Fashion textile and technology student Catriona Buchanan recently won a competitive scholarship through the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF).
The YMA (the former Young Men’s Association) is a national nonprofit association dedicated to promoting the education of the fashion arts and business by granting scholarships to talented students and facilitating internships, mentorships, and career programs.
Buchanan, a junior and the program coordinator for the college’s Fashion Students Association, received a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to network with designers and industry professionals in a whirlwind trip to New York City, which included a seat at the Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner.
“The FSF is the largest and most prestigious scholarship that a student majoring in fashion can win,” said Lynn M. Boorady, associate professor and chair of the Fashion and Textile Technology Department. “The competition is fierce.”
Four students at Buffalo State competed against students at several high-profile institutions such as Harvard, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Pratt Institute, Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Buchanan emerged as one of 131 winners out of 500 applicants.
“I worked so hard on the project, staying up night after night and putting my all into it," said Buchanan. "I knew that if I didn’t win, there was nothing I could have done differently. It was my best work.”
For the contest, students submitted case studies on ways retailer J.C. Penney can capture and retain millennial customers. They developed a consumer profile, product line, brand name and identity, and marketing plan.
“The different parts of the case study were meant to display the different skill sets that students learn through their classes,” Buchanan said. “Thankfully, the fashion program at Buffalo State is great at preparing students in each area of the market.”
The Cooperstown, New York, native plans to apply her award money to the Siena, Italy, program she will be participating in this spring.
“Feeling financially stable enough to travel abroad and see the beautiful art, architecture, and most importantly, the fashion is such a privilege,” Buchanan said. “Being able to learn and experience the different cultures and customs of European countries is an award in itself, and now being able to afford it without taking out a loan is a blessing.”
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