University of Rhode Island  
Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design


TMD 402 Spring 2012 "Entrepreneurship"

Every year the TMD Department focuses on a new theme for the spring seminar. For Spring 2012 the focus is Entrepreneurship
The class meets Wednesday afternoons from 4-5:30 p.m. in Quinn Auditorium. Lectures are open to the public.
The course web site is the product of both the instructor and the students. New pages will be added as the course progresses.


Dr. Linda Welters

Quinn 303


Office hrs MF 2-4, or by appt.

874-4525 or 874-4574

Through presentations by invited speakers, the topic of entrepreneurship will be explored as it relates to textiles, apparel, and interior design. An entrepreneur can be defined as “someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” An entrepreneur is a change agent who, if successful, “expands the size of the economic pie for everyone” (Library of Economics Website). Entrepreneurship is on the minds of governments, the business community, and educators during these recessionary times. This topic offers flexibility for industry presenters as well as student presenters. The seminar is an advanced class designed to bring together subject matter from the entire TMD curriculum.

Registrants for two credits are required to complete a research paper and present it to the class. Student presenters will research specific subjects not covered by the invited speakers, thereby increasing our knowledge.

Section 01 - 1 cr. - students attend guest lectures and student presentations; write a 1-page summary to be handed in at the start of the following class.
Section 02 - 2 cr. - students perform all requirements for 1 cr. plus research a specific topic which they present in both oral and written form
TMD 402 may be repeated once with a different topic.

A basic understanding of the textile and apparel industry is necessary to comprehend the topics addressed by the speakers. Completion of TMD 103, 222, 226, 232, and 303 is helpful. Two-credit registrants should be juniors who have completed at least 12 credits of TMD classes. See instructor if you are unsure about your ability to complete the requirements for two credits.

Course requirements:
Students registered for 1 credit must attend all class sessions and write summaries of each presentation to be handed in at the following class period. I will be using a stamp to mark the papers submitted on time. No late summaries will be accepted. The goal of assigning weekly summaries is to develop and improve your writing skills. I and my graduate assistant, Hilary Baker, are available to work with you to improve your writing skills (e-mail <> for appt.).

Students registered for 2 credits must complete the requirements for 1 credit registrants and an in-depth research report. The guidelines for the 2-credit assignments will be distributed and discussed on Feb. 1.

Web page:
I am building a web page for the course to which all students have the opportunity to contribute. Each week a student-prepared summary will be selected for addition to the web page. The web site will be accessed through the TMD Department homepage. <>. All students are expected to visit the web site regularly.

Sakai site:
I will have a SAKAI site for notifications and schedule updates. The TMD outcomes and assessment process requires that one of the summaries (to be identified at a later date) be submitted via the SAKAI drop box so that it is digitally preserved. This will occur in the middle of the semester after you have had a chance to get used to the summary-writing process; also, the anticipated content of the presentation will influence my choice.

Attendance is mandatory (see course requirements) and contributes significantly to your grade. On the first day of class, a seating chart will be made. Be sure you remember your assigned seat as attendance is taken using the seating chart. Attendance means arriving by 4 p.m. and staying until the presentation is over. Late arrivals and early departures will be noted and attendance records modified accordingly. Guest speakers contribute valuable time and effort to make their presentations, and as guests they should be treated with respect. It is rude to come in late and to walk out on invited speakers while they are talking. This includes leaving temporarily to use the restroom, get a drink of water, or receive a phone call. And, need I say … all phones on “silent” and no text messaging. Computers may be used ONLY for note taking, not checking facebook and emails. We will be monitoring for this.

One-credit registrants will be graded on (a) the summaries, and (b) attendance. Summaries will be graded S, S+, and S-. A full semester of S graded summaries with no absences will earn an A grade for the course. The course grade will drop with increasing numbers of S- grades. Grades of S+ will counteract S- grades (i.e. an S- and an S+ are the same as two S's). The grade for the summaries depends on full attendance at guest speakers and student presentations.

The grade will be reduced by absences. Only one excused absence is allowed. This is a documented medical excuse, but not an appointment at health services, vacation plans, job interview, etc. All of these can be scheduled at another time. Each unexcused absence will reduce the grade by two steps as follows:

Unexcused Absences

Grade drops by:



2 steps

A to B+, B+ to B-


4 steps

A- to C+, B to C-


6 steps

A to C, B+ to D+

Four absences means you’ve missed almost half the lectures, so the grade will be a failing grade. Do not whine and still expect an A if you miss one or more of the presentations. Do not submit a summary if you missed the presentation. If you miss one or two presentations, it’s not the end of the world if you get a B or C. It’s your choice.

Two-credit registrants will be graded as follows:
50% attendance and summaries
25% presentation of project
25% paper for written paper

For bona fide illness (written medical excuse), see instructor.


Students who are registered for one credit must prepare a one-page summary of each weekly speaker and a long paragraph on each of the student presentations. The summary must be submitted in paper form (except for one to be submitted on the Sakai site). Paper summaries must be word-processed. Hand-written summaries will not be accepted. Do not email your summary as I cannot print out 130 papers every week. Paper copies submitted at class time will avoid problems with misplacement. All papers submitted properly will receive a stamp.

Students registered for two credits must complete an in-depth research report that will be presented to class towards the end of the semester.

Summaries each week should be no more than one page in length, single spaced. Take notes as the speaker is presenting, and mark anything you find confusing: ask a question if you have the chance. When you write the summary, have an introduction and a conclusion. Break your summary into several paragraphs. The style should be clear and concise: do not clutter the summary with phrases such as "the speaker said that...." "there was a diagram that showed that......". Avoid spelling and grammar errors. Use spell check! Also proofread, as spell check can’t decipher your meaning.

The summaries provide you with a chance to develop skills in synthesizing information presented orally. Do not write your summaries word-for-word from your notes. Instead, craft a summary that is interesting to read. Speakers will not provide information at the right pace for you to judge what is important. Also, relate the speaker’s comments to entrepreneurship. Writing summaries soon after the seminar is a good idea, since it is likely that you will remember more about what the speaker said than if you wait until the night before the next class. Poorly written summaries will receive a grade of S-. “Poorly written” means content is inaccurate and/or quality of writing is lacking. Numerous spelling and grammar errors will result in a grade of S-. Each student should write the weekly summary independently. An S+ is a well-written summary with an attention-getting introduction and a solid conclusion. “This week’s seminar speaker was …” is a mundane way to begin your summary.

Hilary Baker, my graduate assistant, can help you if you are having problems with writing. Reach her via e-mail ( URI’s Writing Center is another source of assistance. It is located in Roosevelt Hall. There, you will work with writing tutors on specific issues that will help you with your assignments such as paragraphing, sentence clarity, sharpening thesis statements, documenting sources, using appropriate evidence, or understanding and practicing specific grammatical concepts. URI Writing Center tutors will not edit or proofread for you; rather, they will teach you proofreading strategies you can use yourself. Their goal is to help you become a better writer, and this requires both time and effort on your part. Check out their web site (

Grading for the written paper will be as follows:

100 points

      30 -choice of topic, good introductory statement, pertinence of material as foundation for conclusions, accurate conclusion  

      15 -neatness, spelling, evidence of careful proofreading, double-spaced, margins 1" all around, pages numbered, pages in sequence, title page

      15 -bibliography in correct form, current references, range of sources, sources properly cited

      30 -organization, logical sequence of topics, use of subheadings, quality of writing, evidence of editing and integration of material, quotations only  when necessary

      10 -paper handed in on time (due one week after presentation, except for students presenting during final exam time slot).  For every day the paper islate, 10 points will be deducted from the score.

Presentations to the class should:

            *be interesting

            *be well-prepared

            *be organized

            *use appropriate visuals (I can help you with power point presentations)

              *be well-timed (20 minutes plus 5-10 minutes for questions)


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