “The success of our students underscores how PhilaU’s approach to active, collaborative and transdisciplinary learning enables our students to work on industry briefs with winning results.”

The YMA-FSF is a highly competitive scholarship that this year attracted 400 applicants from 48 member schools. PhilaU had one of the highest numbers of students winning scholarships this year. Other schools participating in the scholarship program include Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Parsons the New School for Design, Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute.

In addition to having a GPA of 3 or above, applicants had to submit a detailed case study exhibiting creativity and innovation for the fashion and beauty subscription-based service business model.

“I was thrilled and honored to be one of the winners of the YMA scholarship,” said Vivian Cooper, a junior fashion design student studying in Rome this semester. “It was so rewarding to have all of my hard work pay off. This scholarship has already given me so many connections and I am truly grateful to Philadelphia University and the FSF for giving me this amazing opportunity.”

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