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March 2022 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.

March 16, 2022


Art & Art History professor Jen Blazina has been nominated for a PEW Charitable Trust Grant in the field of crafts and fine arts. Through April 27, Jen’s work is featured in a solo exhibition entitled Garden of Memory, New Work by Jen Blazina at Blue Spiral1 Gallery in Ashville, NC. This body of work is a mix of bronze and glass sculptures emulating the experience of walking into a forgotten garden with a collection of object and wall hanging which are left behind from someone’s life. Learn more. Additionally, Jen has been awarded a Westphal mini-grant to continue her ongoing research on mixing bronze glass and screenprinting into a new body of work.

June He, assistant professor in Product Design, was invited to give a virtual talk at Auburn University on February 28th titled “Eyewear, Low-bridge Fit, and the Community - Participatory Design in the Real World.” The guest speaker session was sponsored by the Knows Eyewear and Auburn University School of Industrial and Graphic Design.

Research by David Breen, PhD, a professor in the College of Computing & Informatics, and Genevieve Dion, professor of Design and director of Drexel's Center for Functional Fabrics, to develop a digital modeling system for knitted textiles, was featured in a Feb. 26 Knitting Views post. Link to story.


Lera Nasedkina, a Product Design student and varsity student-athlete on the swimming and diving team, and Alina Bushma, an undergraduate in the College of Computing & Informatics and varsity student-athlete on the women's squash team, who are both from Ukraine, were interviewed in a March 4 WTXF-TV (FOX-29) "Good Day" segment about how Russia's invasion has affected their families and hometowns.
Link to story.

Chris Hytha (B.Arch ‘21) was quoted in an Inquirer article about Philadelphia area artists using blockchain to make money in digital art. Mr. Hytha has been using his photography and architectural degree to create unique photos of Philadelphia rowhouses and other buildings in the area that are selling for thousands. Link to Article.

Francesca R. Oliveira AIA, NCARB, LEED® AP BD+C (B.Arch ‘06) was promoted to technical design principal of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Currently, she serves on the Executive Committee of AIA San Francisco, the board of directors for the Center of Architecture and Design, San Francisco and is on the faculty at the Academy of Art University's School of Architecture. Link to Article.

Anina Major (Graphic Design ‘03) was selected to join the inaugural Saint Heron Ceramic Artist Residency, a program that promotes the spatial sensibilities and creative innovation of Black and Brown women practicing ceramic art. Ms. Major is a visual artist whose work investigates the relationships between self and place in efforts to cultivate a sense of belonging. She is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, including the St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artists Award for sculpture, the Watershed Summer Residency Zenobia Award, Mass MoCA Studio Artist Program, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship. Link to Article.

Natalie Malawey-Ednie (B.Arch ‘03) was appointed president of Service Lines at Watchdog Real Estate Project Management, a leading real estate project management and advisory firm. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Ms. Malawey-Ednie has provided project management support and oversight to some of the firm's long-standing clients and has advanced Watchdog's growth into multiple market sectors, while expanding the services Watchdog offers along the way. Link to Article

Richelle Parham (Design & Merchandising, Marketing ‘91) was among the members of the Black Women on Boards who rang the opening bell at NASDAQ in celebration of Patricia Roberts Harris, the first Black woman to serve on the board of directors in 1971 at IBM. Black Women on Boards is a new global organization that removes the invisible obstacles that Black female executives face when pursuing board membership. Ms. Parham is the president of Business Development at Universal Music Group. Link to Article 1, Link to Article 2, and Link to Article 3.