Category Archives: Fashion Merchandising and Design

Fashion student to compete in Denim & Degas competition

Fashion Merchandising and Design student Keianna Smalls has been accepted into the second annual Betty Creative Awards under the theme, “Dream Big: Denim and Degas.” Organized by Terry Melville of Greensboro, the competition was open to fashion students at N.C. A&T and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Keianna Smalls (in black) with models wearing recycled denim garments.

Smalls and other students were required to incorporate denim into their designs. Degas’ works were selected because they were collected by the Cone sisters, whose brothers founded Cone Mills and put Greensboro on the map as the world capital of denim. The event is part of the 125th anniversary of Cone Denim celebrations taking place in Greensboro this month. “Dream Big: Denim and Degas” will be 7 p.m. Saturday, April 23 at Revolution Mill Studio, 1200 Revolution Mill Drive. Tickets are on sale at Triad Stage, (336) 272-0160. Student tickets are $10 and general admission is $25.

Smalls was also featured on a Time Warner Cable News report promoting the Denim and Degas event,–fashion-and-art-walks-runway.html

Smalls has participated in multiple fashion shows during her tenure at A&T. In 2015, she won second place in A&T’s annual Earth Day Fashion Show. For her win in that show, she was invited to participate in Charlotte Fashion Week in September 2015. Also, Keianna participated in, and won, the 2015 Runway Fashion Show at International Textile Materials and Equipment Association in High Point.



Fashion faculty, students weigh in on plus-size marketing

Dr. Elizabeth Newcomb Hopfer
Dr. Elizabeth Newcomb Hopfer

Fashion merchandising and design majors Arionna Jones and Nhandi Johnson were recently interviewed by a FOX8 news reporter on their views of plus-size marketing trends in fashion retail.

Jones and Johnson told reporter Natalie Wilson that they could personally relate to women having more options. The report also included comments from an area retailer who had recently launched a new boutique catering solely to XL to 3X women.

Wilson also interviewed Dr. Elizabeth Newcomb Hopfer, assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

“There is lots of market research study that shows the plus-size industry has purchasing power that is so huge we simply can’t ignore it anymore,” Hopfer said.

With approximately 120 students, the fashion merchandising and design program is one of the largest in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. It is also fairly unique among fashion programs in higher education, in that it combines both business and design aspects, thus giving students a well-rounded education in the industry.

SAES students have been in the news

A pair of SAES students who share a last name (though unrelated) are also sharing the spotlight for some relatively rare accomplishments.

William Rowe, who is on schedule to receive a bachelor’s in nutrition next spring, distinguish was invited to make a poster presentation covering his research work in Washington, and then to attend a reception where members of Congress were also on the guest list. The “Posters on the Hill,” presentations are coordinated by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) annually to underscore that the benefits of undergraduate research represent a two-way street with takeaways for both students and the institutions they attend. Rowe, whose research presentation of a “Practical Approach To Reduce Lactose Intolerance Amongst African American Populations” was mentored by Dr. Salam Ibrahim, received a personal compliment from Mary Pat Twomey, the CUR’s manager for student programs. Only 60 participants are selected each year from some 600 applicants from colleges and universities throughout the United States with proposals for presenting their research to Congressional representatives.

Wes Rowe
Wes Rowe

This fall the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will become a national pilot site for ThinkHouseU, an innovative residential program for budding entrepreneurs, and one of the seven students selected to be part of the innovative residential program is Wes Rowe, an SAES fashion design and merchandising student. Rowe and the seven UNCG students selected for the program will live in a house near the UNCG campus renovated to serve as student housing that will give them convenient access to mentors as well as learning and networking events that will help them cultivate their ideas and accelerate their own leadership development. ThinkHouseU Fellows will also receive complimentary memberships to HQ Greensboro, a co-work space for startups in downtown Greensboro that is less than a mile from ThinkHouseU.

FCS trio hits high note

documents_iconThree members of the Family and Consumer Sciences faculty are authors of an article in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences. Drs. Sung-Jin Lee, Meeshay Williams-Wheeler, and Jane Walker’s “Assessing Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Students’ Familiarity with the FCS-BOK [Body of Knowledge]” is scheduled for publication in Volume 107 Issue 2, of the journal. As Family and Consumer Sciences instructors at HBCUs have more fully integrated the discipline’s body of knowledge into their curricula, differing impacts have become measureable. The SAES team’s findings were that areas of study and class rank were significant factors in students’ familiarity with cross cutting themes of the FCS-BOK.

Time to get those ducts in a row

SAES faculty and staff (especially those in fashion merchandising and design) who’ve been in touch with high school students anxious for college financial aid next fall can pass along a tip regarding prom night preparations. The entry deadline for the 2015 “Duck Tape® Prom Attire” contest is midnight on June 1. Eligibility requirements are that the couples in the photographs submitted must be wearing complete prom attire and accessories made using Duck® brand duct tape. Entries will be scored by a panel of judges in early June, and finalists will move on to community voting at the contest website from June 15 until July 8. The winning couple will each receive $10,000 scholarships, second place award is $5,000 for each of the students and both students coming in third will receive $3,000. The remaining seven couples in the judges top 10 will each receive $500 scholarships, and there will be $500 for six honorable mentions for detail work, theme, prop or setting, most outrageous, best use of color and best single prom outfit.

Food drive added to 2015 edition of annual earth-friendly fashion show

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences fashion merchandising and design students will have their third annual Earth Day Fashion Show and Food Drive on Thursday, April 23. Strolls down the Harrison Auditorium runway will begin at 6 p.m., and the fashions will be Earth-friendly dresses and other garments constructed of newspapers, coffee filters, soft drink cans, cupcake filters and other materials whose final destination is more frequently a landfill than a runway.

13889439599_a897de15d2_zAdmission to the fashion show will be free for A&T faculty, staff, and students, but Aggies are asked to bring canned food or other non-perishable item to exchange for a ticket at the ticket office. For the general public, tickets will be $5.

Dr. Elizabeth Newcomb Hopfer, an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, has been the Fashion X-Cetera faculty advisor for the 2014-15 academic year.

Annual earth-friendly fashion show set for April 23

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences fashion merchandising and design  students will have their third annual Earth Day Fashion Show and Food Drive on Thursday, April 23. Strolls down the Harrison Auditorium runway will begin at 6 p.m., and the fashions will be Earth-friendly dresses and other garments constructed of newspapers, coffee filters, soft drink cans, cupcake filters and other materials whose final destination is more frequently a landfill than a runway.

Admission to the fashion show will be free for A&T faculty, staff, and students, but Aggies are asked to bring canned food or other non-perishable item to exchange for a ticket at the ticket office. For the general public, tickets will be $5.

Dr. Elizabeth Newcomb Hopfer, an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, is the Fashion X-Cetera faculty advisor for the 2014-15 academic year.

Runway rocker a recent SAES fashion design alumna

Uvana DoranUvana Doran, a 2014 SAES graduate in fashion merchandising and design, already has a career close enough to hitting the runways that she’s featured in the Jan. 29 issue of the Alumni Times, a weekly electronic newsletter published by University Relations. According to Alumni Times, Doran is "on the verge of launching her own [fashion] line," and in February some of her fashion designs will get public unveiling in Greensboro. She was one of seven designers invited to submit work for the “Rock the Runway” fashion unveiling Feb. 20 that Goodwill Industries organizes annually. Goodwill puts its own branding on the designers’ creativity by limiting them to "recrafted" fashions that are made from garments purchased in Triad Goodwill Stores with a $250 gift card that Goodwill provides to competitors. In the Alumni Times story, Doran reflects on a toilet-tissue dress she did for the SAES Earth Day fashion show two years ago as her starting point in working with unconventional materials that helped her gain a slot in Goodwill’s 2015 Rock the Runway.

Although VIP and premium tickets  ($75 and $50, respectively) are still available for the Feb 20 "Rock the Runway" fashion show at the International Civil Rights Museum in downtown Greensboro, student and standard rate tickets have already sold out.

FCS one of 47 programs in U.S. with AAFCS accreditation

academics iconThe SAES’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) was recently informed that the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) approved accreditation of its undergraduate programs for another 10 years. The next full review won’t be needed until 2024. The department is the largest of the SAES’s four academic units and has been a unit within the School since its inception in 1932-33. The department was first accredited by the AAFCS in 1984 and has successfully maintained its accreditation for 30 years. The department is among 47 programs nationwide with AAFCS accreditation. It is currently one of three AAFCS-accredited programs in the North Carolina and the only one at an HBCU in the state.

The SAES’s FCS offers degrees in four program areas:
Child Development and Family Studies
Family and Consumer Sciences
Fashion Merchandising and Design
Food and Nutritional Sciences

AAFCS accreditation standards reflect evaluations of the range of faculty expertise, and research and program effectiveness in preparing students for furthering their educations and professional advancement. The AAFCS Council for Accreditation criteria for program assessment now extends to community service learning, undergraduate research opportunities and other contemporary standards for globalizing family and consumer sciences courses and programs.

SAES grad student gets good links to food chain

An SAES graduate student, Dana Lucas, was one of 15 students from colleges and universities across the United States selected for scholarships for the 2014 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference in Arlington, Va., the first week of December. Lucas has already received a master’s in food and nutritional sciences from the SAES, and is now at work on a second master’s, in agricultural education with a concentration in professional services. A&T’s sister land grants with students selected for the 15 scholarships were Clemson, the University of Connecticut, Iowa State, the University of Missouri, Penn State, and the University of Minnesota.

The conference drew food-safety educators and researchers to northern Virginia for a slate of workshops and discussions led by internationally recognized authorities on food-safety and behavioral-health issues. The workshop lineup included sessions devoted to strategies for managing social media when food-safety issues go viral, food-safety risks emanating from ordering meat and seafood online, consumer education at farmers markets, integrating food-safety education into STEM curriculums, and online food-safety education for school gardens and university farms.

SAES students’ summer enrichments showcasing first Wednesday in September

Dr. Antoine Alston and SAES Showcase of  Excellence Participants

academics iconThe SAES will have its third annual Showcase of Excellence from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, at Webb Hall. Approximately 70 SAES students will present posters describing their summer internships in agribusiness, animal sciences, Cooperative Extension, food sciences, fashion industries, forestry, horticulture, landscape architecture, natural resources management, youth and child development and many more samplings of the broad range of employment opportunities awaiting graduates with degrees from the SAES. There will be students from all four SAES departments presenting posters, and the summer experiences they’ll be recapping range from the University of California at Berkeley to a fashion magazine’s New York Office to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. 

All SAES faculty and staff, and all A&T students — especially those yet to select a major — are encouraged to stop by the annual Showcase of Excellence and discover the exciting careers and experiential learning opportunities offered by the SAES.

SAES hosts Winter Ag Literacy BBQ Fest

To celebrate National FFA Week, the SAES’s Agriscience Education Program hosted its annual Agricultural Literacy Barbecue Fest on Friday, Feb. 28 at Stallings Ballroom in the Memorial Student Union Building. A large contingent of high school students and teachers — more than 230 participants from 10 high schools — were the guests of honor. While on campus for the Agricultural Literacy Barbecue Fest, the visitors got a peek at some of the research projects at the University Farm and overviews of new SAES academic programs and career opportunities for which they prepare students.

ag literacy barbeque fest

The SAES hosts the Ag. Literacy Fest each February in conjunction with FFA Week. Established in 1928, the FFA has now grown into anorganization with more than half a million members and $2 million in college scholarshipsawarded through the National FFA Foundation.

SAES students and faculty high profile

info iconA student mentored by Dr. Paula Faulkner, Jasmine Scott, was one of the A&T students that the University’s website picked out for special profiles during fall semester. Scott’s profile honed in on a research project that became one of only 60 projects accepted from over 800 submissions by undergraduates from across the U.S. selected for the “Posters on the Hill” competition, which is sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research to impress upon members of Congress the importance of undergraduate research. Scott’s research delved into the disproportionately higher rates of obesity among youth in rural North Carolina, and her conclusion was that shortfalls in understanding dietetics and nutrition education were considerable factors. Jasmine Scott

Another of the students profiled during fall semester was John Ivey, who graduated with a degree in agricultural education in December 2013. Ivey was a 34-year-old non-traditional student with a family and success in the workforce who returned to A&T, made the Chancellor’s List every semester and was inducted into of the Alpha Kappa Mu, Alpha Chi and Golden Key honor societies. Ivey says in his profile that a daughter was a major motivation in his return to school to complete work on a degree. He says that he “Not only [wants to] provide the best living environment,” but also to provide his daughter with an example of the importance of higher education that will inspire her toward the right choices when she makes them.

John Ivey

The familiar faces on the University website selected for profiles this spring semester are Kayla Harris, a sophomore whose double major includes urban and community horticulture in addition to biology; Courtney Wilkins, a senior majoring in fashion design and fashion merchandising; and Dr. John O’Sullivan, the SAES’s professor of sustainable agriculture, local and community food. Among the achievements cited on the Web page honoring Harris are her efforts to help launch a farmers market on campus. The most recent chapter in the Wilkens success story begins with an internship in Shanghai last summer that led to a job offer in merchandising with a textile design company’s operation in China following her graduation. O’Sullivan’s 31-year career at A&T and as co-director of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems led to one the highest civilian honors that the governor can present to a citizen of the state: the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
Kayla Harris

And speaking of video….

satellite iconOn Tuesday, April 23, students in the SAES’s Fashion Merchandising and Design Program commemorated Earth Day with a fashion show in the Holland Bowl featuring dresses and other garments constructed of cupcake liners, coffee filters, newspapers, soft drink cans and other materials whose final resting ground is more frequently a landfill than a runway. The Earth Day fashion show caught the attention of WFMY, and video footage of the student designers strutting their stuff is available for review on the TV station’s website.  Dr. Elizabeth Newcomb Hopfer of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences is the Fashion X-Cetera faculty advisor for the 2012-13 academic year.

Forsyth County residents who subscribe to TimeWarner cable will find some WSTV 13 is a division of the city’s Marketing and Communications Department. It is available to all subscribers of TimeWarner cable in Forsyth County on WSTV 13. TimeWarner of Forsyth County has all the "Solutions" videos from Cooperative Extension’s 2013 multimedia annual report incorporated into the station’s current regular rotation.

Video footage with a considerable sprinkling of SAES on-air talent is available on YouTube, which has the entire 2013 Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Sustainable Agriculture Lecture. The speaker in Durham on Feb. 27 was Maya Wiley, the author of a number of articles on race equality and land-use planning and the and president of the Center for Social Inclusion, a national public policy incubator Wiley’s Feb. 27 address, "Unmasking Inequities: Building Toward a More Just Food System for All!" was prefaced by introductory remarks from Dr. John O’Sullivan, the SAES’s professor of sustainable agriculture and local food systems; Shorlette Ammons, A&T Extension’s community-based foods systems outreach coordinator at the CEFS; and former U.S. Rep. Eva Clayton, a longtime SAES ally.

SAES supplies NCAFCS with top young professional and top-notch student

Dr. Elizabeth NewcombDr. Elizabeth Newcomb Hopfer of the SAES’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences has received the North Carolina Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NCAFCS) 2013 Young Professional Award. As an assistant professor of fashion merchandising and design, "Dr. Newcomb" (as her students know her) has turned to a range of innovative teaching methods to engage students, and the NCAFCS also recognized her as a research mentor for students in the Ronald McNair Undergraduate Research Program. She also has served as advisor for the Fashion X-Cetera student organization and as coordinator of the Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Board.

Earth Day Fashion Model
The SAES student organization Fashion X-Cetera that was part of Dr. Elizabeth Newcomb Hopfer’s credentials for the NCAFCS 2013 Young Professional Award showcased over 30 garments in an Earth Day Fashion Show at A&T on April 22. The Earth-friendly fashions were dresses and other garments constructed of newspapers, coffee filters, soft drink cans, cupcake filters and other materials whose ultimate destiny is more frequently a landfill than a runway.

The NCAFCS also turned to the SAES for its 2013 Student Unit Award, which the organization presents annually in recognition of academic excellence and service to school and community. The 2013 NCAFCS Student Unit Award winner is Danita Washington, an A&T senior majoring in child development and family studies. Washington was singled out for her contributions to the NCAFCS as the State Student Unit Treasurer, and to the Scott Cares Foundation, the National Black Child Development Institute, and the Family and Consumer Sciences Club. She also finds time to help out as a volunteer at the YMCA, the SAES’s Child Development Laboratory and a preschool, the Next Step Academy.

Assistant professor in Fashion Merchandising and Design Program gets Cornetet grant

welcome iconDr. Devona L. Dixon of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences has received a Cornetet Professional Development Award to support  travel expenses to the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Annual Meeting and Conference in Houston June 26 to 29.  Cornetet awards for professional development are coordinated by the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation, a nonprofit that supports and promotes the professional goals of women educators.

The  AAFCS conference in Houston will be the organization’s 104th. The cutoff for early bird registration is April 15. The discounted early bird registration fee for students is $124. For AAFCS members, the registration fee is now $365, and for nonmembers it’s $474.

Staff update

two people iconDr. Devona L. Dixon has joined the Family and Consumer Sciences Department as an assistant professor in Fashion Merchandising and Design. Dixon received her doctorate in the social and psychological aspects of dress from Louisiana State University. She also has a master’s in design, merchandising and consumer sciences, from Colorado State University, and a bachelor’s in clothing textiles and related arts from Southern University and A&M College. Her research interests include body-image perceptions and the social psychology of African-American dress and fashion history. Dixon’s teaching specialties include merchandise buying, apparel manufacturing and quality analysis, and history of 20th century fashion. She is a native of Baton Rouge, La. Dixon comes to the SAES from Western Kentucky University, where she was an assistant professor in the Design, Merchandising and Textiles Program.

Research seminar series to get rolling Oct. 23

Dr. Radiah MinorDr. Meeshay Williams WheelerDrs. Radiah Minor, Meeshay Williams-Wheeler will lead off
the Agricultural Research Program’s 2012-13 seminar series on Tuesday, Oct. 23, with a trio of a presentations that will begin at 11 a.m. in Room A-16 of the C.H. Moore Agricultural Research Station. Yeboah, chair of the Dept. of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education, will discuss “Biofuel Production as an Alternative Enterprise for Small Farmers in North Carolina.” Williams-Wheeler, an associate professor in the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences, will be joined by Dr. Sharon Warren Cook, interim chair for A&T’s Dept. of Sociology and Social Work and interim co-director of the Joint Master of Social Work Program, for an overview of research into "Faith-Based Collaborations to Reduce Obesity in Rural Communities." Minor, assistant professor of immunology in the SAES’s Dept. of Animal Sciences, will conclude the program with remarks on her research into "Immune Modulation by Food."

The seminar presentations, in Room A-16 of the Moore Research Station at Beech and Lindsay streets, are open to all A&T faculty, staff and students.