“Dedication and enthusiasm:” interior design student wins industry scholarship

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: ADAM MANTHA
Kyle Turnbull, one of three winners of the CTI Working Environments Student Scholarship.

Kylie Turnbull, now a Fanshawe College alumnus, graduated last month from the four-year Honours Bachelor of Interior Design program, and she went out in style.

Turnbull is one of only three 2021 interior design students selected from the 2021 pool of nominees to be given the Association of Interior Designers of Ontario’s (ARIDO) CTI Working Environments Student Scholarship.

According to the ARIDO website, the CTI Working Environments Student Scholarship awards students who go beyond the written curriculum and who best exemplify dedication and enthusiasm in giving back to their community and volunteering for ARIDO.

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Turnbull was nominated for the award by her internal thesis capstone advisor, Natalie Rowe. As a professor and coordinator of the Honours Bachelor of Interior Design at Fanshawe College, Rowe said that seeing Turnbull grow as an interior designer was a fantastic experience. Rowe described her as an exceptional teammate, leader, and mentor.

“She always gave more than what we asked for,” said Rowe.

The usual criteria for nominating a student for ARIDO’s CTI Working Environment Scholarship includes volunteering with the organization, but due to COVID-19, the award criteria needed to be broadened.

“There weren’t a lot of opportunities for student volunteerism,” said Rose. “While everyone was really struggling to find their way with remote learning, I asked the fourth-year group of students if they would be interested in mentoring the third-year students.” Rowe went on to say that Turnbull proved to be an exceptional mentor and role model to both groups of students.

“Her dedication and enthusiasm was completely exceptional, and that’s truly what the spirit of the award is about,” she said.

Turnbull said she had no formal experience prior to her progression in the program, but always enjoyed interior design. She explained that she used to accompany her mother, a real estate agent, into houses that were for sale and would scope out design possibilities.

“I’ve always been a very artistic person, and then I was like, ‘well, I better do something that I love[...]’ I found out that Fanshawe had a Bachelor of Interior Design, so I decided to go with that.”

The four-year Bachelor of Interior Design program is new to Fanshawe College. It was created shortly after ARIDO stated that going forward, they would only recognize a bachelor’s degree from a CIDA-accredited program as the minimum education credential. While researching post-secondary options, Turnbull was drawn to the scope offered by the 120 class-hour Bachelor of Interior Design program.

“A lot of people, when I tell them I’m in interior design, think that interior design and interior decorating are the same thing, but they’re actually pretty different,” said Turnbull. “It was a very intense program. I loved it. It was a lot of hard work and its totally worth it.”

Turnbull is the fifth student from Fanshawe College to receive the CTI Working Environment Scholarship since it was first awarded in 2009.