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Student wins first place in national competition

Mary Anne Jarrell's kitchen design won first place in the NKBA Student Design Competition.

Seminole State College of Florida's Mary Anne Jarrell is the top student kitchen designer in the nation.

Left to right: Interior Design Adjunct Professor  Elizabeth Hansen; Connie Edwards, of Waypoint Living (sponsor of the competition); Mary Anne Jarrell with her NKBA trophy.

Jarrell took first place in the National Kitchen & Bath Association 2010-2011 Student Design Competition’s Kitchen Design category. Jarrell, who lives near Heathrow, received a $2,500 scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to the NKBA show in Las Vegas.

She was one of 10 winners of the competition, which drew more than 320 entries from students at colleges and universities across North America. She is also Seminole State’s first NKBA first-place winner.

“I was stunned,” Jarrell says of learning that she had won. Although she and her husband, a construction superintendent, had completed several remodeling projects, she says her classes at Seminole State made her realize “how much I didn’t know!”

In a year that has brought lots of surprises, Jarrell’s kitchen design also won first place and an $850 scholarship in a competition sponsored by the local chapter of the NKBA. Her winning design, which was for the kitchen of a high-rise condo in downtown Chicago, was also featured on HGTV’s blog. In addition, Jarrell was honored with a “We Change Lives” award at the April meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees.

Her winning kitchen design is available on HGTV’s blog.

With her Associate in Science (A.S.) in Architectural Design and Construction already in hand, Jarrell hopes to complete her A.S. in Interior Design by December, along with a certificate in Kitchen and Bath Design. Then it’s on to Seminole State’s bachelor’s degree in interior design.

“This is the year that I got to incorporate all the skills I learned throughout all of the programs – interior design, construction and kitchen design,” she says. “All the instructors in those programs have been wonderful. They’re all very enthusiastic teachers – and very inspirational.”

Also at the NKBA show, Seminole State received the organization’s “2010 Excellence in Education” trophy, one of only 11 schools nationwide so honored. The student work submitted was evaluated by certified kitchen and bath professionals. The student work earned an average score of 93 percent, exceeding the national average of 80 percent.

For more than 30 years, Seminole State’s Interior Design Program has been a leader in Florida. Seminole State offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Interior Design. For more information, visit the Interior Design Program website.

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