With another school year drawing to a close, we checked in with some of our graduating students to learn their plans for the future. Some are continuing on to graduate school here at the Wilson College of Textiles, and some are launching their textile careers with companies such as HanesBrands Inc. and The Boeing Company.

Read on to learn more about why they chose to study textiles at NC State, what they loved most about their time here, and what is next for them.

Fashion and Textile Design

Shyann Warren Shyann Warren working with a piece of fabric

Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina

Program: Bachelor of Science, Fashion and Textile Design

Concentration: Textile Design

What drew you to your major?

I always participated in fine arts classes in high school, like film photography and pottery, but didn’t want to take that specific route. Then my art teacher told me about the textile program at NC State; I toured and liked how it mixed both technical and creative aspects. I also enjoyed the idea that the major could take me in a variety of directions such as home furnishings, apparel, technical textiles, etc.

What are your plans following graduation?

Following graduation, I have taken an associate designer position at Valdese Weavers designing jacquard woven fabrics!

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College of Textiles?

I really enjoyed being both a member and then the president of [the student chapter of women’s professional organization] WithIt. I received the WithIt scholarship sophomore year, which granted me the opportunity to go to the annual conference in Charleston, South Carolina. I met some really wonderful women who I still keep in touch with! The conference included some keynote speakers, round table discussions with industry members and other scholarship recipients, and an anniversary gala that was Roaring 20’s themed. It was a very rewarding experience and helped guide me to figuring out that I wanted to design for the home furnishings sector!

 

Fashion and Textile Management

Alexandra “Sophie” Nunno-Gorbachev Photo of FTM grad Sophie Nunno-Gorbachev displaying some of the bras she has used in her undergraduate research

Hometown: Annapolis, Maryland

Program: Bachelor of Science, Fashion and Textile Management

Concentration: Fashion Development and Product Management

What drew you to your major?

I have been interested in fashion my entire life. When looking for colleges, I appreciated the Wilson College of Textiles’ high level approach to the textile industry. We learn about all aspects of fashion, not just the design portion, which allows me to understand the system more holistically.

What are your plans following graduation?

I plan on attending graduate school here at Wilson College of Textiles!

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College of Textiles?

The most rewarding part of my experience at Wilson College of Textiles has likely been my participation in undergraduate research. It has allowed me to study a problem like a puzzle and has been a fun way to apply the skills I have learned in my curriculum.

What achievement are you most proud of?

I am proud of my internship with HanesBrands Inc. that has continued from the summer of 2018 to the present. I really enjoy the projects I’ve worked on and the ability to challenge myself and learn.

Read more about her undergraduate research.

 

Polymer and Color Chemistry

Andrew Hall Photo of PCC grad Andrew Hall

Hometown: Burlington, North Carolina

Program: Bachelor of Science, Polymer and Color Chemistry

What drew you to your major?

The opportunity to learn about chemistry with an applied application, as well as to learn about the opportunity to improve the sustainability of the textile industry.

What are your plans following graduation?

To get my Master of Science in Textile Chemistry at Wilson College of Textiles.

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College of Textiles?

The most rewarding part of my experience at Wilson College of Textiles was connecting with the faculty and my peers. I appreciate how willing the faculty is to offer guidance and how invested they are in their students’ success. I have also enjoyed working with and getting to know my peers, knowing that I will probably be working with them in the future in the textile industry.

 

Textile Engineering

Caleb Gellert Photo of TE grad Caleb Gellert

Hometown: Southern Pines, North Carolina

Program: Bachelor of Science, Textile Engineering

Concentration: Product Engineering

Other degree: B.S. Economics, Poole College of Management

What drew you to your major?

Originally, I matriculated into the Aerospace Engineering program at NC State. After working an internship with the Boeing company in St. Louis, I realized that the narrow scope of many aerospace projects was something that did not appeal to me. Returning to NC State the fall after my internship, I began exploring other majors and ended up at an open house for the Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science department’s Senior Design capstone course. Listening to the impact the projects had on industry — and the world — I became very interested in the Textile Engineering program. The Change of Degree Application (CODA) deadline was approaching rapidly, and I had narrowed down my decision to Industrial Engineering and Textile Engineering. The tie breaker between the two programs was the faculty I had connected to as I learned more about the Wilson College of Textiles. Their experiences and enthusiasm about the courses uniquely offered in the College (Lean Six Sigma, a wide array of computer modelling courses, etc.), made the decision to choose Textile Engineering crystal clear.

I am happy to say everything that made Textile Engineering look like a great program lived up to, and even exceeded, my expectations.

What are your plans following graduation?

I will report to the greater D.C. area to be a systems engineer with The Boeing Company.

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College?

The teamwork skills developed, and regularly practiced, in my small cohort have been incredibly valuable both in my personal and professional life. Throughout my undergraduate career, various projects in the Wilson College of Textiles have made teamwork absolutely necessary.  

What achievement are you most proud of?

Hands down, my team’s research within the TECS Senior Design program. Sponsored by The North Face, our project assignment was to mitigate micro plastic emission from fleece materials in laundering. We built a strong team, motivated to make a sustainable impact on the apparel industry. We were outrageously successful in the mission…the prototype fabrics we developed have a 70% lower micro plastic emission compared to industry competitor fleece products. As the semester ends, our team remains committed to developing economical strategies to completely eliminate micro plastic emissions from fleece. We are not doing this to get a better project grade, we are doing it because it is the responsible thing to do for the planet. None of the success we have had would be possible without a strong team relationship, the support of the Wilson College of Textiles or support from our project sponsor, The North Face.

   

Textile Technology

Amor M. Camatcho Photo of TT grad Amor Camatcho

Hometown: Huntersville, North Carolina

Program: Bachelor of Science, Textile Technology

Concentration: Supply Chain Operations Management

What drew you to your major?

I liked how the small the Textile Technology program is, where my classmates and professors could really get to know me within a larger university, as well as the ability to learn hands-on and see different aspects of textiles interact with such a wide variety of other industries.

What are your plans following graduation?

I will be moving to the Washington, D.C. area to start my career as a business technology analyst with Deloitte in their consulting practice.

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College of Textiles?

I think that the most rewarding experience here at the Wilson College of Textiles has been working on my Senior Design project. This project has given me the opportunity to meet and work with so many people, from peers both in my major and the Textile Engineering program to professionals within different industries and academia. Additionally, this project has been meaningful as it has given me the opportunity to be published in a journal and be included on a patent filing that will provoke further research. [It has] been extremely rewarding to see my project go from an idea through the several stages of iterations, using the knowledge we’ve learned over the previous three years, while also seeing my classmates and I develop further as career oriented individuals.

What achievement are you most proud of?

My collegiate career’s achievement that I am most proud of would be being a founder and member of the board of executives for the APICS Student Chapter at NC State, where my teammates and I won the APICS Triangle Chapter‘s Supply Chain Case Competition. We were able to use our academic backgrounds and industry experience to give a presentation that beat two teams from the Duke Masters of Engineering Management Program. Our team was awarded scholarships as well as countless network opportunities within the community and hopefully will have laid the groundwork for future NC State students to have similar opportunities.

 

Master of Textiles

Mario Hernandez Photo of MT grad Mario Hernandez

Home Country: El Salvador

Program: Master of Textiles, Textile Technology

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College of Textiles?

One of the most rewarding parts of my experience at Wilson College of Textiles is the wonderful people I got to meet, from excellent mentors to future colleagues in the textiles industry. I think meeting people is one of the most rewarding experiences there is, because this is how you learn to analyze life through different perspectives. Each individual person shares with you their essence and experiences that increase your knowledge and stimulates your creativity on how to approach life.

What are your plans following graduation?

My plan after graduation is to continue with my studies as a Ph.D. candidate at the Wilson College of Textiles. My career goals are to develop and grow as a professional and person with integrity as my base quality.

 

Master of Science in Textiles

Lilah Halbkat Photo of MST grad Lilah Halbkat

Hometown: Tryon, North Carolina

Program: Master of Science in Textiles

Previous Degree: B.S. Fashion and Textile Management, with a concentration in Brand Management and Marketing (Wilson College of Textiles)

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College of Textiles? I have had so many meaningful memories here! The most rewarding was working on my research team for the past two years under my mentor, [Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management (TATM) assistant professor] Andre West. I have had the opportunity to present in Las Vegas at the MAGIC Trade Show and at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. It’s amazing how global the textile industry is, and the Wilson College of Textiles does a great job of connecting students to their global textile network.

Tell us about your research.

My research group founded a knitted mosquito-resistant fabric used for the prevention of mosquito-borne illness. I had the opportunity to be involved with every aspect of the project including initial product development, sourcing/manufacturing, and final marketing/promotion.

What are your plans following graduation?

I will be joining the purchasing team at Trimaco in the Raleigh/Research Triangle Park area as a Project Coordinator.

 

Master of Science in Textile Chemistry

Hannah KolellPhoto of MS TC grad Hannah Kolell

Hometown: Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

Program: Master of Science in Textile Chemistry

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College of Textiles?

I have most appreciated the knowledgeable and passionate professors and fellow graduate students who I have learned so much from and been able to form such rewarding personal and professional relationships with. I have so fully enjoyed the company and mentorship from such an intelligent community of people with a similarly focused interest.

Tell us about your research.

My research involved the synthesis of ultra hydrophobic disperse dyes and the application of polymeric dyes for the coloration of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene medical sutures.

What are your plans following graduation?

After graduation, I will begin working as a process improvement engineer in the dyeing and coloration process for JB Martin, which is a velvet manufacturing company based outside of Columbia, South Carolina. I hope to continue in the textile field in areas of product development especially in the dyes and finishings arena.

 

Master of Science in Textile Engineering

Matthew Iezzi Photo of MS TE grad Matt Iezzi

Hometown: Gastonia, North Carolina

Program: Accelerated Bachelor’s Master’s program (ABM), with a Bachelor of Science in Textile Technology and a Master of Science in Textile Engineering

Tell us about your research.

As part of the non-thesis master’s track, I opted for two independent studies projects in place of a thesis. My first project dealt with research on new fabric development for a sportswear manufacturer in Thailand, with whom I interned for a few months. My second project was a continuation of my Senior Design project, helping to develop a strategy for the increased circulation of bio-based and biodegradable fibers for textile applications, working with Kaneka Corporation.

What are your plans following graduation? What are your career goals?

My career goals have been shaped by exposure to the industry at home in North Carolina and abroad. There are a lot of unanswered questions for the future of the textile industry in terms of what raw materials we will be using in the future and their sustainability, and I hope to be a part of finding solutions for responsibly meeting material demands for a growing population.

After graduation, I will join a startup in California developing alternative fibers for the textile industry.

Read more about Matthew Iezzi’s experience studying abroad in Hong Kong.

 

Doctor of Philosophy in Textile Technology Management

Rejaul Hasan Photo of Rejaul Hasan, TTM grad

Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Program: Ph.D. in Textile Technology Management

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College of Textiles?

I enjoyed the excellent mentoring from the great faculty of the Wilson College of Textiles [as well as] the freedom to choose my research area and every single opportunity to augment it. Unique to Wilson College of Textiles is our brand recognition, credibility and reach to the global textile and apparel industry, which helped me to build my academic and industry network much easier and a lot faster than I could ever do in any other textile school on Earth.

Tell us about your research.

Responsible global sourcing is more important than ever because of the emergence of the conscious consumer demography and strong social media [pressure, as well as] some recent industrial disasters like the Rana Plaza [collapse]. And it is more important for the global apparel industry, as it involves the distant supply base in [low cost of production countries], where worker rights abuse is more likely to happen. My research was designed to identify the cost of responsible apparel production and then to capture the stakeholder response towards adopting such an approach. We had some incredible findings in our research that can enable the global apparel industry stakeholders to make better decisions in building a responsible apparel industry worldwide.  

What are your plans following graduation?

I used to enjoy working with industry. I worked around five years for Decathlon, a $12 billion sporting goods company, before joining my Ph.D. program. And now I joined the VF Corporation Global Supply Chain Assurance team here at their Greensboro world headquarters. But the Wilson College of Textiles Ph.D. program built my research capabilities, gave me an edge and generated my enormous research interest. So, going ahead I will definitely keep a strong grip on my research arm even as I am inside the industry, and I am certain I will be able to add value to both. And of course I am [thinking about how I can] help the industry to build a more responsible supply chain.

Read more about Hasan’s work toward a safer, more sustainable apparel industry

 

Doctor of Philosophy in Fiber and Polymer Science

Emily Lichtenberger Emily Lichtenberger photo

Originally from: Michigan, but is a longtime resident of North Carolina

Program: Ph.D. in Fiber and Polymer Science

Other Degree: B.S. in Polymer and Color Chemistry, concentration in Science and Operations

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience at Wilson College of Textiles?

The most rewarding part of my experience at Wilson College was working part time in the forensics and Analytical Services Laboratory, where I had the opportunity to train students on the various instruments and help them with their analyses. This position provided me with an example of the work I most wanted to be a part of in my career.

Tell us about your research.

My research focused on improving multiple drug analysis using microfluidics and mass spectrometry. I investigated how commercial swabs and their materials affect the retention/extraction of various drugs of abuse using a novel microfluidic extraction device.

What are your plans following graduation? What are your career goals?

I have started a senior scientist position in Analytical Services at LORD Corporation in Cary, NC. I am in charge of the chromatography and spectroscopy analysis completed here in Cary, providing analytical support for the chemical research and development teams and the products they create.

 

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Written by Cameron Walker