Professor, 1990 – 2012
Design and Merchandising at Colorado State University
Since the Legacies Project debuted in 2012, the College of Health and Human Sciences has featured the extraordinary stories of 25 emeriti and retiree faculty and staff members. These histories have painted a vibrant picture of the history of our College and have reconnected alumni to the people who made their Colorado State University experience so special. This year, the college is excited to expand the Legacies Project to include the stories of former faculty and staff members, who have gone on to share their talents across the country. Our inaugural former faculty honoree is Eulanda Sanders, Ph.D. (B.S. apparel and merchandising, ’90; MA design, merchandising and consumer sciences, ’94), beloved design and merchandising professor and CSU alumna. Now at Iowa State University, another land grant institution, Sanders has continued her many research projects and remains connected to former colleagues.
“I’ve been following the Legacies Project for years, because I had close relationships with many of the faculty members featured. I enjoyed watching their videos and learning more about their personal stories,” shares Sanders. “It has been a humbling experience to be featured this year. I feel like I grew up at CSU and I am truly honored.”
Family and Education
After receiving an admissions brochure from Department Chair George Morgan in her early teens, Sanders dreamed of a career in fashion design and of one day attending CSU, home to the only apparel design program in the state at the time. Sanders grew up in Lamar, Colorado in a family with a deep appreciation for land grant institutions. Her father worked with the USDA Farm Service Agency and was involved in CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences for many years. Her mother was a talented 4-H leader, quilter, and seamstress.
Sanders began her academic career at Lamar Community College before finishing her undergraduate years at CSU. At the end of her senior year, Sanders returned from an internship at Union Bay in Seattle to attend graduate school at CSU, where she became the faculty adviser for the DM student fashion show and worked as an instructor. After earning her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she returned to CSU as a full-time faculty member.
Research and Creative Scholarship
Sanders was inspired to teach through the support of her many passionate mentors including her parents, former CHHS dean, Nancy Hartley, former design and merchandising department heads, George Morgan, Antigone Kotsiopulos, Kevin Oltjenbruns, and Mary Littrell, as well as faculty member, Linda Carlson.
“Taylor Swift has her girl squad, but I have an amazing mentor squad,” laughs Sanders. “I had good people looking out for me – I still have them all on speed dial!”
During her time on the faculty at CSU, Sanders focused her multidisciplinary research on symbolic meanings of African American appearance and material culture products, as explored in her study of African American apparel portrayed in slave narratives and its deeper meaning in a cultural context. Inspired by her family’s agricultural past, Sanders’ latest research is focused on George Washington Carver, whose career in agricultural sciences greatly inspired her father. Interestingly, Carver, best known for his agriculture research on peanuts and sweet potatoes, was also a talented painter of botanical scenes, crocheted, and even researched natural fabric dyes.
Sanders has also continued the creative scholarship she began at CSU including a sustainability project that utilizes recycled metal pieces from jean production to make wearable art, as well as using chaos theory as a foundation for her work with salted wool fibers. As the Donna R. Danielson Professor in Textiles and Clothing at Iowa State, she has established the Sanders’ Design Research Group, in which she collaborates with undergraduate and graduate students on apparel and textile technology based design research.
Eulanda A. Sanders Student Award
Inspired by her passion for creative scholarship, Sanders recently established the Eulanda A. Sanders Student Award to support young design students competing in national and international juried exhibitions of their own design work.
“The hope is that the Eulanda A. Sanders Student Award will inspire and support Apparel and Merchandising students to not only engage in design research and creative scholarship, but to also share the tangible outcomes of this research in national juried exhibitions,” says Sanders.
To support the Eulanda A. Sanders Student Award in honor of Sanders’ exceptional career at CSU, Sander’s online giving page.
What is Eulanda doing today?
Eulanda is currently the Donna R. Danielson Professor in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design at Iowa State University. She has led the development of Iowa State’s apparel design and product development programs while mentoring tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty in apparel design and product development. Eulanda is also the Design Director of Yo-San Studio, LLC., an online store that features wearable art accessories.