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Interior Design Alumna Sara Evans Wins IIDA’s Ellen Kushman Award for the Outstanding Volunteer

By December 21, 2021October 26th, 2022Alumni, Interior Design

Sara Evans, a graduate of Villa Maria College’s Interior Design Program, has been recognized for her extensive volunteer efforts.

Evans, who received her Associates degree in 2008 and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2010, was recently awarded the International Interior Design Association of New York’s Ellen Kushman Award for the Outstanding Volunteer.

The award was named in honor of Ellen Kushman, former Executive Director of IIDA NY whose life was cut short by cancer.

This annual award recognizes and celebrates an individual who has demonstrated loyalty, outstanding service and unselfish devotion to the New York Chapter of IIDA. The Ellen Kushman Distinguished Service Award was established to honor IIDA NY committee members who have demonstrated above-and-beyond commitment and dedication to the organization.

Evans is a founding member of the IIDA BBC (Buffalo City Center) where she has served as a student liaison, committee resource chair, co-director and most recently, finance chair. She has co-chaired IIDA BBC’s two largest events, Buffcon, a local tradeshow with attendance over 300, and the Awards Gala, where local designers are honored for their achievements.

After Evans graduated from Villa Maria, she continued to be involved with the College by assisting with preparing for CIDA accreditation, serving on Villa’s Alumni Board for just over a year. At this time Evans also started her career with MidCity Office Furniture. She quickly became an integral part of their team, and in 2020 became a principal and minority owner of MidCity. She is one of three Villa graduates from the interior design program employed there.

While attending Villa Maria, Evans interned with Zaxis Architectural in 2008 in Buffalo, NY and in 2010 she interned with Adamstein & Demetriou in Washington, DC. When asked about her internship experiences, she stated, “My DC internship separated me from a lot of candidates when applying for jobs right out of school. Villa gave me the opportunity to leave WNY for experience, while still allowing me to stay on track for graduation.” She also was involved on campus as a Villa Ambassador, president on the IN Club, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honors society. Sara is currently furthering her education by taking part in University of Buffalo’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Core Class; she will graduate in June 2022.

One large takeaway Sara wanted to share about the education she received at Villa Maria College: “Villa’s design program is exceptional and prepares you for the real world!”

To view Evans’ design portfolio, click here.

To learn more about studying Interior Design at Villa Maria College, visit