Stephens College Dream Up


Monica McMurry, Dean, School of Fashion and Design 
Monica McMurry serves as the dean of the School of Fashion and Design and the curator of the Stephens College Costume Museum and Research Library. She has 30 years of teaching experience in the fashion field. McMurry graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A. in Fashion Design from Stephens College. In 1993, she received her M.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in the School of Textile and Apparel Management and is currently in the final phases of pursuing a Ph.D. in the same school. Her dissertation topic centers on the dress and historic influence of Jacqueline Kennedy toward women from 1959-63.

During her teaching career, McMurry has taught both studio and lecture courses in all three fashion programs. She is a member of ITAA (International Textile and Apparel Association), the Costume Society of America (CSA), Fashion Group International and Kappa Omicron Nu. She has presented both juried fashion designs and scholarly research for both ITAA and CSA. In Spring 2011, she was invited to present two of her fashion designs at the Beijing Institute of Fashion and Technology.

Her work with the Costume Museum and Research Library has given her the opportunity to speak across the nation about historic dress. From 1983 to 1999, she ran her own custom sewing and design business. 

Kirsteen Buchanan, Associate Professor 
Kirsteen Buchanan, a Stephens alumna, has taught at Stephens since 1996. Her 13 years of professional experience in fashion design and product development include designing for major manufacturers such as I.B. Diffusion and Eddie Haggar, Ltd.; for the Chicago-area retailer Chas A. Stevens, and for Dallas-based Brookshire Knitting Mills, working with clients from Banana Republic to Eileen Fisher. She is the sponsor of Modeling Group at Stephens.

Her freelance clients have included Spyder Skiwear, Pappagallo Stores and Beverly Hills Polo Club. She has also designed costumes for Okoboji Summer Theatre in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and for dance company and community theatre productions in Dallas. Buchanan has a Master of Arts in Visual Communications from the Missouri School of Journalism. Buchananʼs most recent designs were seen in the juried Surface Design Association show, “Fabricate.” She was a 2003 finalist in the GenArt/Florida Grapefruit Juice National Handbag Design Challenge, a 2002 finalist in the “Inspired By Threads” competition and a 2001 finalist in the Beefeater Bold Spirits Design Competition. Her involvement in business and fashion outside Stephens includes membership in the Surface Design Association, American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and Fashion Group International. 

Courtney Cothren, 
Assistant Professor 
Courtney Cothren, a Stephens alumna, has taught at Stephens since 2006. She is on leave for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Allie Grotts, Assistant Professor 
Dr. Allie Grotts holds a Ph.D. in Textile and Apparel Management from the University of Missouri, College of Human Environmental Sciences, an M.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from Illinois State University and a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from Eastern Illinois University. She has been an instructor at Westminster College and a graduate instructor at MU and ISU. She previously worked as a brand logistics expert for GAP and a sales associate for Von Maur.

Lisa D. Lenoir, Assistant Professor 
Lisa D. Lenoir, an assistant professor of fashion communication, takes an interdisciplinary approach to her fashion communication instruction and research, drawing theories from communication and media; linguistics; and fashion business history and current issues. Recently, she presented research papers in New York and Chicago related to Global Englishes and fashion blogs and fashion in India and Cuba.

Lenoir graduated with distinction from DePaul University with an M.S. in International Public Service. She also received a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Graphic Design from Indiana University. Upon completion of her studies, she worked for numerous newspapers in the Midwest, covering everything from police/fire to fashion. Lenoir’s entry into fashion writing came organically through her early stories featuring boutique owners, who explained the business side of retail and partnered with her on editorial/advertising special sections. This knowledge fueled her interest in fashion and led her to reporting and editing positions in Indianapolis and eventually, Chicago, where she served as the Chicago Sun-Times’ reporter and then, its fashion editor. During her tenure at the Chicago Sun-Times, she covered Fashion Weeks in New York and Milan, as well as the fashion, travel, society and retail business scene in Chicago.

She has won individual and team journalism awards for commentary, travel and social issues. She is a member of the Costume Society of America.

Maureen Lowary, Assistant Professor 
Maureen Lowary has 16 years of teaching experience and eight plus years of industry experience. She graduated with a B.F.A. in Apparel Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received the Alumni Association Award for the Outstanding Senior of 1980. In 1979, she received an award from the American Velvet Association for her Velvet Eveningwear design.

Lowary began her career on Seventh Avenue as an assistant designer to Liz Claiborne. She has also worked for Crazy Horse, Kathryn Conover and Rugged Wear Ltd. She has freelanced for Nicole Miller in New York and Big Smith in Missouri as well as a number of private individuals. Lowary has served as a guest critic for the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Massachusetts at North Dartmouth apparel and textile design departments and has judged fashion shows for the local 4-H chapter here in central Missouri as well as the “Make It With Wool” competition.

Besides teaching and designing, Lowary runs her own internet business called China Memories. With China Memories, she hand makes silk brocade covered memory books for families who have adopted children from China. She hopes to introduce a memory book for families with Korean children in the near future.

Tina Marks, Assistant Professor 
Tina Marks graduated with a B.A. in French from the University of Missouri with a concentration in Studio Art and Art History. She attended the Sorbonne, in Paris, to study French language, culture and civilization. While in Paris, Marks discovered her true love was fashion. After graduation, she opened her own custom dressmaking boutique near Kansas City, Mo. A few years later, she opened an antique clothing and jewelry store in historic Hermann, Mo. While running this store, she decided to take classes at Stephens College in millinery, pattern-making and draping. During her time at Stephens, she earned the Jeannene Booher Award. Her senior collection, based on a 1912 theme, won the highest number of votes from the Jury of Selection.

After finishing her coursework at Stephens, she worked in apparel design, product development and sourcing for the J. Peterman Co., Lucia, Inc., and the Cato Corporation. Her overseas experience includes working in Hong Kong, France, Italy and Portugal.

Most recently, Marks ran her own jewelry design business. Her pieces have been sold in galleries, at shows and in retail shops in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Missouri. She is currently finishing her master's degree in textile and apparel management at the University of Missouri.

Irina Tevzadze, Assistant Professor
Irina Tevzadze has an M.F.A. and a B.F.A. from the Department of Fashion Design and Decorative and Applied Arts, Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts, Tbilisi, Georgia. She has been an artist, fashion designer and fashion and art instructor. Her work has been exhibited at The Fabulous Fox Theatre and TULA Art Center in Atlanta, TMS Art Gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia, and at galleries throughout Columbia. She has been featured in AMARTA Art Magazine and STUDIO magazine and was the subject of a 1993 documentary film, Irina.