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Student from O'More College of Architecture & Design Awarded the Kevin Roche Recognition Scholarship

After two years apart, the PAVE community of retail design luminaires, distinguished professors, and up-and-coming student designers reconnected in person and virtually on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021 for a day of learning, recognition, and celebration all in the name of supporting the next generation of design leaders.

Following the insightful and inspiring afternoon speaking event, Reimagining Retail with Kevin Roche, we were pleased to recognize a multitude of young professionals and students for their achievements. During this time we had the pleasure of announcing and introducing the recipient of The Kevin Roche Recognition Scholarship.

It is with great pleasure that we once again recognize Vira Williams, a second-year architecture student at the O'More College of Architecture & Design at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, as the recipient of The Kevin Roche Recognition Scholarship.

Vira Williams and Kevin Roche during awarding of the scholarship.

In the spirit of mentorship, PAVE's newest scholarship was designed to not only support a deserving student financially with a $2,000 award but most importantly support them professionally in that they would also receive 20 hours of Kevin Roche's time for 1-on-1 mentorship and introductions to global design agencies for internships and post-graduation career opportunities plus expenses were covered to attend PAVE's December 8th events in New York City.

Applicants were asked to provide a written and visual response to 3 questions- 1. Why are you passionate about design?​ 2. What inspires you? and 3. How could you imagine your contribution as a designer and as a global citizen? Their responses were inspiring, thought-provoking, and personal; selecting just one was not an easy task.

“I was drawn in by the humanity, passion, and intellect of Vira’s submission. I began to read her response to the three questions and could not look away. Vira’s willingness to tell her personal story so openly and seamlessly woven into her passion as a student of architecture and design shows me real conviction and strength. Storytelling is a big part of what we do, both visually and verbally and when it's honest and full of original thought it is believable and captivating!!!” said Kevin Roche, Founder, Roche Design Strategy.

Excerpts from the portfolio of Vira Williams

The PAVE Scholarship Program, now in its twelfth year, provides financial assistance to students in educational programs preparing them for careers in the retail environments industry, including but not limited to careers in retail design, visual merchandising, interior design, architecture, product design, UX design, graphic design, and industrial design. PAVE was developed to help ensure a future talent pool for the industry by eliminating barriers to studying in these fields. The funds assist students who are experiencing financial difficulties that may prevent them from continuing school. PAVE has awarded students over $232,500 in financial grants and scholarships in the past three years.


About Kevin Roche

Kevin Roche, a design professional, and retail industry leader whose background includes over forty years of global experience across Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, and Europe integrating strategy, planning, design, architecture alongside the classic marketing, operations, merchandising finance, and C-Suite executives. Most recently as SVP of Design and Construction, he led the new and redevelopment of LVMH’s and DFS Group’s leading Galleria and Travel Retail sectors. Representative of his iconic projects includes the renovation of the recently opened La Samaritaine, Paris, Il Fondaco De Tedeschi, Venice, Le Bon Marche, Paris, and Sun Plaza, Hong Kong.

About PAVE,

Founded in 1992, the Planning and Visual Education Partnership's (PAVE) objective is to encourage students to study in the field of retail design and planning and visual merchandising. Additionally, PAVE seeks to encourage retail management, store planners, visual merchandisers, architects, and manufacturers to interact with and support design, students. These objectives are accomplished through competitions, projects, seminars, workshops, and grants and scholarships funded by the annual Gala and other fundraising activities. PAVE is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation.

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