The Collections: A video recap
The 70th annual student designer fashion show, The Collections, was held April 26 on campus. Watch a recap below. See photos of the winning designs here.
The 70th annual student designer fashion show, The Collections, was held April 26 on campus. Watch a recap below. See photos of the winning designs here.
Patrika Brown inspired her fellow graduates during Stephens' May Commencement ceremony last weekend, encouraging them to not only be bold but also to be humble.
“The hardest thing about becoming a successful woman is to remember where you came from,” she told undergraduates. “No matter how high a tree climbs, its roots remain deep in the soil.”
Brown was the senior recipient of the 2014 Alumnae Association Board Scholarship, which earned her the privilege of addressing the senior class, as well as $250. Recipients are chosen based on academic excellence and contributions to campus life.
Brown earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and is now heading to Mississippi to complete training for Teach for America. After that, she’ll be assigned to teach at an urban school.
It’s not exactly the plan Brown had when she began her studies at Stephens four years ago.
Brown—the daughter of Amy Tatum Robinson ’95—had a 10-year plan that included becoming a teacher in a suburban district in Memphis.
But last semester, everything changed. Something inside her told her to look into Teach for America, a non-profit organization that enlists high-achieving college graduates to teach in low-income communities.
She applied on a whim, got an interview and was selected for the program.
“I ended my fairy tale thinking and completely changed my plans,” she said.
Brown credits a few experiences for contributing to her decision. She participated in a World Café event sponsored by Columbia Public Schools that enlisted the public to talk about closing the achievement gap between student groups. She also taught at a local elementary school, where she was especially drawn to helping at-risk children.
She’s already begun training on “no-nonsense nurturing,” and “I love what I’m learning,” she said.
At Commencement, she challenged graduates to show the world how bold they are.
“We must give back to our communities both mentally and physically,” she said. “But most of all we must bust through society’s limitations and dream up.”
From messages such as “hire me” to decorative flowers to expressing “thanks” for a scholarship, Stephens College graduates Saturday used their mortarboards to express their thoughts and show off their creative side at Commencement.
Decorating mortarboards has become a Stephens tradition that has risen in popularity over the years. Although every year numerous students show up with blinged-out caps, almost every graduate put her own touch on traditional graduation garb at this year’s undergraduate Commencement, held at Missouri Theatre.
Angel Mendez’s mortarboard said “thank you bill gates” in recognition of the Gates Millennium Scholars program that four years ago awarded her a full-ride scholarship to the school of her choice.
Just before Commencement, she took to social media to further express her gratitude for having the chance to attend one of the best schools “in women’s history. I’m still in disbelief to this day but I know I must go on and give back to the scholarship that gave me everything.”
Several graduates used their major as inspiration for their designs. Michelle Marcum, who earned a bachelor’s in graphic design, decorated her cap in a colorful palette, adding her signature bird to give it her own personal brand. Kelsea Whitten, an education major, used crayons to create a border for her cap. And Holly Hmielewski, a fashion design major, turned her mortarboard into a statement piece complete with bright flowers, jewels and a netted veil.
Members of The Ten—those students chosen to personify each of Stephens’ Ten Ideals—also used their mortarboards to recognize that honor, from specifying which Ideal they represented to just celebrating the group at large.
“The mortarboards were pretty amazing this year,” President Dianne Lynch said. “They were so fitting for the creative, talented, amazing group of graduates we had this year.”
Jennifer Hrebar-Ihler will graduate from Stephens College with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and legal studies tomorrow—just a month shy of her 50th birthday.
While she knows she pushes the bounds of “non-traditional” at Stephens—her daughters are older than most of her classmates—she is among a growing group of adult students who are changing the face of college campuses across the country.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 15 percent of those attending college in the country in 2011 were what most consider “traditional” college students—18- to 22-year-olds living on campus at four-year institutions.
Five graduates who will walk across the stage at Stephens’ May Commencement tomorrow are “non-traditional.” Most agree they came to Stephens for the programs—and because they were ready to pursue their passions.
Hrebar-Ihler enjoyed a successful career in interior design before relocating from Alaska to Columbia for a fresh start. When the economy crashed in 2008, she found herself without a job but also the opportunity to reconsider her priorities.
“I decided to do something different—to pursue a career where I could feel like I was making a difference,” she said.
After exploring the counseling programs in the area, she chose Stephens because of the personal attention.
“I liked the idea of being more than just a number,” she said.
To her surprise, that translated into her social life, as well. This year, she served as senior class president.
“I was surprised that I forged connections with these women,” she said. “I was very happy that women younger than my daughters would consider me a friend.”
Michelle Marcum was also active on campus even as she balanced being a mother of two off campus.
A graphic design major, Marcum was on the staff of Creative Ink, the student-run marketing firm, and designed this year’s cover of Harbinger, the literary magazine.
Marcum delayed going to college after having children. While she found success in the workforce—easily moving up the ranks to manager at factories and restaurants—she decided in her mid-20s to pursue her passion for art.
After earning a certificate and some college credits elsewhere, she transferred to Stephens.
“Stephens offered the experience and connections you need to work in graphic design,” she said.Experiencing college elsewhere, she said, gives her a greater appreciation of her experiences at Stephens.
“Students at other schools do fine, but here, students excel,” she said. “We push each other, and there’s nothing that gets in the way.”
In June, Marcum will begin her job as a graphic designer at a local photography company.
Tera Eckerle is moving to Los Angeles after graduating in hopes of fulfilling her dream of being an actor. She was a financially independent mom when she decided to attend Stephens.
“I was bar tending and waitressing, but I didn’t want that to be my path,” she said. “I wanted to do something else.”
When she had her second child in 2012, Eckerle left school, but she was determined to come back and complete the program.
“The faculty said ‘you can do this,’” she said. “They helped me tremendously.”
In addition to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, Eckerle also is minoring in business and dance.
Through alumnae connections in L.A., Eckerle plans to find work and relocate her family to California.
As for Hrebar-Ihler, she’s not quite finished with her studies and is now preparing for a master’s program.
“People ask me, ‘Why would you go back to school this late in the game? Is it worth it?’” she said. “It’s a personal decision everyone has to calculate, but I couldn’t see myself working in the same business anymore. To me it was worth it to gain invaluable new skills. I’ve learned so much, I think the next 20 years will be much more satisfying. The best way to stay young is to keep pushing yourself.
“And studying alongside young women in their late teens and 20-somethings keeps you young, too. That’s a nice side benefit.”
Junior education majors yesterday showed off the lesson plans, activities and assignments they used during their two weeks of teaching preschool and elementary classes at the Stephens College Children’s School.
The Junior Showcase allowed the students to explain to their instructors—as well as to family members and friends who stopped by—how they taught basic concepts through creative, interactive lessons.
Megan McQuillen based her lessons on the idea of inventions. She required her elementary-aged children to discover who invented the items they use in their daily lives, from pencils to sinks.
One highlight was teaching students about the Wright brothers, McQuillen said.
After learning about the invention of the airplane, students had a chance to blueprint their own design for an airplane—requiring math and simple geometry—and make a variety of paper airplane styles to see which traveled farther.
Finally, students had a chance to create their own inventions. Many students opted to build robots that would assist with daily chores, including homework. One student turned a pizza box into a working pinball machine.
Karlie Gore and Megan Dasczynski worked in the preschool during the junior teaching clusters and based their studies on the concept of jobs. Students learned about a variety of careers and even had a chance to test one out when they built and ran a play post office.
“It was interesting to see how they changed their minds” about what they want to do when they grow up, Dasczynski said. “It was great to see that they understand they have so many possibilities.”
“And they know they don’t have to choose something now,” Gore added.
This year’s junior cluster projects were especially creative, said Dr. Leslie Willey, dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.
“I was really impressed with all of them,” she said. “We have some very talented young teachers at Stephens.”
Guided mindfulness can decrease anxiety and dysfunctional thoughts, senior Erica Bonnot discovered while researching the effects of purposefully clearing your head.
And for those who tend to operate on “auto pilot,” guided mindfulness such as yoga or meditation can have even greater effects.
Those were some of the conclusion she drew from her senior capstone, “The Effects of a Guided Mindfulness Intervention on Students’ Perceived Stress.” She, along with senior Jennifer Hrebar-Ihler, presented her capstone project Tuesday in Dudley Hall.
For her study, Bonnot worked with Stephens faculty to identify students who were about to take an exam or who had an upcoming performance of some sort. She gave them each a survey gauging their anticipatory stress levels. She then gave one group a five-minute Guided Mindfulness Intervention session from the University of California-Los Angeles, asking a separate control group to sit in silence for five minutes. Both took the survey again to determine whether stress levels had changed.
As she hypothesized, the experimental group experienced a drop in stress and an increase in positive attitude, while the control group experienced a slight increase in stress and anxiety.
“If five minutes can make a difference, what about 10 minutes or 45 minutes every day?” Bonnot challenged.
For her capstone, Hrebar-Ihler studied whether increased use of text messaging negatively impacts face-to-face communication. After all, those who send and receive texts don’t get the verbal cues and body language that signal whether someone is being sincere.
To her surprise, Hrebar-Ihler discovered that teens and young people who reported heavy text usage showed no measurable differences in emotional intelligence than those who text less. As for older subjects in her study, she actually discovered a positive correlation between high text usage and emotional intelligence.
Hrebar-Ihler acknowledged that her study might have been flawed because it was based on self-reported surveys, but other studies have found similar results. She concluded that those who already have emotional intelligence and strong communication skills would use whatever form of communication is available to them, including text messaging.
Both Bonnot and Hrebar-Ihler said there’s more work to be done in both research areas and outlined some possible next steps for future studies.
Alumnae returned to the Stephens College campus this past weekend for Celebrate Stephens, the annual reunion weekend packed with events, friendships and memories.
“Everyone really enjoyed being back on campus and connecting with friends,” said Meichele Foster, vice president for institutional advancement and initiatives. “That’s what it’s all about. They come back here—back home, so to speak—to connect with their friends, and our role is to create opportunities for that to happen.”
The event attracted about 150 visitors from across the country, including a few from the Class of 1954 who were celebrating their 60th reunion. Marguerite “Peggy” Saville Leiter was the oldest alumna, having graduated from Stephens in 1949.
Celebrate Stephens events included an Alumnae Association Board’s Leadership Conference, held Thursday and Friday; a Welcome Party and Crossing the Bridge Ceremony, which allowed alumnae to welcome graduating seniors into the alumnae community; a Happy Hour at the President’s Home; and the President’s State of the College Address.
A Performing Arts Cabaret and Alumnae Bistro was a highlight of the weekend, Foster said.
“The bistro was a wonderful way to showcase all of our extremely talented alumnae and students,” Foster said. “We enjoyed singing, dancing and recognizing some of our special alumnae and friends.”
Virginia “Ginny” Hawley McSwain from the Class of 1973 was recognized with the Alumnae Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed on alumnae. McSwain is a successful voice director and actor.
Teresa Peacher Maledy from the Class of 1978, president and CEO of Commerce Bank in Columbia, received the Jean Clinton Roeschlaub ’44 Alumnae Service Award, in part, for her service to the Board of Trustees.
Alumnae also attended campus events throughout the weekend, including the Senior Capstone and Portfolio event showcasing graphic design and marketing students’ works; the New Works dance concert; and The Collections, the student-designer fashion show.
But without question, Foster said, Celebrate Stephens was about celebrating the Stephens spirit.
“The ties that bind Stephens alumnae are very unique,” she said. “They’re amazing women—absolutely amazing—and we loved hearing the stories they shared and about the accomplishments they’ve made since leaving Stephens. I’m so happy they choose to come back.”
View more photos from Celebrate Stephens here.
New engineered, custom, fabric design, innovative design lines and avant-garde fashions emerged as the top runway trends featured Saturday at the 70th annual Stephens College fashion show.
Called The Collections, the event showcased the best weekend wear, career wear, swimwear and dresses, all designed and made by students in the School of Fashion and Design. Each garment was judged and chosen by a Jury of Selection comprised of industry professionals from the likes of California, New Mexico and Italy.
“The Collections did not disappoint,” Dean Monica McMurry said. “We were thrilled with the turnout and thrilled with audience members’ reactions. This was, perhaps, one of our best shows yet.”
Senior Effie Frank took home the Best Collection, as well as the Best Tailored Design and Award for Outstanding Surface Design. Her collection, "The Grammar of Ornament," featured a leaf print sheath dress with hand-dyed bands; a one-piece knotted swimsuit with an applique hem short; a two-piece floral swim suit; and a floral romper and a dress with engineered pleats and hand-dyed panels. The latter won the most points during jury, earning Frank the coveted Best of Jury Award.
Senior Holly Hmielewski also dazzled audiences with her collection, "Bioluminescence, which included a long sleeve one-piece blue swimsuit with cutouts; a short, fitted dress with side peplum detailing; a black and blue jumpsuit with side peplums and cutout details; and a mermaid fit gown with side peplum and fiber optic fabric details. The collection earned the Alumnae Choice Award and the Stargazer: Most Avant-Garde Award.
Hmielewski also presented her Dallas collection, which debuted at Fashion Group International’s Night of the Stars event in Dallas last semester. The collection, which was not part of the judging, featured fringe and monarch-inspired swimsuits and dresses—garments well received by the audience.
Kali Pewitt and Taylor Barber received top honors from the event, as well, receiving Awards for Outstanding Performance as a Model, winning Jurors’ Choice and Students’ Choice, respectively.
Here is a list of all of the awards from the show:
Outstanding Fashion Design Freshman Student: Kathryn SingerOutstanding Fashion Design Sophomore Student: Brittany BellOutstanding Fashion Design Junior Student: Logan BlaggOutstanding Fashion Design Senior Student: Breosha WilliamsAward for Outstanding Surface Design: Steffanie FrankBest of Jury Awards:(highest score in each category)Best Childrenswear – Sonja TabbBest Patternmaking Dress – Brittany BellBest Swimwear – Alayna NietersBest Weekend Wear – Audrah DavidsonBest Career Wear – Logan BlaggBest Tailored Design – Steffanie FrankOutstanding Workmanship – Ariana JaimeOverall Technical Excellence – Kayla GibsonAlumnae Choice Award: Holly HmielewskiStargazer: Most Avant-Garde Award: Holly HmielewskiMost Marketable Award: Breosha Williams
The Stephens College Equestrian Center hosted the Sho-Me Horse Circuit Horse Show this past weekend, attracting both Stephens students and outside riders.
It was the first show of the season for the Sho-Me Horse Circuit, the governing body of as many as 18 shows a year.
Stephens had 16 horses compete in addition to 30 horses brought in from the public, said instructor Karen Craighead, whose Equestrian Events Management class hosted the event.
“That blend of school horses and outside horses made for a nice show,” she said.
Students had the opportunity to not only compete but also plan and execute the event, said Michelle Humbert, a junior in the class.
“This event combines saddleseat and western, which typically each have huge shows in the area,” she said. “It’s unusual to have them both in one show.”
That allowed each discipline to see and interact with the other, she added.
Junior Hayley Upton typically competes as a huntseat rider, snagging the championship in her division at the Irish Fox Show in St. Louis earlier this semester. On Saturday, she took 2nd place in Class 2 American Saddlebred Horse Driving. Jessica Rauls took 1st place.
Following is a complete list of Stephens students who placed at the show.
Open NoviceWestern Pleasure:
1st- Radical Rendezvous and Jessica Rauls
Green Western Pleasure:
1st MM’s Mr Joe and Emily Payne
2nd Nevertoomuchchocolate and Megan Hasemann
Novice Walk/Trot Horsmanship
1st Alexis Hudson and Legends Diamond Chip
2nd Cheyenne Jones and Kids Double Joe
Egg & Spoon:
2nd Radical Rendezvous and Jessica Rauls
Walk/Trot Pleasure ages 14-18
1st Sheiks Aritfacts and Marge Sheldon
Novice Walk/Trot Pleasure
1st Legends Diamond Chip and Alexis Hudson
2nd Cheyenne Jones and Kids Double Joe
3rd Radical Rendezvous and Jessica Rauls
5th Nevertoomuchchocolate and Rachel Cummings
6th MM’s Mr Joe and Emily Payne
Novice Walk/Trot Trail
1st Nevertoomuchchocolate and Megan Hasemann
2nd Docs Music Dancer and Julia Abegg
3rd MM Mr Joe and Erin Cumming
4th Sheiks Artifacts and Marge Sheldon
5th Charmed By Chance and Ashley Duke
2nd Nevertoomuchchocolate and Megan Hasemann’
3rd Teddy and Kerry Miller
4th Kids Double Joe and Cheyenne Jones
1st Magellen and Chanielle McLaren
2nd Cool Down Papa and DeLynn Uttech
1st Adrienne Markle and The Top Shelf
2nd Sir Elegance and Cara Wolf
3rd Son’s First Glance and Rachel Cummings
4th Showboat’s Gambler and Jocelle Davaust
1st Count and Ashley Duke
2nd Undalata’s Health Nut and Taylor Bernstein
3rd Uptown New Yorker and Erin Cumming
1st Just Special and Megan Hulse
2nd Timeline and Adrienne Markle
3rd Sir Elegance and Cara Wolf
Academy Walk Trot
1st Neon Deon and Kerry Miller
2nd Sons First Glance and Cordy Brannon
1st Magellan and Jessica Rauls
2nd Count and Haley Upton
Seniors getting ready to earn degrees in integrated marketing and graphic design yesterday showed off portfolios of their best work during The Connections, the Senior Capstone and Portfolio reception, yesterday.
But the work wasn’t that of college-level quality, Assistant Professor Kate Gray said.
“Everything in here is professional,” she said during the event held at Stamper Studio in Windsor Lounge. “This work is at the level of someone with one to two years of professional experience—and a lot of them do have that because they worked for Creative Ink.
“From my perspective, our seniors have reached a level where when they graduate, they’re not just ready to walk across the stage. They’re ready to walk into a job and start making a difference.”
Bree Martino used the event to showcase her span of work from print pieces to digital designs, all with her signature style.
“I like a clean aesthetic,” she said. “Everything is deliberate. I pride myself in doing something very true to each project—nothing extra unless it’s necessary.”
Martino received two “Awards of Merit” for her work.
Andie Albin showcased 314, the innovative app she designed. The app is tailored for young adults wanting to find specific venues and events in the St. Louis area.
“It allows the user to design what they’re looking for,” she said.
Designing an interactive application is tougher than designing a still print piece, Albin said.
“You have to think about the interaction—users moving forward and backwards and how they navigate different places,” she said.
Albin also received an Award of Merit.
Other award recipients were:
Marcum received two awards, including one for her overall portfolio.
Stephens junior Dawnavyn James has spent the past week teaching elementary students about the Harlem Renaissance, an era of history often overlooked in social studies curriculum, she said.
But the children ended up teaching her a few things, too.
“I learned not to underestimate them,” she said. “They definitely guided me and my lesson plans, expanding on my ideas.”
James and fellow juniors studying education have spent the past two weeks teaching at the Stephens College Children’s School. The annual “clusters” event lets juniors take over classrooms, preparing and delivering lesson plans, as master-level teachers observe.
James made her lessons interactive, allowing students to rotate through roles. Students got to portray famous people from the Harlem Renaissance era while other students interviewed them with classmates filming “The Harlem Show” on tablets.
Last week, James taught weather at the preschool, letting children make tornados in bottles and fly kites to learn about wind patterns.
Fellow junior Katelyn Rush is teaching elementary students this week about architecture, a lesson that includes building a play house.
“They decided as a group on what they would consider a dream home and what would be included,” elementary teacher Lindsey Clifton said. “It’s been a collaborative effort.”
It’s a year of celebration for The Collections, Stephens’ student designer fashion show, which celebrates its 70th anniversary.
“The colors and feel of the show will have a luminescent quality,” said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design, which hosts the show. “There is a sense of heritage and the artisanal.”
The Collections this year—inspired by illumination, elegance and celebration—will take place at 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m. in Windsor Auditorium, 1405 E. Broadway. Preferred seating can be purchased for $25 and general admission tickets can be purchased for $15. Student tickets are available with a valid school ID for $10. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at http://stephensfashion.eventbrite.com.
The event corresponds with Stephens' alumnae weekend and shows often sell out, so advanced tickets are encouraged.
Junior and senior designers will present garments in the categories of swimwear, career sportswear, weekend wear and tailored design, as well as fair trade clothing and the “Breaking the Pattern of Breast Cancer” pink dresses created in the Crafting Sustainable Community course this past fall. The senior design students will present their individual collections they have been conceptualizing, designing and constructing throughout the entire year.
“If you love fashion or Project Runway, we do it everyday. The show is a culmination of that year-long experience. Most people do not have any idea of the skill that all of our fashion students have right here in Columbia. We are ‘What You Un-expect,'” McMurry said, referring to the Columbia Visitor’s Bureau tagline.
The garments being presented during The Collections were chosen by a jury of selection on March 15. Michelle Fifis, textile designer and founder of Pattern Observer and The Textile Design Lab; Sandra Nannini, worldwide sales and merchandising director of Nannini Firenze SRL; Gaia Polli, department coordinator of fashion and accessories studies and technology at Florence University of the Arts; and Kristy Whitehouse, senior technical designer at Abercrombie & Fitch, were among prominent industry experts who selected the student designs to be featured in the show.
“Several of the jurors said the collections and garments in general blew them away at how professional they looked,” McMurry said.
Attendees can expect lots of “stunning” engineered prints and garments with LED lights embedded for a “glowing” runway effect.
This is the final installment of the Scene's Collections video series.
Catch the designs on the runway at the 70th annual student designer fashion show, The Collections, Saturday. Showtimes are 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m. You can purchase tickets here.
In this video, senior Chelsay Russell talks about how Western movies—think Clint Eastwood—inspired her designs this year and will soon emerge as a national runway trend.
And in this video, senior Holly Hmielewski shares how deep sea creatures inspired her edgy, head-turning looks:
Living in New York inspired senior Jessica Yuhouse's designs, which will be showcased at the 70th annual Collections April 26.
Showtimes are 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m., and tickets can be purchased here.
In this series, designers talk about the inspirations behind their collections. Watch Yuhouse discuss her work here:
Stephens fashion students got a chance to experience a different type of runway this month when they arranged a photo shoot at the Columbia Regional Airport.
The early morning shoot was part of a series of off-campus photo shoots students in Art Direction and Photo Styling have set up across Columbia this month. They’ve also been to the Tiger Hotel and Helmi’s Gardens.
At each location, students had a chance to rotate between roles as art director, stylist and photographer, Assistant Professor Amy Parris said. Directors were responsible for creating mood boards to create a consistent story for the shoot, selecting the model and pulling garments from local retailers to tell the story through photography.
At the airport, junior Colby Elliott was modeling as a celebrity going from her private jet to an evening event, senior Lyndsey Pliske said.“She’s going from a street style to a more glamorous Red Carpet look.”
The off-campus shoots provided a more authentic glimpse into the world of styling and direction, Parris said.
“One of the benefits of being on location is that you have to work together as a team,” she said. “External factors come into play and you can’t always control your environment. Sometimes the scene controls us.”
That was the case at the airport when photographers, art directors, stylists and Elliott had to drop what they were doing indoors to arrange to get photos in front of a plane taking off. Only four students were allowed on the runway, but the skeleton crew managed to get some shots before the plane disappeared.
“They had to drop everything and change looks quickly,” Parris said. “That plane was not going to wait for us.”
The sunset inspired senior Brittany Gobel's senior collections.
The designs will be showcased at the 70th annual student designer fashion show on April 26.
Watch Gobel discuss her designs here:
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