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Meet One of the Newest Members of Our Wilson College Family: Lonny Carter

Window sign that says Wilson College of Textiles

Lonny Carter 

  • Position: Teaching Assistant Professor
  • Department: Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management (TATM)
  • Hometown: Selma, North Carolina

What courses do you teach?

  • FTM 217: The Textile Industry 
  • FTM 282: Marketing Fundamentals in Textiles and Apparel
  • FTM 382: Brand Management in Textiles and Apparel
  • FTM 483: Global Trade & Sourcing
  • TTM 581: Global Textile and Apparel Business Dynamics

What was your path to this position? 

I graduated from Wilson College in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in textile and apparel management, brand management and marketing, now known as the B.S. in Fashion and Textile Management program. I accepted an assistant buyer position for Stage Stores, an 800-door department store chain. Over the next five years, I worked my way up to associate buyer then buyer, gaining experience in juniors, dresses, petites and young men’s departments. I then moved into buying for Variety Wholesalers, an off-price chain of about 400 stores. Next, I transitioned into a product management and development position for an online cycling retailer, focusing on performance clothing and footwear. I continued my career in product management and development in the corrections industry, specifically in clothing, linens, and suicide prevention textiles for incarcerated individuals at Bob Barker Company. 

While at Bob Barker, I decided to enroll in the Master of Textiles program at the Wilson College and graduated in 2019. I continued on to earn my Ph.D. in Textile Technology Management in 2022 from the Wilson College. While in the Ph.D. program, I was selected to participate in Preparing the Professoriate through the Graduate School, where I worked with a mentor to learn about life as a professor and how to thrive in the academic job market. 

In my last semester as a Ph.D. candidate, I taught my first course, FTM 400: Major Fashion Designers. I learned that I love teaching more than I thought was possible and knew I wanted to eventually transition into teaching full-time. I transitioned out of textiles into the tech industry as a product manager for online learning for first responders for Lexipol. While at Lexipol, I taught in the adjunct capacity in new product development through Campbell University’s MBA program, four retail buying and merchandising courses at Meredith College, and FTM 483 Global Trade and Sourcing at the Wilson College.

What drew you to this position? Why the Wilson College of Textiles?

Despite conducting years of research for my dissertation, I knew I wanted to focus on teaching as a full-time career. I obviously love NC State and the Wilson College, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach at NC State at the Wilson College specifically. My experience working at other universities helped me to realize that I do love teaching, but there truly is something special about the Wilson College and the students and faculty here. 

When the teaching assistant professor position became available, I remember reading the job description and thinking it was written especially for me. I could focus my attention on teaching and bringing the textbook content to the classroom through an industry lens. I was also excited to see that I would take on an advising responsibility, meaning I would have even more opportunities to mentor students.

What does your day-to-day look like?

I spend most of my day preparing for upcoming classes, which may include creating PowerPoints, assignments, projects, or rubrics, updating Moodle, etc. I also like to search for fashion/textile news related to upcoming lectures to keep students up to date.

I teach four days per week and often meet with students or groups after each class. On a typical day, I have at least one scheduled meeting with a student, either in person or through Zoom. I also spend time responding to student or faculty emails.

What are you looking forward to in this role? 

I enjoy meeting with students individually to help them with questions about their future. It means so much to me when a student requests a meeting because they believe my past industry experience can help them make better decisions about what they can do now to better position themselves for success after college.

What advice would you give to your college / younger self?

All the years of hard work will be worth it. The hard times you are going through will only be temporary. It will be fun to one day look back on your career and understand how everything fits together to get you where you are today.