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

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

November 14, 2023

Faculty & Staff 

Associate professor D.S. Nicholas's lab The Drexel Design Research for Health Lab (DDR4HEALTH) was invited to present as part of the Second Story Collective with Rachel Wenrick and Charles Lomax at the Trailblazers of Community Development panel event on September 26th at the Brickworks. The panel was moderated by Katrina Johnson Zimmerman, assistant director of the South Street Headhouse Square District and sponsored by Fifteen Architects. In addition, the Collective delivered a workshop at the PACDC conference on October 18th entitled “Second Story Collective: Blueprint for Community Co-creation.” At both presentations, Dee spoke about the new aging-in-place analytical tool her lab is developing: The Mantua Creative Standard for Aging in Place (MCSAP). In addition, DDR4Health is a participating member of the 2023/2024 American Hospital Association Age-Friendly Care Action Group and is participating in the six-month action group to apply the MCSAP framework to caregiver scenarios.

Dean Jason Schupbach was mentioned in a Nov. 6 Next City post about an event he emceed featuring deans of architecture and design schools discussing the future of cities. Link to story.

Ali Howell Abolo, PhD, associate professor of Fashion Design, was quoted in an Oct. 19 Fashionista article about how fashion programs, like Drexel's, are addressing adaptive design. Link to story

Students & Alumni

Christopher Hytha (B.Arch ’21) opens the exhibit “The Highrises Collection” at the Center for Architecture and Design on December 8. The exhibition, which accompanies a large format book release, features massive 60"x90" prints of many iconic skyscrapers, dozens of other historic buildings in various sizes, and a 1/4" scale model of the Carbide and Carbon Building in Chicago. This is the culmination of Hytha’s two-year project documenting historic skyscrapers through orthographic drone photography. Learn more and RSVP.

Brian Kempf (Graphic Design ‘98) became the vice president of Applied AI at Modus, according to a LinkedIn update. Previously, he was the vice president of product at Modus. Link to LinkedIn.

Anne White (MS Interior Architecture & Design ’13) became the senior interior designer at R2Architects, according to a LinkedIn update. Ms. White is also president & creative director at AGW Interiors and the creative director at Craft Concepts Group. Previously, she was a designer at Erector Sets Inc. Link to LinkedIn.

Monique Woodard, PhD (MS Digital Media, Westphal ‘18) has joined the College of Arts and Sciences at Wilkes University as an assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Media, Art and Design. She previously served as a curriculum designer, lead instructor and researcher at Drexel University. Link to Article.

Katelyn Woodside (MS Arts Administration ‘21) was appointed executive director of the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Foundation. Ms. Woodside is a music education professional and nonprofit leader with over 25 years of experience as a violinist, teaching artist, small business owner and nonprofit professional. She has worked in numerous positions for local and prominent nonprofit organizations, including UC San Diego, La Jolla Music Society, Wounded Warrior Project, Bach Collegium San Diego and Arts Education Connection San Diego. Ms. Woodside is actively engaged in the local community as a founder of the Villa Musica Community Summer Orchestra and has played in various community orchestras throughout the years. She is also a San Diego Youth Symphony alumnus and is active in their local alumni network. Link to Article.

Laurel Hostak Jones’ (Screenwriting & Playwriting ’12) book Sleep & Sorcery, in addition to a worldwide paperback release in August 2024, will be released in a limited-edition collectible hardcover, which ships in December 2023. Pre-order is available now through Crossed Crow Books.

Farwa Zaidi (MS Urban Strategy ’23) authored an op-ed for Next City, entitled “The Path to Decarcerating our Food Systems.” Read the article.

Sarah Rable (Interior Design ‘18) is among this year's 30 Under 30 in Seattle via Interior Design Magazine. Sara is currently an Interior Designer at Weber Thompson.

Julia Zotto (Fashion Design ’23) was named Philly Fashion Week’s Student Design Winner.

Tiago Segundo de Olivera, Sara Begley (MS Fashion Design ’24) and Nour Ibrahim (Fashion Design ’25) won the 11th HanYoung International Textile Competition.

Chandricka R. Carr (MS Fashion Design ‘19) participated in the Adidas S.E.E.D. (School for Experiential Education in Design) program's partnership with Disney and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She and other designers from the S.E.E.D. program, which supports young aspiring footwear designers, created custom one-of-a-kind sneakers and apparel inspired by their personal connection to Disney stories and characters. Ms. Carr first joined the program in 2020 and is currently working with Adidas' lifestyle basketball division. Link to Article.

Roderick FreyAIA, NCARB (Architecture ‘03) was promoted to principal at Gilbert Architects and recently celebrated his 22nd year with the firm. He previously held the position of studio director. Link to Article.

Elizabeth H. Walton (Interior Design ‘04) has been included in Marquis Who's Who. Ms. Walton is the principal designer and chief executive officer of Liz Walton Home, a luxury residential kitchen, bath, and interior design company. Upon graduating at the top of her class and receiving a national honor for her education, she worked as a designer for Design Studio Interiors LLC, in Linwood, NJ, from 2004 to 2008. At Design Studio Interiors, LLC, Ms. Walton developed an affinity for kitchen and bath interior design specifically, which led her to pursue and achieve a certification as a certified kitchen designer (CKD) through the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the equivalent of a master's degree in cabinetry. As an industry professional with two decades of experience, and a member of the International Furnishings and Design Association, Ms. Walton is a regular voice and contributor featured in Kitchen & Bath IndustryLink to Article.

Erin L. Williamson, Esq. (Music Industry ‘18) joins Morris Nichols' Bankruptcy & Restructuring group following a clerkship at the Superior Court of Delaware, where she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles E. Butler.  Link to Article.

Catherine M. Cahill (MS Arts Administration ‘83), president and CEO of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, was listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal's 2023 Most Admired CEO Awards. This list features those who have earned respect from within and outside of their companies and are leaving a mark on Greater Philadelphia and beyond. The Philadelphia Business Journal will celebrate this year’s honorees in an award ceremony in December 2023, and they will also be featured in a special print edition. Link to Article.