The big thing that we’ve been working on is the Fashion Impact Challenge (FIC). We bring in 4-H and area high school students who work with our undergrads for a weekend. We presented our research involving the first FIC at the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) conference. We talked about the success of the program, reporting the positive outcomes expressed by the particiapnts.
We’re working with a brand new startup company on the redesigning of scrubs. A grad student and a couple of undergraduate students along with myself and Angela Uriyo are working with the company to come up with patterns for the scrubs. We’re hoping to come up with something very comfortable, very durable for the medical field.
I’m also working with a group of professors from all over: LSU, Baylor and along with a couple of other schools. We’re working on a zero waste project, a sustainable fashion project. Zero waste is a really big focus of my research and design scholarship. Typically when you make a zero waste garment, it’s just one size. I came up with a design in the loungewear area using this technique. We just published an article about the research in the MDPI Sustainability Journal. Also, I developed a zero waste pattern, a spiral pattern, that won two international awards. One of the spiral designs and spiral pattern will be included in the fifth edition of Beyond Design: The Synergy of Apparel Product Development.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be either an artist or a fashion designer. My first customer with my fashion designs was Barbie. I didn’t have a sewing machine, so glue was my friend. My sisters would buy the clothes for their Barbies, but their Barbies would go swimming, so the glue was not a good choice.
What year in school was your favorite and why?
Late in my sophomore year in the University of Delaware Fashion Design program, I found out that I could take my love for sewing and for my art and combine them. I started it late, but once I found where my interests and my dedication and my drive could be combined, I didn’t look back.
What is something new you're learning?
I’m working with the engineering department. I have a design I’ve been working on and I really want to incorporate laser cutting. I really want to add laser cutting along with other technology to my design work.
What's one class you wish you had taken in college?
I was three credits away - but I ran out of time - from getting a dance minor.
What's a dream you have?
My focus is my job and I think we’re all working really hard. It’s coming to fruition: my dream of having the program where I think it needs to be. We have a wonderful program and department. We have a strong faculty. We are raising the visibility of the program. That’s my vision: for others to see the strength of our program.
What did you learn from 2020?
COVID made everybody slow down a little bit in some respect. At the same time, I had to ramp up because there was so much I had to do as far as delivering classes through Zoom. I certainly learned the ins and outs of Zoom. I used to have to bring people in via Skype and it always seemed like it was a major undertaking. I do it with a lot more ease now. It really brings the world into the classroom.
Just for Fun
A book you've always wanted to read: Gone with the Wind
Most adventurous food you've tasted: Beef tartare
Dogs or cats? Both