The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Keith Nishida Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

May 20, 2014


Keith Harumasa Nishida was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the son of Japanese immigrants. He attended the University of Hawaii-Manoa, focusing initially on pre-medical studies but later shifting his academic focus to psychology. During his time at Hawaii, Nishida also discovered a love of fashion, partly catalyzed by his experiences in Italy, where he was participating in a study abroad program. In 2007, Nishida completed his bachelor's degree in psychology, and moved directly into a master's program in family and consumer sciences at the California State University, Long Beach.

Nishida received his master's degree in 2009 and spent the next year working in the fashion industry, including six months assisting the director of marketing and public relations at Tadashi Shoji. In 2010 he was accepted into the doctoral program at OSU's School of Design and Human Environment, where he has concentrated on fashion communication, new media and merchandising.

As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Nishida led a number of courses at OSU, including a special topics class on fashion styling taught during summer term 2012. Nishida asked this class to create a fashion magazine for its final project, the outcome of which inspired the creation of DAMchic magazine. As its founder, publisher and faculty advisor, Nishida has overseen the rapid growth of the online magazine from class assignment to university-sanctioned student-run organization. DAMchic is now published three times per year and has attracted international audiences as large as 500,000 views per issue.

In August 2014, Nishida accepted a teaching position in the School of Business at Woodbury University.