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April 2022 Shout-Outs: Westphal Student, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Achievements

April 18, 2022

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


Ryan Moys, an assistant teaching professor in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was mentioned, along with recent graduate Hank Byerly, in an April 2 Philadelphia Inquirer story about the Grammy Awards. Moys and Byerly were part of the engineering team for a Grammy-nominated jazz album. Link to story.

The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design was mentioned in an April 2 WHYY 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.

On March 28, Art & Art History professor Pia Brancaccio was a speaker at the cultural property workshop on Central Asia (part of an anti-trafficking series focused on regional cultural heritage materials) hosted by the Smithsonian Institution and supported by the U.S. Department of State's Cultural Heritage Center. Pia delivered a three part lecture series on Pala Art at the Jnanapravaha Institute in Mumbai in March and April, and on April 7 she chaired a panel and presented the paper "From Cave to Palace: Re-Thinking the Morphology and Role of the Buddhist Cetiyaghara in the Western Deccan Caves" at the American Committee for South Asian Art Conference (University of Georgia/Emory University Atlanta).

Miriam Giguere, PhD, a professor in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was quoted in a March 26 Philadelphia Inquirer 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.

Clare Sauro, director of the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, was quoted in a March 30 Philadelphia Inquirer opinion article about the FHCC’s newest fashion exhibit, “Venus & Diana: Fashioning the Jazz Age,” which is open until May 6, 2022. Link to story.

Art & Art History professor Jen Blazina held a solo exhibition, titled What She Wore, at Koelsch Gallery in Houston, TX in April. Jen has also been invited to participate in two exhibitions at Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak, MI. Finally, on April 27th, Jen’s solo exhibition, The Garden of Memory, closes at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, NC.

An excerpt from Urban Strategy assistant professor and program director Andrew Zitcer’s book, Practicing Cooperation: Mutual Aid Beyond Capitalism, was published in the national urbanist publication Next City in April. Read the excerpt, What We Learn From Black- and Women-Led Cooperative Practice, here.

Product Design program director and assistant Raja Schaar lent perspective to a piece in AIGA Eyes on Design, on Crystal Williams' appointment as RISD's new president. Read the article here.




Katrina Arias (Film & Video ‘10) was promoted to content & creative program manager at Comoto Family of Brands/RevZilla. Link to Article and Link to LinkedIn.

Josh Brede (TV Production & Media Management ‘14) completed production on a 4-part, 4-property content series for The Ritz-Carlton in partnership with multiple Hearst Magazine brands. He scripted, creative produced and directed each of the video packages and was responsible for overseeing the delivery of 70+ individual social video assets ranging from :60 videos on-site to :06 social videos promoted on Instagram. He has shot properties in Arizona, Colorado, Washington, DC and Istanbul, Turkey. Link to Article.

Tim Buttner (Film & Video ‘11) was the cinematographer for Robby Johnson's "Tryin' to Get Over You" Music Video, which played on CMT. He was director of photography for "Jessica with TrueLimb Bionic Arm From Unlimited Tomorrow," a corporate video for a prosthetic arm company. He was also director of photography and colorist for a commercial for Grillsmith Sarasota. Link to Article.

Ashley M. Vanett (Music Industry ‘08) was featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal's list of 40 Under 40 2022. Ms. Vanett works for the Private Events and Facility Rentals department at the Mann Center for Performing Arts. Link to Article and Link to LinkedIn.

Design Research thesis student Susan Nyberg was hired as a part-time Design Researcher at The Penn Medicine Hospital Healthcare Center for Innovation.

Zenda in New York City has established a special Summer Practicum Position for our Design Research students from Westphal. This paid position is established to allow one or more of our students to complete their external research commitment in the high-level service design consultancy and is designed to meet the needs of Design Research students as they move towards their thesis year.

Current Music Industry student Kelly Young was quoted in an April 6 Mashable story about new social media app called BeReal, which is focused on authenticity in relationships.

Catherine M. Cahill (Arts Administration ‘83), CEO of The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, was quoted in a Philadelphia Business Journal article about the $70 million campus improvement project which will include building a second permanent Skyline Stage and a new food and beverage pavilion complete with a wine bar.  Link to Article.

Animation & Visual Effects alum Kate Euting ('21) has been hired as Creative Services Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios. 

Architecture alum Paul Avazier, AIA ('07), received the 2022 Young Architects Award from the American Institute of Architects. Read more.

Martha Meiers (Arts Administration ‘19) joined Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University as the program coordinator for the college's Wedge Prize. Link to Article and Link to LinkedIn.

Nancy Mair (Design & Merchandising ‘92) started a new position as senior vice president of Merchandising at Nordstrom Rack, Inc.

Brandon Nelson (Music Industry ‘21), a musician who also goes by the stage name BRAZN, was interviewed in an article on Her Campus' website in which he discusses his career in the music industry and his song writing process. Link to Article.