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News . Feature Stories . GM Foundation Makes $70,000 Grant to CIA

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March 24, 2011

GM Foundation Makes $70,000 Grant to CIA

A $70,000 grant from the General Motors Foundation will fund scholarships, equipment, and the Industrial Design curriculum at CIA.

GM Foundation Makes $70,000 Grant to CIA

General Motors Foundation has awarded the Cleveland Institute of Art a $70,000 grant to support students with scholarship assistance, offset the costs of equipment purchases for the Industrial Design Department, and fund a Saturday morning automotive design class taught by working GM designers.

“We are very grateful to the GM Foundation for this generous grant,” said Richard Konisiewicz, CIA’s director of corporate, foundation, and government relations. “Support on this scale is vital to our ability to attract talented students and ensure that CIA continues to educate designers to be innovative thinkers and creative problem solvers ready for professional careers.”

Most of the scholarship funding will go to students majoring in Industrial Design (ID), which has a strong and longstanding automotive design component. Generations of CIA graduates have joined the many talented designers from around the world at GM. In fact more than 40 CIA alumni now work at GM, including Phil Zak, who recently returned to the company as design director, exteriors, global crossover vehicles, after a two-year stint as Hyundai’s chief designer, North America.

Because GM is committed to broadening diversity in the automotive design field, the ID scholarships are divided equally among students in three categories: women ID majors, ID majors from racial minorities underrepresented in this field, and high-achieving students regardless of race or gender. The remainder of the scholarship funds will be awarded to students majoring in digital arts, which includes T.I.M.E.-Digital Arts, Video, Animation, and Game Design.

Equipment purchases were designated for the ID Department and include work tables, Cintiq® digital rendering tablets, and safety equipment for the ID wood shop, where students make models and prototypes.

The Saturday morning automotive design class was taught last semester by GM designers and car modelers Jeffrey Nasca ’88, Nicholas Greiwe ’06, Wayne Manista ’95, Tristan Murphy ’06, Brian Stoeckel ’09, Raymond Howard, David Torres, Christopher Piscitelli, and John Cundy.

Designs generated as part of that course were on display at the 2011 Cleveland Auto Show, where CIA hosted its 9th Annual Automotive Design Symposium for prospective students (see image above). The symposium featured keynote speaker Zack Simmering ’05, a design consultant, and the program offered high school students opportunities to design concept cars and learn about the automotive design process. Also at the Auto Show, GM designer and 1993 CIA graduate Carl Zipfel showcased a concept vehicle.

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