Nancy Richardson Design Center

Design and Merchandising Newsletter | Spring 2021

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

From the Department Head

Karen Hyllegard portraitDear Alumni and Friends,

Although Spring 2021 was atypical in the Department of Design and Merchandising, the faculty and staff worked collaboratively to deliver a successful semester that began with remote instruction, then moved to on-campus learning from early February to mid-April, and then back to remote instruction for the final few weeks.

All the while, faculty and staff exhibited exceptional dedication to ensuring a supportive learning environment and experience for all students. In our ongoing effort to foster a student-centered learning environment, we welcomed two new academic success coordinators, Brittany Engert and Erin Meier. Brittany and Erin bring wonderful energy and knowledge to our academic advising and learning initiatives that will enhance the student experience across the department.

Spring also is typically a time of celebration in the Department of Design and Merchandising and, in that spirit, our apparel and merchandising students rose to the challenge to produce a unique fashion show that was a great success. Our students partnered with students in the Department of Journalism and Media Communication to create a virtual show, Emerge, featuring 16 student capstone collections ranging from athleisure to lifestyle and streetwear collections to bridal wear inspired by Indian aesthetics.

Faculty and students also continued to engage in learning, teaching, and research that has been recognized for excellence by both University peers and external academic and industry organizations. Check out our DM award winners on SOURCE.

We are excited to announce that the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising is reopening – see the museum hours and visitor information. At the same time, we are sad to share that Heather Short, the Avenir’s visitor services and venue coordinator, is leaving to pursue a new opportunity in CSU’s College of Natural Sciences. Although we will truly miss Heather and the many contributions she has made to the department, we wish her all the best in her new endeavor! We are equally pleased to announce that Fashion FUNdamentals, our STEM camp for middle schoolers, is back this year and will be held June 14-25.

We look forward to August, when we will be able to welcome a new cohort of first-year students as well as our returning students back to campus for in-person learning. We also look forward to reconnecting with our alumni, donors, and friends this fall, and we hope that you will join us for our DM Open House on Homecoming and Family Weekend.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Best wishes to all of you for an enjoyable and memorable summer!

Karen Hyllegard, Department Head

Student Spotlight

Leo Andrade in front of a white background

First-generation apparel and merchandising outstanding grad assists underrepresented students

Leo Andrade’s time at CSU has been dedicated to making a difference for the community. As an outstanding AM graduate, he spent his time getting involved at CSU and working to kick-start his career in the fashion industry.

Meghan Jackson leaning against a tree

Interior architecture and design showcases outstanding grad Meghan Jackson

Meghan Jackson was unanimously nominated as the Outstanding Senior Graduate for IAD in the department of merchandising for her incredibly scholarly research, leadership skills and obtaining a dual-degree with a 3.96 GPA.

Interior design of a lobby area

Interior Architecture and Design students win prestigious industry award two years in a row

Two interior architecture and design students have been recognized by the annual International Interior Design Association Rocky Mountain Chapter BEST awards two years in a row.

Male model wearing jeans and a collar shirt

CSU’s virtual Fashion Show awards unveiled with video, photos

The April 9 premiere of the 2021 CSU Fashion Show, “Emerge,” was a resounding success, with the selection of winners in five categories and over 300 ticket-holders viewing the private screening.

Kate Schmidt outdoor portrait

Doctoral student embodies connectedness of college units

Katelyn Schmidt’s graduate journey offers insight into how diverse units within the College of Health and Human Sciences intersect in unexpected ways.


Screenshot of students in a virtual meeting

Interior architecture and design professor incorporates thoughtful engagement learning opportunities

Maria Delgado, assistant professor, has incorporated  student engagement opportunities that align with her passion for accessible housing design.

Collage of images from India

CSU researchers aim to taper fashion industry’s carbon footprint

Associate Professor Sonali Diddi is leading an interdisciplinary team of CSU researchers to better understand the fashion industry’s carbon footprint.

Maria Delgado

Interior architecture and design engages high school students in eastern Colorado with Sketch-Up technology

Assistant Professor Maria Delgado found a creative engagement opportunity for high school students in Eastern Colorado.


Girls doing an experiment with textiles in a lab

Alumna to lead Fashion FUNdamentals summer program for middle schoolers

Fashion FUNdamentals is a beloved program that has been offered since 2015. This year the department hired a new leader for the program.

Collage of images from India

Avenir Museum reopens with exhibits on African wax prints, mannequins

The Avenir Museum, which was closed for 14 months due to the pandemic, has reopened for in-person visits and recently launched exhibits on African wax prints and mannequins.

Student with the tiny house

Student-led tiny house project lays foundation for affordable housing conversations

CSU students representing eight different majors teamed up to research, design and construct a tiny house on wheels outside the Nancy Richardson Design Center on campus.


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