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College of Health and Human Sciences

Material researcher Hurd tapped as alumni fellow; Dietetics grad fellow for DCE

Friday, February 17, 2012

K-State will honor two graduates from the College of Human Ecology next week as 2012 Alumni Fellows.

Rebecca Pirkl Hurd, 2012 college alumni fellow

Rebecca Pirkl Hurd, the college’s fellow, is a senior material researcher in apparel innovation for Nike. She received a M.S. in apparel and textiles in 1986.

Kristine M. Smith, the director of Nutrition Services at Neighborhood House Association in San Diego, received a B.S. degree in dietetics through the university’s distance education program. She is alumni fellow for the Division of Continuing Education.

Hurd will present “Design for a Better World: Revolutionary Technologies for the Apparel Industry” at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in Justin Hall 253. The presentation is free and open to the public.

At Nike in Beaverton, Ore., Hurd develops materials and apparel product solutions to maximize athletic performance. She worked with Nike Sphere concept, part of the Nike FIT (Functional Innovative Technology) performance apparel platform that is heralded within Nike as the “best example of how Nike apparel should bring innovation platforms to our consumers.”

She received a Nike Apparel MAXIM award in both 2002 and 2005 for her work on Nike Sphere. The technology was recognized by the industry at the ISPO Trade Fair on its list of Top Innovations of 2005 and by Time Magazine on its list of Best Inventions of 2006.

Her current work involves driving Nike towards more sustainable textile production methods by implementing technologies that provide the opportunity to reduce water and energy use in the dyeing of textiles. She is a member of the NW chapter of The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and has been trained as an Oregon State University Master Gardener.

She holds two patents and has spoken and taught around the world about sustainability and fabric and color technology.

Hurd was an instructor, teaching assistant, lab technician and research assistant during her four years at K-State.

Kristine M. Smith, 2012 continuing education alumni fellow

Smith began studying dietetics at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, Fla., during her eight years in the U.S. Navy. She completed a bachelor of science in dietetics using the distance program.

In San Diego, Smith leads a team of 14 staff at the central kitchen where about 7,000 meals are produced daily for pre-school aged children in Head Start and child development programs throughout the county.

Nearly five years ago, she hired a chef and completely redesigned the menu and overhauled the entire foodservice operation with a goal to help reduce childhood obesity. The team moved from a heat-and-serve kitchen to cooking meals from scratch using organic, natural and whole foods.

Smith has eliminated nearly all canned products and all convenience foods from the ingredient list. Recognized throughout the community and nation for revolutionizing preschool nutrition, the Association’s preschool menu now features foods such as Fresh Tomato Soup, Rotini alla Bolognese, Salmon Tacos and Sweet Potato Yogurt.

The alumni will meet with faculty and students in the Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics when she is on campus.

 Prepared by Human Ecology communications

This article was posted on Friday, February 17, 2012, and is filed under College News, Hospitality Management, Interior Design and Fashion Studies.