Dr. Catherine Amoroso Leslie has a B.A. from Denison University with a double major in Communications (Mass Media) and Political Science.After working in New York City and taking fashion design classes at Parsons School of Design, Dr. Leslie spent several years as a self-employed designer and dressmaker.She received a Master's degree in Apparel and Textiles with a minor in History from Colorado State University, where she worked in the Historic Costume and Textiles Collection and learned first-hand about the importance of objects in telling the story of history.Her thesis, "Artifacts in the classroom: Impact on student learning" demonstrated the importance of costume and textile collections in fashion studies.Catherine went on to receive her PhD in Textiles and Clothing from The Ohio State University.At OSU, she worked in the Collection and taught classes in the history of dress. Her dissertation, "Identity, consumption, and frequency of behavior among contemporary needleworkers" explored issues of identity, practice, and purchasing behavior in the needle arts.
Since joining the faculty of the Kent State University Fashion School in Fall 2002, Dr. Leslie has written articles and books on subjects in fashion history, needlearts, and merchandising.Her first book, Needlework through History: An Encyclopedia was released by Greenwood Press in April 2007.She has published articles in the International Journal of Consumer Studies, International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Consumer Sciences Today, and Human Perspectives on Sustainable Future.Her recent work has explored the practice, teaching, and business of handwork and sewing.
Dr. Leslie was honored by the Costume Society of America as a member of the 2007 Scholars' Roundtable and was awarded the Pearl Jubilee Award by the National NeedleArts Association in 2005.She has given juried presentations to the International Textile and Apparel Association, the Costume Society of America, the International Federation of Home Economics, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the Ohio Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.
Dr. Leslie has published articles, interviews, and columns in PieceWork magazine and edited the English translation of French sewing book, Everything for Baby. She has been invited to give many presentations on needlearts and cultural traditions to various interest groups.Dr. Leslie has also been a guest on three segments of Shay Pendray's Needle Arts Studio, produced by Detroit Public Television and Broadcast nationwide.
In the fall of 2008 and 2009, Dr. Leslie participated in the Fashion in Florence Program, most recently as the program coordinator.Her semesters in Europe broadened her outlook and research interests to explore fashion and handwork on a global level.
Courses which Dr. Leslie has taught include History of Costume, Historic Textiles, Product Development, Italian Fashion & Culture, European Study Tour, Fashion Fundamentals, Fashion Marketing, Professional Seminar, and the Fashion Merchandising Seminar.Each summer, Dr. Leslie co-teaches a Fiber Arts Seminar in Embroidery and Needlepoint sponsored by The National NeedleArts Association, a large industry trade group.She has been actively involved in several MFA committees in both Fiber Arts and Jewelry/Metals.
She is currently working on a second book, a biography of the pioneer sewing educator and fashion expert, Mary Brooks Picken (1889-1981).This research explores the messages and impact of the practice of sewing and needlearts on women's culture.Dr. Leslie is interested in directing graduate study in historic costume and textiles, needlework and hand traditions, as well as the businesses associated with the creation of costume and textiles.