Marsha Dickson

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Dickson named Irma Ayers Professor of Human Services


10:45 a.m., July 8, 2013--Marsha Dickson, professor and chair of the University of Delaware’s Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, has been named the Irma Ayers Professor of Human Services, effective Sept. 1. 

Her named appointment succeeds that of Sharron Lennon, who held the endowed position for seven years before retiring from the fashion department in June.

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“Marsha is a fitting successor to Sharron Lennon, offering the same combination of outstanding scholarship, stellar service and dedicated teaching and mentorship that has characterized this appointment in the past and were the hallmarks of Dean Ayers’ 24-year career,” said Interim Provost Nancy Brickhouse. 

Dickson is internationally known for her research and teaching on socially responsible practices in the apparel industry. She has been awarded Apparel Magazine's All-Star Award and the International Textile and Apparel Association's Distinguished Scholar Award for her work. 

She has conducted research in several countries, including China, Guatemala, India, Thailand and Vietnam and is founder and president of an international consortium of Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Business

“Marsha’s outstanding work in advancing global standards for the treatment of workers in the apparel and footwear industry and in encouraging industry to employ environmentally responsible manufacturing techniques distinguishes her as a global scholar,” said George Watson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Associate Dean Joseph Pika echoed such sentiments, calling Dickson’s work in corporate social responsibility, sustainability and globalization a “classic example of translational research, bringing research insights to bear on real-world problems and practices.” 

The Irma Ayers professorship was established in 2004 with a bequest from the estate of Dorothy (Dot) W. McNeal, a retired UD employees who worked in the Office of the Registrar. The fund is named in honor of her friend Irma Ayers, former dean of the School of Home Economics.

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