Outstanding Graduate Award

The winner is chosen by AATCC’s Education Advisory Board. Selection criteria includes academic achievement, service to the school, service to the student chapter of AATCC, and character. The students resume is also taken into consideration.

About

OverviewJudging Criteria

The Outstanding Graduate of the Year award is presented to a graduating undergraduate senior and the winner is chosen by AATCC’s Education Advisory Board.

Nominees are submitted by AATCC student chapters. Advisors must submit:

Additional Information:

  • Selection criteria includes academic achievement, service to the school, service to the student chapter of AATCC, and character.
  • The students resume is also taken into consideration.

Outstanding College Graduate of the Year Judging Criteria

In order for students to be considered for the Outstanding College Graduate of the Year, the following is required:

  1. Faculty advisor must submit a formal letter evaluating the student’s academic achievements and other activities
  2. Student must submit a statement of achievement summarizing their accomplishments (2 page maximum)
  3. Advisor to submit an unofficial transcript of student’s grades (with student’s permission)
  4. All submittals must be typed
Criteria Guidelines Points(maximum)
Academic achievement Overall GPA (cumulative and/or major), advisor to submit an unofficial transcript (with student’s permission) 35
Service to student’s department/institution Examples: participation in internships, service to classmates (mentoring programs), involvement in extracurricular activities, college ambassador, etc. 20
Service to AATCC student chapter Examples: active participant in the chapter’s activities, chapter officer, recruitment for student chapter, IC involvement, service to fellow students, service to the Association, development of chapter website 20
Character/Personal Statement of Achievement Examples: quality traits, involvement in community service, fostering interaction between students & professionals, positive attitude, good citizen 25

 

Outstanding Graduate Award Winners

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AATCC Outstanding College Graduate

This year’s recipient of the AATCC Outstanding College Graduate of the Year Award is Josephine “Josie” Cranfill from North Carolina State University (NCSU). She was chosen from all the AATCC Student Chapter Award recipients for this award; she received a plaque and a check from AATCC in the amount of US$1,000

Cranfill will graduate with a degree in Polymer & Color Chemistry Science with an Operations Concentration and a Spanish Minor. Her ability to apply her knowledge, specifically in the textile areas, is exceptional. She demonstrates this each day with her work in the NCSU Pilot Lab. Putting her knowledge into practice is where Cranfill’s understanding of textile chemistry principles really shines.

Cranfill has completely dedicated herself to the service of the university and the AATCC Student Chapter. Whether it was her role as her class’s representative, a university student ambassador, the founder of an organization focused on healthcare and sanitary needs for women experiencing homelessness, or as president of the student chapter, she has given so much of her time to serve, help, and mentor others. Her work with the NCSU AATCC Student Chapter helped to significantly increase the active membership outside of the chemistry majors and reach students in the apparel and fashion majors. Through her service, she has had an impact on hundreds of students during her time at the university.

Cranfill says, “Immediately after spring graduation, I plan on completing a second senior research project with NCSU’s Harold Freeman and Gerardo Montero centered on supercritical carbon dioxide dyeing. I’m excited to further my research on non-aqueous dyeing methods with two renowned experts in the field. In July, I will be joining Unifi at their Reidsville, NC, USA, dyehouse as a Management Trainee. I’ve been able to speak with Unifi representatives throughout my undergraduate career and am happy to be a part of a company so focused on sustainable innovation. Post-graduation, I’ll be continuing my involvement with AATCC as a newly graduated young professional while keeping up contact with our NC State chapter as an alumna.”

AATCC Outstanding College Graduate

This year’s recipient is April Davenport from Oregon State University (OSU). She was chosen from all the AATCC Student Chapter Award recipients for the Outstanding College Graduate of the Year Award; she received a plaque and a check from AATCC in the amount of US$1,000.

Davenport majored in apparel design and merchandising management at Oregon State. She was nominated for the award by Ann Vong, her instructor in the design programs at Oregon State. Vong said that Davenport is a student that “impresses all faculty that have met her.” She “is unfailingly an earnest, eager, and curious student…ambitious, and…eager to learn new things. Other instructors have independently spoken of April as their best student.” She is a member of the OSU College of Business Dean’s Academy and a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the national honor society that promotes excellent scholarship, good character, and service. She was a member of the Innovation X program at the OSU College of Business, which promotes entrepreneurship. She also participated in Launch Academy, a business incubator program for student entrepreneurs that promotes the creation, evolution, and implementation of business ideas. She was awarded funding in a pitch competition and has been growing her own company, Crutch’n It, through social media.

In addition, Vong says that Davenport “is an advocate for people with disabilities and was instrumental in creating an adaptive focus in the annual spring fashion show that is organized by the AATCC Student Chapter at Oregon State University.” Davenport was one of the founding members of the OSU Chapter, and was key in organizing the new chapter and in recruiting members.

AATCC Outstanding College Graduate

Jessica Bachansingh is the recipient of the 2019 AATCC Outstanding College Graduate Award. Bachansingh was selected from the nominees submitted by the AATCC student chapter faculty advisors for an outstanding graduating senior from their respective universities. She attends Florida State University (FSU) and will be graduating with a Retail Merchandising and Product Development major along with three Entrepreneurship minors in Commercial, Social, and Retail.

Outside of the classroom, Bachansingh has competed in several scholarship competitions and has won over $30,000 in funds. She has competed in the Runway of Dreams Fashion For All Student Design Competition and was the first place winner,  receiving a scholarship of $5000.  Bachansingh shared her experiences at the Gala and how her mindset has drastically changed about accessibility within the fashion industry. She has constantly worked hard to excel within her field outside of the classroom from competing in weekend case competitions to starting her very own nonprofit that teaches young women in Ethiopia how to sew.

Bachansingh was the FSU AATCC Student Chapter president in the Fall semester of 2017. During her time in this role, she helped orchestrate the yearly fashion show with the theme of sustainability. She led 20 creative students to obtain donated clothing that would otherwise go into landfills to create new garments. With nearly 45 looks that walked the runway, 150 people in the audience, and over 50 people on the fashion show team, it was a success!

She also led a trip to the Atlanta Apparel Mart, where students got to speak directly with wholesalers and learn about the buying process. She led a partnership with Cotton Incorporated for a semester-long community service project to collect denim that is eventually recycled into insulation for housing. With a goal of 500 pairs donated, the FSU AATCC Student Chapter exceeded their goal and brought awareness to recycling processes for denim and clothing in general.

AATCC Outstanding College Graduate

Taylor Pearlstein, a graduating senior at the University of Delaware (UD), was selected as AATCC’s 2018 Outstanding College Graduate of the Year.  Pearlstein was selected from the nominees submitted by the AATCC student chapter faculty advisors for an outstanding graduating senior from their respective university. As a Dean’s Scholar at UD, Pearlstein developed and proposed her own academic course of study based on her specific interests in textiles, art, fashion, science, and anthropology. Less than 5% of all undergraduates at UD receive the status of Dean’s Scholar. Pearlstein has conducted research at the Winterthur Museum’s Scientific Research and Analysis Lab, studying fabrics from the eighteenth-century to analyze textile dyes using a variety of methods. She has also completed research at UD’s Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab, creating garments for individuals in physical therapy—and her research team currently has a provisional patent. Pearlstein was nominated as a 2016 UD Woman of Promise. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and was nominated by UD to apply for the Marshall and Fulbright Scholarships. Following graduation, she will enter the Masters in Cultural Heritage Studies at the University College of London in the UK. Pearlstein has actively served her school and the student chapter of AATCC. She is a Blue Hen Ambassador, which involves giving tours to prospective students and speaking on panels about the Honors Program. She has also performed in a variety of dance and theatre groups for the local community and volunteered with UD’s Historic Costume and Textiles Collection for the past four years. She has taught elementary school students at the Salvation Army in their Fantastic Friday’s education programs. Pearlstein has also been a leader in the UD AATCC Student Chapter. When she first joined the AATCC Student Chapter, she held the office of parliamentarian, and helped to launch the “Fashioning Innovation Program,” which connected science and innovation in textiles. She is now the president of the AATCC Student Chapter and has worked to improve the chapter’s programming, such as a workshop on 3D printing, and to expand the outreach of the organization to individuals in other STEM majors, such as engineering and chemistry.

AATCC Outstanding College Graduate

Celeste Hay, a graduating senior at Central Michigan University, was selected as AATCC’s 2017 Outstanding College Graduate of the Year.  Hay was selected from the nominees submitted by the AATCC student chapter faculty advisors for an outstanding graduating senior from their respective university.

Hay, a double major in Fashion Merchandising and Design with a Fashion Design Concentration and French. Hay is very strong academically. She is a nominee for the Fullbright Research Study Grant to France. As an undergraduate student, she has made research presentations at AATCC’s International Conference as well as at the Student Research and Creative Endeavors Exhibition (SRCEE) at CMU.

She is an Honors student and has won several academic awards. She has studied abroad for one semester and has actively participated in several academic and extracurricular activities. She was selected for a Provost’s award for scholarship and creative endeavors.

She is an exceptional student who is well-rounded academically. Additionally, she is a natural leader who takes time to explore and avail opportunities that knock on her door. Hay has participated in several extracurricular activities since she joined CMU. Her professional and service involvement includes AATCC member and President of the AATCC Student Chapter for two years, a member of Honors Outreach Network, and Class-IRA, Pen Pal Partner, Tutor, member and fund raising chair for FAMD (student organization), and member of Pi Delta Phi (French Honors Society). She also offered her services to First Impressions and The Bride’s Project. She has also been member and President of Le Circle Francais. She has served as a student member to several university bodies such as Honors Council, Honors Diversity Taskforce, and Universite Catholique de l’Quest. In addition, she has been a mentor for CMYou, library ambassador, and Volunteer Reach Advisor. She served as French and English tutor and student assistant for various institutes and faculty on campus.

Faculty Advisor Usha Chowdhary says “As advisor, I am in awe. I have not had a student in my over-40 years’ career who has accomplished so much in such little time. She is a doer and does not make excuses. She will be an excellent candidate for this recognition.”

The award was presented at the Central Michigan University Threads Fashion Show, organized by students of Fashion Merchandising and Design (FAMD), by Ian Mull (advisor of FAMD).

AATCC Outstanding College Graduate

Lexis Kambour, a graduating senior at the University of Delaware, was selected as AATCC’s 2016 Outstanding College Graduate of the Year. Kambour was selected from the nominees submitted by the AATCC student chapter faculty advisors of an outstanding graduating senior from their respective university. She was presented this award at the University’s annual Fashion and Apparel Studies Department Retreat in May, 2016 by Hye-Shin Kim, chair of the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies. Kambour, a fashion merchandising major with a minor in journalism, has demonstrated herself as a leader at the University of Delaware. She currently serves as president of the Student Chapter of AATCC and is the Editor-in-Chief of UDress magazine, the largest student-run fashion club on campus. In 2015, Kambour was the first-place winner of the AATCC C2C Student Merchandising Competition. She is also a recipient of two YMA-FSF scholarships in 2014 and 2016, as well as the National Retail Foundation Ray Greenly Scholarship in 2015.  She has a special interest in 3D printing and enjoys the challenge of case study competitions because they require analysis and problem solving skills to develop solutions to complex situations. Martha Carper, University of Delaware’s AATCC student chapter faculty advisor, presented Kambour with the US$1,000 that accompanies the award, as well as a letter of congratulations from AATCC.

AATCC Outstanding College Graduate

Wen Zhao, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), was selected as AATCC’s 2015 Outstanding College Graduate of the Year. Ann Denton, FIT’s student chapter faculty advisor (and winner of the 2014-2015 FIT Faculty Advisor of the Year award), presented Zhao with the US$1,000 award, letter of congratulations from AATCC, and plaque at the FIT Inauguration and Recognition Dinner in May.

AATCC Outstanding College Graduate

Congratulations to the 2014 AATCC Outstanding College Graduate of the Year, Amber Harkonen of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). She received a cash prize of US$1,000 and a plaque recognizing her achievements at the FIT Alumni Dinner, where Amanda Johnston (AATCC FIT Student Chapter President 2013-2014) presented these awards from AATCC. Harkonen was also congratulated by the 2013 AATCC College Graduate of the Year, FIT’s Amanda Soule.

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