Todd Snyder gives back with scholarship internship

Todd Synder

Todd Synder

Ainsley Chapman

Remember that one teacher who made a lifelong impact on you? The late apparel, events and hospitality management professor Ruth Glock was that inspiration for ISU alumnus and menswear designer Todd Snyder.

In honor of Glock, the 1992 graduate started the Ruth Glock Internship Scholarship — a paid internship scholarship program — that offers one ISU student the chance to work for Snyder in New York for the summer. A scholarship in the amount of $5,000 is given to one lucky apparel, merchandising, design and production student, and this is its first year. Snyder, along with his assistant Brice Pattison and recent ISU alumnus Cole Kersey, interviewed three finalists for the internship program Friday evening.

On Saturday, at the 30th annual Fashion Show, Snyder announced that senior Megan St. Germain will be the first recipient of the Ruth Glock Internship Scholarship. St. Germain said she is thrilled to be selected, and she is looking forward to working with Snyder this summer. However, she didn’t expect to win. “I was up against some other very talented students,” she said.

St. Germain said she has always had an interest in menswear and plans to work in it after graduation in December 2012. “I think the last year of classes really solidified my interest in menswear,” she said. “After the first project in menswear, I just continued to produce it, and I haven’t done women’s wear since.”

While the interview and application process was fairly standard, a strong interest in menswear was a necessity. Academic adviser Ann Thye emailed the apparel, merchandising and design department about the internship without giving details in hopes of getting students who had a real passion for menswear.

“At that point, they didn’t know about the scholarship or that it was with Todd Snyder” Thye said.

Snyder had the idea for the scholarship when talking with Thye last summer. He said he wanted to give back to students in a way similar to what Glock did for him.

“Ruth was a great mentor in every way,” Snyder said. “She pushed me to go after my dreams and move to New York City.”

Snyder said it was important for him to do something that honored Glock and gave back to the department. “She pushed me to do things that shaped who I am today,” he said.

Snyder graduated from Iowa State at a time when fewer men were entering the fashion industry and an internship were not required to graduate. Snyder was one of the first students to have internship experience by the time he graduated. Snyder said he believes in the importance of experience in the fashion industry. However, experience in New York City can often come at a hefty price because many internships are not paid. The Ruth Glock Scholarship Internship will give students a valuable experience without the price tag.

While Glock inspired Snyder, St. Germain said she also has been inspired by professors in the apparel, merchandising and design department. “There have been so many great professors, it’s too hard to choose just one,” St. Germain said. “I feel as though everyone I have been taught by has inspired and motivated me in some way.”

Snyder said he hopes to continue and grow the program over the next few years. Snyder has even inspired other industry professionals with connections to Iowa State to do the same. “What’s really exciting is that through Todd’s leadership, more industry professionals have followed in his lead,” Thye said.