Dorothy Vernon

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Minor/option/emphasis: Fashion, Culture, History, and Social Justice
Company/Organization: ISU Textiles and Clothing Museum
Destination: Ames, Iowa
Timeframe: Spring 2023
Advisor/Coordinator Email: jbeyer


At my internship, my primary responsibility is curating an exhibition for the Mary Alice Gallery museum space. The major goal of this is to develop my research skills. The curating process includes several different tasks and responsibilities. To start, I had to find a number of different objects that would create a cohesive display. Form here, I came up with a 'big idea' for the exhibition that encompassed the story I wanted to tell with the garments showcased. Next, I researched the history and cultural significance of each object and used that information to write labels for each. Finally, I had to install the entire collection in the gallery space in an aesthetically pleasing way.


I'm very proud of having a exhibition on display that focuses on childrenswear. This is not typical for the museum, so this exhibit really stands out. Additionally, there are less sources available for a lot of children's fashion which made the research process more difficult. On a personal level, I also think the development of my writing skills is a major accomplishment.

Learning experience

The greatest lesson I've learned is how to accept criticism and use it to develop my skills. It's important to not take feedback personally and instead understand that all work can be improved upon to some degree. I've seen my skills grow significantly over the course of my internship because I have taken all the feedback I've gotten and used it to improve my work.

What advice would you give?

Prioritize maintaining a healthy work/life balance to avoid burnout. In such a creative field, it can take a lot of emotional and mental energy to create projects you're proud of. If you don't take your physical and mental health seriously, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and exhausted. This goes for both classes and internships. At the same time, I would say to get involved in as many things as you can. Our major has so many incredible opportunities for students and I've learned so much from every single thing I've participated in.

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