School of Design Faculty

Dr. Monica McMurry, Dean, School of Design 
Dr. Monica McMurry serves as professor and the dean of the School of 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. She recently completed her Ph.D. from the same school. Her dissertation topic centered 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. Buchanan's 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 earned a B.S. in Fashion Marketing and Management and an M.B.A. at Stephens College. She began her career by completing the Executive Development Program at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, where she was an assistant buyer in fashion accessories. She continued her career at Harold's Stores Inc. where she worked as the men's sportswear buyer and merchandise planner. At Harold's, Cothren was responsible for more than $17 million in annual purchases. She traveled quarterly to New York and Las Vegas and helped to design and merchandise 10 collections a year for 34 stores as well as catalog and e-commerce.

Cothren has extensive experience in planning, buying, marketing, international and domestic sourcing, and assortment planning for both branded and private label companies. She also works with a variety of luxury retail companies on a consulting basis in addition to her duties at Stephens.

John Dailey, Assistant Professor 
Dr. John C. Dailey is an assistant professor of communication design. Dailey has have been involved in professional media design for more than 30 years, from his early days in television production to more recent years teaching communication design and digital storytelling. Dailey’s career has been focused on implementing, adapting and teaching the use of digital media design through each successive generation of technology. 

He previously served on the faculties of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Ark., Ball State University, the University of Kentucky and Southwest Missouri State University. Prior to that, he worked at CBS and NBC affiliates in Lexington, Ky. Dailey is a charter member of the Indiana Usability Professionals Association, a member of Interaction Design Association and a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri and master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of Kentucky.

Dailey’s creative efforts lie in the area of interactive media design as it relates to cognitive science. In particular, he is interested in the design of emerging media environments which communicate in interesting yet comfortable ways. His creative interests include media interaction design, digital storytelling and natural light photography. 

Tina Ehrhardt, Assistant Professor
Tina Ehrhardt joined the faculty as an assistant professor at Stephens in 2010 in the graduate business program. She oversees the graduate business programs in her role as program director and advises students. Ehrhardt received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Iowa, her Master of Education from Washington State University, and her Master of Business Administration from Stephens College. Ehrhardt is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and has been certified since 1993. Prior to joining the Stephens faculty, Ehrhardt was manager of human resources for a contract research organization and has 20 years of human resource management experience. She serves on the board of directors for the Heart of Missouri United Way and the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation.

She is president of the Human Resources Association of Central Missouri. Ehrhardt presented “Onboarding! Moving from Orienting to Us to Onboarding for You” at the United States Distance Learning Association. She is passionate about learning and leadership development through volunteerism with a focus on women leaders. When she is not working, she enjoys running, outdoor activities, cooking, reading, and socializing with friends and family. She is usually training for a running race and an occasional triathlon.

Kate GrayAssistant Professor 
Kate Gray is an assistant professor of graphic design. She received her B.F.A. in Advertising Art and a minor in Marketing from the University of North Texas. She earned her M.F.A. in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Gray has more than 30 years of professional experience in all areas of the communication and design field. Her experience includes owning her own award-winning design firm, Add Design; designing for the Intel Corporation; and managing a creative team as the assistant director of publications at the University of Missouri. 

In 2007, Gray joined the faculty of Stephens College. She is a Wakonse fellow and was nominated for the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award in 2011. She is also an award-winning professional fine artist and a member of the board of directors for the Missouri Watercolor Society.

Cindy Hazelrigg, Assistant Professor 
Cindy Hazelrigg is assistant professor of Event and Convention Management. She taught the special event courses in the minor for more than five years before the program became a major. She completed her M.B.A. in 2013. Prior to teaching, Hazelrigg was a conference coordinator with the University of Missouri Conference Office. In addition, she began her career with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, working with groups to plan their conferences and events. This experience has given Hazelrigg a perspective from a variety of different viewpoints, lending to her wide range of industry knowledge and contemporary trends. Hazelrigg loves teaching and enjoys the fresh and vibrant youth, yet driven nature, of Stephens College students and is looking forward to further developing and growing the exciting Event and Convention Management major.

Personally, Hazelrigg loves to assist others, as well as organizations in planning their meetings and events. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, as well as her very large family. An avid sports fan, she loves cheering on her favorite teams and staying active herself.  

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 fashion 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.

Pam Shackelford, Associate Professor
Pam Shackelford's area of expertise is in finance, accounting and management. She began teaching as an adjunct instructor in 1998 and committed to full-time teaching in 2004. She teaches both in the undergraduate residential program and our online graduate business programs. Prior to embarking on a full-time teaching career, Shackelford was a financial analyst with Monsanto Corporation in St. Louis for 15 years. In addition to her general accounting responsibilities for Monsanto, she specialized in fixed asset management. Earlier in her career, she ran a nonprofit organization for disadvantaged children, and she and her husband created and operated a successful small business for many years.

Shackelford has an M.B.A. and is active in professional organizations, including the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), where she serves as a regional board of director. She serves as a judge for DECA and Doors to Diplomacy and is active in her community.

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 the 1993 documentary film Irina.

Giorgi Topouria, Associate Professor
Giorgi Topouria teaches strategic communications at Stephens. He has extensive experience in global marketing, entrepreneurial and business leadership and cultural understanding. Most recently, Topouria developed the Digital Global Studies certificate for undergraduate students and engaged students in research-based projects at the University of Missouri. He has a B.S. in Mathematics from Tbilis State University and an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the Missouri School of Journalism. He is currently ABD in his Ph.D. studies at the University of Missouri.