By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

News: Central design professor wins award


Andrea Eklund, program coordinator and associate professor of apparel, textiles and merchandising, won the ‘Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Business award for Sustainable Design’.

Eklund won this award in a design competition in Hawaii that she took part in during November 2012. Competitions like this one take place once a year.

She is also currently teaching her seventh year here at Central.

“My goal for the program is when students graduate, they really have the skills that the industry is looking for,” Eklund said.

Eklund graduated with a bachelors and masters in Design, and has had many of her designs featured in different competitions.

Eklund, from Auburn, chose Central because she likes how Central is a smaller and more intimate school.

Alexandra Lange, the department secretary, has known Andrea for about five years and often speaks with Andrea’s students.

“Her students think the world of her,” Lange said.

She originally wanted to be a florist but the program had been cancelled. She heard about Apparel, Textile and Merchandising and decided to major in it.

Eklund, having been in the fashion industry for a while, said she keeps up with what is wanted in the industry to help her students stay up-to-date on what is best. This way she can help students in the design program rise to meet higher standards.

“I’m very casual with my students but very strict. I always tell my students they expect a lot out of me, and I expect a lot out of them. So that’s kind of my philosophy,” Eklund said.

Eklund said she thought the best part about designing is the creativity that’s involved. She wants to ensure her students are doing work that can be seen as professional to prepare them for going into the industry.

“She really whips you into shape. She’s preparing us for the fashion industry and how demanding it is,” Rachael Wescott, a junior and apparel, textiles and merchandising major, said.

Sheri Hubbard, Career and Technical Education program coordinator, has known Eklund since she first came to the school.

“I think she empowers her students,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard described Eklund as being outgoing, enthusiastic and having great vision for her students.

“Students are excelling with her,” Hubbard said.

With the competitions that Eklund takes place in, those who are trying to get into the competition create a write-up of how they do their design process, what inspires them and what techniques they use. Then a professional photo shoot takes place where the designers take pictures from different angles of their design.

“It’s about a thirty percent acceptance rate,” Eklund said.

On June 7, there will be a fashion show put on by Andrea’s students from the design program.

The students handle everything from choosing models to doing the make-up. Last year, there were approximately 600 people in attendance.

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