Latest Work

Textile Society of America New Professional/Student Award

The Textile Society of America has had a special place in my heart since I presented at their conference in 2018. It was my first conference presentation, my first time in Canada, and I made my first ‘conference buddy’ Jenn, who I got to see again in London. In 2018 Jenn was the recipient of the TSA Professional/Student Award, and I am stoked to be following in her footsteps as one of the recipients for 2020. I hope to receive the award in person in Boston this Fall. Only time will tell!

Symposium 2020 and COVID-19


K-State Alumni Graduate Student Award for Leadership and Service

I am extremely honored to be the 2020 recipient of the K-State Alumni Graduate Student Award for Leadership and Service. The little apple makes you want to work for your community. I am lucky to be a part of the K-State family and to have opportunity to have served as a student leader as president of the Graduate Student Council.

I am particularly proud of the increase in representation within the GSC during my presidency. From the start of this position I strived to find what others were passionate about and worked to give them a voice on key issues. From the nomination form:

“[Emily] increased the number of graduate students engaged in providing input to the Executive Committee by expanding the number of student representatives to enhance diversity and inclusion. For example, new positions on the Student Affairs Committee were added for Parent/Guardian Relations, Diversity Advocacy, Veterans Affairs, LGBTQA and Advocacy, and Housing. As president she served as co-chair of the Strategic Enrollment Management Student Advisory Committee to represent the graduate student voices.”

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 5.37.11 PM Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 5.37.11 PM

Many, many facebook lives were held to connect with my fellow students. The GSC even ‘trended’ in Kansas twice.


Orbita Language School

I took Spanish lessons at Orbita 3.5 years ago, after it was suggested that I should consider doing my research in Guatemala. My experience in San Pedro La Laguna showed me what my dissertation could become, if I could get at least some Spanglish down.

I was finally able to return in March for data collection. My 5 week trip was cut to 1 week. It is safe to say I didn’t get a lot of data collected, and I won’t graduate by December. However, I met a handful of amazing people on this trip who changed my dissertation for the better. I cannot wait to see them, in person, again.

I wish I didn’t have to leave Guatemala so soon, or go through the Miami airport on the day the borders were closing. I returned to the US likely acquiring COVID in travel and slept the rest of March and most of April. I’ve been ‘awake’ for two weeks now and there is certainly a lot of problems that need creative solutions.

Good things and good health come to those who wait. For now, I’ll start by taking lessons online.


2nd Annual LFGI Event

In October 2019 the 2nd LFGI event was help on the K-State Campus. Nearly 40 attendees learned about the project, and listened to Dr. Sherry Haar and Kelsie Doty speak on natural dyes. All attendees got their own visible mending kits which included sashimi thread and needles, coconut buttons, and instructions.

Renaissance to Present Day

IMG_1802Addie, Lauren, & Claire touring the costume collection with Marla Day.

When someone says ‘It takes a village’ they may be talking about teaching Fashion History from the Renaissance until present day for the first time. Taking on this course, which is also the department’s core writing course, was exhausting and rewarding.

Step 1 – I contacted my mentors Abby Lillethun, Linda Welters, and Margaret Ordonez. Abby shared advance copies of their research, made sure I knew the latest teaching trends in history, and gave the best advice – which was to start the class with an overview of ethnocentrism. Dr. O kindly sent me files, advice, and answered lots of questions throughout my semester. (I had no idea that she started the historic collection here at K-State!)

Step 2 – I reflect on my personal knowledge and my personal bookshelf. I’ve been teaching for over 6 years at the college level, and have been obsessed with fashion since I was 8. I have a lot of books. From my own experience, I started the class with a review of the pillars of culture, as presented by Either and Evenson. This gave me a format, that I applied to each history period as I moved forward. I’ve only formally taken 20th Century Fashion, so I had a lot to learn along with my students. For every period I didn’t know I went through our interlibrary loan to gather sources upon sources.

Step 3 – In person resources are so valuable! It never made sense to me why teachers don’t tap into the skills of others at a university. Marla Day, our costume collection curator, was an invaluable resource. She gave guest lectures, employed interested students in the collection, introduced me to the teaching collection, and offered a lot perspective throughout the semester. Ellen and Tom became our course librarians. They stepped in on on research days, writing days, and when I had a death in the family. They even reached out to students, who I knew were stuck to offer extra guidance. The writing center introduced the class to the world of annotated bibliographies – not a fan favorite, but absolutely a mission critical assignment.

Step 4 – Fashion history requires a lot of images. When I build a lecture I look for high quality resolutions and accurate citations. If you don’t use Google Arts and Culture, why aren’t you? It connects you to collections from thousands of museums across the world.

In summary, this class took over my life. I couldn’t tell you how much progress was really made on my dissertation during the Fall 2019 semester. I can tell you that I have a new found passion for history, and the utmost appreciation for my colloquies.



Science on Tap: [Image]ing Impact


Science on Tap is a regular event held at the Tallgrass Taphouse in Manhattan, KS. It is a great opportunity for graduate students and faculty to share their work and a fun time for the community who get to grab a local beer and learn something new.

Science Communication Week is an annual event at K-State and other partner universities. For SciCom Week I was invited to present a little about my research area. For this evening, titled [Imagine]ing Impact, I walked participants through the ‘3 Ps’: People, Planet, Profit, and my personal 4th ‘P’. Participants shared stories about their clothing, what they knew about who made it, where it was made, and its environmental impact for 3 hours! It was a great experience and I’m thankful to Sunset Zoo for the opportunity to share my passion. I’m also thankful to my student, Gigi, who acted as my personal ‘Vana White’ and helped showcase my photos.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My photos on display to help create dialogue.


River Blue at Sunset Zoo

Screening of River Blue

On one of the lovely evenings in the Kansas Fall a group of students, community members, and zoo supports gathered at Sunset Zoo for the showing of River Blue on the outdoor big screen. River Blue is a documentary that shares the impact of the fashion industry processes on rivers around the globe. I had the pleasure of introducing the film and answering the public’s questions at the conclusion.

Natural Dye from Day 1


Thanks to the K-State Green Action Fund the LFGI project continued into its second year with a new group apparel production and design specialization students in Dr. Sherry Harr’s AT300 course. Madder root, cochineal, titanium oxide, and logwood came to life on hand-woven cotton made by the weavers in Choa Cruz, Solola, Guatemala. The outcomes from this year’s group will go up for auction in 2020. All funds will return to the project, which includes sustaining our relationship with our weavers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Fashion in Sustainability, Regents X ITAA

New Design Software

At the end of July 2019 I went back to my favorite city for the Fashion in Sustainability conference at Regents University London. At this event I presented two posters and held a discussion on sustainable design. I was also able to listen and meet up with fellow LCF MAFE alumnae and lecturers. Other highlights included seeing the new Design Museum (above) and the Colliding Cultures exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. The IWM is always my favorite visit and never fails to leave me with lots of fashion/sustainability inspiration. It is never not worth the visit to Zone 3.

Much love to my original co-panelist Karl Aspelund and Natsai Audrey Chieza who were unable to attend due to family matters.  I am very thankful to the group who attended my session, ‘What can we learn from Mars?’ who made it amazing experience.