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04/26/2013

National Association Selects Design Faculty Member Jennifer Belk for Award

Quick Facts

 Belk will receive a national award at the 58th National Association of Women in Construction Annual Meeting and Education Conference held August 28-31 in Bellevue, Washington.
 There are only 46 Interior Designers accredited as LEEDs professionals and only seven educators in South Carolina with the credentials, including Belk. Of those 46, six of those are Belk’s former students, two of whom received their accreditation while still enrolled at Winthrop.

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Jennifer Belk
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Peers of Winthrop design faculty member Jennifer Belk believe that she embodies all that an educator should be.

They nominated her for the 2013 Carol A. Kueker Construction Education Visionary Award by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Education Foundation. And she won – a recognition that she is an American educator who has a passion for and dedication to construction education.

Belk will receive the award at the 58th NAWIC Annual Meeting and Education Conference held August 28-31 in Bellevue, Washington.

As Charlotte Chapter member Carol Chapman tells it, Belk has a long history with the association.

“We believe that Jennifer brings construction education full circle as she was the recipient of scholarships from the Montgomery, Ala., chapter of NAWIC during both her undergrad studies and graduate school,” Chapman said. “She says she would not have been able to concentrate on her studies as she did without that aid. Now, she is eager to assist her students as they aspire to become design professionals.”

From Design Days events to full-year plans for extracurricular involvement, Belk’s passion shows in everything she does. She also is an active member of the International Interior Design Association, S.C. Interior Design Coalition, U.S. Green Building Council and Interior Design Educators Council.

There are only 46 Interior Designers accredited as LEEDs professionals and only seven educators in South Carolina with the credentials, including Belk. Of those 46, six of those are Belk’s former students, two of whom received their accreditation while still enrolled at Winthrop.

To give back to the community, Belk’s Winthrop students help the Charlotte Chapter of the association by judging the "Block Kids" and its CAD/Drafting competitions. Both help generate the next generation of designers through innovative means. For instance, the block kids competition is for children in first through sixth grades who get 100 interlocking blocks, a piece of string, foil and a small piece of poster board and 45 minutes to build a construction project.

Not only is Belk a great educator for students, she is an educator of educators, said Chapman. Many of her seminars and presentations have been aimed at educators.

Prior to teaching, Belk was a project manager for primarily corporate and educational interiors and currently consults on residential renovations, real estate staging and commercial upfits. At Winthrop, she works extensively with New Student Programs and the Center for Career and Civic Engagement to encourage community service, and with other University College initiatives.

Belk holds an M.A.Ed. from Virginia Commonwealth University, B.S. in Interior Environments from Auburn University and is an NCIDQ certified and LEED accredited professional.

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