By Kate Mulder ’21
The Wilson College of Textiles offers students many opportunities to engage in clubs and organizations to pursue their passions while enhancing critical leadership skills. Senior Kate Mulder ’21 has made the most of her student experience balancing academics with extracurricular activities and service. She is majoring in fashion and textile management with a concentration in brand management and marketing and minoring in business administration and entrepreneurship. Mulder also is vice president of theTompkins Textile Student Council (TTSC), which she joined to “get involved in the Wilson community as a student to be able to voice my and my peers’ opinions to create opportunities as a whole.” As part of a series, she takes a closer look at how Wilson students can engage with their college.
What is Tompkins Textile Student Council?
Tompkins Textile Student Council, also known as TTSC, is the main governing body over all Wilson College of Textiles student organizations. Student leaders strive to bring passion and innovation into the college as leaders, trendsetters and motivators while serving on TTSC. These student leaders are taking the initiative to connect their peers during this virtual era and create a sense of community for all students. While the council consists of an executive board, class representatives and student organization representatives, all Wilson College students are not only welcome but encouraged to attend all meetings and events.
The TTSC plans and promotes student-related activities and events within Wilson College such as an annual t-shirt design contest, blood drives, new student cookouts, a career fair and other philanthropic events. These student leaders also sit on several Dean’s committees within the college to represent the undergraduate student body.
No doubt, this semester looks a little different. We are off campus and all online yet still need and want to find a way to stay connected and be One Pack. Though meetings used to be held at the Wilson College of Textiles campus, it is now easier for students to simply join our biweekly meetings via Zoom.
The executive board is currently identifying innovative ways to engage students virtually and still make Wilson College feel like home while being online. The goal is to create ways to connect students with peers they may not know through career and professional development workshops, diversity and inclusion conversations, and a community service project. This semester – and potentially the year – is like no other, but the hope is to start new traditions to integrate technology and ways to learn and grow as a student organization.
Meet the Council Leadership Team
President: Augusta Schmitz ’21
Hometown: Holly Springs, NC
Beginning as a freshman class representative and serving as vice president last year, Schmitz has always been a highly- involved student – holding leadership positions in both high school and now college. As the current TTSC president, Schmitz said, “I hope to establish more of a Wilson community within the college and unite all the student organizations while creating opportunities for students to attend our meetings virtually and further expand their leadership skills.”
Vice President: Kate Mulder ’21
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
“Serving in a position of leadership can be challenging in itself in terms of connecting with your peers, but now being in a role during a pandemic makes it more so when everything is virtual,” noted Mulder. “I am focused on expanding TTSC to be interactive online so we are still able to hear the voices of our peers at Wilson College and do good for our community surrounding us. I want to have the ability to see the change this organization is committed to and cultivate a culture that both new and returning Wilson students feel safe and respected in. I hope we can encourage more students to attend our virtual meetings so that in the future we’re building this generation of tech savvy students.”
Secretary: Nidhi Godthi ’21
Hometown: Cary, NC
“I think that maintaining communication is especially important now. This year, I want to help students better understand TTSC’s role in representing undergraduate students at the Wilson College of Textiles. I also hope to increase interconnectedness by working closely with other Wilson College organizations to plan events.”
Treasurer: Reid Barnett ’23
Hometown: Mount Olive, NC
“I think that student leadership gives us a chance to affect the change that we want to see through establishing avenues, and lets us get experience in important life skills.”
Community Service Chair: Carson Harvey ’21
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
“My advice to incoming freshmen is to get involved as early as possible! You are only here for four years, and it is fun to be in lots of organizations to get to know people and maybe take on a leadership role you are passionate about!”
Diversity and Inclusion Chair (search underway)
Given recent events, TTSC has decided to add a new chair to its executive board. “Oftentimes, we want to see change but no one takes action,” observed Augusta Schmitz, TTSC president. “To actually make a difference, we created this new diversity and inclusion position,” she said. “This role will hopefully inspire people to express their opinions and allow us to take the next steps to further evolve so that we become more aware of our own personal actions as well as our initiatives as a college.” The person in this position will be responsible for coordinating events to speak about the topic.
TTSC is strengthened by students who want to represent their peers and who have a passion for giving back to their community. They are innovative, thought-provoking student leaders driven to make a lasting impact on Wilson College. Here’s what they have to say about joining student organizations, student leadership and more!
Julia Sheridan – Charlotte, NC
“I believe student leadership is important because students can learn from each other, experience all parts of the college, build relationships and help the college improve various aspects by completing tasks, holding events and spreading the knowledge one has gained in their student leadership position.”
Shelby Dew– Raleigh, NC
“I’m hoping that we will be able to reach out to the next generation of Wilson College students through technology in new and exciting ways so that they feel connected coming in as a new freshman and that the TTSC community will be able to make the Wilson College stand out over other colleges on campus because of our involvement online.”
Ali Rogers – Waxhaw, NC
Fashion and Textile Management
“Do it! Join a student organization. Not only will it look great on a resume but, organization and clubs will provide you with job and life experience, networking opportunities, lifelong friendships and more!”
Yannell Serrano – Kernersville, NC
“My advice for freshmen interested in joining TTSC or any student organization is to do it. Go to the interest meeting and decide whether this is something that you are captivated by and if it is, then go for it! You will meet all kinds of people from different majors and years. Also, it is a great and easy way to meet people that you most likely have class with, and it is a nice way to see a few friendly faces around the college.”
Molly Pruett – Asheville, NC
“I chose to become involved in TTSC because of the community I’ve experienced at Wilson College. Since it’s such a tight-knit group, I feel I can accurately represent the needs of my peers. TTSC is a chance for me to grow to become a more compassionate leader. I hope to have an executive role in my future employment, so it’s a great learning experience to be in student leadership. The lessons learned in TTSC will apply to my life even after I leave college. To any freshman reading this, I want to let them know to just go for it. I ran for TTSC twice before I was elected this year. Don’t stop applying for opportunities because it doesn’t work out the first time. TTSC rewards persistence, and it’s the only club in Wilson College that is entirely election-based. There are plenty of other clubs to join in between elections that will develop your interests and provide leadership experience. You just have to keep going!”
Kallista DeWulf – Charlotte, NC
Fashion and Textile Management + Accelerated Bachelors and Masters Program in Textiles
“Student leadership is important because it allows you to build and foster the necessary skills to be successful later in life. Not only do you learn more about yourself and your capabilities, but you will also have a chance to bond with other students and faculty! Student leadership teaches and reinforces communication, networking, teamwork and organizational skills. I also believe holding a leadership position strengthens your work ethic, and shows you what areas you may or may not need to improve upon. It allows you to develop both interpersonal and soft skills, which will be greatly beneficial beyond college and in the workforce. Having student leadership under your belt gives you a chance to move outside of your comfort zone, where true improvement and growth happens. Lastly, it’s fun! You get to meet other students with like interests and cultivate more friendships within the Wilson College of Textiles. A lot of my friendships at Wilson College have become significantly stronger because we were in the same classes or clubs!”
Reagan Dunnam – Florence, SC
“I am also involved in the University Scholars Program (USP) and am a member of Kappa Delta. Academics are super important to me, and I wanted to join USP to find a community of like-minded students. I came in as an out-of-state student and did not know anyone, so I went through sorority recruitment simply to meet people. I have gained so much out of the experience through meaningful friendships and service work with SafeChild Raleigh, Prevent Child Abuse America and the Girl Scouts. I also have a leadership role in Kappa Delta as the house manager, which has been very stressful through coronavirus, but it has also been rewarding knowing that I am helping to make these girls’ lives a little less stressful through my communication with FSL, our House Corporation, and our members.”
Noelle Arpea – West Chester, PA
“I think the most impactful experience for me at Wilson College so far is the connections I have been able to make, both though Centennial and through just being at the college for class. I have been able to meet students, faculty and staff who are doing amazing things at Wilson College and the textile industry.”
Impacts of Student Leadership
Advisor: Delisha Hinton ’11
Delisha Hinton, associate director of Student Services for Recruitment and Diversity and a Wilson College alumna, has served as TTSC advisor since February, 2020. A great point of contact with all student leaders, Hinton has been an advisor to the African American Textile Society, another Wilson College student organization. She also is a former student leader herself, serving as secretary and community service chair for Black Students Board during her undergraduate years .
Why do you think it is important to get involved during college?
“Involvement with a student organization is an opportunity for students to learn and grow through an activity outside of the classroom. They can choose to be in an organization that reflects their passion or interests – whether it’s academic, sports, hobbies, etc. – to expand their passion and connect with other students with the same passion. Involvement is an enriching part of the college experience to meet new people and to learn about their background and interests; it’s something that you’re not going to get in the classroom. Students also have the ability to bring new ideas to the table and be innovative and even have the opportunity to create a new organization.”
Past TTSC President: Heather Freeman ’20
After graduating this past May with a Bachelor of Science degree in textile engineering, Heather Freeman accepted a managerial position in apparel material manufacturing with Nike. She joined TTSC her freshman year as a class representative, becoming president her senior year. Coming into college, she knew that she wanted to be involved with Wilson College but a lot of the other student organizations were very specific to different interests and passions. TTSC was a stepping stone that offered an overview of the entire college. One of her most memorable activities was evolving the Pillowcase Project to make and donate pillowcases for UNC Children’s Hospital. Heather said she’s really thankful to help build the project and have the opportunity to work with other students who saw a need.
How has student involvement/leadership helped you form your career path?
“Student involvement, not just TTSC, gave me a view to student government and a larger view on campus. I worked and collaborated with folks and got an idea of how to cross-partner, which is important in the real world. It’s great working with your team but working with people outside of your team is another good skill to have. I’m passionate about the importance of student leadership, so take time to find the things you love. College is a great time to explore different options; it’s easy to check off boxes as a student and do what is expected so when you step into a position you get to put yourself out of your comfort zone and really use the skills you are learning in class. It’s a low-risk, high-reward opportunity as you heighten and enhance your college experience by joining student organizations and also serving on a leadership team.”
Kate Mulder ’21 serves as a student ambassador for both the Wilson College and Pack Abroad (having studied at Lorenzo de Medici Institute in Florence, Italy) and as vice president of the Tompkins Textile Student Council. She also directs e-communications for her sorority, Delta Gamma, and has been involved with the corporate sponsorship efforts for Dance Marathon. This year she is working in the Office of Marketing and Communications to help tell the Wilson College story.