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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

May 24, 2022

Faculty & Staff

In June of 2022, The Environmental Collaboratory announced the awardees of its inaugural research grant, promoting transdisciplinary research innovation through participatory climate and environmental problem solving, with support from Drexel’s Office of Research & Innovation, College of Engineering and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Among the awarded projects is Film & Television Assistant Professor Ben Kalina’s The Refugees of Eastwick: Urban Renewal in the Age of Climate Change. Read more.

Westphal was mentioned in a May 4 Jewish Exponent article about the public performance project "Rehearsing Philadelphia," presented by Drexel and the Curtis School of Music and largely conceived by Berlin-based artist and composer Ari Benjamin Meyers. Link to story.

Drexel was mentioned in a May 2022 Dance Magazine article about the launch of a foundation to foster community and collaboration of Asian creatives. Link to story.

Art & Art History professor Jen Blazina will display her new glass and screenprinted work at the Dogwood Gallery at the Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN. The show run through August 1, 2022. Learn more.

Entertainment & Arts Management Associate Teaching Professor Brian Moore is producing the international premiere of a new play by Champ Clark this summer at the 75th annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. "Wild Son: The Testimony Of Christian Brando" will run August 15-20 at Greenside Venue's Category A-listed building, Riddle's Court, right on the Royal Mile.

A report co-authored by Neville Vakharia, Associate Dean for Research & Planning, on the ecosystem of folk arts organizations in the US was featured on the National Endowment for the Arts' blog.

D.S. Nicholas, Program Director of Design Research, is the Cincinnati AIA Keynote Speaker for their 2022:VISION Keynote: Design Research in Healthy Spaces: A Session on Research, Analysis and Social Responsive Architecture Practice. This lecture and engagement session will introduce participants to the Design-Led Co-Strategy for Health Lab.

Elizabeth Goldberg-Johnson, adjunct in Fashion Design, held a solo art exhibit and film showing of "Cuban Queens" at IN-LIQUID gallery in March and April.

Tina Delia, adjunct in Interior Design, was recently featured as a Power Woman by Authority Magazine.

Anne Cecil, adjunct in Retail & Merchandising, was a Speaker at the Museum Store Association/American Museum Association Conference, Boston in May. Anne will speak at the Whizbang! Retail Success Summit, Grand Rapids, Michigan in June on RE-Imagining Your Sales Floor for the Next Golden Age of Retail.

Dr. Joe Hancock, Program Director of Retail & Merchandising, was inducted into the Dress Historians Society of the United Kingdom as a Trustee on May 13. He is one of the first US Scholars and Representatives to serve on this board. Joe has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the Toi Rauwharangi College of Creative Arts, Massey University, University of New Zealand and will serve a total of 3 years. Joe published a chapter in the new edition of the The Fashion Reader Bloomsbury Press on the history of the rise and fall of the Abercrombie & Fitch brand called "The A&F Brand/Story.” His journal Fashion, Style & Popular Culture is finishing its ninth volume of publishing and will celebrate ten years of publishing hundreds of scholarly works.

Graphic Design Associate Professor Shushi Yoshinaga’s presentation proposal was accepted to Design Principles & Practices Conference (March 2023 in Portugal): “Improving Patient Experience Through A Design Process: A Transdisciplinary Design Research Project For An Older Population.”

Department Head of Cinema & Television Karin Kelly’s short film Cinco Meses (Five Months) was an Official Selection of the Fort Meyers Beach Film Festival and the LA Independent Women Film Festival.

Laura-Edythe S. Coleman, Program Director of Arts Administration & Museum Leadership and Associate Editor of Curator: The Museum Journal, was guest editor of Special Issue “Museum Response to War Crimes.” The journal is freely available for download.

2020 Museum Leadership graduate and adjunct faculty member, Heather McLaughlin, was awarded an Emerging Scholar Fellowship with the International Inclusive Museum Conference.

Program Director of Arts Administration & Museum Leadership Dr. Laura-Edythe Coleman gave welcoming remarks at the opening reception of the 15th International Inclusive Museum Conference. Also at the Conference: Coleman and adjunct faculty Heather McLaughlin presented research related to and the pilot episode of “Museum Masterclass.” Department Head of Arts & Entertainment Enterprise Julie Goodman and Heather McLaughlin presented their research, "Mors Publicae Artis(The Death of Public Art).” Neville Vakharia presented a quantitative study on knowledge management in museum.

Art & Art History Department Head Sarah Steinwachs’s construction, “Voyage” has been selected for inclusion in the Woodmere Annual: 80th Juried Exhibition, which opens June 4, 2022, from 12 – 4pm.

Watching the Wilds, a documentary short by Nick Natalicchio, Assistant Teaching Professor of Film & Television, in collaboration with adjunct instructor Alex Djordevic, will premiere at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival in June. Film & Television alum Max Slusky (‘19) was the colorist on the film.

Students & Alumni

User Experience & Interaction Design senior Hunter Hampton received a 2022 Co-Op Award from Steinbright Career Development Center. Hunter was nominated by co-op employer Richard Gottlieb, OnCourse Systems for Education. Learn more.

Alisha Prabhakar, first-year graduate Design Research student, won the Dean’s Award for Best In-Person Research Poster Presentation at the Drexel Emerging Graduates conference for “What's Your Version of Safe Space?” The entire First Year Cohort was accepted to the conference and presented posters.

Graduate Fashion Design Nina Sajankila student placed Third in the AATCC Concept 2 Consumer Student Design Competition. She received a monetary award and a year-long membership to AATCC. She says, “Participating in this competition made me think more about cultural differences while traveling and how I can mindfully invite the sharing and blending of cultures through design. I plan to pursue sustainable and ethical design, while working internationally and learning from artisans who focus on the slow and thoughtful ways of exploring fashion for high-end design.” See Nina’s submission, The Stories of Ooru: An Indian Inspired Travel Wear Line, here.

Arts Administration & Museum Leadership graduate student Emily Edelstein presented her research, “Tradition, Function and Artistry: Craftspeople in the Modern American Art World” at the Drexel Emerging Graduate Scholars competition.

Kelsey Omeis, NCIDQ, LEED GA, IIDA is the Grand Prize Winner of the Kimball EverySpace Inspired Design Competition! Kelsey is an alum of the undergraduate Interior Design and graduate Interior Architecture programs. The competition challenges designers to use their creative talent to showcase the future of spaces for working, healing, and learning. Learn more.

Leah M. Appleton (MS Arts Admin & Museum Leadership ‘19), Associate Director of the Leonard Pearlstein Galley and Lisa Visco Getz (MS Arts Administration & Museum Leadership ‘18) are hosting and directing an LGBT+ Pride art show and reception at the Main Line Art Center Galleries on June 3. Artwork from various LGBT+ artists, including Margaret "Meg" Wolensky (MS Arts Administration ‘16), is included in the exhibition, At Home. Learn more.

Nancy P. Volpe-Beringer (MS Fashion Design ‘16) was profiled in an article in the Chestnut Hill Local newspaper about her brand and consignment store The Vault, the first online luxury designer resale shop to offer high end clothing to the disabled as well as able-bodied people. Her brand is now a finalist for Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award in their New Retail Concept category, and also for a Diesel Sustainability Award, sponsored by the national denim clothing store of the same name. Link to Article.

Ximena Varela (MS Arts Administration ‘00) will be a speaker at the Moore College of Art & Design commencement ceremony on May 15. Ms. Varela is the president of the Association of Arts Administration Educators and associate professor and director of the arts management program at American University. She was the first person to assist national museums in Uruguay, her native country, with earned-income models. She also has championed inclusive practice and diverse leadership in arts organizations. Link to Article.

Lindsay Bedford (MS,Interior Architecture & Design ‘20) was chosen as one of 20 artists in the Philadelphia area to join the 2021 Fellowship for Black Artists with Mural Arts Philadelphia. Fellows will be offered exciting virtual opportunities through Mural Arts Philadelphia and fellowship sponsor TD Bank. Ms. Bedford was awarded the fellowship for her work as a spatial storyteller, communications strategist, and an agent of change in her community. Link to Article

Priya Jyotishi (MS Fashion Design ‘19) was featured in an article "Propel LLC: Intent on Solving Technical Problems" in Textile World magazine. Ms. Jyotishi is a textile technologist at Propel, LLC, a women-owned small business focused on using technical textiles as problem solving tools to meet its customer's challenges. Link to Article (page 21).

Kara Lindstrom (MS Interior Architecture & Design ‘09) was profiled in a Philly article about her soon-to-be released product called the Leadership Tarot deck. Ms. Lindstrom, a technologist and management consultant, launched her own consulting firm in 2020. Ms. Lindstrom often used research on leadership-focused neuroscience while consulting her clients, and she later morphed this practice into creating virtual and physical cards with phrases and images. The cards were created to help her clients define their leadership style and give them inspiration on their management journey. Link to Article.

Sherri King Parente (BS Interior Design ‘04) was promoted to director of interiors at HOK, a design and architecture firm, at its Philadelphia studio. She has served clients nationwide with particular expertise in workplace and higher education design. Ms. Parente is an active member of the Philadelphia CoreNet chapter and was named by American Society of Interior Designers as "One to Watch" in 2021. Link to Article.

Katie J. Reilly (BS Music Industry ‘11; MBA, Business Administration, LeBow, 2011; Honors Program) was a guest on the podcast The Morning Beat With AJ and Mikalah where she discussed LGBT+ issues in regard to the Disney Corporation and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. She also wrote an article that was published on LGBTQ Nation on the same issue. Ms. Reilly is a campaign director with the gender justice organization UltraViolet. Link to Article 1 and Link to Article 2.

Rizco, a brand-led marketing agency co-owned by Keith Rizzi (BS Graphic Design ’95) underwent a transformative rebranding to align with the company’s values 22 years after its founding. Learn more.

Architecture alum and Senior Lighting Designer at The Lighting Practice NYC David Seok, CLD, IALD, has earned the Certified Lighting Designer (CLD) designation, the first international, evidence-based certification in architectural lighting design. David is among the first lighting designers in the world to earn this international certification, which demonstrates that he has a proven track record of excellence and has successfully validated his skill to a rigorous assessment process that define high standards of professional practice.

Graduate Fashion Design student Nina Sajankila was awarded third place in the AATCC Concept 2 Consumer Student Design Competition.