New CSU Department Head in Design and Merchandising Focuses on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Nancy J. Miller has been named the new department head for the Department of Design and Merchandising. Miller took over the position in July, coming from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she held the Burlington Professorship in the Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies.

“We are pleased to welcome Nancy Miller as the new head of the Department of Design and Merchandising. She brings an outstanding record of scholarship and excellent leadership skills to a strong department,” said Jeff McCubbin, dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences.

Miller’s research, outreach and teaching are in the areas of consumer behavior, apparel retailing and family and small business entrepreneurship and management. She also is an active grant writer who generates nearly $2 million in funding.

Her research focus is on discovering and measuring factors that affect rural community marketplaces, with particular emphasis on small and entrepreneurial businesses, family-owned businesses, women and Latino-owned businesses and formal networks that build collaboration among independent business owners.

“The prevailing reputation of the Department of Design and Merchandising is outstanding. There is a history of faculty, staff and students working together to promote a culture that supports betterment of individuals, organizations and communities. I am committed to mobilizing and supporting these actions and look forward to working at CSU,” Miller said.

Miller earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in textiles, clothing and design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She served as the research liaison for the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 2005 to 2010. She serves as vice president of publications for the International Textiles and Apparel Association and recently received the organization’s Pearson/Prentice Hall Lecturer award for outstanding contributions to the field.

Miller takes over from Mary Littrell, who served as department head for seven years before her retirement in 2011. Littrell’s groundbreaking research in the area of fair trade and social responsibility garnered her top awards in her field.

“Nancy Miller’s expertise in small business and entrepreneurship offers an exciting new dimension to the department and has broad applicability to the Colorado business community,” Littrell said.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is in the College of Applied Human Sciences. The department offers majors in interior design and apparel and merchandising, with a concentration in apparel design.