The Department of Retailing and Tourism Management hosted a student from Fayette County School’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Academy Internship Program during the spring semester. STEAM is a broad umbrella that promotes innovation and authentic, problem-based learning experiences in the workplace. This program is individualized and designed to allow students to engage with potential future careers and earn course credit through volunteer, job-shadowing, or intern experiences.

STEAM Academy Intern, Khili Daniel, was assigned to work in the Textile Testing Laboratory in the Department of Retailing and Tourism Management. Jeanne Badgett, graduate assistant in the lab, served as his primary supervisor and mentor. From February 9 to April 27, Khili worked in the lab each Thursday for 5 ½ hours. During his time in the lab, Khili assisted with tasks related to Jeanne’s thesis research titled, “An Evaluation of the Quality of Men's 100% Cotton Jersey Knit T-Shirts Representing Three Retail Categories”. These tasks included testing the quality of men’s t-shirts, measuring fabric weights, and learning how to work with various types of equipment.

 Jeanne shared, “Khili was always engaged and interested in the work he performed in the Textile Lab. He was like a sponge, he would soak in all the information. He approached each task very analytically, and this enhanced his internship experience. He was able to see the textile fabrication process through an engineering perspective, which is what he wants to pursue as a career.”

The requirements of the STEAM Academy Internship Program include weekly assignments. Khili had to answer questions that connected his internship with his class content. At the end of his internship in the lab, he interviewed Jeanne about her thesis and work experience in the industry. At the conclusion of the internship term, he developed a final project that showcased his work. The projects were presented at a “Night of Learning” session featuring all STEAM interns. Khili showcased how working in the HES Textile Lab improved his understanding of the fabrication process and how it has provided a clearer lens on how to approach his future career focus in fabric engineering.


Author: Michaela Mineer
Terms: RTM