Student Chapter Awards

AATCC presents Student Chapter Awards every year to graduating seniors from our Student Chapters to be recognized for academic achievement and contribution to the chapter, school, or society. AATCC presents each chapter award winner with a certificate and a copy of Color Vision and Technology. Winners also receive one year of free Student Membership in AATCC as they start their careers. Be sure to congratulate these outstanding AATCC student members!



Mahak Goyal, from AADTT, majors in textile chemistry and wet processing, and has been at the top of her class in both her undergraduate program and at AADTT. “Mahak is an outstanding student, having a good track record of academics and also deep understanding of the concepts,” says AADTT advisor Siva Rama Kumar Pariti. “She is endowed with a rare ability of grasping and assimilating new and often complex ideas with consummate ease. She is always curious to learn the basic concepts and develop new and innovative ideas from them.” Goyal is an active participant of AADTT’s AATCC Student Chapter activities. She coordinates and organizes various technical as well as non-technical events for the Chapter, such as the General Knowledge quiz, Technical quiz, Group Discussion, Debate, and even cultural events like organizing an Independence Day Celebration. She is also an active campaigner in coordinating and conducting the social service activity for the AATCC Student Chapter, and visiting and collecting goods required by the orphanage adopted by the Chapter.


Clemson University

Nadia Klep majors in materials science and engineering with a polymeric materials concentration and Spanish and chemistry minors. Advisor Garry Lickfield says Klep performed extremely well academically, as evidenced by her 3.86 GPA. She has been named to the Dean’s List for four semesters and to the President’s list (perfect 4.0 GPA) for three semesters. She is a Palmetto Fellow, a member of the Calhoun Honors College, and the recipient of several scholarships and awards, including the Nonwovens Institute Scholarship, the AATCC Piedmont Scholarship, the Robert Benheim, and the Robert Knight Eaton honor awards. Klep is a member of AATCC and Phi Psi, the honorary Textile Fraternity at Clemson, in which she has been very active since her induction in the fall of 2012. According to Lickfield, “She has worked in the department since her freshman year and has been very active in research all four years, working with Igor Luzinov and working in our physical testing and microscopy laboratory.” Klep served as a College of Engineering Ambassador, representing the Material Science and Engineering department and providing campus tours for prospective freshmen, and as a Tigers Teach Tutor.


Cornell University

Vanessa Sanchez is a fiber science major with a 3.675 GPA. According to Cornell’s AATCC Student Chapter faculty advisor Huiju Park, “Vanessa is an outstanding senior with great passion about integrating fiber science into fashion for enhanced functionality, comfort, and eco-friendly solutions. She, as an undergraduate student researcher, has been very active in interdisciplinary research collaboration for sustainable textile business in developing countries. For example, she and her teammates were selected as the finalist of P3 Sustainable Design Competition hosted by US Environmental Protection Agency in 2014. In addition to her great academic performance in her course work, she also has participated in the Cornell Fashion Collective Annual Fashion Show as a student designer.” Park says that Sanchez has made a significant contribution to the AATCC Cornell Student Chapter through her active participation in the Chapter activities and her service as one of the officers.


Florida State University

Rebecca Cunningham maintains a 3.4/4.0 GPA and is on the FSU Dean’s List, according to Student Chapter advisor Kay Grise. Cunningham has served as the FSU Retail Center Photographer and Retail Center Student liaison. She has studied abroad and served as the Lifestyle director for Swatch magazine. She also served as an AATCC Student Chapter officer, first as secretary; then as president. Cunningham was chosen to represent FSU at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show in January 2015. She is also a Bright Futures Recipient, Macy’s Fund for Excellence Scholarship winner, and an RMPD Retail Center Student Leadership Scholarship recipient.





Georgia Institute of Technology

Janine E. Feirer is a materials science and engineering major with a concentration in polymer and fiber engineering at Georgia Tech. She is on the Dean’s list with a 3.63 GPA. Although she is graduating with her Bachelor’s degree this semester, she will graduate with her Master’s degree in materials science and engineering in May 2015. She has cumulatively completed over 2.5 years of research during her time at Georgia Tech. She worked in an electronic materials and devices lab and the Georgia Tech cleanroom fabricating and testing large area thin film olybdenum disulfide. She won second place in the 2014 MSE undergraduate poster competition for her work. More recently, she has been working in the mechanical properties lab, compression testing various footwear insole samples. She also has been working to model these compression tests with an engineering software, COMSOL Multiphysics, to further understand the properties of these insoles. According to advisor Fred Cook, Feirer was executive philanthropy chair for her sorority, where she helped raise more than $15,000 for a dance marathon and organized the “Phi Mu Tea Party,” which raised over $4,500 in one night; both benefitting Children’s Miracle Network. She also was a member and advisor for the Freshman Activities Board, which puts on events for the freshman class to enjoy. “Despite all of these extracurricular activities in college, her true love has been materials science and engineering,” says Cook. “She always mentors and convinces.”


NED University

Tahreem Beg is a textile major and maintains a 3.802 GPA. NED University AATCC Student Chapter advisors Muhammad Dawood Husain and Fareha Asim say that Beg has performed well consistently. “She secured the first position in three of eight semesters and an overall second position in her BE Textile Program,” says Husain. In her second semester, she was awarded a merit scholarship by the university. “I acted as an advisor of her final year engineering design project,” says Husain. “She performed very well in the final presentation, exhibiting excellent ability to understand difficult concepts quickly and be able to explain them. [She] has proved her mettle time and again with her academic excellence alongside the various exposures to the corporate world.” Beg participated actively in all of the events organized by the Textile department of NEDUET. She was also Deputy Head of Marketing for the AATCC NED Student Chapter, helping to organize the Career Seminar 2014 and organizing the AATCC Student Chapter’s participation at the First NED International Textile Conference (ITC).


Philadelphia University

Rebecca Flax is a textile design major with a 3.699 GPA. She will be continuing her studies at Philadelphia University while pursuing a Master’s degree in textile design. Philadelphia University AATCC Student Chapter advisor Janet Brady says “She is a talented student very worthy of this award.” Flax worked Open House events on campus, routinely supports other students in the Textile Design studio by assisting with questions they have regarding computer systems, equipment issues, etc., and tutored for both Dyeing and Finishing and Textile Production I classes for two years. She was selected to represent the TD UG program at The Barnes Foundation, First Sundays “Textiles.” Flax exhibited and presented her textile design work to interested museum attendees. She was also selected to exhibit her textile design work at the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show in Spring 2014. A floral designer created an arrangement in response to Flax’s textile work. Flax was selected to participate in a WITHIT conference, which is a group of women in the textile and home fashions industries. She also won a scholarship to  serve as a student assistant at the HGA international conference Convergence 2014 in Providence RI.


University of California, Davis

Brenda Zarate majors in textiles and clothing, with an economics and marketing emphasis and maintains a GPA of 3.919. AATCC Student Chapter Advisor You-Lo Hsieh says that Zarate’s academic track record includes 14 A-plus grades, “a truly outstanding academic achievement! Her A+ grades are in subjects ranging from economics, cultural anthropology to textile science. Furthermore, she will graduate with a BS degree in three years!” Zarate will graduate with highest honors from UC Davis this spring. Besides excelling academically, Zarate has been active in organizations in and outside of the university. She has volunteered to help with children’s art as well as second hand clothing in the community. She has volunteered in UC Davis’ annual Picnic Day Tie Dye event. In addition, Hsieh says Zarate “plans to join a women’s cooperative program in Peru to improve the economic viability of women in their textile and apparel work.”



University of Rhode Island

Rachal Mathies is a double major in textiles and Italian, and is also earning a minor in economics, with a 3.75 GPA. She spent a semester in Florence, Italy. According to URI AATCC Student Chapter advisor Martin Bide, “In addition to being a talented student, Rachal is also an excellent practical textile chemist. She has carried out work in the university’s textile science laboratory as part of several ongoing projects. Her work is careful and reliable.”


Virginia Institute of Technology

Kelsey Smith is a double major in fashion merchandising and design and multimedia journalism with a 3.7 GPA, who has been named to the Dean’s List every semester. Smith was chosen for an independent study as AATCC Student Chapter advisor, Jessie Chen-Yu’s teaching assistant for Apparel Textiles Lab in Fall 2013. As a Virginia Tech Cheerleader, Smith received the All-Academic Award in 2012 and 2013 for having the highest GPA on the Cheerleading Team. She currently serves as co-captain of the Virginia Tech Cheerleading Team, and has been a part of the program throughout all four years. Smith was also involved in several community service efforts on campus including The Big Event at Virginia Tech and Relay for Life. As a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, Smith served as Intellectual Development Chair for a semester and worked with several philanthropic organizations, including the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley.

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