Incredible Interaction from IIDA

Eimy Gonzalez, News Editor

Madison college, without a doubt, leads—as well as is led by—resilient and passionate students. Members of the International Interior Design Association student center (IIDA) such as Melissa Wadsworth, vice president of the IIDA campus center at Madison College, are an example of this determination to move forward and make the best of their club even through these unprecedented times.

The past year was one full of challenges, not only for students and staff who were engaged in their program, but for club members who are constantly trying to make a community and connect themselves with other resources to make the most out of their college experience.

“It’s harder to get people to participate in things virtually. You know, when you are at the school and are in front of people and you see people, you have the opportunity to maybe say, ‘Hey! Stay after class, we are going to have this cool event.’ and people usually stick around,” says Wadsworth.

The IIDA student center at Madison College is an extension of the IIDA Association of Wisconsin. Therefore, unlike other clubs, to become a member you must be a part of the association as well as in the interior design program.

The club is structured in a way that the members can truly benefit from their program and graduate with more tools as well as have an introduction to the many aspects of interior design.

The lunch and learns hosted have become a gateway for additional discovering within the program. These, which were usually hosted in-person, were moved into a virtual setting with the objective to continue to contribute towards the development of students as well as aiming for normalcy and consistency in activities.

Once or twice a month, per the request of the IIDA members, the lunch and learn provides an opportunity to receive classes on distinct topics of interests. Professionals on the subject matter are invited to share their stories and interact with the students.

Overall, with opportunities to attend events such as the lunch and learn as well as those offered by IIDA Wisconsin, there is an opening to have a firsthand experience of the world of interior design and to start to be part of a network. Something that has become increasingly difficult, yet incredibly important.

Wadsworth, as a part-time student, reflects of the hardships brought by the pandemic. Where she would usually see students come and go, she will now be graduating without knowing most of her classmates. Nevertheless, she is thankful to have joined the IIDA club as board member, becoming part of a network that is constantly progressing.

“It’s something good to be a part of, bigger than yourself. It has positive, professional people that you can associate with and learn from. They often share their stories and their experiences. It’s nice to know there is more than you and your computer, and trying to learn,” comments Wadsworth.

Even if the IIDA club is not completely open to all students, Wadsworth emphasizes that the club also plans social events where any students and their families can participate.

In previous years they have hosted fundraisers, in coordination with IIDA Wisconsin, in which everyone is invited, although normally there would be several more events to look forward to. For example, the club has eagerly held fall festivals where they have assembled corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and more fun and interactive activities.

In-person events have mostly been suspended; however, the club has not ceased to present virtual events for all students to enjoy. From Halloween parties to sharing happy hour, it is worth to stay tuned to what they have planned for the community.

In the case that anyone is interested in the interior design program and wants to join an IIDA event, any of the board members would be happy to stretch an invitation to attend one of the lunch and learn sessions and have a firsthand experience.

The board members of the IIDA club are constantly working towards engaging more with members by providing the best of the opportunities they can in coordination with IIDA Wisconsin.

Additionally, Wadsworth is incredibly enthusiastic to make the best out of the virtual situation we find ourselves in. Finding her way around the challenges and contributing to the planning of ideal events for members to interact and grow, makes her a valuable member of the Madison college community.

For more information in regards of the IIDA club and upcoming events to join, you can contact any of the board members via WolfPack connect or through their Facebook page at .