dha College of Design
Design, Housing, and Apparel



Meet our Graduates!


Jaeun Kim, Ph.D.

Auckland University of Technology

Business School


My professional career as a tenured assistant professor (senior lecturer in New Zealand faculty rank system) in the Business School at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand started in 2009 after I received my doctorate from the University of Minnesota. My experience of studying retail merchandising and consumer behavior in the Design Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota was very positive and helpful.


The program offered me very unique courses for retail merchandising. The program was also extremely supportive in creating a good environment to develop my professional career by providing me great teaching experience for several retail merchandising courses, funding opportunities for presenting my work at international conferences, and seminars and workshops during my graduate study. My academic advisor gave me unflagging support and inspiration at every step of my journey. All the faculty who are the experts in various subject matter areas inspired me to broaden my knowledge and experience in studying apparel and retailing.



Mary Alice Casto, Ph.D.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Textiles, Merchandising, and Fashion Design


My time at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design has been extremely valuable both for my career goals and my personal development.  As a PhD student in the area of Apparel Studies I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge and skill set in research and teaching for my field.  Graduate courses often include students from other design areas fostering a broader perspective and the ability to successfully integrate differing ideas and methods, subsequently creating a more engaging classroom atmosphere. Practically speaking, course assignments are designed to encourage critical thinking and the application of theory and research methods in the field of design, often with the goal of producing a research article or design project at the end of the semester.  Additional research and creative opportunities were available (and encouraged) to me through graduate research and teaching assistantships, advisor/advisee relationships and peer relationships often established within classroom settings. 



Kelly Gage, Ph.D.

College of St. Catherine

Fashion and Apparel


My name is Kelly Gage and I am a graduate of the College of Design doctoral studies program in Apparel Studies. I came to the program in a rather round about way. I was not in apparel studies or fashion studies of any kind before starting at the U. I have bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in art history from the University of St. Thomas. Between those two degrees, I worked at art galleries including working many years for the indomitable Dolly Fiterman, a long-time supporter of the Goldstein and the Apparel programs.


A first semester course at St. Thomas is what turned me on to the idea of marrying my love of art and history with my interest in fashion and clothing. Dr. Shelly Nordtorp-Madson, a graduate of the University of Minnesota Design, Housing and Apparel program, was the instructor for a course on medieval art that had a strong emphasis on analyzing clothing in art, not just what the clothing was but the symbolism imbued in it, from literal messages in the clothing based on motifs to cultural significance that spoke to trade, economics, religion and other cultural aspects.



Gozde Goncu-Berk, Ph.D.

Istanbul Technical University

College of Textile Technologies and Design


The interdisciplinary nature of the PhD program in College of Design, University of Minnesota fit perfectly with my interdisciplinary background in Apparel Design and Industrial Design. My time as a PhD student in Design Program/Apparel Studies Track was one of the most fulfilling and inspiring experiences during my educational life.


The PhD Program has offered me a chance to engage in a variety of interesting and challenging tasks intended to improve my scholarship. Graduate students in the PhD program are empowered to be involved in different aspects of academic life including research, teaching and administration.  I had the opportunity to work as a Research Assistant on a funded project about sustainability in apparel design.  I received funding support to conduct and present my research during course of my education.



Jay Yoo, Ph.D.

Baylor University

Apparel Merchandising Program


The decision I made to pursue my Ph.D. degree in the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel at the University of Minnesota helped me to realize my dream. I have long been interested in how clothing and appearance play a role in human interaction, and how those interactions relate to fashion marketing and product development. The academic excellence I experienced not only prepared me, but also enabled me to succeed in accomplishing my goal to teach and conduct research at the university level.







Myunghee Sohn, Ph.D.

University of Missouri

Textile and Apparel Management


I realized how fortunate I was to be a part of the University of Minnesota Doctoral Experience after I finished my PhD. I am currently an assistant professor at the University of Missouri. The graduate program at the University of Minnesota positioned me to get exactly the job I wanted. I started my master at U of M in 2007, and completed my Ph.D. in 2012. My time at U of MN was a life-changing experience. First of all, the resources made available to the doctoral students for research and conferences are outstanding. The exposure to cutting-edge apparel technology such as body scanning, 3D apparel CAD software, and motion capture system changed my life and career. The experience in the Wearable Technology Lab allowed me to rigorously explore my research interests with the help of outstanding professors. The close collaboration with faculty and encouragement to pursue your own research agenda was unique. Last but not least, I would like to thank for the opportunities to meet lifelong mentors and colleagues in this program.  



Jane Hegland, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Education and Human Sciences/Department Head, Professor


I earned my undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield MN, with a major in psychology and a minor in design. Some of my favorite courses and topics studied while at St. Olaf included exploration of identity, appearance, and gender issues. When I entered graduate school at the University of Minnesota in 1989, I didn't have any sort of grand plan but really just wanted to learn more; and I did! Particularly under the guidance and mentorship of my advisors, I was able to conduct in-depth studies of the history of dress, cultural aspects of dress, aesthetic impact, and gender issues related to dress, appearance, and identity. I transitioned from Master’s to PhD and completed my degree in 1995. Lessons learned while in graduate school have benefited me ever since.


I greatly improved my ability to work with diverse groups of people on complex projects; to navigate political agendas among fellow students, faculty, and administration; and to embrace a cross-cultural perspective. All of these growth experiences have served me well in past and current professional roles. As a result of my focus on developing a global perspective among students and colleagues, I have traveled professionally to over 20 countries – some trips related to grant-funded work and others related to developing relationships with institutions around the world.


Juyeon Park, Ph.D.

Colorado State University

Department of Design and Merchandising


Dr. Juyeon Park received B.S. from Seoul National University, M.S. from Iowa State University, and Ph.D. from University of Minnesota. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Design and Merchandising at Colorado State University since 2008. Her primary scholarship program focuses on the exploration of innovative design solutions for apparel and footwear products to improve human health and quality of life by enhancing physical, physiological, and socio-psychological attributes. Her scholarship has been internationally recognized through International Textile and Apparel Association’s (ITAA) Rising Star Award (2013), LECTRA Outstanding Design Award for Best Use of Technology (2010), and ITAA Award for Excellence in Design Developing Using Draping (2009). Her teaching and mentoring has also been acknowledged by Colorado State University’s Tenure-Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (2012), TILT Teaching Fellowship (2012), Honorable Mention – ITAA Best Master’s Student Paper (2012), and The Highest Honor Award at Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (2009).



Mary Alice Chaney, Ph.D.

Exhibitions Coordinator

Goldstein Museum of Design

University of Minnesota


I decided to pursue graduate studies after seeing elaborately embellished Miao cloth baby carriers in south west China. These baby carriers fascinated me and I wanted to study them. I searched for a graduate program that had faculty who could guide me in this type of research. Professor Emeritus Joanne B. Eicher in Design, Housing and Apparel had the kind of background and research experience that fit with my goals and her anthropological approach appealed to me. She helped me understand where my interest fit into Anthropology and the history and culture area of the Apparel Studies program. 


As challenging as graduate school was, I really enjoyed it. One of the most challenging and yet essential and exciting aspects of graduate school was the development of my thinking. I learned how to go beyond thinking about a topic as a personal interest to one as an academic interest. Part of this process was learning the language of research and specific disciplines. Every class I took helped me in some way but there were ones that especially informed my understanding including coursework on dress history literature, material culture, and dress and culture.



MiYoung Lee, Ph.D.

Inha University, South Korea

Fashion Design and Textiles


I began my graduate studies as a quiet foreign student in the master's program in what was called the Graduate Program of Design, Housing and Apparel. I entered into the apparel studies emphasis. Pursuing both a masters and subsequently a doctoral degree at the University of Minnesota (UMN) was a transforming experience in my life. The things that I learned during this time continue to inspire me to this day.


The professors are among the top apparel scholars in the world. Being able to both take classes and receive individual mentoring from them concerning both teaching and research, was and continues to be invaluable to my career. Thanks to their training and guidance along with my own determination, I became a successful university professor. I was recognized in 2009 by my own university with the highest award given in recognition of teaching excellence.


The program offered an ideal learning environment and provided the foundation for my academic career. The program stands out because of its strong emphasis on research and the collegial relationship among the faculty and the students. I specifically recall the research assistant work was focused on projects that are driven by input from both students and professors rather than busy work in the service of an advisor’s research interests. The training I received at UMN has prepared me to excel in the global marketplace of academic scholars.




Uriwan Pitimaneeyakul Paradee, Ph.D.

King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology

Division of Textile Design, Dept. of Industrial Design


Hello everyone! Greetings from the other warm side of the world, Thailand. I started my years at the University of Minnesota in Design, Housing and Apparel in 1998 and graduated in 2001. Quite a long time ago…


Although the weather in Minnesota is super.. super.. cold, the facilities that the UMN provides helps all students to study in a warm environment. The reputations of the faculty members are excellent--they are brilliant. I gained very precious experience while I studied there. It was a great opportunity for me to meet many professors and industry professionals. I learned how they work, how they do their research, and how they teach.


During my years at the UMN, I worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant for Dr. Karen LaBat.  She was also my dissertation advisor. She and her family took very wonderful care of me all through my studies. I learned a lot. I am also very thankful for the guidance and advice from my research committee: Dr. Marilyn DeLong, Dr. Elizabeth Bye and Dr. William Durfee (Mechanical Engineering). All of the faculty members helped me to think, learn, and work. All of them influence my work today.


After I graduated from the UMN, I returned home and teach at the Department of Industrial Design, School of Architecture, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand. My interest is in product development process especially knitting and sustainable development. I have opportunities to work in both the academic and industrial sectors. Thanks to the U for the fruitful experience and opportunities. If you come to this side of the world, please stop by for a visit.


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Design Graduate Program

Design, Housing, and Apparel

Email:  dhagrad@umn.edu



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Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

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Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

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