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The Latest Shout-Outs: Westphal Student, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Achievements

Celebrate the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in this round-up of recent accomplishments.

June 28, 2021


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has committed a $500,000 grant to Brandywine Workshop & Archives with Drexel as sub-grantee. Faculty members from Westphal’s Department of Arts & Entertainment Enterprise Julie GoodmanNeville Vakharia and Brea Heidelberg will collaborate on succession, business planning and evaluation; Jennifer Katz-Buonocontro from School of Education, along with graduate students in the School of Education, will conduct ethnographic artist interviews; the Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships (led by Melissa Clemmer, the Lenfest Center's grant writer and project manager) will fund co-ops, manage the collaboration, and produce a white paper on the expanded digital resource Artura. The two-year project combines faculty research, co-ops, and enhanced partnerships with arts and culture organizations. Learn more about Drexel's partner and the online print database, Artura here.

Digital Media Assistant Professor Nick Jushchyshyn completed Epic Inc.'s Unreal Engine Virtual Production Fellowship with the production of the short film deCode written and directed by Jushchyshyn, working with the prompt theme of conflict. The production also included producer/advisor Milady Bridges and Dave Mauriello, Drexel Motion Capture Club, and Drexel Motion Capture "Squad," including Shannon Boyle, San Hadavi, Deirdre Liu, and Ara Talitskaya. Watch deCode here.

Jacquelyn Mendoza, Academic Advisor for Animation & Visual Effects, Game Design & Production, Interactive Digital Media, Screenwriting & Playwriting, Virtual Reality & Immersive Media is the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding New Advisor Award. This prestigious award, presented by the Office of the Provost, recognizes the extraordinary contributions of advisors who guide student progress through their academic paths across the University. Congratulations to Jackie on this incredible honor!


Frank J. Lee, PhD, Professor of Digital Media, was invited by Citizen Diplomacy International of Philadelphia to mediate a discussion panel for their US Department of State-sponsored exchange, the International Visitor Leadership Program.


Westphal's Virtual Reality & Immersive Media degree program was mentioned in a June 3 EdSurge story about Husson University in Maine starting a program in virtual reality. Link to story.


2021 Fashion Design graduates Cat Pfingst, Neena Bui, and Stephanie Popa were featured in Paper Magazine’s roundup of “The Best Looks from This Year’s Graduating Fashion Students.” Congratulations to Cat, Neena, and Stephanie on this well-deserved recognition!


The Ellen Forman Memorial Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation and Drexel University announce choreographer Emma Valeria Girandola as the 2021 Ellen Forman Memorial Fund Award winner. Girandola will receive a $2,500 cash award for setting her piece, Tabula Rasa, on the Drexel Dance Ensemble in Drexel's Mandell Theater. Production costs are being paid by Drexel, including rehearsal space, cost of costumes, any necessary sets or props, and a digital sound and video recording of the performance. Read more.


Architecture alumnus Cory Henry, Principal of Atelier Cory Henry, will join the list of architects who will design homes as part of a redevelopment project led by Owen Development in St. Louis' Grand Center Arts District. Read more in Archinect.


Thomas Falzani (BS Graphic Design ‘20) and Adit Gupta (BS Software Engineering, CCI, ‘19), co-founders of Lula, were highlighted in a Philadelphia Business Journal article about their company, a delivery service that caters to stores that do not have a delivery component. Lula raised funds in an oversubscribed seed round to expand its convenience store delivery platform's footprint and hire young, local talent. Link to Article.


Sites of Dance, the site-specific performance tour created by Drexel Dance Ensemble and FreshDance, was featured in Broad Street Review. The article by Melissa Strong includes quotations from student choreographer Alisia Lispey and Drexel Dance Ensemble director Olive Prince. Read more. Sites of Dance was also covered by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Read more.


Alexandra Doyle Perry (BS Graphic Design '05) joined John D. Barrow Art Gallery in Skaneateles, NY as the gallery director. Ms. Perry gained cross-disciplinary experience at leading agencies in Philadelphia and New York City after graduating from Drexel.  Link to Article.


Students in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design were mentioned in a June 4 WCAU-TV (NBC-10) segment about their participation in the Garbage Bag Gala benefit at the Salvation Army Camden Kroc Center. Link to story.


Matthew Baker (BS Studies in Media Arts & Design ‘05) became chief engineer at Homewood Suites by Hilton, according to a LinkedIn update. Previously Mr. Baker was a patient care technician at DaVita where he provided dialysis treatments for patients under the supervision of nephrology nurses. Link to LinkedIn.


Victoria M. Costa (BS Design & Merchandising '19) was promoted to lead designer at Cohere, a creative agency focused on uniting stakeholders around shared goals in food, hospitality and real estate. She joined in 2020 and most recently served as a designer. Link to LinkedIn.


Jennifer Moran (Graphic Design ‘93) became chief executive officer at the graphic design firm, V Formation Creative, according to a LinkedIn update. Previously, Ms. Moran was a managing supervisor at Fleishman-Hillard. Link to LinkedIn.


Jeffrey Stockbridge (Photography ‘05), a professional photographer, was featured in an article on in which he discusses one of his photographs. Mr. Stockbridge's photography has been included in recent exhibitions at The National Portrait Gallery London, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Delaware Art Museum, The Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, and The Houston Center for Photography. Link to Article.


Taylor Swietanski (Game Design & Production ‘18) is the creator and developer of the indie video game That Night, Steeped By Blood River, which was nominated for this year's Independent Games Festival's Excellence in Design and the Nuovo Award. Link to Article 1 and Link to Article 2.