Thanks to Caitlin Costello (CHES Class of 2011), The Fashion Archive will be adding some special designer fashions to its collection. Caitlin runs a personal wardrobe styling business in NYC. Through the generosity of clients of her company Affiner, Caitlin has secured the donation of a number of exquisite garments for her alma mater. This contribution will add to the growing contemporary designer section of our collection. How wonderful – a red Valentino dress – seems fitting & appropriate, don’t you think!
Established at The University of Alabama in the 1930s, a collection of historical garments and textiles housed in the Department of Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design is undergoing a transformation with a new direction and a new curator. The Fashion Archive in the College of Human Environmental Sciences (CHES) will have some of its objects featured in the upcoming “Women of the Tide” exhibition that opens at The Gorgas House Museum on June 28.
Recently appointed curator Dr. Marcy L. Koontz, a CHES faculty member since 1998, says that the “Women of the Tide” exhibition will be our first opportunity to share some of the new ways in which we plan to creatively showcase objects from the collection with the public. And, we have thoughtfully selected items of dress worn by women of The University of Alabama representing five distinct decades.
Dr. Stuart Usdan, who helped the College of Human Environmental Sciences make significant gains in graduate enrollment, research funding and infrastructure, has been named dean of the College. UA executive vice president and provost, Dr. Kevin Whitaker, made the announcement after a six month, nationwide search. Usdan’s appointment is effective July 1. He succeeds Dr. Milla Boschung who is retiring after serving as dean since 2003.
“Stuart is a strong academic leader with a respected research record and a firm commitment to teaching and service,” Whitaker said. “I’m confident he can build on the College’s many strengths while charting a bold and innovative course for the future.”
As dean, Usdan will be the chief academic officer for the College with oversight over all its academic programs and activities.
Usdan joined UA as an associate professor in 2005, earned tenure in 2008 and was named associate dean for graduate studies, research and assessment in 2010. He was promoted to professor in 2011 and has served as senior associate dean since 2014.
With extensive experience in the oversight of graduate academic programs and curricula, Usdan saw the College nearly double its graduate school enrollment over the last decade. He serves on UA’s Council of Associate Deans for Research, performing liaison functions between the vice president for research and the College’s faculty. As a member of the advisory board for the Alabama Life Research Institute, he facilitates and supports interdisciplinary research for this new university-wide institute.
During his UA tenure, Usdan has taught both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in various subjects including personal health, community health, principles of health promotion, research methods, public health policy and more. He was honored with the Joseph S. Rowland Teaching Excellence Award in 2014.
He has served on more than 65 student dissertation and thesis committees and is an active member of the American Public Health Association. He has authored or co-authored numerous book chapters and academic journal articles.
Usdan earned his bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of Arizona, his master’s degree in health promotion and behavior from the University of Georgia and his doctorate degree in health education and health promotion from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Prior to joining UA, Usdan served as an assistant professor at both the University of South Carolina and at Mississippi State University.