IESNYC Announces 2024 Merit Scholarship Recipients

by | Apr 8, 2024 | News

[New York, NY – April 8, 2024] – The Illuminating Engineering Society of New York City (IESNYC) is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2024 IESNYC Merit Scholarship. This year, the selection process was exceptionally competitive, showcasing the outstanding talent and dedication of emerging professionals in the field of architectural lighting. After careful consideration, the committee has chosen two exceptional candidates to receive the IESNYC Merit Scholarship; each of them will receive $12,500 to support their educational pursuits.

Christiana Kathleen Bevilacqua, a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Science in Architectural Sciences with a concentration in Lighting. Christiana’s passion for architectural lighting stems from her profound belief in the transformative power of light within architectural spaces. Inspired by the techniques that can be used to alter the user’s experience and appreciation of architecture through the intricate manipulation of light, she aspires to integrate innovative lighting strategies into her future architectural designs, to enhance human experiences and promote sustainability.

Reflecting on her achievement, Christiana shared, “Receiving the IESNYC Merit Scholarship allows me to further my education in a manner that resonates with my specific passion for lighting design. This scholarship equips me with the essential resources to examine and showcase architecture in a manner deeply influenced and enhanced by its lighting.”

Mohammad Valizadeh Alvan is currently pursuing dual degrees, a Master of Architecture and an MFA in Lighting Design at The New School, Parsons School of Design. He brings a rich background in Architectural Engineering and a fervent dedication to lighting design. Mohammad’s journey into

architectural lighting was ignited by his experiences at Navan Architecture Office and his participation in multidisciplinary projects, where he recognized the vital role lighting plays in shaping architectural spaces. His vision extends beyond personal achievement as he aims to establish Iran’s first architectural lighting design program, fostering inclusivity and innovation in the field.

Mohammad expressed his gratitude, stating, ” Receiving the IESNYC scholarship is invaluable as it significantly reduces financial stress and allows for a more focused and less financially-driven thesis year. It also elevates my sense of responsibility as a representative of IESNYC and the lighting design community. Moreover, it validates my efforts, inspires me, and boosts my confidence in my future endeavors, motivating me to keep pursuing excellence in both my studies and career.”

Mike Barr, IESNYC Board Member and Scholarship Committee Chair (Lutron Electronics Co. Inc.), remarked, “I would like to express my gratitude to our president, Shoshanna Segal, and the entire IESNYC board of managers for their outstanding support of aspiring Lighting Designers in New York as they embark on their careers in lighting.”

The IESNYC is an advocate for lighting education, dedicated to nurturing and inspiring the next generation of lighting professionals and future leaders. In addition to the Merit Scholarship program, the IESNYC champions various initiatives such as the annual IESNYC Thesis Awards, the Student Lighting Competition, and numerous year-round educational programs.

President of the IESNYC, Shoshanna Segal (Hartranft Lighting Design), expressed her excitement for the recipients, stating, “In continuing our commitment to fostering emerging talent in the field of architectural lighting, the IESNYC is thrilled to award scholarships to outstanding individuals from Parsons and RPI. Both recipients demonstrated exceptional promise and dedication amidst a competitive pool of applicants. Congratulations to Christiana and Mohammad. We eagerly anticipate witnessing their continued growth and contributions to the lighting community.”

Christiana Kathleen Bevilacqua is pursuing an undergraduate and graduate degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, School of Architecture and Lighting Research Center. She is pursuing her Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Science in Architectural Sciences with a concentration in Lighting. Throughout her studies, Christiana strives to use light as a transformative tool that accentuates a building’s distinctive character. In the future, Christiana hopes to integrate building technology and lighting strategies to enhance her architectural designs.

Mohammad Valizadeh Alvan is an Iranian designer pursuing dual degrees, a Master of Architecture and an MFA in Lighting Design at The New School, Parsons School of Design. With a background in Architectural Engineering, Mohammad co-founded Navan Architecture Office, gaining leadership experience and demonstrating innovation. Inspired by the transformative potential of light, Mohammad explores luminaire design and interdisciplinary collaborations. He aspires to establish Iran’s first architectural lighting design program, leveraging opportunities to advance the field globally. Committed to creating better-lit environments, Mohammad believes in the power of lighting to inspire and elevate human experiences. He views himself as a storyteller whose designs communicate, inspire, and facilitate learning for people from all walks of life.

About the IESNYC

IESNYC ( is the New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society. The IESNYC is a volunteer professional membership organization whose members share a mutual appreciation for and fascination with all things lighting. They are lighting designers, architects, engineers, consultants, lighting manufacturers, lighting representatives, electrical distributors, and allied professionals. IESNYC members are dedicated to promoting the art and science of illumination engineering to their members, professionals, the lighting industry, and the public through inspiring events, informative programs and educational series, social outreach, and networking opportunities.