HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 9, 2015 – Two High Point University students attended the 2015 Women in the Home Industry Today (WithIt) Professional Conference in Atlanta. Junior Meredith Matsakis, a visual merchandising design major from Asheville, and senior Kaitlin Thompson, a home furnishings major from Asheboro, were among 10 top-performing female university students across the country selected for WithIt’s Rising Leader scholarship, which covered their expenses to attend the conference.
The three-day conference provided them the chance to learn more about the home furnishings industry, network with professionals and participate in leadership development for their future careers. They attended seminars on topics such as personal brand development and sustainability, and learned from speakers like Anne Maine, editor-in-chief of Traditional Home magazine.
“Attending this conference was an outstanding opportunity to expand my design knowledge by meeting people who have been in the business for years,” Matsakis said. “The experience reaffirmed my love for the design and home industries.”
The Home Furnishing and Interior Design faculty at HPU nominated them for the scholarship to the conference based on their academic performance and leadership on campus. Both Matsakis and Thompson are Presidential Scholars and recipients of the Celia Moh Scholarship. Matsakis is very involved in the Interior Design and Merchandising Club and is the founding president of the International Interior Design Association chapter at HPU. Thompson is an American Society of Furniture Designers student member, recipient of the Erath Furniture Industries Scholarship, and she has worked with Fine Furniture Design as an intern and marketing assistant.
“The WithIt conference was an amazing opportunity that afforded me valuable time with leading women in the home and furnishings industries,” Thompson said. “It was a profound honor to have been selected to attend the conference this year and a tribute to the dedication and commitment provided to me by the Home Furnishings faculty at High Point University.”
Along with attending the conference, they also received student membership in WithIt, which provides ongoing professional development opportunities, including speakers and events offered in conjunction with the upcoming High Point Market.