Category Archives: Transitions

Introducing Our New Dean: Carol Strohecker

The College of Design is pleased to announce that Carol Strohecker has been appointed the next dean of the College of Design. In her role, Strohecker will provide strategic leadership and work with faculty, staff, students, and our highly engaged alumni and professional community to further the College of Design. Strohecker studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she […]

Read more

In Memoriam: John Weidt (B.A. Arch '67)

John Weidt, founder of the innovative practice, The Weidt Group, passed away on April 8, 2014. He was a pioneer for energy and environmental stability in the built environment. In the 1960's John was one of the first to scientifically research the embodied energy and environmental impact of the production of building materials. Weidt was also a member of the College of Design Dean's advisory board.John created The Weidt Group in 1977 and slowly built the firm into a national presence by the mid 1980's. He did this through research and development contracts with national labs and major building manufacturers. Continually trying to advance his interest in energy and sustainability, he and the firm, developed methods to provide energy design…

Read more

In Memoriam: Mary Ellen Sullivan-Rickey (B.F.A. Studio Art '78)

Mary Ellen Sullivan-Rickey (B.F.A. Studio Art '78), a former lecturer in the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel at the College of Design, died on March 28, 2014 after a courageous but brutally short journey with Leiomyosarcoma. She had many overlapping careers as a remarkable artist and insightful teacher. She taught design, painting, drawing, color theory, and fashion illustration at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the University of St. Catherine, and finally at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel. She was a consummate clothing designer and tailor who blossomed in her ultimate creative calling designing costumes for VISTA Theater Productions.Read MoreA celebration of her life will be held at the Convent…

Read more

In Memoriam: Charlotte Jirousek (M.A. Home Economics '82, PhD DHA '88)

Charlotte Ann Jirousek (M.A. Home Economics '82, PhD DHA '88), Associate Professor and Curator at the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, died February 12, 2014 of a sudden severe heart attack. She was 75. Charlotte was born in 1938 and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She obtained her B.A. in Sociology at Hamline University, and was part of the folk blues revival scene. She served in Peace Corps Turkey, and her lifelong passionate love of that country inspired much of her research and writing. Having been a social worker, mother, fiber artist, and leading member of the Minnesota weaving and crafts community, she completed her PhD in Applied Design at the University of Minnesota at the age of forty-four,…

Read more

In Memoriam: U of M Foundation Leader Robert J. Odegard

Robert J. Odegard, age 92, of Naples, FL, passed away peacefully among family and friends, following a full life of service to community, state, and country. A devoted son, brother, husband, father, farmer, naval officer, automobile dealer, legislator, stockbroker, and celebrated fundraiser for the University of Minnesota, Bob's charisma and persistence propelled him to the top of every field in which he endeavored. With his wife Barbara at his side, Odegard engaged leaders from Minnesota's highest echelons in business, politics and education. In 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his distinguished career at the University of Minnesota Foundation. Odegard found his calling at the University. "Education is the Lord's work. The entire concept…

Read more

In Memoriam: Carl O. Graffunder (B.Arch '42)

Carl O. Graffunder (B.Arch ’42), an esteemed Minnesota architect, passed away on August 27, 2013, at age 94 from a brief illness with pneumonia. Graffunder received his Bachelor of Architecture degree with distinction from the University of Minnesota in 1942, entered the Navy where he worked as a naval architect, and received his Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University in 1948. In 1946-47 Graffunder was chief draftsman for Antonin Raymond, who was regarded as the father of modern architecture in Japan and New York City.  Graffunder returned to Minnesota after graduating from Harvard and became a design critic for the School of Architecture under the leadership of former dean Ralph Rapson. In addition to teaching until 1986, Graffunder ran his…

Read more

In Memoriam: Joan Lee (Whitney) Sharp (B.S. Home Economics '59)

Joan Lee (Whitney) Sharp (B.S. Home Economics '59) earned her degree with high distinction in what was known as the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics. An involved student, Sharp was the recipient of the Caleb Doer academic scholar award twice, a member of both Phi Upsilon Omicron and Omicron NU, and was also involved with two other academic honor societies that cannot be identified. She passed away March 7, 2012, but not without making a stamp on her communities. Sharp's teaching career spanned 28 years and included all levels from preschool through high school in Del Rio, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Bellvue, Nebraska; and the Air Academy School District in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1990, she received her…

Read more

In Memoriam: Chad Sowers (Ph.D. Design '13)

Chad Sowers (Ph.D. Design '13) passed away July 6th at the age of 32. He suffered a heart attack while visiting his family in Canby, Oregon. Chad was a graduate student in Design and just completed his Ph.D. in May. He was looking forward to starting an assistant professor position at Louisiana State University this fall. He received his bachelor's degree in Apparel Design from Oregon State University, and completed his master's degree in Apparel Merchandising at Colorado State University.While at the University of Minnesota Chad was the lead research assistant in the Human Dimensioning¬© Lab (see video below), where he held the Phelps Research Assistantship. He was lead teaching assistant for the textile course and taught several Apparel Design…

Read more
1 2 3