Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Merchandising So Young Song, Ph.D., recently received a research award, Paper of Distinction in Merchandising/Retailing I. Management Track, at the 2019 International Textile Apparel Association (ITAA) annual conference held in Las Vegas. Titled “Consumers’ Adoption of Fashion Robot Advisor: A Joint-Network Analysis,” this paper was co-authored with Youn-Kyung Kim, Ph.D., at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
In addition, Song received the 2019 University of Fashion/Laurence King Publishing Faculty Award for demonstrated commitment to upgrading skills, learning new techniques, and the desire to become a lifelong learner for continuous improvement of teaching. She is also the 2019 recipient of the Aging and Public Health’s Betty J. Cleckley Minority Issues Research Award from the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting and Expo.
Prior to joining Illinois State, Song received a doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and taught merchandising courses at the University of Memphis. She also attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and interned with Liz Claiborne. She gained additional corporate experience in New York working at New York & Co. and Leeward International Inc. In addition, she has various overseas working experience in the textile and fashion industries in Seoul, the Republic of Korea.
In Song’s Ph.D. dissertation, she conducted a study of artificially intelligent (AI) retail service robots working in the fashion apparel, mobile phone, and restaurant service industries. This recent award-winning paper was part of her dissertation combined with an analytical application of network analysis. “The awards signify my continuous passion for both innovative research and teaching related to fashion retailing and consumer behavior in the high-tech era.”
Song is a professor and a mentor to students who want to pursue careers in fashion. Acknowledging the high competition in the fashion industry, Song’s advice is setting a clear career goal early in one’s college years and developing the targeted skills required to achieve one’s career goals. She also believes that paying attention to building foundation knowledge in textiles, retail math, retail technology, sketching, sewing, technical design, pattern making, costing, and production is the bedrock of all great fashion career.