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About DSI

DSI Departmental Scholarships – 2022

DSI is excited to announce we will be offering two scholarships to two students in the incoming 2022 cohort. 

Interested in learning more about our department and scholarships? We encourage you to attend one of our Open House events on November 12th (in person) or November 18th (virtual), or email dsiinfo@sva.edu for a personal call.

Get started on your application today!

Equity in Design 

In order to support underrepresented communities in design, we are advancing our Equity in Design Scholarship to address intersectional oppressions and promote equitable opportunities within our own student community. This year, the award will grant at least $10,000 to one incoming student.

This year, we awarded this scholarship to an incoming student for the first time with additional funding drawn from the profits of our Community Design for Leaders summer course. As we continue to offer summer classes, we are redirecting profits toward our Equity in Design initiative as it continues to grow and iterate pathways to support and sustain diverse, creative leaders.

In order to be considered for the 2022 Equity in Design Scholarship, we are taking an intersectional approach to our scholarship selection process. To receive the scholarship, applicants will be:

  • A U.S. citizen.
  • Self-identify as BIPOC, disabled (including chronically ill, D/deaf, mad/mentally ill and/or neurodivergent) and/or transgender/nonbinary. This information will be left up to the applicant’s discretion, and no explanation is needed.
  • Indicate interest and eligibility for the scholarship based on the above criteria in their letter of intent.

DSI is always committed to taking action against racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and instances of unfairness and injustice, and this is just one of the steps we are taking in this journey. To learn more about the work we are doing toward these efforts, please visit our Anti-Racism Resources page.

Paul Polak

The Paul Polak scholarship will be granting $10,000 to one incoming student for the 9th year in a row.

In light of his passing in 2019, we hope that this award will be one of many ways DSI can help carry on Paul’s honorable legacy. The world knew Paul as a revolutionary of social innovation and a natural-born designer, who worked tirelessly to help move over 22 million people out of poverty and founded major social design organizations such as International Development Enterprises (IDE), Windhorse International, Spring Health, and D-Rev.

Beyond his globally recognized accomplishments, Paul was a beloved friend, mentor, and advisor to our program, and we are confident that our students will continue to reflect on his courageous, innovative spirit as we move forward.

DSI applicants that submit their materials by our January 15th, 2022 priority deadline will automatically be considered for the Paul Polak Scholarship–no separate application is required. 

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