The University of Tennessee - Knoxville

The University of Tennessee - Knoxville

Knoxville, TN


UT Interior Design Student Wins Prestigious Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship, Internship

Apr 9, '15 4:44 PM EST
University of Tennessee Interior Design Student Erin Collins
University of Tennessee Interior Design Student Erin Collins

KNOXVILLE—A University of Tennessee, Knoxville, student has been awarded a prestigious national scholarship and internship from Gensler, one of the world's leading architecture, design and planning firms.

Erin Collins, a third-year interior design student, is the recipient of the 2015 Brinkmann Scholarship, one of two top academic scholarships awarded by Gensler annually. The scholarship also will provide a paid summer internship for Collins at any at Gensler regional office in the nation. Collins has elected to intern in San Francisco.

This is the first time the Brinkmann Scholarship has been given to a UT student.

"My mind is simply in awe because even having the opportunity to submit my work serves as validation for my passion in life," said Collins, of Knoxville. "Not only does this honor authenticate my hard work, but it also shows the dedication of my parents, professors and role models without whom I could not have made it this far in my journey."

As a finalist, Collins submitted a video about her work and passion for design. Learn more about her at

Collins' winning project was completed during a study abroad semester in Helsinki, Finland. Her submission was a redesign of a museum, cafe and makers space for visitors and local artisans.

"We are thrilled that Erin has been named the Brinkmann Scholarship recipient," said Scott Poole, dean of the UT College of Architecture and Design. "This is the first time that a student from the University of Tennessee has received the interior design student award from Gensler, and it could not go to a more exemplary student. This award from Gensler reflects the emerging prominence of our Interior Design program and its success in producing next-generation leadership."

Collins said the scholarship and internship will give her career a big push.

"I have goals to live in a large city and to live a life continually designing and thinking in new ways," she said. "Interning with Gensler will hopefully give me more knowledge and confidence to achieve bigger goals in my future."

Gensler has 46 locations and more than 4,500  professionals on five continents. The firm specializes in architecture, interior design, brand design, product design, planning and urban design, and consulting, and has more than 2,000 active clients representing virtually every industry.

"The next wave of interior designers will enter a complex, dynamic and increasingly design-centric world that demands more sophistication than ever," said Robin Klehr Avia, a UT alumna and regional managing principal for Gensler's Northeast and Latin American regions. "The Brinkmann Scholarship allows Gensler to identify and encourage the very best emerging talent and help them meet the challenges of tomorrow."

To learn more about the Brinkmann Scholarship, visit

For more about the College of Architecture and Design and its programs, visit


C O N T A C T :

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713, [email protected])

Erin Collins, 2015 Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship Winner