Haywood Community College


Contacts: Debra M. Davis, Diana S. Conard

185 Freedlander Drive

Clyde, NC 28721

828-627-4521 Fax: 828-627-4513

Date: 2-17-07

For immediate release.

HCC Professional Craft-Fiber Students Attend Industry Symposium

Three students from the Professional Crafts- Fiber program at Haywood Community College, Sherry Neal, Dagmar Morgan, and Mary Grover, and Catharine Ellis, HCC Fiber instructor, recently attended a symposium sponsored by the furniture industry in High Point, North Carolina. The three day educational program organized and led by the International Textile Market Association (ITMA) was entitled “Fabric: From Concept to Consumer.”

The symposium included facility tours and presentations conducted by industry experts at several North Carolina furniture manufacturing plants. Students also traveled to Charlotte, Winston Salem, and Valdese, during the week as part of the program to visit design firms and textile manufacturing plants.

For HCC student Dagmar Morgan, the symposium helped her see what options are available in the filed. “I was able to see how the industry worked,” she explained. “It helped me decide whether I want to be a part of it.”

Morgan came to HCC upon finishing Pisgah High School. She plans to continue her education at Western Carolina University. “Through the program at HCC, I have learned so much about entrepreneurship. I would definitely be ready to open a business if that’s what I chose to do.”

HCC student Mary Grover explains what a unique opportunity the symposium afforded her. “It opened my eyes to what designers do. I saw the constraints they are under,” she explained. “This symposium allowed me to interact with other industry students and internationally known designers who were willing to spend time with us.”

Grover came to HCC with a master’s degree. She is a nurse practitioner/midwife who is pursuing a lifetime interest in learning more about fiber. After finishing HCC, she plans to return to her field but also use her new knowledge from HCC to participate in the fiber field.

The ITMA is a membership-based non-profit organization which works with textile students and educators to maximize industry awareness and to encourage students to pursue careers in the home furnishings fabric industry.

The HCC participants were part of a group that included approximately twenty other students and faculty members from prestigious fiber schools such as North Carolina State

University, the University of Kansas, Buffalo State University, and the Savannah College of Art and Design.

In addition to industry tours and presentations, the program provided individual students opportunities to review their portfolios and samples of their work and to develop and refine job seeking skills with the help of industry experts.


(Cutline:) Pictured left to right are Haywood Community College Fiber Students Sherry Neal, Mary Grover, and Dagmar Morgan at Pearson Furniture in High Point. The students recently attended a symposium along HCC Fiber instructor, Catharine Ellis.