Apparel, education and hospitality management professor dies

Elizabeth Krugler

Ruth Glock, assistant professor in apparel, education and hospitality management, died Wednesday, Feb. 9 [Feb. 9 added for clarification].

After returning from a trip to China in the fall, Glock reported not feeling well. She was later diagnosed with a stage-four brain tumor, but continued to teach up until December.

Glock obtained her master’s degree from Iowa State and became part of Iowa State’s faculty in 1977.

For 30 years, Glock worked at Iowa State in the apparel, education and hospitality management department.

Glock made drastic changes to the sewing laboratory, transforming it from a traditional, home sewing program to an industry-production-oriented program.

“This was important to [Glock] because she thought that if her students were going to be working in industry, they need to be learning in an industrial environment,” said Sharon Wirth, teaching lab coordinator in apparel, education and hospitality management.

Not only were the sewing labs important to Glock, but the department’s internship program was also something she dedicated much attention to. Internships were not always required for the program, but Glock always insisted students have internships.

“[Glock] would help students one-on-one find a successful match for an internship,” Wirth said. “She was one of the very few who would actually travel on-site to make sure the internship was going well and to provide good contacts with companies.”

The importance Glock placed on the internship program resulted in the department now requiring all students to complete an internship before graduation.

Additional achievements by Glock include co-writing the first textbook focusing on apparel manufacturing processes, which is now on its fourth edition and is used worldwide.

Glock was named Educator of the Year in 1998 by Bobbin, an apparel manufacturing trade publication.

Glock was a member of American Apparel and Footwear Association, an industry group that endorses 13 programs nationwide.

During the mid-1980s, Glock’s dedication and hard work for the apparel, education and hospitality management department brought it to be endorsed by the American Apparel and Footwear Association.

“[Glock] was such a passionate, caring woman that did so much for the program here at Iowa State, ” said Ann Thye, academic adviser for apparel, education and hospitality management.

Despite all of her contributions to the department, Glock was not one to be in the spotlight.

“Her focus was the students,” Wirth said. “She felt that the important thing was the students and their learning environment, not so much herself.”

Glock touched many lives in her time at Iowa State.

“What I appreciate most is whenever you are around her, you are always learning — either learning something about the industry, gardens or her family,” Wirth said. “You are always learning something new and interesting. She had the ability to look at someone and know their strengths and teach how to use those strengths in a positive way.”

During her last lecture in December, she gave her students one final thought: “You have 86,400 seconds in each day. What will you do with them?”

A celebration of life ceremony and tribute for Glock will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Reiman Gardens.