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2021-2022 Wilson College of Textiles Annual Report

July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022

During another year of unprecedented change, the Wilson College of Textiles has come together as a team and family to support our mission. We are especially focused on the success of our undergraduate and graduate students, as well as to support each colleague within the college. 

Wilson College Strategic Plan Implementation

We have made major progress in the past year on a number of key fronts by aligning our actions and resources around our revised strategic plan, which aligns with NC State’s Wolfpack 2030 Powering the Extraordinary Strategic Plan. Our Strategic Plan Implementation incorporates flexibility to adapt to our rapidly changing environment to address both challenges and opportunities.


A compassionate world in which textiles enhance sustainability and quality of life for all


We exist to advance the success of our students, and the textile industry in North Carolina, the U.S. and around the world, through teaching innovation, research excellence, strong partnerships and service.

Core Values

Compassion | Equity | Collaboration | Innovation | Sustainability

Strategic Priorities

  • A hyper-collaborative culture rooted in equality of opportunity for all
  • Sustainability in all of our work
  • Enhance quality of life for all

Fundamental to our success is our culture charter that underpins our strategy. A key aspect of our effective operations the past year has been building new opportunities and mitigating risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Risk Management

The Wilson College family has lived by each of our core values by supporting each other and especially our students. As reported in our last annual report, our staff, faculty and students have generally felt supported throughout the pandemic. Over 75% of staff and faculty reported that they felt they received timely and accurate information and that the college leadership is effective in supporting the college community during times of crisis. 

Expenditure allocations to protect and serve our community have been significant. We are proud to have returned to pre-pandemic in-person education and research programming. 

The Wilson College is profoundly grateful to all who have supported the safety and well-being of our community: the chancellor and provost and the chancellor’s cabinet, and our more than 1,350 donors and friends.

Empower students for a lifetime of success and impact

In FY22, Wilson College graduated 282 undergraduate, 51 master’s and 31 Ph.D. students for a total of 364 students. 

Our career placement program continues to excel. Over 93% of the class of 2022 reported accepting full-time jobs in their chosen fields of study or continuing their education within four to six months of earning their bachelor’s degree. This surpasses the national average of 83%. 

In addition to returning fully to pre-pandemic in-person classes, studios and laboratories, Wilson College advanced a number of new initiatives to support the lifetime success of our students, including:

  • New Community College Partnerships and 2+2 Degree Programs.
    • For the first time in Wilson College history, we established  2+2 degree programs with two community colleges with expertise in textiles and who are at the epicenter of the U.S. textile manufacturing industry in Western North Carolina. 
      • One is at Gaston College with a textiles focused associate degree, culminating in a B.S. in Textile Technology.
      • The other is at Catawba Valley Community College with an associate degree leading to a B.S. in Fashion and Textile Management.
    • Established the first textiles courses with the UNC System articulation agreements with community colleges (TEX 110 and TEX 210).
    • Wilson College, Gaston College and Catawba Valley Community College are collaborating on strengthening collective support for students and the textiles industry in North Carolina and beyond.
  • Wilson for Life: Wilson College has established a new program designed to provide life-long learning and success for all Wilson College alumni, called Wilson for Life. All alumni are eligible for:
    • Discounts for professional education and training offered via Zeis Textiles Extension.
    • Lifetime career services support and mentoring.
    • Alumni and friend networking support via NC State’s Alumni Association “Ask the Pack” program as well as with dozens of informative in-person and virtual events each year.
  • Revitalizing our Study Abroad Program.
    • As we emerge from the travel restrictions of the pandemic, Wilson College is re-establishing and adding new study abroad opportunities for our students, including at Accademia Italiana and Lorenzo de’ Medici.
  • Strengthening our Advising Program.
    • Added an additional professional advisor to support our students.
  • The fashion and textile design program reached maximum enrollment.
  • The Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science established the university’s largest Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.
    • More than 30 undergraduate students participated with approximately 30% being under-represented minority students.

Exemplifying the success of our graduates is ’68 textile technology alumnus Mohammed Mansour, whose business success and global philanthropic impact is renowned throughout the world leading to the university honoring him with a 2022 NC State Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters. Mansour was also this year’s spring commencement speaker. 

Ensure preeminence in research scholarship, innovation and collaboration 

Wilson College continues to be a global driver in research and innovation, helping NC State be in the top 10 for all universities in all metrics regarding innovation. Our research faculty and staff power the translation of creativity and research into positive impacts on our society. Key impacts include:

  • Establishing cost-of-living stipends for graduate students.
    • Wilson College established a minimum annualized stipend of $20,000 (increased from $16,000) for all Wilson College Ph.D. students, with plans to increase to $25,000 annualized by 2025 (which is the current cost of living in Wake County).
  • Extramural grants: the highest extramural grant funding in more than five years.
    • 59 research awards totaling greater than $6.35 million (an increase of 44% over the previous year)
      • 25 federal awards: $3,975,306 (an increase greater than 26%)
      • 20 industry awards: $1,741,877 (an increase greater than 79%)
      • 14 other awards: $638,567 (greater than 129% increase)
    • 91 industry-based testing service agreements and fabrication service agreements, totaling more than $1.8 million.
    • Greater than $75,000 in NC Manufacturing Extension Partnership funds, following a new partnership with the College of Engineering’s IES program.
    • The Textile Protection and Comfort Center generated approximately half of the grant funding, demonstrating its continued impact on research and innovation at NC State.
  • The funded research was a driver in new knowledge generation and transfer, with seven patents awards and greater than 200 peer-reviewed research and scholarship papers, many in high impact journals, and juried exhibits, demonstrating our global leadership in textiles research, scholarship and innovation. 
  • Funded two Wilson College Research Opportunity Seed Fund (ROSF) Projects.
    • Jessica M. Gluck and R. Bryan Ormond, Cytotoxicity evaluation of PFAS exposure related to firefighter protection
    • Sonja Salmon and Lori Rothenberg, High-throughput Textile Composting Test Method
  • Hired four new tenure-track faculty members and three professional track faculty members.
  • More strongly aligning Zeis Textiles Extension laboratories to support students, staff and faculty in their entrepreneurship and creative endeavors, including via:
    • Planning and investing in a new maker space, called the Flex Factory, with greater than $500,000 in purchased and donated state-of-the-art equipment.

Expand and advance our engagement with and service to North Carolina and beyond, defining the standard for a 21st-century land-grant university 

The Wilson College is passionate about powering a new standard and approach for NC State to emerge as the premier 21st century land-grant university. All departments and units within the Wilson College contribute substantially to our land-grant mission. Our focus is driving sustainable economic development and prosperity for North Carolina and the nation by catalyzing the resurgent U.S. textiles industry with diverse talent, relevant education and training, and transformative research, innovation and engagement. 

A new Zeis Textiles Extension Business Strategy

Our Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE) is a primary interface for land-grant activities that include professional education and training, non-research testing and fabrication services and industry partnerships, including organizing and hosting conferences, symposia and networking events. 

To address business operations challenges and new opportunities due to the pandemic, ZTE has developed a new business strategy.The new principle goal for the extension is developing and submitting large collaborative proposals for extension-focused grants with state and federal agencies and select industry partners in order to strengthen Made in USA strategies. 

ZTE’s new strategy builds open its existing its tradition of training,fabrication and testing services by:

  • Joining the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).
  • Developing large scale workforce development programs.
  • Designing a major renovation for a maker space we are calling the Wilson College Flex Factory. 
  • Innovating military and first responder garments in collaboration with the Textile Protection and Comfort Center.
  • Focusing research and innovation on sustainable textiles new programming for our industry clients with four funded SBIR/STTR programs.

Evidence of this new strategy’s success includes::

  • ZTE’s current grants (both those led by ZTE employees and those led by external partners) have total budgets of $15.7M, leading to grant revenues of $1.3M for ZTE expenditures in FY22. 
  • ZTE total revenues for FY22 were $2.1M, establishing a ratio of non-state to state funds of 3.5:1, a 52% increase over FY21. 
    • $75,000 of this new revenue comes from joining the MEP.
  • ZTE continues to provide no-cost support to Wilson College’s undergraduate and graduate academic laboratory and studio programs, with an approximate labor and supplies cost of over $300,000.

The impact of these revenues supports other the university strategic plan goals, including significant salary support for multiple undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students and their professional development.

The new strategy embraces the college’s culture of hyper-collaboration as many of these programs are interdepartmental or intercollegiate. Most recently, an international collaboration was established with a university in Honduras, UNITEC, as well as textile industry partners with operations in Central America. The latter lays the groundwork for new major new revenues for ZTE, the college and university. 

Champion a culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and well-being in all we do 

The Wilson College Culture Charter motivates us to find new ways to  deconstruct inequities and strengthen diversity, inclusion and feelings of belonging and well-being within our community. While we have much work to do, we have the highest number of under-represented minority students in our history and we are majority female at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and our faculty are majority female. 

Other points of pride in this area include:

  • Receiving the 2022 Eastman Chemical Safety Award.
  • Rebranding all onboarding materials for employees and graduate students with WolfPack Wellness.
  • Establishing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Professional Development Grants via fundraising through Day of Giving.
  • Celebrating our colleagues through the Wilson College Staff Merit Award and On-the-Spot Awards. 
  • Supporting students from diverse backgrounds via the Textile Pioneer Scholarship Program – a need-based scholarship for students from rural North Carolina’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties – and other scholarships with students for students
  • Intentionally prioritizing diversity of membership within the North Carolina Textile Foundation Board.
  • Continuing the Something to Chew On lunch and learn series and monthly DEI newsletter.
  • Introducing a module in PCC 201 on environmental and racial justice, taught by Dr. Bryan Ormond. 

Improve university effectiveness through transformative technologies, cutting-edge processes and actionable data 

  • Upgraded six conference rooms and our Convocation Center to sustain hybrid work options.

Lead in developing innovative partnerships, entrepreneurial thinking and applied problem-solving

Wilson College continues to build new partnerships that support the North Carolina and U.S. textiles industry, including:

  • Zeis Textiles Extension and the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (TPACC) partnered with NC State’s Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) to assist in the fulfillment of the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s (NCMEP) mission to promote business growth and connect manufacturers to public and private resources essential for increased competitiveness and profitability.

We are in the planning stage of renovating our first comprehensive maker space, called the Wilson College Flex Factory, that will complement maker spaces across NC State. 

ZTE’s recent investments in new technologies for flexible, advanced manufacturing and sustainability, and projects to procure, analyze and share data are listed below:

  • Creating the Flex Factory: a cutting-edge space with open access for the entire Textiles community and external partners.
  • Creating a new model for training and workforce development through Credly partnership and micro-credentialing.
  • Laying the groundwork for development of specialized courses in sustainability and other emerging areas of interest.
  • Remodeling of the Textile Connect Database for accurate sourcing and textile employment data.

Elevate the national and global reputation and visibility of NC State

The Wilson College of Textiles is recognized as the preeminent textile education and research institution. We elevate both our reputation and the reputation of NC State in the publications, events, media mentions and more. Key impacts include: 

  • Establishing a new annual conference, Evolving Textiles, to advance the development of sustainable textiles. More than 280 attendees. 
  • Holding 13 virtual town halls and in-person events with over 650 alumni and friends in attendance.
  • Achieving a record of monthly users on college website: 22,000.

Publishing a total of 179 news articles on our website.

Instructional program advances

As part of our strategic emphasis on sustainability, and our Culture Charter, we are formally incorporating sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion components into all of our degree programs. We also launched our first dual degree program with a master’s in textiles with Zhejiang Sci Tech University.

Faculty and staff honors, awards and recognition

Each year, the staff and faculty of Wilson College earn many local, national, and international awards and recognitions. Select honors and awards include:

  • Pamela McCauley was inducted into the 2022 class of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
  • Kate Nartker was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar fellowship to conduct research and teaching at HDK–Valand in Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Blan Godfrey received the International Academy of Quality, Marcos Bertin Quality in Governance Medal.
  • Jeff Joines won the JR Wilson Winter Simulation Conference Board of Directors Award.
  • Heather Lyerly was awarded the Excellence in Advising – Advising Administrator Award for NACADA Region 3. 
  • Jeff Joines was selected as an Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate Fellow 
  • Alan Tonelli was nominated for the 2022 ACS Paul J. Flory Polymer Education Award.
  • Janie Woodbridge received an award for most engaging presentation at the SOTL Institute Semester Kick-off Meeting.
  • Bryson Keen won an NC State Award for Excellence.
  • Amanda Padbury won an NC State Award for Excellence.
  • Delisia Matthews and co-authors won a Paper of Distinction Award for their presentation, “Wearing Social Justice: An Identity Theory Perspective of Black Lives Matter Apparel Among Non-Black Consumers,” at the ITAA Conference.
  • Lenovo interviewed Delisia Matthews during a live webinar during Black History Month. Delisia discussed the Data Trade Gateway grant (a partnership between Matthews, Lenovo and Lori Rothenberg) and its partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and minority-owned businesses.
  • Jessica Gluck won  3rd place in the Biomaterials Education Challenge. 
  • Ellie Jin and co-authors won the Paper of Distinction Award for their paper, “Consumer religiosity, cosmopolitanism and ethnocentrism in Indonesia: Their impact on global brand preference and purchase intention toward Korean cosmetics” at the annual conference of the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA).
  • Ellie Jin and co-authors won the Best Paper Award for their paper, “Asymmetrical cross-brand spillover effects based on csr-related publicity types and reference brand dominance levels” at the Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles in Seoul, Korea.

Student honors, measures of quality and student activities

Our students win scores of awards each year. Select honors include:

  • Milon Hossain, AATCC Student Paper Competition, 1st Place, under the direction of Phillip Bradford.
  • Ava Armstrong received the 2022 Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF).
  • Hamid Hamedi was the lead author of the second most cited paper in the Carbohydrate Polymer journal (impact factor 9.3) among more than 4,000 published papers, under the direction of Al Tonelli and Martin King.
  • Evanna Edward received a Rising Star Scholarship ($1,000) from National Retail Federation (NRF) Student program.
  • Kori Hyer, 2020 FTD-FD graduate; PCA Vision awards finalist for her “Avalanche Rescue Team” jacket.
  • Arash Kasebi, Best Presentation at the National Firefighter Cancer Symposium, under the direction of Bryan Ormond.

Private fundraising successes

The Wilson College and the North Carolina Textile Foundation continue to excel in receiving annual giving and endowment support as part of the college’s strategy to raise non-state funds to enable extraordinary impact and opportunities for current and future students. Key achievements and impacts include:

  • A record number of donations (1350) producing $4,741,944 in gift commitments for this fiscal year.
  • 100% NC Textile Foundation Board donor support for Day of Giving.

We ended the NC State Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign in December 2021 with a truly extraordinary and transformational impact on Wilson College. Points of pride from this campaign include:

  • Raising $65 million (250% higher than our target of $26 million) from over 3,200 donors.
  • Becoming the second named college at NC State thanks to the extraordinary generosity of  Fred E. Wilson and his family.
  • Adding of two distinguished professorships.
  • Awarding more than 900 scholarships.
  • Establishing the Wilson College’s first need-based scholarship, with greater than $6 million raised to date towards that scholarship program.
  • Growing the college’s endowment from $41.5 million to over $85 million. 
  • Establishing of the Dean’s Young Alumni Leadership Council, which currently has 30 members.

Recommendations and concerns for the future

The biggest challenges in the immediate future include:

  • Staff and faculty salaries that are competitive for recruitment and retention.
  • Funding competitive start-up funds for recruiting world-class research-active faculty.
  • Building and maintaining competitive graduate student stipends.
  • Providing need-based scholarships and support to recruit students from rural and underresourced communities.