One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Sarah Mummert

In the heart of industrial innovation, one student’s creative prowess shines bright in Columbus. Nathan Gobrogge, a senior hailing from Oxford, Michigan, emerged as a standout contender in the Columbus Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) Student Merit Awards Selection Night. 

The industrial and innovative design program at the International Center for Creativity (ICC), partnered with Cedarville University, has been participating in the Student Merit Awards since they were invited by Ohio State University (OSU) and the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) in 2014. This year, the event was held at Ohio State University and included student representatives from the ICC, OSU and CCAD. Last year, the event was hosted by the ICC. 

Three seniors from the ICC competed for the title of finalist to represent their school in the district awards in May. In addition to Gobrogge, Abigail Ryan (Canton, Ohio) and Gavin Smith (Newberg, Oregon) attended the ceremony to present their best projects. 

The next step for Gobrogge and the finalists from other schools in the Central Districtwill be to submit their work to the online awards platform by May 17, after which the district winners for the five national districts will be announced. These district winners will see their photo, bio and an image of their work featured in the IDSA’s quarterly “Innovation” magazine, as well as being recognized on the IDSA’s website

“We equip our students with a wide range of skills, from product design, transportation design, architectural space design and design thinking, to storytelling and presentation skills,” said Gabe Pyle, one of the instructors at the ICC and the one who organizes involvement with the IDSA. “We’re also on the leading edge of incorporating VR and AI into our students’ workflow,” he added. 

While part of the draw of the program is designing the “next cool thing,” students learn to solve problems from a human-centric and design-thinking perspective. Program graduates leave the ICC with portfolios full of creative problem solving, landing them careers with companies like Nike, Bose, Crocs, Sterilite, Ford, Honda, AEP, Wal-Mart and Chick-fil-A. The current placement rate into the industry for students after graduation is over 85%. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is a Baptist university with undergraduate programs in arts, sciences, and professional programs, and graduate programs. With an enrollment of 5,456 students in 175 areas of study, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio and is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Arts in industrial and innovative design, and high graduation and retention rates. For more information about the University, visit

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