Kent State University’s Fashion School Announces Appointment of New School Director
After an international search, the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State University announces the appointment of Louise Valentine, Ph.D., as its new director, who holds the Peg’s Foundation Endowed Leadership Chair. Valentine most recently served as professor and chair of design at the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Scotland, U.K.
Valentine is an applied design researcher and brings vast experience in leading entrepreneurship, enterprise and employability for the University of Dundee and its School of Art and Design. She has extensive knowledge in successfully embedding innovation in curriculum design and structuring original teaching models and pedagogical practices. Valentine has consistently and successfully secured hundreds of thousands of pounds in U.K. research awards, grants, government funding and corporate support for her development of arts-focused research and enterprise projects.
Valentine received her Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design: textiles from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland; her Master of Design: textiles from the University of Dundee; and her Ph.D. in the field of design from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.
Her doctoral degree in Designer’s Thinking (2003) and postdoctorate research in Design Management, Future Craft, Innovation and Partnership Working have led to her research in how design for business innovation is perceived and communicated, and the value design adds when used as a leadership and performance management tool in business.
“We are thrilled to have Louise join as our new Fashion School director,” said John R. Crawford-Spinelli, dean of Kent State’s College of the Arts. “She brings exceptional experience in research, innovation and design. Her co-curricular work at the University of Dundee has prepared her with strong strategic visioning in postgraduate research and development, and she is well versed in international entrepreneurship practices and methodologies.”
She is author and editor of “Prototype: Design and Craft in the 21st Century” (2013), “Past, Present and Future Craft Practice” (2010) and “New Craft Future Voices” (2007). At the University of Dundee, she supervised and examined doctoral degrees and served as lead supervisor for three design researchers sponsored by the £81M Victoria and Albert (V&A) Dundee Museum of Design. She was instrumental in helping V&A Dundee become an international center for design housed in a world-class building.
“I am excited and privileged to be appointed as the Fashion School’s next director,” Valentine said. “Kent State’s Fashion School has an excellent reputation and is establishing itself as one of the very best in the world, based on an outstanding student experience and research that transforms people’s lives through the arts. It is a strong creative community, with outstanding faculty and staff who make the school the success it is and will be in the future. I very much look forward to leading the Fashion School in its next stage of development.”
From 2013-2018, Valentine served as vice president of the European Academy of Design, an organization whose mission it is to improve European-wide research collaboration and dissemination and to promote the publication and dissemination of design research internationally. She is currently the incoming president of the organization. Valentine is associate editor of The Design Journal (Taylor & Francis Publishing). She was also instrumental in bringing the European Academy of Design conference to Dundee in 2019, in which she served as the conference chairperson. Not coincidentally, the conference corresponded with the inaugural year of V&A Dundee.
For more information about Kent State’s Fashion School, visit www.kent.edu/fashion.
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ABOUT KENT STATE UNIVERSITY'S FASHION SCHOOL
Established in 1983 as the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State University, the school was named an Ohio Center of Excellence by the state Board of Regents (now the Ohio Department of Higher Education) and is a member institution of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
The Business of Fashion recently named Kent State’s Fashion School as one of the best fashion schools in the world for 2019. Additionally, the school was rated No. 15 in the world internationally and No. 5 in the nation by the fashion news site Fashionista in its 2018 rankings report, adding to the large list of international notoriety the school has received.
The Fashion School boasts a current enrollment of 1,800 students who are educated across three locations: Rockwell Hall on the Kent Campus, the university’s New York City Studio located in the Garment District and Kent State Florence in Italy. Additionally, enrolled students have the opportunity to participate in study abroad experiences in Paris, Germany, London, South Korea, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
Approximately 90% of the school’s graduates find employment in their field in less than a year, and more than 3,000 alumni can be found throughout the industry working for the world’s most recognized brands.
Louise Valentine, Ph.D., has been appointed as the new director of Kent State University’s Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, who holds the Peg’s Foundation Endowed Leadership Chair.