Former Lasell University professor, Kathleen Potter recently got promoted to become the new Dean of Lasell School of Fashion. In this series, get to know Dean Potter as she discusses her goals as the new dean and reflects on her own college experience.
Q: When you first became a professor at Lasell, what made you choose Lasell as a university to work at?
A: I think I can basically boil it down to two things. The first is the people and the second is the programs. So the people I’m talking about are the student body, our faculty, and staff. So when I came to the school, it was an incredibly warm welcome by both groups of people, and that’s before I even started. And so that, I think that is part of how I knew that I would be able to mesh well with the group here and to contribute and complement the brilliance that was already here … As for the programs, I think the fact that we have three unique disciplines within the fashion industry as majors for students is huge. I think the breadth and depth of the opportunities that we’re able to offer is another piece that really drew me in.
Q: What do you like about Lasell’s fashion program and how does it differ from other fashion programs you have been a part of?
A: So there’s not a lot, but there’s a good number of schools in our region that have fashion programs but we are the only one that has these three distinctive programs, which is sort of thing I love for several reasons.
One is that it mirrors and mimics what’s happening in the industry and I think we’re kind of right on in terms of being able to offer these different aspects of the industry to our students. And the other thing is that it allows for this cross-disciplinary experience of the student. So a designer who is really passionate about their art and their creativity might sit alongside a merchandising student who really gets the business side of fashion and understands what kind of power operationalizes the creative, to create this multi-billion dollar industry. And that person might be sitting alongside a fashion media student who understands that without having really effective channels of communication to get the word out about what’s going on in fashion what’s happening with a fashion brand, and being at the cutting edge of the different ways that’s happening in 2020. I just think really it’s reflective of what’s happening in the industry and it creates this great exposure to different areas of the industry. I think that makes our students more ready to go into their careers, even if they haven’t studied all three in-depth, that exposure and that opportunity to work with students across the three disciplines I think is really a benefit …
So the program is obviously at the core of what we are, who we are, what we deliver. But it’s all of the other stuff that happens outside of the program and outside of individual classrooms. I think it makes our school fashion so special and so distinctive, so polished. Lasell’s Fashion Collection, Studio 1851, the NRF, DECA, you name it on and on. From there we have developed a good number of really solid opportunities for students to get involved in on an ongoing and regular basis.
Q: What are your goals for the school of fashion and what do you hope to accomplish as Dean? Read from source….