Art and design students honored

One Bemidji State University student has won a five-week paid internship that will include three weeks in France, while another has won an all-expenses paid trip to a professional trade show in Las Vegas for their outstanding work in Bemidji State’s art and design program.

Allen wins internship in France
Breanne Allen, a senior design technology major from Bemidji, has won the fourth Ultimate Exhibit Design Challenge sponsored by Optima Graphics and Duo Display.

Breanne Allen's Optima Graphics booth designFor winning the competition, Allen’s booth design will be built for Optima at the EXHIBITOR2014 show in Las Vegas, and she will receive a five-week paid summer internship. She will spend the first two weeks at Optima Graphics in St. Louis, Mo., followed by three weeks at Duo Display in Lansargues, France.

She will attend EXHIBITOR 2014, where she will have an opportunity to see the booth she designed and network with industry professionals.

“I’m extremely humbled and floored that I’m having this opportunity,” Allen said. “It’s life-changing. I’m looking forward to my career in the design industry and I am excited to help shape the world around us. Art and design has always been my calling, and I am excited to know that will be a part of my future.”

Allen hopes her win in the Optima challenge will help show the students who come after her in BSU’s art and design program that the BSU art and design program can help them achieve their goals, if they’re willing to make the commitment.

“As many hours as we spend in labs together, a lot of my peers have been a huge support system,” she said. “Hopefully this can inspire the other students in my department and show them that hard work pays off.”

Beniak wins EXHIBITOR student achievement award
Trevor Beniak, a junior in art and design from Mazeppa, Minn., received the EXHIBITOR Media Group Student Achievement Award, as selected by faculty in BSU’s art and design program. Beniak was selected for his leadership in the classroom, his academic performance and design work.

For winning the award, Beniak will receive a pass to the EXHIBITOR2014 convention and expo for trade show and event marketers at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, March 16-20, and a stipend to help cover his travel expenses.

Beniak has had his eye on the EXHIBITOR student achievement award since before he came to BSU. He saw the plaque listing previous winners on a wall during a visit to campus as a senior in high school, and decided on that visit that he would someday add his name to the list of honorees.

“It was really rewarding when I finally achieved that,” he said. “Design has really become my life. I have embraced it, I enjoy it, and I really look forward to being in this industry. I’m proud to be part of such a great art and design community here at BSU.”

Bemidji State University’s Department of Technology, Art and Design is the only four-year undergraduate program in the country offering an focus in exhibit design as part of its digital and exhibit design emphasis. Its advisory board includes more than 50 design professionals from all across the nation, many of whom return to campus each spring for the program’s intensive portfolio review sessions.

• Barb Hanus, assistant professor of technology, art and design; (218) 755-2951

 Department of Technology, Art and Design