Rachel Parker-Strak

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Personal profile


As an academic lead and senior lecturer in Fashion Buying and Merchandising, I have experience and leadership skills as well as a proven track record of developing and delivering initiatives related to academic programming, student experience, and teaching and learning processes, positioning me as a valued member of the Department of Materials.

 In my current role as the Discipline Head of Education for Fashion Business and Technology, I provide strategic leadership for teaching and learning, ensuring that all undergraduate and postgraduate taught programs are aligned with the department's goals. My leadership has been instrumental in driving academic staff to deliver exceptional teaching, learning, and student experience to over 900 students, while working in partnership with professional services staff to maintain rigorous quality standards. As a member of the Senior Management Team, I actively contribute to the Department's strategic and operational plans, ensuring consistency with Faculty and University goals.

My expertise in the fashion industry is centred around Fashion Product Development, a complex and innovative process that transforms creative ideas into commercially viable fashion garments. I have established  research and publications in this field, coupled with my presentations at internationally recognized conferences and early career awards, highlight my contributions to the advancement of the field.

My scholarship activity revolves around developing pedagogy that fosters a sense of belonging and community within the higher education environment, as well as teaching and learning practice. I am a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Association and have received  teaching excellence awards and distinguished achievement awards for my contributions to the field. I engage regularly with external higher education and fashion networks, developing partnerships with industry stakeholders and contributing to the advancement of the field.

In addition to my academic work, I have a solid 10-year industry background in product development for apparel products. This experience has equipped me with creative pattern development skills and a deep understanding of design through to sample stages, as well as strong technical knowledge of manufacturing, distribution, and retail environments. My industry experience provides a unique perspective that enriches my academic work and enables me to create products that reflect current market trends while incorporating brand identity and strong commercial direction.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Education, Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, , University of Bolton

1 Sept 201130 Jun 2012

Award Date: 31 Jul 2012

Bachelor of Arts, Fashion Clothing , University of Leeds

1 Sept 199730 Jun 2000

Award Date: 30 Jun 2000

Areas of expertise

  • L Education (General)
  • Fashion Product Development
  • Fashion Buying
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • apparel
  • retail
  • fashion industry
  • student belonging
  • student voice
  • student experience
  • Inclusivity Equity Diversity


Dive into the research topics where Rachel Parker-Strak is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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