Graduate Fellows

We are pleased to introduce the Dean's Fellows for the School of Graduate Studies. The principal goal of the Dean's Fellowship is the development of a graduate student community at FIT. This exceptional group of fellows were recognized for bringing a diversity of life experiences and showing notable promise in building connections with faculty, staff, alumni, and students.

The School of Graduate Studies welcomes individuals across all disciplines and backgrounds to apply for these Fellowships, which are awarded on the basis of merit and the promise of outstanding academic and professional achievement. 

Interested in applying for a fellowship?

Eber BodmerEber Bodmer, MPS, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management

Eber Bodmer is an expert and 17-year veteran in the prestige and luxe skincare, makeup, and fragrance industries. A bilingual (English/Afrikaans) native of South Africa, she started her career in cosmetics after acquiring a cosmetology certification and doing makeup for celebrity clients including Naomi Campbell, Britney Spears and Linda Evangelista.

Bodmer has worked in various capacities over the years for beauty giants such as LVMH (Sephora), L’Oreal (Clarisonic), Estée Lauder (Clinique, Bumble and bumble), Shiseido (NARS), and most recently, the K-Beauty giant AmorePacific, where she was head of U.S. marketing. She travels globally to lend her knowledge of the U.S. market to the beauty industry and is a lecturer at Atelier Esthétique in New York City.

Bodmer has worked as an editor at Vogue and W Magazine. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications at FIT, and has ITEC and CIDESCO certifications in South Africa. She is a member of Look Good Feel Better, VERVE, Project Sunshine, NY Cares, TWYLS programs and CEW. She currently lives in New York with her husband and new baby boy.

Favorite NYC Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Favorite Artist: Gustav Klimt

Michelle Ralph-FortonMichelle Ralph-Fortón, MA, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, and Museum Practice

Born and raised in Miami, Michelle Ralph-Fortón holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in Fiber and Material Studies. Her weavings have been exhibited in Miami, New Orleans, NYC, and at the Central Museum of Textiles in ód, Poland. Currently, she is in the Fashion and Textile Studies program and aspires to be a conservator. 

As an undergrad, Ralph-Fortón studied abroad at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain. This international experience was followed by an internship in Cusco, Perú with the Center for Traditional Textiles.

Ralph-Fortón is eager to learn from and study textiles in her career because she believes they transcend their functionality as physical manifestations of their cultures.

Favorite NYC Museum: The MET 
Favorite Artist: Faig Ahmed

Karen PerlmanKaren Perlman, MA, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, and Museum Practice

Dr. Karen Perlman earned her PhD in Health Psychology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Yeshiva University; her numerous achievements in that field include her high success rate in resolving symptomatology of PTSD which led to her being interviewed by The New Yorker, L.A. Times, CNN, and local media outlets.

Dr. Perlman’s interest in fashion was influenced by her grandmother who sewed couture for  Adrian, Ltd. in the 1940s and 1950s and her other grandparents who were in the tailoring and upholstery businesses. Her interest in fashion continued, and over the years Dr. Perlman took numerous courses in fashion, textiles, and museum studies–in addition to writing a series of articles on collections management and general conservation issues for the Coronado Eagle Journal.

Dr. Perlman's career goal is to become a curator specializing in antique jewelry and accessories, archiving a designer’s collection, and writing books. 

Favorite NYC Museum: Cooper-Hewitt
Favorite Artist: Gustav Moreau and Gustav Klimt 

Kayla VanNameKayla Van Name, MA, Exhibition and Experience Design

Kayla Van Name is a native New Yorker and an aspiring exhibit designer with a passion for sustainability and educating through entertainment.

Van Name earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. During her undergraduate studies, she completed a semester at the University of Sydney in Australia, with a focus in philosophy and architecture. After graduating in 2016, Van Name began her career working for Arup, an international multidisciplinary engineering firm at the forefront of sustainable design.  

Van Name discovered her love for experiential design through engineering, while working on public art coordination for the MBTA’s Green Line Extension, and a site-specific Goldsworthy piece for the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA. She plans to use her unique design experience to encourage a movement towards a zero-waste circular economy in the exhibition design industry.

Favorite NYC Museum: The Guggenheim
Favorite Artist: Andy Goldsworthy