The Boston Center for the Arts was filled with hundreds of cheering audience members for fashion design students’ Annual Fashion Show, “Manipulation.” After preparing for months on end, the show debuted on May 4, 2013 with one-of-a-kind pieces radiating down the runway. From bright-eyed juniors to seasoned seniors, all students were eager to share their many talents with the Boston community.

“Breaking the Rules of Fashion”

“For our 25th Annual Fashion Show, we gave audiences a taste of the past with a flavor for the future,” said Phyllis Misite, PH.D. “As always, our fashion design students revealed their style visions, but there was a twist on production and fashion design. In 2013, we broke all of the rules, especially with clothing construction. Students changed fabrics to challenge the impact of visual norms. On top of that, Fashion Merchandising and Marketing and Graphic Design majors helped with the promotion of the event.”

A Glimpse into the Fashion Industry

For our fashion designers seniors, the student-run event provided a glimpse into the glamorous and ever-changing world of fashion. Approximately 40 student fashion designers showed off their work to a panel of apparel industry jurists who are well known from the Boston fashion community. The student awards winners are below:

  • Most Creative Single Concept
  • Best Use of Materials
  • Best Ready-to-Wear Collection
  • Best in Show

Preparation for Fashion Design Career

“I always knew that I wanted to go to a small school close to my hometown of Melrose, MA. When I visited Mount Ida on a tour, I was drawn to the supportive environment with professors who are eager to see you succeed. They truly care about helping students become the best fashion designers they can be, which pushes me to create finished products that they will remember for years to come,” said Lizz Stepchin ’13.

Robin Melavalin, Director of the Center for Global Connections, is a staff contributor to She is a cultural anthropologist and has a wealth of experience with the internationalization of college campuses.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

There are 196 countries in the world. How many have you studied? Visited? Where do you want to go?

Mount Ida is a world-traveling community. Two vet tech students, Kelly and Brittany, were in Australia last semester on a study abroad program. Brittany petted a kangaroo and tasted kangaroo meat in the same day. A group of students just returned from China, led by Professor Liang Tang, Ph.D., where they visited businesses, met with CAOs, explored the Great Wall and tasted jellyfish.

Faculty are planning curriculum development trips to India, Mexico and China this summer and will give presentations to the Mount Ida community. New faculty-led travel courses are being developed for vet tech students to study tropical wildlife in Belize and for students in other majors to travel with their class. We are on the move.

Travel involves the art of navigating different time zones, currencies and cultures and constantly adjusting to new surroundings. It is a whole body experience. Travelers notice the tastes, sounds, sights and smells of a place as they move about, noting similarities and differences from what they are used to. This changes a person, creating a deeper sense of self and worldly awareness about diversity, current events and ways of living in other places.

A book is a window into the author’s soul. Last semester, our “Visions from Afar” exhibit brought you into the worldly experience of creative people who have traveled far and wide. To learn more about our global perspective through art, check The Gallery at Mount Ida this fall in Carlson Hall.

When Jackie Levy ’01 came to Mount Ida, she knew that she wanted to work with animals in some capacity. Now, Levy has found her niche at the VCA South Shore Animal Hospital in Weymouth, Massachusetts where she is employed as a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) and Certified Canine Rehab Practitioner (CCRP).

Classroom to career

Levy came to Mount Ida to complete her associate degree for vet tech, while working full-time in the field. Through balancing her coursework and career, she was able to maximize her learning experience outside of the classroom with applying real-world skills to her studies. As a result of spending the first eight years of her vet tech career at VCA Roberts Animal Hospital, she had the chance to do everything from reception to surgical tech to hospital management.

“Mount Ida gave me the foundation and experience I needed to become proficient as a vet tech,” said Levy. “Being an alumna means that I invested in my education and training so that I am able to develop my skills to the fullest. Ultimately, I see myself in a teaching position in the veterinary field.”

Deciding next moves

In 2010, Levy decided to go back to college to obtain her bachelor’s degree in vet tech. She found that continuing her education created opportunities for new interests. It helped her make the move to South Shore Animal Hospital full-time in 2012 to support their rehab program and management team.

“Don’t be complacent – challenge yourself and make sure you always have goals and things you want to learn,” stated Levy. “My proudest accomplishment has been my ability to practice in all my areas of interest. In addition to being a CVT, I am also a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and CCRP, so I have been able to develop skills associated with special interests like behavior and rehabilitation.”