Accomplished HES Alumnae Speak During Centennial Celebration

Nearly 200 alumnae and friends of Meredith’s Human Environmental Sciences (HES) department came home to Meredith on Saturday, April 18, 2015, to celebrate the department’s 100-year history.

Alumnae representing each of the five majors in the HES department discussed how their Meredith education sets them apart in their fields during a panel held as part of the celebration. Read more about the centennial event

The panel, moderated by Mary-Katherine Pate Connor, ’04, adjunct instructor and centennial celebration committee co-chair, featured:

  • Emily Newman, ’11, fashion merchandising and design;
  • Sarah Catherine Rhodes, ’10, child development and B-K teaching license;
  • Shelly Wegman, ’99, foods and nutrition;
  • Rebecca Holloman Liverman, ’99, family and consumer sciences (formerly home economics); and
  • Caroline Ashworth, ’11, interior design.

Strength and self-confidence were common themes among the panelists who spoke about the knowledge and hands-on experience they gained from their majors as well as their overall Meredith experience.

Wegman credited her public speaking classes with giving her the confidence to share the nutrition expertise she gained from earning undergraduate and graduate nutrition degrees from Meredith with wider audiences.

A wellness dietitian for Rex Wellness Centers, Wegman is often invited to discuss the latest nutrition news on the local news, and to give talks at conferences and events. Wegman also writes a monthly nutrition blog for the Raleigh News & Observer.

Liverman said her Meredith family and consumer sciences degree gave her the “poise and self-confidence to be able to rise to any challenge” she faced during her six years as county director for the Washington County cooperative extension office.

Ashworth, a designer at RTKL Associates, an architecture firm in Washington, D.C., said the “leadership and self-confidence skills” she gained from her interior design classes have helped her be successful in the heavily male-dominated architecture field.

Panelists also expressed pride over Meredith continuing to enhance its reputation for academic excellence.

Rhodes, who teaches a Wake County Blended Preschool Class at Root Elementary School in Raleigh, said that Meredith’s reputation for teacher education gives her credibility in the field.

“Meredith is well-known for providing teachers who advocate for children and who are shaping the way we run classrooms,” Rhodes said.

Newnam, who designs the SOUTHERN FROCK collection, which retails in boutiques throughout the east coast and the Caribbean, said she’s benefitted from the fact that “Meredith has really risen in the rankings.”

Meredith’s fashion design program ranks among the top 15 programs in the South, according to

“I’m very proud to tell people that I attended design school at Meredith,” Newnam said.

Learn more about Meredith’s HES department

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330