By Debbie Willmschen

When Hannah Russell transferred into the NC State Wilson College of Textiles textile technology (TT) program, the small class sizes allowed her to develop a cohort of close friends. Russell found ways to connect with other students through organizations such as the Phi Psi National Textile Fraternity, a professional co-ed textile fraternity that engages in community service and provides professional events for its pledges.

“My fellow students turned into lifelong friends,” Russell says. “And the Phi Psi fraternity offered me a sense of community and acceptance when I first transferred into the program.”

Russell, who recently graduated from NC State with a Bachelor of Science in TT, came into the Wilson College community her second year but quickly found her footing as she developed skills working in the Weaving Lab with William Barefoot.

“Working with Mr. Barefoot, I gained more experience and knowledge than any textbook could convey,” Russell says. “In my time at Wilson College, I became fully proficient in warp prep and weaving. I am grateful to carry on the craft of weaving, and I credit my current and future career success to this accomplishment.”

Russell has accepted a position with Zephyr Headwear in Loveland, Colorado working with quality control and assisting in streamlining operations. 

If she could advise incoming students on the best way to succeed as they start their time at Wilson College, she would say “talk to your fellow students starting on day one.”

“You are about to spend the next four years of your life with these people,” Russell says. “They will be not only your future coworkers but will provide professional connections as well. Often it only takes one person to get everyone talking! And Wilson College really has something special to offer everyone.”