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Introducing the 2026 Class of Textile Pioneer Scholars

Wilson College of Textiles sign

By Mary Giuffrida

For this year’s class of Textile Pioneer Scholars, the door has been opened to a world-class education thanks to the North Carolina Textile Foundation (NCTF)

The Textile Pioneer Scholarship provides funding for students based in non-metropolitan areas of North Carolina in alignment with NC State’s land-grant mission. The pair of scholars will receive a minimum of $14,000 a year for four years. They will also receive $4,000 in enrichment funds, which can be used for study abroad or other leadership and growth opportunities. 

Below, get to know this year’s scholars and learn how this opportunity will shape their college experience.

Olivia Masciarelli

Olivia Masciarelli

Waynesville, North Carolina
Fashion and Textile Management 

Olivia Masciarelli’s experience as a production assistant for New York Fashion Week inspired her to push the boundaries of what is possible and accessible in fashion. Now she’s bringing that same curiosity and work ethic to the Wilson College of Textiles.

Why did you decide to enroll at the NC State Wilson College of Textiles?

I am extremely passionate about working toward a sustainable future for both the fashion and textile industries–from supply chain to degradation. It excites me to imagine all the possibilities and solutions that are yet to be discovered, the jobs that have yet to be created and an industrial transition to a greener production system. The Wilson College of Textiles’ commitment to sustainability resonates with my goal to expand my knowledge on how we can change the industry in a planet-forward way. I am inspired by the Wilson College’s determination to provide students with the knowledge and opportunities to overcome the challenges facing our planet, while still supporting fashion and textiles as artistic expressions of each individual.

How will being a Textile Pioneer Scholar impact your college experience?

The Textile Pioneer Scholarship will provide me with tools and resources to be successful in my field, allowing me to immerse myself in the industry without financial roadblocks. I am looking forward to utilizing the enrichment funds to pursue opportunities that I might not otherwise have available to me. I also value the relationships and experiences that are yet to come by working alongside other Textile Pioneer Scholars. I already feel at home at the Wilson College of Textiles, as I have had the lovely Wilson College faculty cheering me on since day one.

How do you plan to use your textiles degree?

I aspire to work for an international fashion brand committed to an ethically sourced, planet-forward mission. As “sustainability” becomes trendy, I want to attain the level of education that prepares me to be a leader in developing solutions to real-world industry challenges while also making a positive impact on racial and social justice. I hope to contribute to the rehabilitation of the planet by reframing the way consumers view the textile industry.

Mackenzie Re

Mackenzie Re

Goldsboro, North Carolina
Fashion and Textile Management 

Mackenzie Re chose her major, fashion and textile management, because it combined her interests in fashion and marketing. Now, she plans on using her time at the Wilson College of Textiles to volunteer, form lasting friendships and further delve into her passion for marketing.

How did you first learn about the Wilson College of Textiles?

In my high school fashion merchandising class in 10th grade, I discovered careers in the fashion and textile sector while completing an assignment on careers relating to fashion. After my interest was sparked by these careers, I began to research colleges and programs where I could obtain a degree fit for my intended career, which is when I discovered the Wilson College of Textiles.

How will being a Textile Pioneer Scholar impact your college experience?

I am extremely grateful to be a Textile Pioneer Scholar as financial stress regarding college tuition was eliminated from not only my life, but my parents’ lives as well. This will allow me to fully focus on my education.

What is a unique trait that you have that you believe will benefit you the most while in college?

I believe my ability to accept every individual and treat everyone with kindness will allow me to make many meaningful connections while in college.

To learn more about supporting the Textile Pioneer Scholarship program, please contact the North Carolina Textile Foundation, at or 919.515.3878.