Studying at Meredith College has been an empowering experience for Avoneè Simmons, '17, a fashion merchandising and design major.
"You watch yourself grow at Meredith. I've learned so much about myself and others, and had experiences that I know I will use in the future," Avoneè said.
Small class sizes and the opportunity to really know her professors were among the reasons she chose Meredith.
"I wanted to connect with my professors. I've had classes with Dr. [Eunyoung] Yang every year. She knows my strengths, and knows when I need to be pushed.
As an Honors scholar, Avoneè has conducted undergraduate research including a project during the summer of her sophomore year that focused on natural fiber dyeing.
She presented her senior honors thesis during Meredith's 2017 Celebrating Student Achievement Day. Her project focused on dyeing and was inspired by African folktales. Through her research she selected an indigo dyeing process used by a tribe in Nigeria, and created garments using a batik process.
"It was fun to push myself. It was my own schedule, with my professor there for advice."
She has served as a student assistant in the Honors Program, an admissions ambassador, student adviser, and a member of Kappa Omicron Nu honor society, Meredith Fashion Association, and Silver Shield. She has been a counselor and student coordinator of Meredith's Multicultural Summer Symposium, a program for incoming students.
"I feel like I'm all over campus all the time. Being involved is important to me -- you make a better experience for yourself that way," Avoneè said.
These leadership experiences were beneficial in a variety of ways. "I'm learning about how I interact with other people, learning about other cultures," Avoneè said. "I'm working in a team, being a leader, and being organized and having time management skills."
Avoneè has always been interested in fashion. "I've never questioned it," she said. "I have high expectations of myself and I came here with big goals. Meredith has helped me focus my goals."
Her career goal is to become a product developer. "I love to design and like to fit into a brand's ideals." She may want to teach in the future, and eventually she would like to own her own boutique. "I'd like to have a shop that caters to all body types so that everyone can feel beautiful."
One of her favorite Meredith memories came from participating in Meredith's Cornhuskin' tradition.
"This year, the night before Cornhuskin', during our last practice we all gathered together in a circle and shared our favorite memories with each other," Avoneè said. "This is where we made our first group of friends. We really became a sisterhood."
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