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Design Student Hopes to Impress

by Ryan Bower, Assistant Director of Public Relations

A senior industrial and innovative design major at Cedarville University will have the chance to impress industry professionals when he competes for a Student Merit Award through the Industrial Designers of America’s (IDSA) Central District Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from April 1-2.

Tom Waters, a native of Lancaster, California, is currently wrapping up his studies at The International Center for Creativity (ICC). The ICC partners with Cedarville to give junior and senior design students a hands-on, “craft-centric” experience at its studios in Powell, Ohio.

Waters and two other ICC students, along with students from Ohio State University and the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD), presented their student design portfolios to a local ISDA chapter for review. 

One student from each school was selected to compete at the Central District Conference, where they will make a seven-minute presentation highlighting three of their design projects. This is the third year that the ICC is sending a student to the district competition.

Presentations will be judged by an expert panel of design professionals and educators. Students are able to receive valuable feedback on their projects as well as network with some of the biggest names in the design industry.

“This is a huge opportunity for Tom and an equally huge opportunity for the ICC,” said Jim Stevenson, ICC president. “Our program is very young, we’re about to graduate our fifth class, so to be recognized with programs like Ohio State and CCAD speaks to the talents of our students.”

The winners at each of the five IDSA District Conferences will be profiled in INNOVATION, the IDSA’s quarterly publication, as well as on the IDSA’s website. The group will also receive awards on stage at the IDSA International Conference in Seattle, Washington from August 17-20.

Founded in 1965, the nonprofit Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is one of the oldest and largest membership organizations for industrial design professionals. IDSA has thousands of members in dozens of Student Chapters, Professional Chapters and Special Interest Sections in the United States and internationally. IDSA sponsors the annual International Design Excellence Awards® (IDEA), the world’s most prestigious and rigorous design competition.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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