Sherry Schofield-Tomschin of Blacksburg, assistant professor in the department of apparel, housing, and resource management in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, is the recipient of the 2003 International Textiles and Apparel Association (ITAA) Lecta Outstanding Faculty Design Award for Excellence in Creativity and Innovation.

Schofield-Tomschin received the award for her wedding gown design titled "Celtic Heritage" which incorporated quilting techniques as the design focus, rather than the more traditional lace and beading. Inspiration for the quilting concept came from medieval quilted garments, a love for quilts, and a $25,000 gown designed by Vera Wang. Schofield-Tomschin was also inspired by Celtic knots, and incorporated the looks of the backless gowns of the 1930s.

The award represents the highest honor for a designer in the textile and apparel profession. The 2003 Design Competition is an important segment of the ITAA Annual Conference, which took place in Savannah, Georgia, from Nov. 5-12.

"Sherry created a very unique gown integrating interesting design and construction details. The result is an elegant creation with exquisite detailing," said LuAnn Gaskill, head of the department of apparel, housing, and resource management. "This award tends to be given to senior design faculty in the profession. It's a very competitive design show and we are delighted for Sherry and the department."

Schofield-Tomschin was awarded an all-expenses paid trip to Paris to attend the Premier Vision Design Show. She created the gown to fit her daughter, Jessica Paulson, 17, who is the model shown in the photographs (attached).

A member of the Costume Society of America, Schofield-Tomschin received her Ph.D. from Iowa State University, and her bachelor's degree and master's degree from North Dakota State University

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences embraces the arts, humanities, social and human sciences and education. The college nurtures intellect and spirit, enlightens decision-making, inspires positive change, and improves the quality of life for people of all ages. It is home to the departments of apparel, housing and resource management; communication; educational leadership and policy studies; English; foreign languages and literatures; history; human development; interdisciplinary studies; music; philosophy; political science; ROTC; science and technology in society; sociology; teaching and learning; and theatre arts.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.

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