“Having a Career Closet for those in need continues to demonstrate Elizabeth Ann Seton’s vision but also shows Seton Hill’s commitment to the success of our students,” said Adriel Hilton, dean of students and diversity officer. Hilton oversaw the development of Seton Hill University’s Career Closet, which opened to the public on Feb. 12. “My hope is that students who need business casual and business attire have access to it.”
Although business clothes are a large component of the Career Closet, that is not all it offers. Students can get new and gently used shoes, coats, accessories, jeans and more—completely free. Once a student takes clothing from the Career Closet, it is theirs to keep.
The Career Closet was the collaborative effort of several students, faculty and staff who saw different needs on campus.
Lyzona Marshall, assistant professor of business, wanted to provide coats to students who are originally from warm climates and never needed one before. During a social project, associate professor of communication Jennifer Jones and her students discovered that students on campus had a need for clothes.
Student Success Director Connie Kugel also noticed certain needs that students have but are not being met. Hilton had worked with Career Closets at other universities before coming to SHU, so he saw the need for business attire.
When they realized they all wanted the same thing, the faculty and students came together to create the Career Closet.
“I hope that this will remind people of the global needs that exist, as well as the needs of our fellow Griffins,” said Marshall, who, along with her business students, played a large role in planning and implementing the new Career Closet at SHU. “We walk past people every day, and we don’t think about simple, basic needs. There are a lot of demands on students, and the Career Closet is a place for guidance and to get what you need. That’s what we’re really about, helping people out.”
If a student needs business clothes for an interview, internship or professional meeting, they will have access to shirts, ties, skirts and dresses, as well as many other items. The Career Closet has clothes in every size to accommodate all students.
The Department of Theatre and Dance Costume Shop will assist in making alterations for any student who would like an article of clothing tailored specifically for them.
The Career Closet asked for donations from faculty and staff as well as local department stores like JCPenney, Marshalls and Boscov’s.
“The donations were overwhelming; Dr. Hilton couldn’t see over his desk for a few days,” Marshall said about the 262 donations received before opening day. “We’re really proud of the community that came together to make this happen, and they’re quality clothes. There are some tags still on some things. They don’t look like thrift store clothing at all.”
The Career Closet is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. and Thursday and Friday by appointment (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Lowe 118.
“Students and faculty often forget that how you dress communicates to the world,” Marshall said. “Just like students in the PR program have a uniform, business has a uniform too. There is an expectation when you go into a professional environment that you will be dressed in that uniform, and this is an opportunity for students to have some great options that would blend in multiple environments.”
Published By: Stephen Dumnich