DAAP and P&G Beauty partnership focuses on diversity in design

Inaugural group of students benefit from P&G scholarships

James Avant, A&S ’15, says his ability to be a full-time graduate student in the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) is thanks to the investment others have made in his future.

After all, returning to UC meant Avant would have to leave a full-time job and a comfortable salary.

Through the Procter & Gamble (P&G) Diversity in Design Fellowship, Avant is pursuing his master’s degree in design while interning at Curiosity, a Cincinnati design agency.

young woman wearing white jacket

Yvee Arnett.

“Investing in people and the futures they will create requires a lot of faith,” Avant said. “I appreciate P&G’s trust and the responsibility it has gifted me to be an agent of impact within design.”

In addition to Avant, four first-year design students were inaugural recipients of the P&G Diversity in Design Undergraduate Scholarship. Two high school students attended DAAPcamps in 2021 as well, thanks to the P&G Diversity in Design DAAPcamps Scholarship.

In 2020, P&G’s Beauty Division partnered with DAAP to create the three funds to provide more opportunities for underrepresented students to study design at DAAP’s Myron E. Ullman, Jr. School of Design. This support is a result of P&G Beauty’s strong belief that diversity drives innovation and creates more holistic solutions to better serve all consumers and communities.

young man wearing glasses, striped shirt

James Avant.

“The ever-changing and more complex world needs the next generation of designers to make a positive impact on people’s lives through creativity, innovation and collaboration,” Wei Wang, professor of design and director and endowed chair of the Myron E. Ullman, Jr. School of Design, said. “We are extremely grateful for P&G Beauty’s partnership and gift to enable our students to build empathy and collaborate with others who have various experiences, thoughts and perspectives.”

This first group of undergraduate scholarship recipients — Yvee Arnett, Chrishaun Bates, Addison Lane and Hudson Leroux — represent communication design, fashion design and industrial design. The students said they are determined to show P&G Beauty they are grateful by doing well.

young man with glasses, green and white scarf

Chrishaun Bates

“To know that someone sees something special in me makes me want to work so much harder,” Lane, a fashion major from Cleveland, said.

“This scholarship has changed my life,” agreed Arnett, a fashion design major, from Cincinnati. “I am going to continue to acknowledge how lucky I am and make sure that I was the right choice for this scholarship.”

Leroux, a Cleveland native studying industrial design, said he has been amazed by DAAP’s welcoming and supportive community.

“To think that someone who has not even met me would be willing to make this much of a positive impact on my life is hard to believe,” Leroux said.

young man in green shirt wearing hat

Addison Lane.

Alexis Schrimpf, vice president of Design, Skin & Personal Care at P&G and a DAAP alumna, said being intentional about diversifying the design profession includes outreach; many students, especially in high school, are not aware of the field as a career option.

The P&G Beauty/DAAP partnership allows students to discover viable career options in creative problem-solving. For example, DAAPcamps, an annual summer program, encourages rising tenth, eleventh and twelfth-graders to experience different design disciplines.

Laurie Wilson, director of DAAPcamps, said the program matriculates about 20 percent of its students into DAAP, so it’s important to spark the interest of a diverse group of students in high school.  

Hudson Leroux

Hudson Leroux.

“The P&G Diversity in Design scholarships allow us to open doors for students who may never have known that a career in design existed for them,” Wilson said. “Talk about life-changing! We’re grateful to be a part of the bridge, from P&G to future designers, through DAAP.”

P&G’s gift supports Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati, the comprehensive fundraising effort for UC and UC Health.

Featured image at top: Chrishaun Bates, Yvee Arnett, Hudson Leroux, James Avant and Addison Lane. Photo/Ravenna Rutledge for the UC Foundation.

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