Meet the students on Team Avenir!

Story by Megan Osborne

The realization of a generous bequest from longtime Avenir Museum supporter Edith Wartburg is making it possible for two undergraduate students to join the museum team as work-study-employees during Spring semester 2020.  In their own words, please meet Miles Harrison and Ashley Stem – two of the first three students hired with Wartburg funding – and then read the adjacent feature in this newsletter, to discover the unique objects they are making for the preservation of the Avenir Museum’s historic apparel collection (hint: they are sewing hundreds and hundreds of these objects!).

Miles Harrison

Undergraduate Student, Miles Harrison working on the hanger project
Student Miles Harrison working on the hanger project.

I am from Denver, Colorado, and I chose this major to pursue a career in sustainable fashion design. I have always had a deep passion for conserving the environment. While taking environmental classes throughout high school, learning about pollution from different industries, I was motivated to work towards solving the waste from the fashion industry in a creative new way. I hope to open up my own sustainable streetwear clothing brand someday and create clothes that change the industry. 

What I enjoy the most about working at the Avenir Museum is having the opportunity to be a part of the Design and Merchandising department on campus. Getting to meet the designers behind the exhibits, and having experiences with people from the fashion industry, is what I am most thankful for. I appreciate the Avenir for giving me a chance to be a part of their team.  

Undergraduate Student, Ashley Stem sewing on labels.
Student Ashley Stem hand-sewing identification labels onto a newly received artifact.

Ashley Stem

I am from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and I am mainly interested in learning more about design and how it may apply in my career. I chose to major in Design and Merchandising because I love sketching designs and creating new ideas.

I love working at the Avenir because I have the opportunity to learn every step of the way and work with the most kind-hearted people.

In Fall 2019, Miles and Ashley were joined on the sewing production line by Dance major Sierra La Rue, who contributed to their joint impressive manufacturing tally; Sierra elected to work elsewhere on campus for Spring 2020.


About Edith Wartburg

The late Edith Wartburg (1921-2017) was a teacher, traveler, and lover of textiles.  Her appreciation of textiles’ ability to connect people across time and cultures led to her creation of the fund to employ students in meaningful ways at the Avenir Museum.  We are so grateful! And we plan to keep Ashley and Miles (and their successors) busy for quite some time…!

The Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising is in the Department of Design and Merchandising, part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.