CWUNews FeedNews Feed Big Win: College Job Experience Pays Big Dividends for Downtown Ellensburg Business Owner Megan West, 25 Jun 2018 10:42:28<p><img alt="Megan West" src="/family-consumer/sites/" style="width: 650px; height: 433px; margin: 3px;">Megan West opened Claim Clothing, a clothing boutique in downtown Ellensburg, in May 2014, nearly a year after she graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in apparel, textiles and merchandising. She also completed minors in apparel design and retail management.</p><p>A year later, West was receiving regional and statewide recognition. In 2015, West won the Enterprise Challenge, a business plan competition for business owners in Yakima and Kittitas counties. During the same year, she was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Washington State Main Street program.</p><p>Read more of this story in the <a href="" target="_blank">Yakima Herald-Republic</a>.</p>Family & Child Life Grad Student's Grief Group Featured in Pulse, 24 Jan 2018 09:19:09<p>Natalie Porter, a Family and Child Life graduate student, focused her thesis research on the experiences of emerging adults who have lost a parent. Based on her research, she developed a grief group for emerging adults and is currently facilitating the group through the Family Resource Center. Natalie and her group were recently featured in an article in the CWU Pulse Magazine. Way to go, Natalie! Check out the article here:&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/family-consumer/sites/"><img alt="" src="/family-consumer/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 303px;"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;">For more information about <a href="">the grief group</a>, visit the Family Resource Center website:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p></p style="text-align: center;"></p style="text-align: center;">CWU Poverty Simulation Provides Students and Community Unique Insight, 17 Jan 2018 14:59:07<p><img alt="Poverty Re-einactment" src="/family-consumer/sites/" style="width: 650px; height: 439px; margin: 3px;">Imagine having to choose between buying food and paying the electric bill or selling your belongings to afford needed medications. Central Washington University is offering the community and students a hands-on lesson in poverty during the 5th Annual Poverty Simulation on January 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the SURC Ballroom.</p><p>A poverty simulation is a role-playing exercise designed to build a greater awareness of the issues facing low-income families and the challenges they face.</p><p>“It’s a deep dive for many who’ve never personally experienced poverty, and a chance for those who have to share their perspectives,” said assistant professor of <a href="" target="_blank">Family and Child Life</a> Sarah Feeney.</p><p>During the exercise participants will navigate four 15-minute “weeks” as a member of a low-income family, and community volunteers will play the role of local services and businesses. A conversation will follow about how the experiences of families in the simulation relate to issues in our community, as well as potential solutions and actions.</p><p>Last year, the event had record attendance of more than 70 participants and 20 volunteer representatives from HopeSource, Kittitas Housing Authority, Merritt Resource Services, The City of Ellensburg, and Bright Beginnings for Kittitas County. This year, County Commissioner Obie O’Brien has volunteered to participate, further expanding community involvement.</p><p>Feeney organizes this event as part of a class, but believes that the Poverty Simulation is beneficial to all college students and the community as a whole.</p><p>For more information about the Poverty Simulation, contact Sarah Feeney at 509-963-2292,</p><p>Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,;</p>CWU's Pop-Up Thrift Boutique Brings Affordable Fashion to Ellensburg, 26 Oct 2017 08:03:53<p><img alt="" src="/family-consumer/sites/" style="width: 165px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left; height: 165px;">Because fabulous clothes deserve a second look, new and gently used name-brand clothing, accessories, shoes, and more will be available at the Pop-up Thrift Boutique. This is the second year that Central Washington University Student Fashion Association and the Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising Program will host the sale.</p><p>The Thrift Boutique will be held Friday, November 3 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday, November 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The sale will take place at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds in the Naneum room.</p><p>A wide range of sizes include an extensive plus size selection will be available, along with men’s clothing.</p><p><img alt="" src="/family-consumer/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 300px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: right;"></p><p>This project serves the purpose of providing new or gently used fashionable clothing to community members at thrift store prices. Student Fashion Association members will have an opportunity to merchandise the product, work with customers, and it provides a hands-on learning experience.</p><p>The Thrift Boutique is a fundraiser for the Student Fashion Association, all proceeds will go towards the students' field experience to the New York fashion industry in February. During the field experience, they will network with industry professionals, make connections for future internships and post-graduation positions, and learn about current industry trends in various sectors.</p><p>Media Contact: Andrea Eklund, Associate Professor &amp; Program Coordinator, Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising, 509-963-2067,</p><p>October 26, 2017</p>CWU Professor and Mother Invents Versatile Maternity Jacket, 09 Aug 2017 09:54:20<p>A Central Washington University professor in Ellensburg wins a national competition for her one-of-a-kind design for a jacket. The inspiration for it? Her own pregnancy.</p><p>When Andrea Eklund, a professor of the Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising program at CWU was just starting out as a new mom to now 1-year-old son James. It took a lot of work to keep her and the baby warm in the winter.</p><p>"I was putting on my winter jacket and then a baby carrier and then him and a blanket over the baby carrier, and I felt like the little boy from A Christmas Story," said Eklund.</p><p>That struggle inspired her to design a functional coat that had pregnancy in mind but was also fashionable.</p><p>Read the entire story and watch the video on <a href="" target="_blank">KNDU/KNDO</a>.</p>Fashion, Function, and Fertility: Versatile Maternity Coat Wins Competition, 01 Aug 2017 13:09:35<p><img alt="Andrea Eklund modeling her coat" src="/family-consumer/sites/" style="width: 628px; height: 424px; margin: 3px;"></p><p>Andrea Eklund, Central Washington University professor of Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising, won Best in Show for her original design at the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) conference. The competition was a double-blind, peer-reviewed competition with more than 30 design submissions.</p><p>AAFCS is an association for family and consumer sciences professionals and students—many who are educators, administrators, human service and business professionals, and consultants.</p><p>“It was amazing to be chosen,” Eklund said. “It’s nice to be validated by professionals from the apparel industry and other professors who know design.”</p><p>Eklund’s winning design is a versatile functional coat that expands through each phase of pregnancy. After childbirth it can be worn as a coat and as a baby carrier by placing an infant in the hidden front pocket.</p><p>Eklund’s design inspiration originated from her experience as a new mother. She sought a solution to the cumbersome ritual when taking her child outside in inclement weather.</p><p>“I was so uncomfortable,” Eklund said. “I would have my jacket on, then I’d have to put the carrier over it, then a blanket over the baby—it was so many layers and bulky over my jacket.”</p><p>In testing the pattern, Eklund used her infant to assure the fit and comfort of the product. Her final design is constructed of 100 percent cotton herringbone for easy cleaning and a touch of fashion—something that new moms can appreciate.</p><p>Numerous conference attendees gave Eklund positive feedback and encouraged her to patent her design. She is taking their advice and is in the process of patenting the design with the hope of selling it to a company that can add it to their line and mass produce it.</p><p>During Eklund’s tenure, she has won numerous design awards—both national and international. As a professor she brings her talents into her teaching of Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising (ATM) students. The ATM program has a strong industry connection with the robust apparel industry in the Pacific Northwest which has many apparel corporate headquarters located between Everett and Portland. Seattle is the seventh largest apparel manufacturing center in the United States and the fourth largest in fashion design jobs.</p><p>Visit the <a href="" target="_blank">Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising web page</a> to learn more about this creative and diverse program.</p><p>Pictured: Andrea Eklund stands next to her winning designs--a maternity coat and her baby.</p><p>Media contact: Dawn Alford, public affairs coordinator, 509-963-1484,</p>Inspirational CWU Graduate Double Majors After Serving in Military, 20 Jun 2017 09:09:56<p><img style="width: 600px; margin: 3px; height: 365px;" alt="Kristin Ashley" src=""></p><p><em><strong>Kristin Ashley, holding her Veterans Excellence Award for highest attained GPA. The 2017&nbsp;</strong></em><em><strong>CWU graduate double majored with a <a href="">B.S. in global wine studies</a> and a <a href="">B.S. in recreation, tourism, and events</a> with a specialization in tourism management.</strong></em></p><p>All college students deal with adversity on the way to earning their degree, but some have a lot more challenges than just those in the classroom.</p><p>One Central Washington University graduate got her start in college much later than most students on campus. Kristin Ashley is not your typical college graduate.</p><p>"I deal with stress a lot more productively than some people," Ashley said. "I am more motivated to accomplish and conquer challenges."</p><p>She grew up 26 miles outside of Ellensburg, without running water or electricity. Then everything changed when she was 16.</p><p>"That's when nine-eleven happened and we had seen the planes fly into the towers," Ashley explained.</p><p>That night, she tried to sign up for the draft but was rejected.</p><p>"That was very moving for me and I wanted to immediately do something about it," she said.</p><p>Read more of this story on <a href="" target="_blank">KNDU/KNDO TV</a>.<br><a href="" target="_blank">Watch video</a>.</p></br>'I am not a label:' CWU fashion student defies the odds despite his disability, 18 May 2017 15:25:48<p>One local young man is defying the odds and challenging stereotypes in the process.</p><p>It's a big day at Central Washington University (CWU) for 20-year-old Dylan Rothwell, who was recently accepted to the school to study fashion design.</p><p>But his journey to this milestone hasn't been easy.</p><p>“It's just me and the sewing machine, and the thread and fabric,” said Rothwell. “I'm enjoying the process; it's very calming.”</p><p>A 'happy place' for Rothwell, who has always been fond of various forms of art and discovered fashion at a young age.</p><p>Read more of this story on <a href="" target="_blank">KIMA-TV</a>.</p><p>May 18, 2017</p>What It's Like to Raise Kids on a Tight Budget, 21 Nov 2016 08:45:15<p>For certain people, having children is one of life's most rewarding experiences. It's also an expensive choice that can be particularly scary for low income families.</p><h4>Because of the costs associated with starting a family, some people face judgment for having kids during times of financial struggle.</h4><p>Low income parents are sometimes viewed as lesser providers for not being able to give to their families in a way that others think that they should. In 2015, for example, Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly <a href="">asserted</a> that children only went hungry in America due to "derelict" parents. Some critics assert that families in tough economic situations are <a href=";pagewanted=all&amp;">always looking for handouts</a> from the government because they'd rather not work to get what they need. In 2014, writer Daniel Payne argued in <a href="">the Federalist</a> that there "should be a stigma surrounding government dependency" so people might be discouraged from using government services such as free lunches in school.</p><p>"I think any low-income individual faces stigma, whether it's an individual person or families," <a href="">Sarah Feeney Ph.D</a>, an assistant professor of <a href="">Family Studies</a> at Central Washington University, told ATTN: in a phone interview, adding that some people might assume that those who have children earlier in life aren't serious about their professional lives. "I think people who are from a middle or upper middle class background see careers as being the [most important] priority and think that children are going to get in the way of that. Also I think there is sort of that underlying expectation that if you add to your family without having a certain income level that you are going to be relying on [government] services, and there's a huge stigma around that. I think that's an undertone."</p><h4>Feeney added that the social stigma against having children on a tight budget or early in life can vary by social class:</h4><p>"I think it really depends on what social class you're a part of. I think if you're part of an upper or middle class income, where people have access to college education, probably there's a greater stigma in that population. But if you look at lower income communities where there's high rates of unemployment and low rates of college degree obtainment, it's actually a stigma in the other direction. Like if you don't have kids in your twenties, it's like, wow, what's wrong with you? So I think it really depends on what your social context and class is."</p><h4>But even if you think you feel financially prepared to start a family, a new mother named Sara Demler told ATTN: that she thinks "you can never be prepared enough" to have a baby anyway. Demler, who lives in California, has faced criticism from others for having a child on a $13 dollars per hour income.</h4><p>"I have definitely been told I didn't have enough money for kids or led to believe I had to wait until I was married or financially stable. My boyfriend and I both lost a parent so we eventually decided that we want our child to hopefully have as much time as possible with us while we are healthy and young. I would agree that [financial security probably] helps, but just because someone has all that money doesn't mean they are budgeting well themselves.</p><p>Laura, a mother of one in Dubai who asked ATTN: to withhold her last name, agreed with the sentiment that no one is ever really "ready" to be a parent regardless of how much money they've saved. Laura found out she was pregnant right before starting graduate school in southern California, and she and her partner were living off her monthly stipend from school at the time. He was initially concerned about how they would make ends meet in their situation, as he was freelancing. She said she faced postpartum depression and financial difficulties during her time in graduate school.</p><p>"The one person who was most vocal about our financial instability was my baby's father (now my husband)," Laura told ATTN:. "I found out that I was pregnant one week before starting grad school at USC, and my husband was freelancing various art jobs. We lived on the monthly stipend that I received from school, so we were both constantly dreading the end of the school year, where we would have to find another source of income. My parents raised seven children, so they always assured me, 'You'll make it work.' And we did. Thankfully, we are now living abroad in Dubai and living a very comfortable life."</p><p style="text-align: center;">STOCKSY<span style="text-align: center;">/</span>TANA<span style="text-align: center;"> </span>TEEL</p><h4>Laura also cast doubt on the idealistic notion that you should be in a financial sweet spot before becoming a parent. By this logic, some people might wait forever to have kids.</h4><p>"I think we all have this ideal scenario in our minds where we are married, completed years of travel, and have an established career, a sizeable savings account, and a cute little starter house before having our first child," Laura said. "Very rarely does life turn out this way."</p><p>"Through hard work, selflessness, and determination, I think that a family can always make it work, even if they're living from paycheck to paycheck for a while," Laura continued. "My dad financially supported all six of my siblings and I, while my mom stayed home to rule the roost. While having more money would make it a little less stressful on first time parents, a baby can get colic no matter how much money is sitting in his/her parents' bank accounts."</p><p>The article above is from&nbsp;<a href="">ATTN</a>, an online magazine.<br>By Laura Donovan<br>Published November 19, 2016</p></p style="text-align: center;"></span style="text-align: center;"></span style="text-align: center;"></br></br>Family and Child Life Highlighted in Pulse Article, 31 Oct 2016 14:45:55<p>A recent edition of the CWU Pulse Magazine included a story on the keys to cohabitation which featured <a href="/family-consumer/node/1589">Dr. Feeney</a> and the <a href="/family-consumer/node/1536">Family and Child Life Program</a>. Dr. Feeney&nbsp;highlights the importance of planning to move in together as a next step in the relationship rather than a test drive and outlines some great conflict resolution strategies. The article also encourages students who are looking to better their relationship skills to take our Family and Child Life course,&nbsp;FCL 101: Skills for Marriage and Intimate Relationships. Check out the article below or at the <a href="">Pulse Magazine website</a>.<img alt="" src="/family-consumer/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 363px;"></p>