UNT student wins Most Valuable Volunteer award from the International Interior Design Association
DENTON (UNT), Texas – A University of North Texas interior design junior from Austin was recently awarded the Most Valuable Volunteer award for the Campus Center Awards from the International Interior Design Association.
The IIDA only gives out one Most Valuable Volunteer Award for students each year.
"When I found out I had received the award, I was elated," said College of Visual Arts and Design student Lindsey Torpey. "I was checking my email when I gasped and began jumping up and down in my seat. My friend next to me became concerned, but all I could do was pass them my phone to read the email informing me I had been selected. I was speechless."
Torpey is a member and officer of the Interior Design Student Alliance at UNT and has worked with fellow members on an array of events, including bringing in speakers and planning fun and informative activities for the group, and helping members with connections that can lead to internships. Torpey has also participated in the International Interior Design Association's Zero Landfill event. At the event, designers and firms drop off unused material samples that are sorted by volunteers and other designers can then look through the materials and take what they want, preventing these items from being thrown into the trash.
It is important to volunteer and participate in activities that better oneself and one's community, Torpey said. She uses her position as officer of UNT's IDSA as an example, saying that by helping the organization stay on course, she also benefits.
"I am learning new things all the time through my position, and as I learn more, I can do more for the members and the community," Torpey said. "The best part of volunteering is having fun. Grabbing some friends and heading to a volunteer event together can be just as fun as any other activity."
Torpey, who is the co-president for UNT's student chapter of the IDSA, is also the International Interior Design Association UNT Student Chapter president, CVAD senator in the UNT Student Government Association's Student Senate, and a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the American Society of Interior Designers and the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality.
With an eye for detail, Torpey chose to study interior design, which is more than simply picking out wall colors or window coverings, she noted.
"We are able to configure spaces with the most functionality possible while making it pleasing to the eye," she said. "There are so many details that are unseen to someone who isn't an interior designer and these details are what make me love my major and future career."
She credits all of her professors in the College of Visual Arts and Design with bringing expertise that allows students to be career-ready.
Most importantly, Torpey knows that by balancing learning in the classroom with volunteerism outside of it, she will receive a well-balanced education.
"I have come to believe going to college is about embracing every opportunity available," Torpey said. "Going to class and getting good grades do matter, but living a bountiful life that is full of people and things you enjoy – that is what this time is for. So take each opportunity you can because in this world your experiences and connections are going to be how you get to where you want to be."