Award-winning interior design student Amy Leigh Hufford ’16 was at work on Friday, April 29, when she got a call from her mother that a woman from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) in Chicago wanted to speak with her.
“I was so excited when I reached Lisa Toth at IIDA and she informed me I had been selected as the 2016 IIDA Student of the Year,” Hufford said. “I was overwhelmed and called my parents right away.”
“The IIDA Student of the Year designation is a high honor that is only given to one student per year nationally,” said Barbara Klinkhammer, executive dean of the PhilaU College of Architecture and the Built Environment. “Amy has significantly impacted our Interior Design Program through outstanding leadership, insight and involvement. She is not only one of the most talented interior design students I have had the pleasure to teach or meet in my career, but she also has provided continued, dedicated and committed volunteer service.”
Hufford will be presented with the award at the IIDA annual meeting on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The IIDA Student of the Year also receives a $5,000 prize, complimentary 2017 IIDA membership and an all-expense-paid trip to NeoCon in Chicago, one of the most recognized and well-attended trade shows for design professionals. Hufford also will be featured on the IIDA website, in their newsletter DesignMatters and in the IIDA student member quarterly newsletter QUAD.
As a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and co-president of the largest IIDA Campus Center Chapter in the region, Hufford has spearheaded multiple engagement trips to internationally ranked interior design firms; hosted fundraising events, networking events and the IIDA Product Showcase with 20 manufacturer’s representatives; mentored younger students; and contributed to setting new goals for advancing the Interior Design Program.
“It was clear to me when Amy was a freshman that she had the talent, drive and work ethic to thrive in the field of interior design,” said Lauren Baumbach, director of the PhilaU Interior Design Program. “Her work was selected as part of the ‘best student work’ for the Council for Interior Design Accreditation exhibit, she has won numerous awards and was asked to represent the program in Harrisburg at the Interior Design Legislative Coalition of Pennsylvania Interior Design Day 2015. Amy is tireless in her dedication as a student and aspiring professional.”
At the University’s Student Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 30, the IIDA (PA, NJ, DE) Design Excellence Award went to Amy as one of the highest-performing interior design student in the 2016 graduating class.
“My favorite projects are those with a humanitarian aspect,” Hufford said. “I passionately believe that solving problems for communities is one of the most important responsibilities of those who shape environments.” She added, “My philosophy and the honor of being named IIDA Student of the Year are a direct result of my experience as a student at Philadelphia University.”