Students and faculty from the Floral Design Program in the Kishwaukee College Horticulture Department attended the American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD) National Symposium held in Las Vegas, this summer. Each year, the AIFD Symposium is attended by more than 1,200 floral designers, design instructors, and design students from across the United States and Canada. Kishwaukee College Floral Design instructor Janet Gallagher attended the symposium with students Haleigh Bialas, Earlville; Tyler Hagemann, Leaf River; Lynn Renner, Cortland; Regan Griswold, DeKalb; and Jazmin Tilton, Rochelle.
The annual AIFD symposium features the only national student design competition for colleges and universities that have floral design programs. Kishwaukee College’s floral design students form one of only 15 student floral design organizations in the U.S sanctioned by AIFD. Gallagher advises the Student American Institute of Floral Design chapter at Kish College.
The KC students participated in the student competition along with 43 other students from across the U.S. and Canada. Their test consisted of creating fresh flower arrangements in the following categories: sympathy, art opening design, corsage and boutonniere, and wedding bouquet. In the competition, the students were given a time limit to complete the design pieces. Each student was given a bucket of fresh flowers and could bring a toolbox with contest-specific items in it.
The KC students also were selected to participate in one of the stage programs/competitions at the symposium. Ron Mulray, AIFD, created a program called “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” which highlighted using floral materials for the costumes worn by participating students in the show. The Kish team placed fourth in the competition, out of 13 schools from across the nation. Jazmin Tilton placed sixth and Haleigh Bialas placed ninth in Body Flowers.
New this year was the opportunity for students to create corsages and boutonnieres to raise scholarship money for AIFD. During the week, their efforts raised more than $5,000 for scholarships. Students also helped make floral arrangements that were distributed to the nursing homes in the area; nearly 12,000 arrangements were made and sent to the various homes.
The Floral Design program at KC offers a two-year program that leads to an Associates of Applied Science. The 68-hour program includes coursework in floral arrangement, floral marketing, floral operations, and courses that emphasize specific designs. In addition, students take coursework in greenhouse management, bedding plant production and marketing. There also is a 20.5 credit hour certificate program in Floral Horticulture.
For more information, call Janet Gallagher at 815-825-2086, ext. 4610, or visit www.kishwaukeecollege.edu.