The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, offers students many research opportunities. In the Fashion Merchandising and Design Program, Dr. Smith-Glaviana has been producing research and assisting students in research since 2019. Her interest in this field of research stems from investigation of modes of 3D printing of textiles, Japanese wabi-sabi in fashion design, social media research on body positivity and consumption during the pandemic, and historical research. In her classes, students create abstracts for ITAA, Annual International Textile and Apparel Association conventions. This past October, she had two undergraduate students conduct artifact analysis of about 375 artifacts, draw connections between categories of artifacts, and help develop the findings of the research and write the abstract. Dr. Smith-Glaviana currently has two students developing two curatorial scholarship abstracts, which are write-ups of two fashion exhibitions, one of which she co-curated and the other to which she contributed to.
A typical research process in the Fashion Merchandising and Design Program starts with a student expressing their interest in working with Dr. Smith-Glaviana. From there, Dr. Smith-Glaviana tells them about the projects she has going on at the current moment and then has them select the ones that resonate the most with them personally and appeal to their interests and fit their skill level. Dr. Smith-Glaviana feels as though students are better engaged in the subject matter due to the fact that they are considered leaders on the project and the success of the project hinges on students’ contributions. She believes that through the projects, students develop deeper and much more specialized knowledge in areas that they have become familiar with through their coursework. Furthermore, by participating in this research, students gain enhanced writing, editing, communication, and critical thinking skills.
When asked what she is most excited for about the future of the program, Dr. Smith-Glaviana replied that “The future is bright! We are undergoing changes that will better prepare our students for the work force and provide more hands-on, engaging experiences while completing their studies.” Students can get involved in the Fashion Merchandising and Design Program by becoming a major or taking pathways courses that the program offers. Students can reach out to Dr. Smith-Glaviana if they are interested in independent studies or undergraduate research courses involving the study or exhibition of historical artifacts and/or historic collection management/museum studies.