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MJSA Education Foundation Awards Six Student Scholarships

The MJSA Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to advancing professional skills in jewelry making and design, recently awarded $1,000 scholarships to six students studying in U.S.-based graduate and undergraduate programs. The awards mark the 17th year in which Foundation has granted scholarships, bringing its total funding support to over $170,000. 

The six students are:

Bryan Brown jewelry

Bryan Brown of Beachwood, Ohio, a graduate student at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. He is studying jewelry, metal, and CAD/CAM, and is scheduled to graduate in May 2016. Brown was cited by an undergraduate professor for his experience and mastery of CAD software and for being a resource for his fellow student students in class, helping them with complex operations. He has also served internships at several jewelry designers’ studios, and assisted in his undergraduate university’s research in obtaining a high-end 3-D printer. Brown says he chose Tyler for its strong program in both CAD/CAM and traditional jewelry making. He will also be working as Casting Supervisor this fall at Tyler, as a part of the Studio Academic Internship program there. Brown plans a career as an instructor in jewelry making and design.

Olivia Shih jewelry

Olivia Shih of Oakland, California, who is entering her senior year at California College of the Arts. A part-time student studying jewelry and metal arts, she is scheduled to graduate this December. Shih has studied production jewelry, stone setting, enameling, 3D printing, CNC routing, and laser cutting, and has also served as an intern in two jewelry businesses. Upon graduation, she plans to attend technique-specific classes outside of CCA, including gemology, stone setting, and electroforming. She will also be sharpening her business, branding, and marketing skills through online courses and by studying texts such as Marlene Richey’s Profiting by Design: A Jewelry Maker’s Guide to Business Success, an MJSA Press book. Her ultimate goal is to launch a jewelry line and then, open a jewelry gallery.

Cuong Sy jewelry

Cuong Sy of Cranston, Rhode Island, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Cuong is studying metalsmithing and jewelry design, and expects to graduate in May 2016. He has a strong interest in making jewelry using cast elements, and in exploring cast-in-place stone setting techniques. His jewelry parts are individually made, none rubber molded, and he casts and finishes them himself. His future interests are in either becoming a production artist or an educator.

Camille Torres jewelry

Camille Torres of Oakland, California, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in jewelry and metal arts at the California College of the Arts. She is scheduled to graduate in May 2015. Torres specializes in creating jewelry and metal accessories that have multiple functions, such as cameras, boxes, or altarpieces. She plans to continue creating wearable sculpture, while also creating a production line of more affordable and approachable designs.

Deanna Wardley jewelry

Deanna Wardley of Dale City, California, who is entering her senior year at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco to study fine art jewelry design. She is scheduled to graduate in May 2015. Wardley was cited by a professor for her clean, focused aesthetic, embracing found forms, and the simple geometry and structures discovered in nature. She has experience in a variety of jewelry making skills, including welding, ceramics, enameling, and casting. Her goal is to build her own business selling jewelry and small sculpture. She also plans to make and sell commissioned work and sell through galleries.

Michael White jewelry

Michael White of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, who is entering his freshman year at the Rhode Island School of Design to study jewelry and metalsmithing. He is expected to graduate in 2018. Prior to college, White attended Steel Yard’s Camp Metalhead program in Providence, Rhode Island, a program designed to engage young adults in the metalworking and industrial arts. He was also hired as a teaching assistant for its Weekend Welding Workshops, responsible for assisting students while they learn how to cut, grind, weld, and fabricate metal. He has also taken a course with a local jeweler, where he began making sterling silver jewelry. Much of his jewelry is made using vulcanized rubber molds, but he also takes on fabrication-based projects.

A 501(c)(3) non-profit subsidiary of MJSA (the trade association dedicated to professional jewelry making and design), the MJSA Education Foundation develops and supports programs that help to ensure the jewelry industry maintains a qualified, competitive workforce.

Funds for the scholarships are generated through the Foundation’s Scholarship Group, which consists of six permanent endowment funds managed by the Rhode Island Community Foundation on behalf of MJSA and the Foundation.

Any student enrolled in a jewelry program, whether through a university or trade school, who intends to pursue a career in the jewelry industry, and who can demonstrate financial need, is eligible to apply for an MJSA Education Foundation scholarship. Applicants are assessed on the basis of course of study, academics, career plans, recommendations, and industry experience. Students must be U.S. citizens.

To learn more about the MJSA Education Foundation and various educational and professional opportunities, click here.

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