MSU interior design students dominate awards at regional competition

Image of a large room with wooden desk and black desk chairs
Mississippi State interior design students received 31 of 54 possible awards in the 2020 American Society of Interior Designers South Central Chapter Student Work Competition. Created by senior Katelyn M. Jenkins of Florence, the project pictured here received a gold award in the hand rendering category. (Submitted photo)

Contact: Christie McNeal

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State interior design students recently received 31 of 54 possible awards in the 2020 American Society of Interior Designers South Central Chapter Student Work Competition. Originally scheduled to be held in New Orleans this past spring, the society’s annual summit was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the student awards were announced via email and video.

MSU Interior Design Program Director and Professor Beth Miller, Ph.D., credits her students’ success to the exposure of a wide range of project types and to the faculty’s guidance and design experience in their respective fields. MSU’s interior design program also offers furniture design, numerous computer technology courses, hand rendering and lighting courses that many other universities do not include in their curricula. 

“I am so proud that interior design students took the initiative, even in the throes of the pandemic, to enter their student projects into the competition. Most of the student winners were underclassmen—juniors and sophomores—so our program’s future is bright,” Miller said. “MSU’s interior design program continues to dominate the competition, and we are thankful that the tradition continues even during these difficult times. We maintain the reputation that student work from MSU is high quality and competitive.”

The ASID student competition drew representatives from higher education institutions throughout Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.

The 2020 MSU winners and their categories include (by hometown):

BATESVILLE—Senior Addison K. Buntin, silver in both original product design and hand rendering; and bronze in both residential large and hospitality

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama—Senior Mary Beth McClung, silver in original product design

BYHALIA—Senior Jayla J. Dorse, silver in hospitality, hand rendering and original product design

CONWAY, Arkansas—Senior Jordan D. Hester, gold in original product design; two silvers in computer generated rendering; silver in residential small, healthcare, hospitality and hand rendering; and bronze in computer generated rendering

CORDOVA, Tennessee—Sophomore Molly P. Taylor, silver in both new student spotlight commercial and hand rendering

DYERSBURG, Tennessee—Junior Virginia J. “Jenna” Porter, silver in hospitality and two silvers in computer generated rendering

FAIRHOPE, Alabama—Senior Mary K. “Kate” Charlton, gold in hospitality

FLORENCE—Senior Katelyn M. Jenkins, gold in hospitality, original product design and hand rendering; and silver in hospitality

GULF BREEZE, Florida—Senior Jennifer P. Langham, silver in healthcare

HOLLANDALE—Junior Jill M. Lewis, bronze in hand rendering

HORN LAKE—Senior Sharnae T. Hayslett, silver in healthcare

LONG BEACH—Senior Hannah N. Hancock, silver in both hospitality and original product design

LOUISVILLE—Senior Samantha R. Wilson, silver in hospitality

MERIGOLD—Senior Ashlyn M. Cummins, bronze in original product design

NEW ALBANY—Senior Emily C. Gafford, bronze in both original product design and hospitality

OLIVE BRANCH—Junior Jaylin A. Gilland, silver in both original product design and healthcare

OXFORD—Senior Jessica N. McEachern, gold in hospitality and silver in healthcare

RIENZI—Senior Megan P. Robinson, silver in healthcare

STEENS—Senior Ryann N. Cook, silver in hospitality, healthcare and workplace; and bronze in both institutional and portfolio

A full gallery of winners is online at

A video presentation of the winners is available on YouTube at

MSU winning entries can be viewed at

Accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and National Association of Schools of Art and Design, MSU’s interior design program is part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. Its curriculum provides a broad background in interior elements, materials, sources and practical experiences. For more, visit and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at