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The Latest Shoutouts: Westphal Student, Faculty, Staff & Alumni Achievements

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

November 09, 2020

Faculty & Staff Shout-Outs  


Executive Director of the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation Harris Steinberg will receive the 2020 John Frederick Harbeson Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Philadelphia). The Harbeson Award is presented annually to a long-standing member of the architectural community and is intended to recognize their significant contributions over their lifetime to the architectural profession and its related disciplines. The recipient of this award will have distinguished themselves throughout their career by their contributions to the architectural profession, the American Institute of Architects, the education of the architectural community, and their contributions to the Philadelphia community at large. Read more. 


Design & Merchandising Assistant Teaching Professor Chris Baeza and Department of Design adjunct faculty Beth Quinn submitted an abstract for the Sustainable Innovation 2021: Accelerating Sustainability in Fashion, Clothing, Sportswear & Accessories 23rd  International Conference, hosted by the The Centre for Sustainable Design in the UK in March 2021The abstract was accepted to be turned into a full paper and presentation. 


Assistant Professor of Urban Strategy Andrew Zitcer co-wrote the report "Financing Creative Placemaking" alongside colleagues from the Lindy Institute. He presented on the report it at the ArtPlace Summit in October. 


Art & Art History adjunct faculty member Rami George has work featured in the exhibition Networks of (Be)longing, at the Center for Contemporary Arts & Culture (Portland, OR). You can view the work remotely via the virtual gallery here. 


Nick Jushchyshyn, Assistant Professor of Digital Media, was quoted in an Oct. 20 Communications of ACM story about how virtual reality is being developed to augment remote working environments. Link to story 


Jason Schupbach, Dean of Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was interviewed in an Oct. 21 PBS Newshour story about how an Arizona mining town is reinventing itself as an arts destination. 
Link to story. 


Art & Art History Professor Jen Blazina exhibits a new body of work at the Glass Art Fair, which opened November 1. Habatat Galleries will represent her at the fair. Jen’s new work on display is a series based on toy irons she had as a childeach piece life sized. The work is made of cast glass, cast bronze and cast aluminum. 

Toby Seay, Professor of Music Industry and director of the Drexel Audio Archives, was quoted in an Oct. 27 Broad Street Review article about a bid to preserve the building that once housed Philly’s famed Sigma Sound Studios. Link to story. 


Student & Alumni Shout-Outs 


“Sons of Ra,” a video game created in Drexel’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio in the ExCITe Center, was featured on the Oct. 26 episode of NBC Sports Philadelphia’s “FTW Philly. Watch the segment here. 


Two Architecture students were featured at the Community Design Collaborative’s presentation of their Design AID project for creating outdoor learning spaces. Adeniyi A. Onanuga, now in the second year of the 2 + 4 program, submitted an entry on his own, and Kiera Townsend, in her fifth year of the 6-year program, worked with her colleagues at SMP Architects. Learn more and see the Virtual Guidebook here. 


Fourth-year Architecture student Jeremiah DiBease is funded by the Charles Peterson Fellowship Program as an intern at the Athenaeum. 


Brodie Bauman, an Architecture student, was quoted in the November issue of AmericanCraft magazine that mentioned his involvement with Tiny WPA, a nonprofit design studio, maker space and fabrication workshop in West Philadelphia. Read the story here. 


Sarah Christy (MS Arts Administration ‘20) was promoted to chief operating officer at the International House of Philadelphia. Sarah joined the International House in March of 2014 and has served in several capacities, most recently overseeing all public programs in the role of director of programs and managing director of Lightbox Film Center. Read more. 


Sharon Leonard Kiefer (Design ‘86) was appointed as curator of exhibitions at Perkins Center for the Arts in the Collingswood and Moorestown, NJ locations. Sharon will also remain the executive director of Gallery 50, Inc. and executive director at ARTC and Strobe in addition to her new role. 


Christianna F. Labuz (Music Industry 08), a talent buyer for Live Nation who books bands at City Winery Philadelphia, was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the challenges facing indoor concert venues. Although indoor venues are allowed to open at limited capacity, the restriction on the sale of food and beverages presents a major challenge, with beverage sales making up the bulk of revenue for concert venues. Read more. 


Sarah K. Mettin (MS Arts Administration & Museum Leadership ‘20) was named artistic associate of Metropolitan Ballet Company in Jenkintown, PA. Read more.