URI Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design creates advisory board

Panel to help revise department’s curriculum, programming

Media Contact: Tony LaRoche, 401-874-4894 |

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 24, 2021 – The Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design in the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business has formed a new Textiles Advisory Board to serve as a critical resource for the department’s revitalization.

The board, comprised of industry experts and leaders, will play a key role in reimagining the department for the future. Focus will be given to revising the curriculum and developing the programming necessary to produce future leaders that are adequately equipped with the skillset demanded by this industry.

“This advisory board plays a unique and crucial role by supporting our TMD programs not only with their philanthropic contributions, but with their deep knowledge and understanding of the business and how the curriculum relates to the needs of the industry,” said Maling Ebrahimpour, dean of the College of Business. “The concerted efforts of the advisory board and faculty in the department assures that our students are armed with the knowledge that makes them uniquely marketable in today’s extremely competitive job market.”

The board members represent a wide-ranging and accomplished group, six of whom are URI graduates from TMD and the College of Business. These individuals include:

  • Andrew Weisbrot ’95, vice president, Zanella, New York.
  • Bethany Pollack ’97, safety products manager, Draper Knitting Co.
  • Claudia P. Iannuccilli ’82, G’95, P’06, retired conservator, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
  • Meaghan Mooney ’06, on-air personality, style expert, image consultant, speaker, and author.
  • Michael Woody, CEO Trans-Tex, president of RITIN.
  • Joe Rotondo ’16, founder, Rocky Clark.
  • Yemi Sekoni, president, The Donahue Group.
  • Shane Grenley ’02, president, Desigual, North America.

The first collaborative project between faculty, administration, and the new board will be the TMD 2030 project with the mission to envision the future of the department and what it will be for the students of 2030 and the world they graduate into.

Associate Professor and Department Chair Karl Aspelund will lead the board’s efforts. “I am very excited to work with our new board and their diversity of talent, experience, and vision. Already, each has shown a wonderful sense of commitment and a deep interest in our mission. We’re very fortunate to have such willing, supportive partners in developing and achieving our future goals for our students and our community.”