By Manisha Patel, AATCC Student & Corporate Member Specialist

Every year, AATCC student chapters name a graduating senior to be recognized for academic achievement and contribution to the chapter, school, and society. This year AATCC presented each chapter award recipient with a certificate, a copy of the 2018 AATCC Technical Manual, and a copy of the book Color Vision and Technology. Awardees also receive one year of free membership in AATCC as they start their careers.

Clemson University

Clemson University’s awardee, Jared (Jay) Smolens, is majoring in Materials Science & Engineering, with a Polymer concentration and minoring in Chemistry. His academic strengths lie in implementing what he has learned in the classroom in the laboratory setting. His enthusiasm for materials science and engineering is evident as he mentors new students and promotes materials science and engineering with visitors.

Smolens has served the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in multiple ways as an undergraduate. As a laboratory assistant in the MSE Analytical Facility, he has become proficient in the analysis of textile/polymer based materials using FTIR, TGA , DSC, Fiber ID stain, and microscopy techniques for service work performed for industrial clients, as well as for research support for various groups in the College of Engineering. Smolens has mentored and taught other undergraduate student employees as they onboard in the analytical lab. He has also been an invaluable student for the MSE department serving on multiple Search and Screen Committees, including those for the Chair of MSE and for the Student Program Manager position. As an MSE Ambassador, Smolens has provided weekly tours and demonstrations to general engineering students as part of the MSE student recruiting process.


Central Michigan University

The Central Michigan University Student Chapter awardee is Julianna Saad, a Fashion Design major and Art minor. Saad is an excellent student. She is conscientious, dedicated, hardworking, and brilliant. She is involved in both student organizations of the department. She is a budding professional who is committed to train herself as a well-rounded professional and extend opportunities to other students.

Her creative skills extend to her leadership role as president of the AATCC student chapter at Central Michigan University. Saad has done a great job as president of the student chapter. During her tenure, she has improved the visibility of the chapter by having her team create an aesthetically pleasing board that informs the membership of upcoming events and provides information on how to become a member of the AATCC student chapter. She is a creative leader who has a great ability to engage attendees in creative endeavors. The student chapter holds meetings on a regular basis and plans for events for the forthcoming semester.


Fashion Institute of Technology

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Student Chapter award recipient is Louise Ford, who is majoring in Textile Development and Marketing with minors in Ethics & Sustainability, and Economics. Ford has taken on many projects, including her position as a leader of the Textile Ocean Plastics Pollution Initiative, which was set to educate peers of the detriments of textile microfiber pollution in waterways. She has also achieved Dean’s List throughout her career in the Textile Development and Marketing department, while balancing internships and her position as an officer in the AATCC FIT Student Chapter. Most recently, she worked with students from the Jean School in Amsterdam in an exchange program, where she had the opportunity to learn hands-on about the denim industry. When she graduates this May, Ford hopes to obtain a job in the denim industry, focusing on sustainable practices.

Ford currently holds the position of vice president of Events in the AATCC student chapter, where she sets up bi-weekly meetings, and plans/coordinates all fundraisers and events. In addition, she also runs the rooftop dye garden where the department sources a variety of natural dyes. Here, Ford gets students involved by holding events to clean up the garden, plant seeds, and harvest the garden. The plants are harvested to dye tote bags for the club to sell at one of the most popular fundraisers. This past Fall, Ford hosted Knitting: Hats Against Hate, where students were taught how to hand knit hats for children in the hospital. Ford is currently planning the student chapter trip to a warp-knitting factory and/or a woolen mill.


Florida State University

Jessica Bachansingh, the recipient of the Student Chapter Award for Florida State University (FSU) is graduating with a Retail Merchandising and Product Development major along with three Entrepreneurship minors in Commercial, Social, and Retail. Outside of the classroom, she has competed in several scholarships and has won over $30,000 in funds. She has competed in the Runway of Dreams Fashion For All Student Competition and was the first place winner receiving a scholarship of $5000. Bachansingh shared her experiences at the Gala and how her mindset has drastically changed about accessibility within the fashion industry. She has constantly worked hard to excel within her field outside of the classroom from competing in weekend case competitions to starting her very own nonprofit that teaches young women in Ethiopia how to sew.

Bachansingh was the FSU AATCC Student Chapter president in the Fall semester of 2017. During her time in this role, she helped orchestrate the yearly fashion show with the theme of sustainability. She led 20 creative students to obtain donated clothing that would otherwise go into landfills to create new garments. With nearly 45 looks that walked the runway, 150 people in the audience, and over 50 people on the fashion show team, it was a success! She also led a trip to the Atlanta Apparel Mart, where students got to speak directly with wholesalers and learn about the buying process. She led a partnership with Cotton Incorporated for a semester-long community service project to collect denim that is eventually recycled into insulation for housing. With a goal of 500 pairs donated, the AATCC chapter exceeded their goal and brought awareness to recycling processes for denim and clothing in general.


Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology’s Student Chapter awardee is Carolyn Stanek. After completing her BS in Materials Science Engineering- Polymers and Fiber Materials this spring, Stanek will begin pursuing a Masters in Material Science at Georgia Tech. During her summer sessions, Stanek has spent her time working in corporate and manufacturing engineering roles at Procter & Gamble and Corning Inc. Across these internships, she developed electrochemical corrosion experimentation, conducted industrial hygiene studies of volatile organic compounds, independently developed VBA sorting macros, and led a Six-Sigma DESGN project to improve the current multimode fiber optic product. Currently, Stanek works with 3M to conduct diffusivity measurements of solvents through PVC film using FTIR methods. Outside of class, her biggest achievements have been with the Georgia Tech Mock Trial team — an organization that simulates litigation for both civil and criminal trials. For three years in a row, her team has placed in the top twenty teams in the nation, and she has won individual awards for Outstanding Performance for public speaking and advocacy.

Stanek actively participates in Georgia Tech’s Women In Engineering programs; for three years, she’s developed relationships with younger Material Science Engineering students in their mentoring program. This involved scheduling assistance and networking guidance. She served as the lead ambassador for Corning Inc.’s student recruiting efforts since May 2018. This included organizing, budgeting, and hosting information sessions, where she led presentations on the opportunities at Corning and answered questions to 30+ attendees. In addition to spreading the word about the company and its culture, Stanek also worked to make direct connections between Corning and the younger talent at Georgia Tech. She was responsible for coordinating email communication between interested students and company reps and collecting and screening resumes. She continues to serve as a main point-of-contact for the incoming intern class.


Govt. College University Faisalabad

The student chapter awardee for Govt. College University Faisalabad is Nimra Amin who is majoring in Applied Chemistry/Color Chemistry. She has been involved in research activities since 2017 in textile/color chemistry. Amin has published two research papers in the Journal of Natural Fibers and is currently writing a book chapter on “Insect Derived Natural Anthraquinones for Textile Dyeing,” which will be published by Springer. Her research topic is “Influence of Microwave Radiation on Isolation of Colorant from Lac Animals for Silk and Wool dyeing.” Amin is also collaborating in the UNESCO funded project for the application of plant-derived colorants onto natural fabrics. She has attended five different events (international and national) and participated actively to represent her work.


Thomas Jefferson University

Jacqueline Bartolo at Thomas Jefferson University is the recipient of the student chapter award. She majors in Textile Materials Technology with a concentration in Sports and High Performance Materials. She has excelled in all her course work while maintaining an active life on campus. She is the current secretary of the AATCC student chapter, co-president of the Phi Psi Fraternity, co-correspondent for Her Campus organization, and serves with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Bartolo is organized, inquisitive, a quick learner with excellent analytical skills, and a self-starter. She has been involved in several interdisciplinary industry-sponsored projects and brings much talent to the teams on which she has served.

Bartolo is the current secretary for the student chapter. She enthusiastically rouses students to attend AATCC events on and off campus and represents the organization in a professional manner. She is always willing to offer tours, participate in Open House, and recruitment events where she speaks to the value of her AATCC membership. As the Co-president of Phi Psi, she also sheds light on the importance of membership in textile-related professional organizations for her fellow students.


North Carolina State University

Andrew Hall, a Polymer and Color Chemistry (ACS Certified) major and Environmental Minor, is the Student Chapter awardee for North State University (NCSU) Wilson College of Textiles. Bryan Ormond, AATCC Student Chapter faculty advisor says “Having had Hall as a student in two of my classes, I have always been impressed with his ability to grasp the different concepts that were being discussed regardless of whether it was more general topics like the impacts that industry has on the environment or more detailed reaction schemes for synthesizing different polymers or dyes.” From an academic performance standpoint, Hall consistently performs in the top 5% of his peers and has shown an exceptional ability to thoroughly explain the topics in both written and verbal means.

Hall has been very active in the Student Chapter as he has served as the treasurer for over two years. He is at nearly every meeting, maintains the finances, and ensures food is ordered for the meetings. Hall is always willing to step up and put in extra time to give back to the chapter and the college. This past Fall Hall led the student members in a tie-dyeing activity. When Ormond suggested to do this same activity for the Wilson College of Textiles Open House that was only a few weeks away, Hall quickly volunteered to oversee planning and leading the activity on the day of the event. He worked with Ormond to ensure he ordered everything that was needed and took lead on making sure every visitor understood how to tie-dye the shirt and how it related to the College’s programs.


NED University of Engineering & Technology

The Student Chapter awardee at NED is Uzma Tariq, a Textile Sciences major. Tariq has been an excellent student throughout her academic years. She has not only excelled academically, she has also excelled in co-curricular activities such as Debate Competitions, Kangroo Mathematics Competition, and Drama Competitions. Professionally, as a student of NED University of Engineering & Technology, Tariq belongs to the top ranks of textile sciences majors. In her second year at the university, she was presented with the prime minister’s laptop as an acknowledgement of her exceptional academic record. She has participated and presented at the Textile Raw Materials Exhibition and Technical Textiles Exhibition and Knitting Exhibition at her university. This year she has graduated as the gold medalist of her group awarded by the Province Governor and Pro Vice Chancellor of the University.





University of California, Davis

Esther Ahn is a Textile and Clothing major in the Textile Science option at the University of California, Davis and student chapter award winner. She is also a double minor in Managerial Economics and Psychology. Anh is an outstanding student, taking rigorous courses in physical sciences as well as social sciences and economics. She has been on the Dean’s Honor’s list three times. Anh has taken initiatives in a range of extra-curricular activities with several campus organizations in their visual and online publicity and sustainability efforts. She has taken several industry internships related to production, marketing, wholesale, and retail over summer break. She will pursue graduate studies following graduation this year.

Anh is a student member of AATCC and active in the UC Davis AATCC student chapter. She has worked closely with Lisa Cram, (also a UC Davis graduate), Education/Student Engagement Chair of the AATCC California Section, to plan for the student-focused sustainability meeting Spring 2019.


University of Rhode Island

Briannah Plasse is majoring in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design, and minoring in General Business. She is the student chapter awardee at the University of Rhode Island. Plasse has challenged herself with courses in many areas of textiles, but especially in textile science. At the same time, she has interned at two textile companies, helped as a TA in courses, while representing the University as a member of the power lifting team

Plasse is a member of the URI student chapter of AATCC. She has represented the department at public events. Most recently at a meeting of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN) attended by Rhode Island’s entire congressional delegation. Her participation was noted in a Textile World article.





University of Texas at Austin

The Student Chapter Awardee at University of Texas Austin is a Textiles and Apparel-Design major, Rawan Al-Qarqaz. She is an outstanding student who got into the Honors Program and has done independent undergraduate research. She has taken over the AATCC student chapter, has recruited many members, organized workshops to improve her resume, increased social media presence, and invited guest speakers.

She has even found sponsorship for social events like renting ice skating rink for the holidays.




Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s Student Chapter recipient is Derek Chiu. Chiu is a student who clearly knows his life goals and takes action to achieve them. He was originally studying Business Information Technology and although he had very good grades in Business, in his junior year, he decided to change his first major to Fashion Merchandising and Design (FMD) because his interest is in fashion design. Currently, he is a double-major student. FMD is his first major and Business Management is the second major. Chiu has received A’s in all FMD courses and has been on the Dean’s List every semester.  His performance in textile courses were, of course, outstanding.

Chiu has taken part in fighting hunger and changing lives through community partnerships. He participated in a Virginia Tech Engage program called Feeding America – Southwest Virginia. He went to a Feeding America warehouse in Salem, VA, USA several times and helped to package and sort the donated food for delivery to people that needed it.

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