Wanting to become a support system for others, Megan Romans' research focuses on bringing attention to a plethora of social issues while starting a conversation about important topics.
Megan Romans aspires to hold a tenure-track academic position in apparel design to support and teach undergraduate students, while continuing her research. When Megan isn't busy with her research, she enjoys spending time with her three cats, caring for her house plants, and looking at plane tickets.
Megan Romans devotes apparel design research to raise awareness for underrepresented populations
Megan Romans, a second year doctoral student, holds an immense amount of drive to bring awareness to social issues through her research efforts and design work.
“I am passionately interested in research that brings attention to social issues, starts a conversation about critically important topics, and promotes the advancement of stigmatized, disenfranchised, and underrepresented populations,” Megan said.
Her passions first sprung from a variety of experiences. During her undergraduate career Megan found her parents to be profoundly supportive, and she realized that she’d like to become a support system for others.
“During my final year of school, I decided that I wanted to be that supportive individual for other students who were not as privileged as I was,” she said. “So I decided to pursue a master’s degree.”
While working toward her master's degree in science in textiles, apparel design, and merchandising in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Megan’s eyes were opened to many social and cultural differences, especially compared to her life back in rural Idaho.
“I was shocked and deeply angered by the blatant and overt social injustices I observed on a regular basis. These experiences sparked my passion for social justice research, and continue to be a driving force in my everyday life,” Megan said.
Now, translating her passion and raising awareness, Megan is focusing on a plethora of social topics within her research.
In her design work, Megan is focused on sustainability, more specifically on the methods of diverting fabric waste from landfills. She is also working with Rachel Eike, assistant professor in apparel, events, and hospitality management, to shred fabric waste so that it can be composted.
“Currently, I am in the process of using fabric scraps created in the Iowa State University apparel design labs to produce a wearable garment,” she said.
Outside of her design work, Megan’s research is embedded in social justice and focused on the interconnected relationships between dress, appearance, identity, and cultural discourse.
“Specifically, I am interested in how underrepresented or stigmatized populations use dress and appearance to navigate subject positions and articulate identities in various social spheres,” Megan said.
She is currently researching dress and appearance behaviors of black women, and her previous research efforts focused on plus-size women.
Looking ahead, she is hoping to have an academic position in apparel design to share her knowledge and devotion for all things apparel, merchandising, and design with others.
“I hope to continue my research efforts, and I am very passionate about teaching undergraduate students," Megan said.