COURSES I AM TEACHING AND HAVE DEVELOPED
TXA 151 – Pre-Internship Seminar – classroom instruction. This course is designed to help students prepare for internships and careers in the textiles and apparel industries. The course presents the foundations for executing a successful job search focusing on career management as a lifelong process. Subjects include effective professional communication, personal and professional branding, career decision-making, job search strategies, networking, leadership, and management development.
TXA 353 – Field Experience I (Reflecting on the Industry) – virtual instruction. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a realistic view of the textile and apparel industry through first-hand work in a professional environment that focuses upon specific areas of the retail sector (including consumer, merchandise analysis, marketing, competition, visual, advertising, and professional development). This is a capstone course aimed at allowing students to apply their coursework while gaining practical experience skills. This course blends theory into practice.
TXA 352M – Field Experience II (Reflecting on Self) – virtual instruction. This course guides students through reflective activities – reflecting both upon themselves and their internship sites. It aims to draw attention to the positives of what they are learning and what they can take from the absence of visible achievements. Both sides can be extremely powerful and transformational as students approach the next steps of their career development. Reflecting on the actions at work and on the actual experience will lead students to recognize the experiences that have forged in them a new way of thinking about the theory they learned in the classroom.
TXA 316Q -Sewn Product Analysis and Manufacturing – classroom instruction. This course will provide a conceptual framework of the manufacturing process for future apparel professionals. It helps students understand the complex decision-making involved in marketing, merchandising, and producing apparel to meet the target customer's needs. It enables the students to understand the apparel production cycle: how apparel products are designed, created, and distributed. Students analyze garment design and construction features to understand their relationship to apparel cost and quality. Style terminology, sizing, price points, fabric choices, sustainability, and other apparel production factors are also discussed.
The SoHE Personal and Professional Development Success Series (beginning Fall ’21):
The SoHE Professional Student Success Series is a sequence of three one-credit courses designed to prepare students for a career or further education and adult life. The series consist of three courses: 101P The Individual, 102P The 2Team, and 103P The Industry. Ideally, we would prefer students to take one course per semester and let them build off each other, developing their professional and personal skills.
This program supports our students as they navigate personal development, industry changes, and complex decisions as they transition to a career, professional school, or graduate school. We developed this program to foster the development of the whole student: a self-directed, motivated, ethical citizen who successfully pursues their degree and is prepared to embark on a fulfilling career.
101P The Individual. Focuses on career management as a lifelong endeavor – discovering your strengths, how we are connected through SoHE, job search strategies, development in resume writing, networking, and interview preparation.
102P The Team. Immerses students in applied ethics in work and life settings through reflective and experiential activities and projects.
103P The Professional. Provides a practical approach to leadership and decision-making, focusing on setting goals, forming action plans, and assessing results.
Sunday Sessions: COVID-19 brought extreme disruption to our society, including to my students. Students had their summer internships canceled and developed legitimate concerns about their future careers in the fashion industry. To help alleviate their anxiety and to steer them in the proper direction, I created “Sunday Sessions”:
"Sunday Sessions" were weekly Zoom meetings to which all TXA students were invited. Although some others from the department attended, it was primarily my students who attended. In these sessions, we discussed how they could begin to position themselves in the industry during this time of uncertainty. I received decidedly positive feedback from many students, who found these sessions an excellent source of information. Many facets of the industry were discussed. Some session topics included:
Going for the "Ask" – how to ask a company for an internship, with consideration of these unprecedented times. This session addressed how students could ask for an internship from a company that has never before taken on an intern. Some of my current intern students used this approach, and they have received favorable results. Strategies from this session not only help students advocate for themselves, but they also help them create learning experiences in a company or an area in which they are interested in pursuing.
TXA Career Panel – I brought together a panel of professional alumni to discuss what they notice happening in the industry. As these alumni had already "walked their path" and were now engaging successful in the industry, they provided a great perspective and the students loved hearing from them. They offered advice on how to pivot within your career, what it takes to succeed in the industry, what jobs will be available over the next few years, and what they need to know when entering this industry.
How to Interview Online – "The New Norm" – In this session, we spoke about how to interview in general, and specifically how things have changed since interviews moved online. We discussed what students should be doing now to prepare for jobs and how they should research the companies they are interested in pursuing.