Fashion Industry Studies Students and Faculty Receive Multiple Honors in 2020 Spring Semester

recipient of the 2020 Paul L. Pfeiffer Faculty Mentor Award from Kent State University’s LaunchNETStudents and faculty from the Kent State University School of Fashion’s graduate program, Fashion Industry Studies, received an array of honors and awards throughout the spring semester, many of them from the Kent State University’s LaunchNET,  a co-curricular, cross-campus program that serves students, alumni, staff and faculty interested in entrepreneurship and innovation through advising, events, and connections to the greater Northeast Ohio community.


Jihyun Kim-Vick, Ph.D., the Graduate Coordinator for the program, was announced as the recipient of the 2020 Paul L. Pfeiffer Faculty Mentor Award from Kent State University’s LaunchNET after being nominated by one of her students. The Paul L. Pfeiffer Faculty Mentor Award was established to honor faculty members who commit their time and expertise to assist LaunchNET clients with their business opportunities. Without the assistance of faculty mentors across all academic disciplines, students would not have the successes they've had; the importance of the mentors cannot be understated. 


Several students from the Master of Fashion Industry Studies program also took home awards and honors from LaunchNET and the Center for Business Innovation (CEBI) at Kent State. Fashion graduate student, Alexandra Reich, was awarded the Marty Erbaugh Student Entrepreneurship Scholarship presented by LaunchNET. 


Heeju Noe tied for third place in LaunchNET’s annual business concept competition, Idea Olympics, and was awarded $500 to put towards her business, Virtue. Up to $4,000 in funding is up for grabs in the annual event. The competition is open to students of all class levels and majors. The competition is usually held in person, but students quickly pivoted to digital presentation in response to COVID-19. 


Siera Terry was awarded third place in the 2020 CEBIpitch competitionAdditionally, recently graduated MFIS student, Siera Terry, won third place in the 4th annual CEBIpitch Competition. Terry took home a $3,000 prize that will be put towards her startup company, Bougie Bands, a women’s accessories brand that reflects an appreciation of female empowerment and inclusivity.  You can view her business pitch on the CEBI website.


Also of note, several undergraduate fashion merchandising students won awards in various LaunchNET competitions. Senior fashion merchandising major, Brianna Cotton, was one of four winners in the LaunchNET Elevator Pitch Competition, taking home a $300 prize. Over 30 students competed in the competition in which students pitch their business ideas in actual elevators in the Kent State University Library. The competition was held before the campus’s closure due to COVID-19.  Additionally, fashion merchandising majors Tyshaia Earnest and Kylah Carter took home first place in LaunchNET’s 2nd Annual Flashlab Innovation Pitch for their idea to have training for non-JMC students who want to participate in Student Media but hesitate because they feel they don’t have the skills and cannot join. Seven teams pitched their ideas and four winners were chosen. Each winning idea will share up to $10,000 from the Student Media Innovation Fund in order to launch, test and maintain their ideas.


Lastly, graduate student, Elaine Yuen, was recently selected as one of two recipients of the Adele Filene Student Presenter Grant from the Costume Society of America (CSA) for her presentation titled, “A Recreation of Knitted Bustle Dress for a Theatrical Production.” Traditionally every June, CSA holds an awards ceremony to honor and recognize all of those who have won awards and grants throughout the past year, but due to the spread of COVID-19, the award winners will now be honored during the 2021 Annual Meeting and Symposium in Salt Lake City.


The School of Fashion would like to congratulate all of the above winners on their hard work and determination! For a full list of the winners from all LaunchNET and CEBI contests, please check out their newsletter.  




Image 1: Dr. Jihyun (J) Kim-Vick is the  recipient of the 2020 Paul L. Pfeiffer Faculty Mentor Award from Kent State University’s LaunchNET.

Image 2: Siera Terry awarded third place in the CEBIpitch Competition for her brand, Boujie Bands. (Photo: CEBI)



POSTED: Monday, May 18, 2020 - 1:21am
UPDATED: Friday, May 22, 2020 - 4:45pm