RTM Extension

Funded Projects

Weight - The Reality Series: Becoming Body Wise (WTRS)

Project Coordinator: Kim Miller-Spillman, Ph.D.

To read all of the Body Wise informational sheets, please follow the links to the right (desktop) or below (mobile). For many, there is a constant battle in figuring out what to wear and what looks appropriate for one’s body. With constant changes in fashion trends, women may find it difficult to find clothes that not only fit, but make them feel good. Through this project, seven informational sheets were created to educate women on wardrobe basics and how to avoid making fashion mistakes.

Aspiring Innkeeper's Guide

Project Coordinator: Dr. Jason Swanson

Created for the Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky, the Aspiring Innkeeper’s Guide is a manual used to educate those interested in starting a lodging business in their home or developing small hotels in Kentucky.

Teaching Vulnerable Youth to Sew: Increasing Self-Esteem

Project Coordinator: Kim Miller-Spillman, Ph.D.

Funding: 4-H Venture Grant

With less tobacco production and more low income situations present, youth are becoming more vulnerable for unemployment. Through this project, youth learned basic sewing skills and entrepreneurial skills to prepare for self-employment in sewing related cottage industries – apparel construction, alterations, auto manufacturing, and museum/historic preservation. The project was pilot tested in four counties

Weight Loss, Body Image and Dress of 10-16 Year Old Girls in Kentucky

Project Coordinator: Susan Michelman, Ph.D.

Funding: HEEL

This pilot project focused on intergenerational focus groups on weight, body image and clothing issues of mothers and daughters. Approximately 5-6 structured focus groups at representative locations in the state were conducted by a graduate student in conjunction with an Extension agent

Community Service

Students in FCS 350: Design Issues in Family and Consumer Sciences, formerly taught by Dr. Kim Miller-Spillman, made therapy turbans during class with the assistance of Marjorie Baker, Extension Clothing Specialist. As a community service project, the turbans were donated to chemotherapy patients at Markey Cancer Center who have suffered hair loss during treatment. The knit turbans are best sewn on a serger, a machine that both stitches and finishes a seam in one step. Two Baby Lock sergers were donated to the construction lab (retail value of nearly $1,200.00) by John and Susan Michelman in support of the project.

Economic Impact Studies

Project Coordinator: Dr. Jason Swanson

Dr. Swanson produced separate economic impact studies for the Bluegrass State Games and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.  Both sporting events are important tourism demand generators for the Bluegrass Region.  The work included online surveys of participants to determine spending patterns and learn about travel behavior of those visiting the area to attend or participate in the events.  

Extension Presentations

Dr. Jason Swanson

Each year, Dr. Swanson makes at least two presentations to Extension Agents about tourism in general or specifically about agri-tourism. This work is in conjunction with his involvement with CEDIK (Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky).

Additional Outreach

In addition to these funded projects, the Retailing and Tourism Management Department has also contributed to programs in summer 4-H programs and lectures to Extension groups.

Contact Information

Vanessa Jackson, Ph.D.
Department Chair

102 Erikson Hall Lexington, KY 40506-0050

+1 (859) 257-4917