Fashion Design Faculty Member Anne Hand Recognized for Excellence in Teaching & Collaboration

When asked what makes Thomas Jefferson University’s Fashion Design Department stand out, most of our students and alumni will tell you the faculty are an invaluable part of their experience. Each year the university presents awards for Excellence in Teaching, as well as a Collaboration Award to faculty members that have worked on an internal research project for purposes of innovation. This year, we are thrilled to congratulate one of Fashion Design’s own, Professor Anne Hand, who will be receiving both awards on November 17, 2021.

Professor Hand and Professor Casano help dress a model for a photoshoot for the Class of 2020.

Professor Hand’s dedication to students success is a testament to her overall outlook on life. She has spent 30 years teaching and serving the Thomas Jefferson Fashion Design and University community. She teaches classes such as Garment Structures, Pattern Development I, Pattern Development II, Junior Studio, Collection I, Hand Knitting, and Accessory Design. As a professor and mentor, she often encourages her students to, “listen and observe carefully, take ownership for your actions, and treat others the way you wish to be treated.” Encouraging students to explore new creative direction, Professor Hand says it is her students that inspire her every day.  “Oftentimes, students through their presentations inspire me to research new things like an artist or designer that I don’t know anything about,” she says. “The most rewarding part of this profession is seeing the process of a newly minted high school graduate who grows and develops into an articulate, self-confident and talented young designer. The most essential thing is having patience and the ability to be flexible, especially after 18 months of teaching through COVID.”

Professor Anne Hand helps a student with her patternmaking to help bring the student’s sketch to reality.

When not teaching or advising, Professor Hand serves as the School of Design & Engineering Advising Advocate and an Upper-Level Advisor for students, helps advise the Designers Supporting Designers student organization, and is even a member of the Kanbar College Diversity Action Committee, where she works alongside other faculty members to discuss issues related to inclusion and inequality within the Kanbar college community. There is no question that Professor Hand is dedicated to growing and fostering a rich, supportive, and inclusive community within Thomas Jefferson University. It’s this level of dedication and respect for each student that makes Professor Hand such a perfect recipient for the Excellence in Teaching Award.

Professor Anne Hand with a former student from her Hand Knitting class.

In addition to Professor Hand’s teaching accomplishment, her dedication to community service and human-centric design have also earned her a Faculty Collaboration Award for her work on the Gorilla Gown. Currently still in the works, the Gorilla Gown is a new, cost-efficient patient gown that would provide thermal insulation before, during and after surgery.  Surgery often requires general anesthesia which can impair the body’s temperature regulation and leave patients at risk of dangerously low body temperatures. Current patient gowns have no thermal capability. Working alongside a cross-disciplinary team, made up of Professors Brian George (Textile Engineering), Janet Brady (Textile Materials Technology), and Adam Thaler (Anesthesiology) and  led by Engineering Professor Ryan Masoodi, Professor Hand helped to develop a surgical gown that minimizes the loss of body heat (perioperative hypothermia), which can have serious side effects such as an increase in infections and blood loss. The projects name, Gorilla Gown, is a nod to the Bair Hugger, another temperature regulating patient gown already on the market. Unlike the Bair Hugger which take air from the patient’s room, heats it, and then transfers that heated air through a hose across the surface of the patient’s skin, the Gorilla Gown researches infrared materials and layered non-woven fabrics to provide body heat without the need for forced air. Read more about the Gorilla Gown and how this cross-disciplinary team approached collaborative design here.

We in the Thomas Jefferson University Fashion Design Department are incredibly proud of these accomplishments and recognize Professor Anne Hand as an integral part of our community. Please join us in congratulating Professor Hand on both of her amazing accomplishments!



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