Meet the New Fashion School Faculty and Staff Members

Four new full and part-time faculty and staff members joined the Kent State University Fashion School and NYC Studio this fall.


Dr. Rachel LoMonaco-Benzing has joined The Fashion School as a non-tenure track assistant professor. She earned her Ph.D. in textile and apparel management at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2018, where she studied independent retail models and strategies in the context of the sharing economy. Her 2009 M.S. work at the University of Rhode Island focused on sustainable attitudes and behaviors of textile and apparel students in an effort to develop and improve sustainability content across the curriculum. Prior to her Ph.D., she worked in customer service and product management with the home products B Corp, Preserve, where she learned more about sustainable entrepreneurship and innovative take-back recycling systems. Her other industry experience has varied from textile finishing research and development to retail fabric and apparel sales, and alterations. She has taught courses related to textile science, consumer market research, and fashion history at the University of Rhode Island, University of Missouri, Fisher College, and the Met School in Providence.


The Fashion School’s NYC Studio location is welcoming three faculty and staff members this semester. David Leung has re-joined as an adjunct instructor teaching the Fashion Design Studio III course. Leung previous served as an NYC Studio instructor when the Studio first opened. He has spent over 30 years as a designer and creative director in the industry with extensive experience in all phases of design, product development, merchandising, marketing and branding. He has been a creative force behind such fashion houses as Versace, Sonia Bogner, Maska, Caractere, Joan & David, Magaschoni, Zoran and Natori.  Leung also serves the industry as mentor, critic and professional portfolio coach. 


Jackie Hughes has joined the Studio has an adjunct instructor teaching the Senior Study Tour course. She is an alumna of The Fashion School’s design program at Kent State and has been actively involved in the student-work critiquing process for the School’s Annual Fashion Show. Hughes has an extensive background designing for major retail brands such as Kenneth Cole, Ann Taylor and Isaac Mizrahi, and currently serves as a design director at Ralph Lauren.


Jackie Krohn has joined as the outreach program officer for the NYC Studio. As the program outreach officers, she supports the staff, faculty and students in the Studio. She has an extensive background in operations, data management, special event coordination and has served on the communications and public relations teams for fine art galleries and museums.


Additionally, the School would like to recognize the faculty and staff members receiving promotions and new titles this semester. Ann Walter, an adjunct instructor at the NYC Studio, has stepped in as the Studio’s acting director. Anna Mates, who was serving as the marketing associate for the Studio, has been promoted to the outreach program manager. Fashion merchandising instructor, William Perrine, is now The Fashion School’s new international/study-away program coordinator. Melissa Campbell, previously a part-time instructor in the School, has been promoted to a non-tenure track full-time assistant professor. Dr. Tameka Ellington received tenure and was promoted to an associate professor. Dr. Ellington also serves as the faculty director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusions Initiatives for the School. Sara Snyder has been promoted to a non-tenure track associate professor of the fashion school after previously serving as an assistant professor. Dr. Jonghan Hyun is now a tenure-track assistant professor, after previously working as a non-tenure track professor.



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 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).








POSTED: Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 1:43pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 8, 2018 - 10:05am