Department of Design and merchandising February staff feature – Ruoh-Nan (Terry) Yan

The Department of Design and Merchandising want to highlight the incredible talent that fosters the community of Design and Merchandising at CSU. Every month the department will be highlighting two of its colleagues in the hopes we can showcase the unique passions that make up the design and merchandising staff roster.

Terry Yan HeadshotName: Ruoh-Nan (Terry) Yan

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Program/Classes (whatever you feel best represents you): I teach apparel merchandising, consumer behavior, and retailing classes in the Apparel and Merchandising program.

What do you try to emphasize in your teaching experience: I have organized my courses in three themes: (1) cultural diversity and awareness, (2) sustainability and global citizenship, and (3) understanding the present and envisioning the future in merchandising and retailing. I bring in diversity and sustainability perspectives into the three classes I teach whenever possible. For instance, I organize international consumer panels for students to learn about consumer behavior in other cultures; I invite guest speakers to address food consumption and sustainability and universal design for diverse consumer needs; I discuss sustainability and social responsibility in the apparel industry regarding manufacturing, distribution, retailing, and promotion.

A goal you have: I aim to develop students into “globally competent learners for the global community.” The global community cannot be achieved unless individuals care about the communities they serve and are able to develop global competency which may include empowerment through global education, awareness of diversity and interdependence, appreciation of the impact of other cultures on our own live, acceptance of the importance of all people, and acknowledgement of responsibilities as global citizens.

Favorite aspect of being a part of the DM department: I joined the Dept. in 2005. Since then, I have enjoyed working with faculty and staff in the department on different levels. My favorite part of working in the department is that there is a strong sense of community among all of us and we strive to support each other professionally and personally.

A fun fact about you that would connect with the students: Originally from Taiwan, I grew up learning in a very different academic environment where studying and passing exams with high marks was highly valued. When I was a freshman at a university in Taiwan, I received some B and C grades during that year. It was terrifying and super frustrating to me as I was an excellent student in high school with straight As. I cried over my poor academic performance many times and finally realized that studying in college required self-motivation, disciplines, and focus, which was very different when I was in high school where everything was very structured and you simply followed the teachers’ instructions and did what you were supposed to do. I had to learn new ways of studying at the university and accepted that the professors were not there to hold my hands for every single step of my college journey. It was a process of self-discovery and reassurance to me knowing that I could continue to do great work if I set my mind to.

A hobby you enjoy outside of teaching: I enjoy hiking, biking, and playing board games with my family on weekends. I also enjoy strolling through the neighborhood with my son just to find bugs and pick up interesting rocks.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.