Campus Life

Career Closet open for business Jan. 15

Short-on-cash students and staffers at UWF might want to check out the first ever Career Closet in the University Commons Conference Center (Building 22) Jan. 15 for one-of-a-kind bargains on gently worn professional attire and accessories for both men and women.

With the pockets of young job hunters in mind, event organizer Laura Tissington has been collecting items on campus and from the community for weeks. She hopes to sell everything at the Career Closet for between $5 and $20 and, at the same time, raise money for her two favorite charities: the proposed Rachel Heffner Memorial Endowment Scholarship, named for Tissington’s daughter, and N.B. Cook School of the Arts, where Tissington’s son is in the fourth grade.

Tissington, assistant dean of the College of Professional Studies, decided she wanted to do something positive to help students and found the idea inside of her own closet which was stuffed with professional clothes she no longer wears.

“I thought, what can we do that does not cost money and still contributes to others,” said Tissington. “Then I looked in my closet and saw all of these clothes I no longer wear…I have sizes 6 to 14 in there. I say this all the time, ‘I don’t wear a 14 but I don’t wear the 6 either, I’m somewhere in between.’ But I had them all in my closet.”

Positive her idea for a Career Closet targeting UWF students entering the job market was a good one, she made an appointment to discuss it with Career Services.

“We are excited about how it will benefit students,” said Career Services director Lauren Loeffler. Her office is partnering with Tissington on the event.

Some of the items waiting for the sale include several Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft women’s suits; Coldwater Creek jackets; Isaac Mizrahi for Target ladies’ suits; several suede suit jackets; men’s dress shirts; winter coats; purses; and women’s shoes, both casual and dress. Also there are designer jeans in various sizes and a rack of school clothes for young boys, sizes 8 to 10. “We are also planning a special boutique area as well filled with unusual or better items,” she said.

Both the Career Closet and the nursing scholarship pay tribute to Tissington’s daughter, Rachel Heffner, who had cystic fibrosis. A third-year student at UWF, she died Jan. 12, 2003, just a few months shy of her 21st birthday. The scholarship in her name targets students who are female, in financial need and in good academic standing. Tissington is planning a series of events to support the scholarship; others include an exhibit at Festival on the Green, a garage sale and a Web site with information about Heffner and the scholarship.

The Career Closet will be open Jan. 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All items will cost between $5 and $20. Anyone interested in donating gently used clothing or accessories can drop off their items at Career Services in Building 19 or at the Conference Center Jan. 13 or 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. when volunteers will be there preparing for the event.

For more information, call Tissington at (850) 438-9940 or e-mail or Career Services at (850) 474-2254.

By Susie Forrester, University Marketing Communications