SUNY Buffalo State fashion merchandising and design major Rachel Hamerski is among five college students nationwide selected as ambassadors this fall for Cotton University—an online educational and outreach program developed by Cotton Incorporated last year.
“This is a major recognition for Buffalo State as the other student ambassadors are from other major universities in our field—the University of Missouri, North Carolina State University, the University of Delaware, and Kent State,” said Lynn Boorady, associate professor and chair of the Fashion and Textile Technology Department. “We are very proud of Rachel for her hard work and tenaciousness.”
Hamerski, a senior, attributed her selection to the design contests she created for the Cotton University website, including one challenging fashion students to redesign a man’s dress shirt.
Jenna Oschwald, manager of global supply chain marketing for Cotton Inc., said they were impressed with the design contests that Hamerski developed.
“We hadn’t seen anything like it before,” Oschwald said. “It was clever, and we’ve found that students love design contests.”
This marks the second ambassador contest Cotton Inc. has hosted, after choosing a small group last spring. For the fall competition, they received numerous applications from all over the country. Oschwald said.
As an ambassador, Hamerski is responsible for creating a fall marketing plan for Cotton University informing fashion students about opportunities available to them. She was given a budget of $2,500 to implement the plan.
On campus, she is spreading the word personally by setting up information tables in the Technology Building and the Campbell Student Union during Bengal Pause.
Prior to this appointment, Hamerski traveled to Cotton Inc.’s corporate headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, with two faculty members and another student to test cotton garments and provide evaluations. In fall 2012, she traveled to the consumer marketing headquarters in New York City where she joined a team of 20 students from across the country to help develop the Cotton University website.
“All of these experiences are a great way to get your foot in the door with this company,” said Hamerski, who would like to design clothes and run her own business someday. "I am excited about creating fun and innovative ways to introduce my peers to Cotton University."