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Design and Merchandising Featured Programs and Projects

Our commitment to community is exhibited through engaging service-learning opportunities led by faculty and students.

Assistant Professor Maria Delgado, has taught 3D modeling to junior high and high school students for five years. In the midst of the pandemic, she expanded her reach by moving the course online and engaging even more students with Sketch-Up technology.

Sonali Diddi, associate professor, leads an interdisciplinary team from many fields at CSU to track the social and environmental impacts of the fashion lifecycle. The team investigates biogeochemistry and material flows, carbon accounting, business ethics, logistics, e-commerce, and environmental economics.

Assistant Professor Leah Scholere provided Interior Architecture and Design students the opportunity to gain real-world experience by working with the Early Childhood Center’s parents and staff to create design-focused solutions for the center’s new space.

Sonali Diddi, associate professor, is an inaugural fellow in President McConnell’s Leadership Fellows program. Professor Diddi will continue her work in community development under Blake Naughton, Vice President for Engagement and Extension, who serves as her mentor.

Local middle school students spend two weeks during the summer applying STEM concepts to designing and developing original fashion items. Through technical programming, students learn about textile science, merchandising math, apparel construction and engineering, computer-aided textile design, retail store design, and historic costume and textiles. Students also partake in social programming that focuses on building self-esteem and well-being through collaborative learning experiences.

Interior Architecture and Design students engaged in service-learning through a partnership with Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity and a CSU Team Build Day. The partnership afforded a valuable opportunity to “educate students on the need for affordable, accessible housing in Northern Colorado.”

Connecting to the Community

The Department of Design and Merchandising engages with the community through the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, Fashion FUNdamentals, a summer STEM program for middle-school youth, the Nancy Richardson Design Center, and other community projects and programs.

The Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising houses our historic costume and textiles collection. The museum is open to the public with rotating exhibits, and also offers a hands-on laboratory for textile scholars and students.

Fashion FUNdamentals is a two-week, summer program which taps middle-school youths’ interest in fashion to enhance their capabilities and self-esteem in science, technology, engineering, and math.

An interdisciplinary facility on campus, the Nancy Richardson Design Center is a hub for design-thinking entrepreneurship and a magnet for creativity to facilitate meaningful connections among CSU students, faculty, and the community.

Design and Merchandising Community Engagement and Service Learning News