Exploring Futures: South High Students Dive into UNL's TMFD Department

South High student takes a photo using her smartphone of a green garment from the Historical Textiles Collection housed in the department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design.
Brianna Solis-Romero [left] and Mary Breedlove [right] examine a garment from the Historical Textiles Collection housed in TMFD. Photo by Rafael Bertacini.

Exploring Futures: South High Students Dive into UNL's TMFD Department

14 Nov 2023    

The Department of Textiles, Merchandising, and Fashion Design (TMFD) in the College of Education and Human Sciences welcomed 19 third- and fourth-year Fashion Pathway students from South High in Omaha for a visit last month. These students were given an opportunity to explore the diverse array of experiences and opportunities that TMFD has to offer.  

Associate professor Sandra Starkey and assistant professor Michael Burton gave the students a tour of the department facilities and collections, including the Robert Hillestad Gallery and the Historic Textiles Collection. Students also learned about the various technologies used by faculty and students, including Rokoko motion-capture bodysuits, Clo3D digital apparel design software, body scanning for avatar creation, and digital surface design for textiles.  

“The technology they had was impressive because it was new to me, and I had never experienced anything similar to it,” said Emily Sanchez, one of the South High students.   

Attending various classes such as Textiles Lab, Garment Assembly, Merchandising III, and Fashion Analysis & Presentation, students obtained a firsthand glimpse into the academic life within the department. They actively observed and participated in these courses, later sharing this part of the experience as one of the trip's highlights.  

“The thing I enjoyed the most was being able to go into the classes to be able to experience what it’s like being a college student,” said Kimberly Ceballos Rodriguez, another South High student.  

The visit was organized in part by South High teacher Sara Policky, herself an alumna of the TMFD program at UNL. She expressed her hope that the experience would ignite a sense of possibility in the students.  

"I hoped to inspire the students to envision themselves here, recognizing our fashion pathway as their gateway to a successful future,” Policky said. “I want them to see that their skills make them perfectly suited for the respected UNL Textile program."  

The impact of the visit was apparent in the enthusiastic feedback from the students.  

"It’s one of the best tours I’ve had, lots of information given along with friendly and outgoing students,” said Ayanna Barragan, another of the students. “They answered all of my questions and were super honest about the school. The [apparel] collections in the class were absolutely amazing."  

To schedule an individual or group student visit to the Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design Department, contact Trent Smith, tsmith47@unl.edu, or Melisia Bieber, mbieber2@unl.edu, in the TMFD administrative office. 

Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design