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this month's articles

New Basketball Coach Signs On

Two-time New York State Federation Champion in the high school ranks joins our ranks. [more…]

CEURE Travels Far and Fast

CEURE’s ultimate mission is to provide a highly qualified, certified teacher for every classroom that needs one, with special attention on “high needs” schools. [more…]

New Guy in Town

“I’m excited about being part of the rich legacy of this college,” Rochon told the Insider. [more…]

‘What Price Freedom?’

Commemorating the Niagara Movement Centennial [more…]

From the Editor

Notice anything different in this issue of the Insider? [more…]

Declare yourself

"Match your skills to your dreams."

BY MARY A. DURLAK

Elaine M. Polvinen, M.F.A. Professor, Technology

An art gallery, a factory floor, and the front of a classroom are all second homes to Elaine Polvinen.

Polvinen, professor of technology in the fashion and textile technology program, showcased her artistic work last summer at the Museum of Arts & Crafts Itami gallery in Itami-shi, Hyogo, Japan. With silk as her canvas and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as her tools, she used flowers —hydrangeas, violets, birds of paradise—as the subject of her work and the focal point of her fabric designs.

However, don’t limit Polvinen to the gallery. The skills she imparts to her students include developing a commercial, market-savvy approach to fabric design. “One current trend,” she explained, “is creating a look that’s inspired by traditional ethnic designs. But the final product has to be done in colors that sell in the targeted marketplace.”

She encourages her students to think of themselves in relationship to the marketplace, too. She sends them to employers’ Web sites to see what jobs are available, and what skills are necessary to get them. “Then,” she tells her students, “match your skills to your dreams.”

That first job is, of course, just the beginning. Polvinen believes that it’s important to mentor students from learners to professionals—that is, to the kind of people who, once hired, can move forward quickly in their careers. “I want to help my students leave the nest,” she said, “without going ‘plop.’ I want them to be able to fly.”

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SEPTEMBER 2005/VOL. 04, NO. 1
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