Every student chapter of AATCC has the opportunity to select one graduating senior per year to receive an AATCC Student Award. This year, 16 of 23 active chapters submitted names. Each of these students receives a complimentary one-year associate membership in AATCC and a copy of Color Vision and Technology by Rolf Kuehni. The 2011 winners are described below in their own words, or in the words of their faculty advisors.
Congratulations to all 2011 graduates and especially, to these award winners!
Jonathon Hugh Ball, Clemson University
Ball studied Polymer & Fiber Chemistry at Clemson’s School of Materials Science & Engineering, minoring in Chemistry and Environment Engineering. Advisor Gary Lickfield says Ball has very good wet-chemistry lab skills. He was active in undergraduate research and plans to attend graduate school.
Besides his academic success, Ball participated in the Phi Psi Honorary Textile Fraternity, serving as vice president for 2010. He was also a resident assistant for three years.
Caroline Mary Coplen, Louisiana State University
Coplen majored in Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising, with a concentration in Merchandising. She also earned a minor in Business Administration. Coplen plans to gain work experience in the next few years, and then continue her studies as a graduate student.
“I was an LSU Ambassador for three years. During that time I was a representative of the university for many campus events. I also helped with Freshman Orientation for those three years. I was also a member of Hemline, a student organization geared towards the Textile, Apparel, and Merchandising students. I am currently working with the LSU Historic Textile and Costume Museum, and am in the processes of cleaning and preserving burial garments from the mid-nineteenth century. I am also assisting in the design and installation of museum exhibits within the museum.
As a freshman at LSU I was chosen to participate in the China Initiative. We met with representatives of Southern Yangtze University, and witness the signing of an exchange agreement between the two universities. We were introduced to their impressive textile program at Southern Yangtze University. We also visited many textile and clothing factories throughout China. During my junior year at LSU, I studied abroad for a semester at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England. I was part of their Fashion Buying program and we able to take textile classes while there.
In the spring 2010, I held a six-month internship with Walt Disney World as a Costuming Buyer. Following my internship with Disney, I interned for Colonial Williamsburg in the Millinery Shop. In addition to my internships, my work in the costume shop for the LSU Theatre Department along with my studies of textile science, costume history, fashion merchandising and buying, and costume construction has increased my understanding of the power and importance of textiles. In addition, I sew and make costumes, so I am very aware of the importance of each stitch, notion, and trim as well as the properties of any fabric being used.”
Elizabeth Ann Dobrowski, Washington State University
Dobrowski is a Magna Cum Laude graduate in Apparel Merchandising, with a minor in Business Administration. She plans to pursue graduate studies.
Professor Karen Leonas says Dobrowski has distinguished herself as an outstanding student and has taken a leadership role on several class projects. She has been on the President’s Honor Roll consistently since starting college in fall 2007, is a member of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society, and has a cumulative GPA of 3.8. She studied at the London College of Fashion in the summer of 2010, completing the study abroad fashion design program with a 3.95 GPA, and has had multiple fashion industry internships and employment positions to enhance and supplement her academic learning.
Dobrowski worked at Washington State University Student Publications since her sophomore year. She began in the position of Arts and Entertainment Division Editor, later being promoted to Assistant Editor. Her time at Student Publications kept her intimately connected with the WSU student community, University organizations, and community events.
She has also stayed involved with the University through its Center for Civic Engagement, through which she has donated her time as a student volunteer at several community organizations. Additionally, through her membership in Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society she has assisted with various University-sponsored charitable events.
In the fall semester of 2010, Dobrowksi served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the AMT Department’s Merchandise Planning and Buying course. Through this position she was able to serve her department, help fellow students and fine tune her understanding of this course’s highly industry-relevant material.
Nicole Dowds, Philadelphia University
Dowds will graduate with a degree in Textile Design this August. Her team received second place in the innovative medical product student design competition held at Philadelphia University in Fall 2010. Her innovative product won the interest of the sponsoring company who wishes to bring the product to a medical products industry show to highlight the forward thinking of Philadelphia University students. She excelled in her Dyeing and Finishing course.
Matthew Jackson, Georgia Institute of Technology
Jackson is majoring in Polymer and Fiber Engineering, with a concentration in Management. He explains that his current academic achievement stems from overcoming how he began his college career.
“I did not fully comprehend how much effort is needed to continue the academic success I had in high school. After a bad semester and a dip in my GPA, I made it a personal goal to change my approach to school and consistently be a top student in all of my classes. Since then, I have enjoyed the success that hard work brings by achieving Dean’s list honors (above a 3.1 semester GPA) every semester for the past two years and have currently brought my cumulative GPA up to a 3.04. By learning from my early mistakes, I have been able to set a new standard of excellence for myself and look forward to continuing success after graduation.”
Jackson conducted undergraduate research to determine whether a commercially viable process for vat dyeing of polypropylene can be accomplished.
Hannah LaRoe, North Carolina State University
LaRoe was an honors student, the recipient of numerous scholarships, and an active member of her campus AATCC chapter. She majored in Textile Technology and minored in Biological Science.
“I have been a member of AATCC for four years and have served as Treasurer for the past two years. I have seen this club built up and blossom into what it is today. The unique experience of being a student member is unlike any other club in that it allows you to be a part of something so much larger than your student organization. When a student joins AATCC, they are joining a network of international companies and professionals. This organization has given so much back to the students, from scholarships to discounted conference prices to competitions among students. AATCC has been gracious enough to award me with the Piedmont scholarship in 2009. This scholarship has allowed me to further my studies in medical textiles and go on to pursue a second degree. AATCC has allowed me to rise to my full potential and for that I hope to continue my membership beyond my academic years.”
John Lord, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Lord is a Textile Technology graduate with a minor in Business. He is an AATCC member and plans to attend graduate school.
He has performed fabric research and even had his work published in the Journal of The Textile Institute. The paper was titled “The Formation and Performance of Auxetic Textiles Part II: Geometry and Structural Properties.”
Lord is the recipient of numerous scholarships, including one presented by AATCC.
Jordan May, Virginia Tech
May earned a degree in Apparel Product Development and Merchandising Management and plans to attend graduate school.
“I have continued to [maintain] my grade point average and have received Dean’s List for six semesters within my college career. My in-major grade point average is 3.90 and I continually strive to do better each semester.
I am part of the Fashion Merchandising and Design Society (FMDS) and am the hospitality chair. We have a philanthropy called Cornerstone, and raise money and other goods for individuals in need.
Michelle McCarthy, University of Rhode Island
McCarthy majored in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design, and minored in Art. She was a student member of AATCC. Her portfolio can be viewed at www.michelle-nicole.com.
Advisor Martin Bide says, “As she has navigated a degree program in which students are expected to learn the disparate academic discourses of science, history, sociology, business and art, Michelle has become fluent in all of them as her 3.9 GPA demonstrates. She is equally at home in the design studio, developing a collection for the fashion show, and in the chemistry lab, analyzing the effectiveness of a new chemical finish.”
Sean Olson, Fashion Institute of Technology
"I have been at the Fashion Institute of Technology for the past four years and have had a great experience with the program and have learned a great deal about textiles. My academic achievements have been on the Dean’s List for six semesters. I was nominated to be in a video for FIT’s recruiting and informing new students about FIT.
I am currently the Fashion Institute of Technology’s AATCC Club chapter Treasurer. This is my second year being treasurer. It has been a great experience dealing with the club and taking the responsibility of the finances. My duty as treasurer is putting together the budget request for the yearly trip, make sure our money is allocated to the right people, and keeping track of the finances. As a member of the AATCC club, I have volunteered with fabric sales, scarf sales, the Breast Cancer Walk, and listening to speakers from the fashion industry.”
Olson studied Textile Development and Marketing. His professor, Ann Denton says, “Sean is an extremely intelligent and dedicated student. His work for the club and in the classroom is meticulous and competent, and his conduct is even-tempered and professional at all times…He is one of the strongest and most well-rounded students to have come through our program in recent years, and I can think of no one who is more deserving of this honor.”
Lisa Perez, Florida State University
Perez graduated with a major in Merchandising and a minor on General Business. She was a member of the Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society and an officer in the AATCC student chapter.
“As Vice President and President of FSU’s chapter, I have increased membership significantly by planning trips for members to volunteer at Atlanta’s Americasmart and Miami International Fashion Week. Also, as Managing Editor of our organization’s magazine, SWATCH, I have had members interview to be directors. The publication has also drawn members to the organization to write articles for SWATCH, varying from sustainability to innovations in textiles.
Samantha Pinnock, University of California, Davis
Pinnock chose a major in Textiles and Clothing, with an Economics & Marketing emphasis and a minor in Environmental Policy and Analysis
Advisor You-Lo Hsieh says, “Samantha Pinnock has been extensively involved in a range of extracurricular. She interned in the California Governor’s Office in Sacramento. She also attended the University of California Washington DC Program to be a business policy intern at Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS), a non-profit organization focusing on sustainable product certification.
Pinnock did original research and presented findings at the UCDC undergraduate research conference. Her presentation was the second best out of 45 students. Professionally, she is interested in product development, specifically in enhancing the functionality (protection, performance, and comfort) of sustainable clothes as well as in communicating benefits of sustainable products to consumers and/or professionals in the industry. She also took a leadership role in student government and in bringing public attention to textile program closure by the university administration via different media channels.”
Mallory Roman, The University of Georgia
Roman earned a double degree in Fashion Merchandising and Psychology. Instructor Katalin Medvedev says, “During my years as a professor at UGA, Mallory, without a doubt, has been the most remarkable student I have worked with. She is independent, mature, reliable, creative, and innovative at the same time. Mallory is also a quick learner, in addition to being extremely hard working, conscientious, and well-organized.”
Roman is especially proud of her published work on “The Importance of Peer Approval in the Sartorial Purchasing Patterns of University of Georgia Students.” She says, “This immersion in research has only heightened my interest in fashion as an example of social influence. My future plans are to obtain an PhD in Social Psychology so that I can further explore the implications of our social nature and the way it relates to sartorial purchasing decisions…I look forward to being part of more scientific research in the field of fashion merchandising, as well as helping to legitimize research on various aspects of fashion as a scientific discipline.”
Jessica Salazar, Texas State University San Marcos
Salazar is an AATCC member and designs her own golf apparel. Since she already has the creativity, Salazar decided a degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Business was more practical than a design degree.
In addition to being a scholar and an athlete, Salazar is active in the Fashion Merchandising Association, Fashion Nation, and the AATCC Student Chapter. She placed third in the AATCC Materials Competition for her garment to relieve golfing-related muscle tension.
“Another contest I entered was a local design competition called the Local Designers Fashion Show. This was a contest for all people of the Rio Grande valley to enter their products they developed and a handful would be chosen by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce to show their designs in a Fashion show. I was selected to show a six piece women’s golf apparel line that I created for the show. Following that, I was asked to showcase two cocktail dresses in a Paul Mitchell Academy Hair and Makeup Show in Austin, Texas.”
Salazar’s internship experience includes Academy Sports and Outdoors’ global sourcing department, marketing for the Prime Outlets in San Marcos, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF fifth, and Golfsmith Proprietary Team.
In her senior year, Salazar was selected to represent the university as a Texas State Rising Star. “I was featured in a full-page magazine spread in Texas Monthly and a Hispanic magazine called Poder. There is an article on our University website, including the role of the AATCC contest in my success. I was also featured on billboards in two different locations. The student newspaper, The Star, made a video about my story.”
Natalie Schuler, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Schuler joined AATCC as a Textile and Apparel Design student. “I have gotten to know extraordinarily wise and knowledgeable professors who have then invited me to help teach classes, bringing my extracurricular experience to teach new concepts, as well as a deeper, richer sense of the material. Much of this out-of-class experience comes from my service to the Design Studies Department. By staying after class to tidy up studios and labs, I have gotten to know professors better and gain a more intimate knowledge of the materials we work with. I have also been employed at Harris Library, the Design Gallery, and the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, all within the Design Studies Department.”
Assistant Professor Mary Hark glowingly praises Schuler. “Natalie Schuler is an exceptional student. She is focused, engaged and ambitious. Her studio work in the Design Studies program has been consistently produced with a deep commitment to craftsmanship of the highest order. Ms. Schuler’s work consistently reflects her understanding that good design is informed by a solid understanding of the materials used coupled with mastery of process. Natalie takes on the design problems presented in her undergraduate scholarship without hesitation, bringing focused attention and the considerable skill that she has developed over the past years in our program, to produce impressively constructed, well considered textile products. Natalie has achieved a considerable amount of skill, and understanding of the field, by her serious commitment to excellence.”
Benjamin M. Touchette, Central Michigan University
Touchette is the founding President of student chapter of AATCC at Central Michigan University. His major was Apparel Merchandising, with a Retailing minor.
Advisor Usha Chowdhary says, “Ben is an exceptional student who is self-motivated, extremely well-organized, true leader, and brilliant…His sincerity, willingness to learn, quick grasp of complicated matters, and desire to try new things impress me the most about him.”
Besides organizing and leading the AATCC student chapter, Touchette is president of Kappa Omicron Nu and Fashion Association of Merchandising and Design. He also represented the school at Fashion Week in Detroit, Mich., USA.
Touchette’s interest beyond the fashion aspect of textiles is what drew him to AATCC. In Spring 2010, he co-authored research on the chemical and physical properties of bamboo fibers, partnering with physics and chemistry departments, and learning to perform X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy. After graduation, he plans to pursue and MS in Apparel Product Development and Merchandising Technology at CMU, followed by a PhD.