Augustana’s Next Top Model: Chemistry goes grunge, while government remains lawful good

The Augustana Mirror is back with the third and final installment of Augustana’s Next Top Model featuring campus fashion icons — your professors. 

Of course, we couldn’t feature every professor suggested to us, so here are some fashionable honorable mentions:

  • Art professor Anna Reich: Modern style fashionista
  • Education professor Celeste Uthe-Burow: Queen of color coordination
  • Religion professor Richard Swanson: Bowtie connoisseur
  • Economics professor Brian Eggleston: Major suit guy
  • Sociology professor Bill Swart: Mr. Roger sweater rocker

This week’s fashion spotlight, however, includes chemistry professor Barrett Eichler and government professor David Golemboski.

Professor Barrett Eichler poses with two of his chemistry students. Photo by Rebekah Tuchscherer.

Professor Barrett Eichler: A man of few buttons and flannel fanatic

Barrett Eichler started wearing flannel shirts when they became popular in the early 1990s during the grunge music movement. 

“I tried one out and have never looked back,” Eichler said. 

Eichler, an inorganic chemistry professor, wears flannel shirts anywhere from five to seven days per week during the cooler months. 

“The reason that I wear flannels, in general, is that they keep me just the right temperature from fall to spring,” Eichler said. “They offer the ability to layer — from fully buttoned for warmth to removable to stay cool.”

However, it’s not just Eichler’s use of flannels that students notice: it’s also his strategic choice to button only the bottom button whenever he wears a flannel.

“Sometimes if I am completely unbuttoned, I find that the bottom of my shirt flails about and gets hooked on doorknobs or hits small children in the face,” Eichler said. “I find one or two buttons is usually about right for temperature and to not be a menace to others or myself. Too many buttons and you look like a nerd.”

According to Eichler, his students have never commented on his consistent use of flannel, but now he feels the pressure of living up to the high professor fashion standards.

So, will Eichler consider himself an Augie fashion icon?

“I would after this article.”

Professor David Golemboski and his wife at their wedding. Golemboski opted for a quarter-zip instead a traditional suit. Submitted.

Professor David Golemboski: The quarter-zip legacy

Government professor David Golemboski is not a clothing connoisseur. In fact, he tries to avoid shopping for clothes as much as he can. 

However, he does have one clothing staple in his closet: the quarter-zip sweater. 

“I try to do as little clothes shopping as possible, which is why I’m still wearing a 2012 quarter zip in 2020,” Golemboski said. “The goal is to have as many as I need, make them last as long as possible and buy new ones as infrequently as possible.” 

Golemboski isn’t sure when his affinity for quarter-zip sweaters started but says he likes them because they can last a while. He says the neck doesn’t get stretched out like other sweaters, which is part of the appeal.

While Golemboski says he’s not fanatical enough to wear them in the warmer months of the year, he did wear a quarter zip during his wedding in 2012. 

“This probably speaks to the quarter-zip advantage,” Golemboski said. “It has the capacity to look dressier than it is — dressier than a regular crew neck sweater but without sacrificing any comfort.”

With the full support of his wife, who wore a traditional wedding dress, Golemboski paired his wedding day quarter zip with sneakers, which he says was not his mother-in-law’s favorite part of the wedding.  

Golemboski has six or seven quarter zips with his forest green sweaters claiming the spots as his favorites.

The quarter zips do make weekend appearances, but strictly with t-shirts underneath. The button downs are saved for days in the classroom. 

Although his current colleagues in the government department don’t share his passion, Golemboski said he noticed that former Augustana government professor Joseph Dondelinger was also a quarter-zip wearer.

“In some ways, I think of myself as the inheritor of the government department’s quarter zip legacy,” Golemboski said. 

This legacy includes looking “just professional enough,” according to Golemboski, who says he’ll now pay attention to whether or not he’s wearing a quarter-zip in a way he previously has not. He won’t let this added pressure stop him from wearing quarter zips; instead, he has embraced his new role.

“I wouldn’t have guessed it, but now I have no choice but to consider myself among the ranks of the icons.”

Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: