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Two worthy recipients shared the first-ever Michael Grivas Sr. Exhibit Design Excellence Scholarship, which is sponsored by Wisconsin-based MG Design and named in honor of its founder, who passed on in 2010.

Michael Grivas Jr. scholarship award winners (from left) Phoebe Matthius and NingNing Zhang accept their awards March 18.

Michael Grivas Jr. scholarship award winners (from left) Phoebe Matthius and NingNing Zhang accept their awards March 18.

NingNing Zhang, a graduate student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Phoebe Matthius, an undergraduate at Bemidji State University, shared the honors for the inaugural award presented on March 18 during EXHIBITOR2013.

“When we first announced the 2012 Michael Grivas Sr. Exhibit Design Excellence Scholarship, we expected to award one student with a scholarship,” said Ben Olson, vice president of marketing, MG Design. “NingNing and Phoebe amazed us with their talented applications, and we decided to award two scholarships this year. Supporting design students and these exhibit design programs are an investment in our industry’s future, and we look forward to meeting more students as we announce the 2013 scholarship program.”

Zhang is scheduled to be graduated in June with a master’s degree in exhibition design. Her combination of experience and education as well as exceptional portfolio of accomplishments earned Zhang a share of the inaugural award.

“This great honor is a confirmation of my current efforts and passion in exhibit design,” said Zhang. “With the help of the Michael Grivas Sr. Design Excellence Scholarship, I will be even more confident not only to devote myself to exhibit design but also to promote the development of exhibit design by continuous innovation and hard work.”

Matthius is a senior at Bemidji State University with a double major in print and exhibit design technology and mass communications via electronic media. Her portfolio of work indicates creativity, leadership and a commitment to learning exhibit design, making her a co-winner of the inaugural scholarship award.

“The best thing I have heard this year in terms of preparation for our design careers is the art of listening,” said Matthius in her scholarship application. “Being able to listen to clients and hear their needs well will translate clearly in the solution I offer. It will be evident in my work if I have been listening or not.



“Clients feel more involved when they are shown their ideas and visions have influenced the final design’s outcome. The ability to take constructive criticism and learn from the wealth of knowledge that is your colleagues’ and supervisors’ is most beneficial.”

The inaugural Michael Grivas Sr. Exhibit Design Excellence Scholarship is intended to be an annual scholarship awarded to an exemplary student seeking a degree in a field related to exhibit design. Applicants must be at least a junior and seeking a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited college. The area of study must be related to exhibit design, and students must have at least a 3.2 grade point average to qualify. Final selections are made based on an applicant’s leadership, excellence and creativity.

Applications for the second annual scholarship awards are available online at www.mgdesign.com/designexcellence and are due by Oct. 1.

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