RayeCarol Cavender The Department of Retailing and Tourism Management welcomed RayeCarol Cavender to the faculty in August 2015. As an assistant professor, Dr. Cavender will teach courses in retailing and tourism management and conduct research. Prior to accepting this position, Dr. Cavender served as a Visiting Professor and an Assistant Professor at Ohio University. Her teaching experiences include courses in fashion forecasting, merchandising, product development and dress culture.

Dr. Cavender is an advocate for international education. In her master’s program she provided leadership for a student semester abroad in Italy. While at Ohio University, she led the development of an education abroad program to Paris and oversaw student involvement in a study abroad program to Italy. She also participated in ongoing mentoring and curriculum development for a hospitality and ecotourism program at a college in Botswana.

Dr. Cavender’s desire to work in higher education developed early in life, as both of her parents were faculty members and administrators at Auburn University. Her position at the University of Kentucky allows her to return to a land-grant campus with the missions of teaching, research and service. Dr. Cavender was drawn to the position at UK by the structure of the department, which includes both retailing and tourism management, the reputation of the faculty and the appeal of the Lexington area. She shared, “I had traveled to Lexington previously and enjoyed what the area had to offer. The position at the University of Kentucky seemed a perfect fit for my background and experience.”

As an assistant professor, Dr. Cavender’s research focus will include further study of luxury brand management, experiential marketing and cross-cultural retail marketing. She also plans to explore research opportunities specific to Kentucky. She is participating in UK’s Faculty Fellows program and looks forward to building connections at the university and beyond.

Dr. Cavender holds a B.S. in Merchandising Management from Virginia Tech, a M.S. in Consumer Affairs from Auburn University and a Ph.D. in Apparel Business from Virginia Tech. She is a member of the International Textile and Apparel Association, the American Collegiate Retailing Association and the National Retail Federation. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys opportunities to use her language skills.

Dr. Vanessa Jackson, chair, Department of Retailing and Tourism Management, shared, “RayeCarol brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry that will enhance our ability to provide our students a competitive edge in the work world.”