Design and Merchandising Newsletter
Fall 2022 Recap

The Design and Merchandising newsletter publishes twice per year, in January and June.

From the Department Head - Karen Hyllegard

Karen Hyllegard Profile
Karen Hyllegard, DM Department Head

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Summer and Fall 2022 was a very exciting and productive time for Design and Merchandising. We welcomed new faculty, greeted a large cohort of first-year students, and hosted special program events for students. The main theme for DM in 2022, however, was accreditation. In May, the department received its first accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design in partnership with the Department of Art and Art History. In Fall 2022, Doreen Beard, Avenir Museum Director, and Megan Osborne, Avenir Museum Collections Manager and Assistant Curator, led the effort to develop the formal documentation necessary for review and accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.

The 2022 reaccreditation efforts with the Council for Interior Design Accreditation for the Interior Architecture and Design program were led by Dr. Jain Kwon and Dr. Leah Scolere, who co-chaired the program review process. This effort included a tremendous amount of planning and preparation in advance of a very productive December site visit from industry professionals and academics who reviewed the program curriculum and outcomes, student work, faculty credentials/expertise, and learning facilities among other aspects of the program. We look forward to receiving positive notifications on both accreditations this spring.

In October, Dr. Kristen Morris and I served as the co-chairs for the annual meeting of the International Textile and Apparel Association in Denver. It was a wonderful opportunity to welcome colleagues from around the globe to Colorado and to introduce them to various regional outdoor apparel companies and designer labels. Jedd Rose, CEO and co-founder of Topo Designs, served as the keynote speaker and pre-conference tours included visits to Brooks LTD, the Denver Art Museum, Pearl Izumi, Spyder, and Topo Designs.

We also hosted multiple student events and engaged industry partners in student learning activities. In October, Instructor Kami Stutzman arranged a class visit to the Cooper Lighting facility in Denver and, in November, she and Dr. Leah Scolere visited the company’s national headquarters in Atlanta to discuss future opportunities to partner on lighting education. Read about other events, including our Emerging Leaders in Apparel and Merchandising alumni panel funded by the Kotsiopulos Education Enhancement Fund, Denver Design Dialogues, and Mr. Blackwell: From Inspiration to Innovation below.

In December, we recognized the amazing accomplishments of our students through industry reviews and presentations of their work. Seniors in the apparel design and production concentration presented their apparel collections to design professionals from varied Colorado companies. These collections will be shown to the public at the fashion show in May. In-depth stories about our Outstanding Seniors, and capstone projects for product development and interior architecture and design students are also featured below – I encourage you to scroll, click, and view their incredible work and stories!

As the new year and the Spring 2023 semester kicks off, we are most grateful for the support of our donors, friends, and industry partners whose engagement and generosity provides for many new and renewed opportunities for student learning and success. We look forward to the opening of new exhibits at the Avenir Museum and to hosting student fieldtrips to apparel brands and retailers as well as to interior design and resource firms in Denver. We also are very excited to renew our New York City study tour this March, which we will offer for the first time in four years. Other exciting events planned for spring 2023 include an AM Fashion and Circular Economy Symposium, on April 14-15, our AM fashion show on Friday, May 5, and our IAD Senior Show, on Friday, May 12. We look forward to seeing many of you at one or more of these events!

Warm wishes for a happy and healthy 2023.


ITAA Awards photo showcasing work from DM students

CSU students win apparel and merchandising research awards at prestigious conference

After two years of virtual gatherings, the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) Conference returned to an in-person experience in Denver, with Colorado State University as the host institution.

Dr. Kristen Morris interview in the Health and Human Science Matters Podcast

Dr. Kristen Morris, associate professor at Colorado State University’s Department of Design and Merchandising, discusses her teaching and research on developing inclusive, adaptive apparel and products for disabled and diverse communities.

CHHS Research Day logo/flyer

Judges needed for research poster sessions at College of Health and Human Sciences Research Day – March 6, 2023

We welcome internal and external judges to participate in CHHS Research Day 2023! Follow the link to learn more about how to be a judge at CHHS Research Day 2023.


Student working on a project at the Fashion FUNdamentals camp

Fashion FUNdamentals summer program for middle-schoolers builds STEM skills and confidence in style

Combining creative expression with foundational principles of STEM, Fashion FUNdamentals works as a fantastic introduction for middle school students to exciting education and career paths, while bolstering confidence and self-esteem.

Katey Lam standing by her poster displaying work she did with the AVL.

Architectural Virtual Library transports users into historic buildings to bolster education

New advances in technology are now allowing for alternate ways of learning, such as the Architectural Virtual Library program, an interactive website designed to educate the public on architectural historic buildings – both on and off campus.  


Little Libraries project with students showcasing their work

Interior architecture and design and English students promote literacy in the homeless community through little library project

This summer, three undergraduate students majoring in interior architecture and design worked closely with the CSU English department’s Community Literacy Center and Samaritan House Fort Collins to provide for the homeless community through the implementation of a little library.

Cam Thomas feature image.

Apparel and merchandising student gains hands-on experience with notable designers at New York Fashion Week

Cameron Thomas, a first-year student majoring in apparel and merchandising at Colorado State University, derived great motivation from his experiences at New York Fashion Week, a week-long showcase of international fashion collections.

Melissa Minervini in Italy

CHHS Summer Standouts: Melissa Minervini seized the opportunity to study abroad in Italy

A summer in Italy conjures up thoughts of idyllic landscapes and perhaps slower, comfortable routines. But for Melissa Minervini, six weeks abroad was another step in the process of moving out of her comfort zone and embracing new opportunities.

IIDA feature photo

Susan Hsin shares lessons learned from the International Interior Design Association’s Rocky Mountain Chapter Design Charette

Many students in the Colorado State University Interior Architecture and Design Program are a part of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) student group which holds several industry-focused events and opportunities throughout the year.

Kamryn Montera posing on the oval with her diploma

Interior Architecture and Design Outstanding Grad: Kamryn Montera

Kamryn Montera, a first-generation Colorado State University student majoring in interior architecture and design, has been distinguished as a Fall 2022 outstanding graduate of the Department of Design and Merchandising for her excellence in academics, and for her will to push through tough times and reach her goal of graduating. 

Micah Loy feature photo

Apparel and Merchandising Outstanding Grad: Micah Loy

Apart from traveling together to places like Italy, Uganda and Mexico, one of Micah Loy’s favorite memories of his mother, Kirsten — who battled cancer on and off for a decade — is when she attended his high school lacrosse awards banquet.

Amanda Beaver by a small lake, holding a fishing rod.

All64: Interior Architecture and Design student Amanda Beaver

During the 2022-2023 academic year, CSU is highlighting one student or alum from each of Colorado’s 64 counties. The Centennial State’s land grant university has a connection to the diverse lands and people. Meet IAD student, Amanda Beaver, from Montrose County.


IAD Virtual Senior Show

Interior Architecture and Design seniors demonstrate knowledge in virtual senior show

Students in their final year of the bachelor’s degree in interior architecture and design at Colorado State University completed their capstone projects this semester in a culmination of years of rigorous work.

Photo used for Denver Design Dialogues.

Interior Architecture and Design Program’s strong connection to Denver industry

Denver Design Dialogues brought together nearly 50 junior and senior students in the Interior Architecture and Design Program at Colorado State University with approximately 50 design professionals from the Northern Colorado area on Nov. 11.

PD Wide Open Exhibit

Product development seniors showcase inclusive cotton garment designs

Students are designing for inclusivity in the product development concentration of the apparel and merchandising degree at Colorado State University. A December exhibit titled ‘Wide Open: Comprehensive Garments for All’ showcased senior capstone projects for faculty, students, families, and the public.


Emerging Leaders in Apparel and Merchandising

Alumni from the Department of Design and Merchandising’s Apparel and Merchandising Program returned to campus for a panel discussion on merchandising. The panel is made possible by the generous support of the Kotsiopulos Education Enhancement Fund started by former department head and associate dean, Antigone Kotsiopulos.

RDC Emerging Leaders 2022 during an event.

Avenir Museum

Blackwell celebration with DM faculty members

Celebrating Mr. Blackwell

A fashionably fancy throng gathered at Colorado State University’s Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising on Friday evening, Nov. 18, to celebrate student apparel design creativity inspired by the mid-20th-century American designer Richard Blackwell (1922-2008).


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