Melissa Dawson is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design in the College of Art & Design at RIT. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on soft product design, including bag design, functional apparel design, and soft toy design. She previously taught as an adjunct professor at RIT and University of Minnesota – St. Paul campus. She received her B.S. in Textiles & Apparel from Cornell University and an M.S. in Textile Design from Philadelphia University (now Jefferson University). Before returning to academia, Melissa spent many years working as a designer in the textile & apparel industry: designing prints and jacquard knits for Polartec LLC, infant bedding and accessories for Kids Line LLC, and prints, color palettes, and engraver files for Target Corporation. Her work experience at a textile mill, as a vendor, and at a retail company provided the invaluable opportunity to understand the soft product design industry from all sides. Melissa is an avid knitter, who also enjoys weaving, spinning, crochet, dyeing, felting, embroidery, bobbin lace, sewing, cross-stitching, and any other fiber-related activity she can get her hands on.