Three College of DuPage interior design students earned three of four 2020 Student Design Excellence Awards presented by the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers.

Chosen from nearly 200 student submissions, Emma New won first place and Wendali Clouser won second place in the commercial design category.



Kate Scheck won first place in the residential design category. Pictured above is Scheck’s award-winning residential design.

A panel of independent, distinguished interior design professionals from other ASID Chapters throughout the U.S. reviewed the entries based on design creativity, function, solutions appropriate to the design challenges, scale and proportion, color and composition, lighting, materials and patterns.

Scheck’s educational journey at COD started in 2005. Her first place win is an extremely personal accomplishment after overcoming numerous obstacles, she said.

“I have slowly made my way through the Interior Design program at COD taking one class a semester because of my children’s schedule, but I stayed committed and found my way,” she said. “My professors were extremely supportive while still maintaining high standards. They inspired my best work, and this win is just as much a reflection of their demand for excellence as it is a summation of my skills. With the late nights and early mornings it took to work my way through this program, this award means that I didn’t just finish and graduate, I knocked it out of the park and that makes it all worth it.”

Clouser said the competition win will help increase her recognition within the industry and helps validate the quality and value of the education offered through the Interior Design program at COD.



“My success validates not only my skills, but also the skills and experience of my instructors, who provide a lot of support, instill a strong work ethic and drive us to do more than we think we can.”

COD Interior Design Professor Shelly Mochi said despite virtual classes, her students are still committed to creating quality portfolio work.

“While I know everyone misses meeting in person, I’m thankful to have students who are highly engaged and extremely focused on creating competitive work that will either get them hired or help them on-board into a quality four-year program,” she said.

“Our Interior Design faculty have high standards of professionalism and train students on ways to make their work align with industry standards,” Mochi said. “Given those efforts, seeing our students’ work winning competitions and getting them internships or positions in the field is so rewarding.”

Learn more about COD’s Interior Design program at


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