News

Susan Avila honored with Chancellor’s Award
June 17, 2014

Professor Susan Avila with mentees Katherine Comstock, Olufunmilayo Alabi and Denise Tirado
Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research

Susan Avila, Professor of Design, is an artist and designer who uses textiles to enhance perception of contemporary culture. While Avila has exhibited her work around the globe, on campus she may be best known as the faculty advisor for the annual Picnic Day Fashion Show. Under Avila’s guidance, the show has grown from a small event on the grass in front of Walker Hall to a sold out crowd in Freeborn Hall.  Design Department Chair Tim McNeil noted that the award was especially fitting this year—Avila’s last year as adviser for the popular show. Avila’s students praised her emphasis on the importance of bringing critical thinking and research to creative work.  Avila expressed gratitude to her own undergraduate mentor—a relationship that continues to this day.  She also praised the Undergraduate Research Center for its outreach to the Department of Design. “Design is the future of the world,” said Avila.  “We are changing the world through design thinking.”  

Dateline, UC Davis 

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