For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

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.

January 10, 2023

Faculty & Staff 

Two photographs by Photography professor Andrea Modica were featured in a guest essay in The New York Times Opinion section.

Graduate Fashion Design professor Kathi Martin was invited to judge Dem, an international juried exhibition for the Mevlana Arts Festival celebrating the life of 13th century Persian poet Rumi and the Sufi ideals, sponsored by the Department of Fashion, Architecture and Design at Selçuk University in Konya, Turkey. 

Art History professor Pia Brancaccio was a discussant at the Center for Ancient Studies Annual Symposium Fall 2022 on December 3 at the University of Pennsylvania. Panel: "Translation Projects Across the Ancient World.”

Graphic Design teaching professor Mark Willie will be featured in a group show at Cerulean Arts Collective. An in-person reception will be held on Saturday, January 21 from 2-5 pm. Cerulean Arts, 1355 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia (near the intersection of Broad, Fairmount and Ridge). Exhibition dates: January 18 - February 12, 2023.

Nick Jushchyshyn, a professor in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and Matthew Stamm, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, were featured in a Jan. 3 Philly story about how their research is driving the development of next-generation technology. Link to story.

Visual Studies teaching professor Mark Stockton exhibits new work at The Study Hotel in University City. Stockton presents a new series of silverpoint and graphite drawings representing a range of politically charged American-centric subjects. The title “This Machine...” is a reference to both the U.S. Political System and to the individual worker. A reception will be held on Jan. 19, 5-7pm.

The development of a smart fabric belly band for prenatal monitoring, by researchers in the College of Engineering, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and Center for Functional Fabrics, was featured in a Jan. 4 Apparel Resources story about using e-textiles in health care. Link to story.

Associate teaching professor of Music Industry Ryan Schwabe was interviewed on 90.9 WHYY radio station about his craft and his 2023 Grammy nomination for the Best Engineered Non-Classical album ADOLESCENCE by BAYNK. He is an associate teaching professor of Recording Arts & Music Production in the Music Industry Program in the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. He is also the owner of Xcoustic Sound and co-owner of the music production company and digital record label Rare MP3s LLC. He was the co-chair of the Producers & Engineer Wing for the Philadelphia Chapter of The Recording Academy from 2012 to 2017 and a member of the Board of Governors. He is also the treasurer for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Audio Engineering Society. He is a registered Apple Digital Masters Engineer and guest lecturer at The Curtis Institute Music. Link to Article.

Drexel’s Sigma Sound Studio Archive in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design was referenced in a Dec. 19 PhillyVoice story about the National Liberty Museum hosting a Philly Loves Bowie Week event to celebrate David Bowie’s ties to the city. The Archive houses recordings from his “David Live” and “Young Americans” albums. Link to story.

Drexel's Mandell Theater was mentioned in a Dec. 14 WCAU-TV (NBC-10) segment as the host of "The Nutcracker Dipped in Chocolate," a performance of the classic ballet produced by the Chocolate Ballerina Company and featuring an entirely African American cast and crew. Link to story.

Mindy Johnson, adjunct professor of Digital Media, was featured in a Dec. 13 New York Times article about Bessie Mae Kelley, the earliest-known woman hand-drawn film animator. Link to story.

Drexel’s partnership with the Morton McMichael School was mentioned in a Nov. 26 Philadelphia Tribune story about McMichael being selected for a K-8 educational grant program by the nonprofit Elevate 215. Link to story.

Roberta Gruber, an associate professor in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was honored by Philadelphia's Hadassah chapter and featured in a Nov. 24 Jewish Exponent story. Link to story.

Students & Alumni


Jared Krieger (B.Arch ’06)  was named Co-Managing Director of the Gensler Boston office.

Tony Bracali (B.Arch ’99) was recently featured by Inga Saffron in the Inquirer for his work with the Preservation Alliance reimaging the Roundhouse. Link to article.

Floral dresses designed by fashion design students in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design were mentioned in the Dec. 19 episode of WPVI-TV (6-abc)'s "FYI Philly" about the Christmas display at Longwood Gardens, which includes the dresses. Link to story.

James M. Acker (Screenwriting & Playwriting ‘16) was selected for the Outfest Screenwriting Lab Fellowship, a screenwriting contact which gives selected participants the opportunity to workshop their feature-length scripts. After a brief hiatus from writing, Mr. Acker won the 2020 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship for his screenplay SADBOI. His young adult sports romance The Long Run will debut February 23. Link to Article.

Julia Edick (MS Fashion Design ‘12) began a new role as director of the arts for the Danville Area Community Center (DACC). In January 2019 she opened The Knack on Mill Street in Danville, PA to provide a space for children and adults looking to express themselves artistically. Link to Article.

Nicole A. Poulos (Graphic Design ‘09) was awarded a new patent. Her invention, U.S. patent number 11,350,702, applies to an eyelet system to work around all of Nike Shoes Flywire patents.

Mindy J. Solkin (Fashion Design ‘77) moderated a panel called "COMMUNIQUE: A Global Fashion Presentation of Spring/Summer 2023" hosted by the FGI (Fashion Group International, Inc.) Philadelphia. For 15 years, she held design positions at notable companies where she designed women's wear, children's wear, and bridal and formal apparel. She also started her own special occasion dress company in the 1980's. Link to Article.

Jacob S. Ewald (Music Industry ‘16), Sean Huber Film & Video ‘13), Ian D. Farmer (Music Industry ‘16) and Bren Lukens are members of the emo band Modern Baseball, whose first album Sports celebrated its 10th anniversary. A retrospective of the band's first album was published by the music blog Brooklyn Vegan. Also briefly mentioned in the article was Zackary M. Zarrillo (Music Industry ), founder of PropertyOfZack, a blog with daily coverage and commentary of the alternative music scene. Link to Article.

Nancy P. Volpe-Beringer (Fashion Design ‘16) was profiled in a Philadelphia Business Journal article. She shared that her goal is for other industry professionals to steal the business model of her luxury resale store, The Vault by Volpe Beringer, so that more stores will offer free adaptive redesign of their clothing for persons with disabilities. She also has been focusing on making her new pop-up store at 4347 Main Street in Manayunk a permanent store. Link to Article.

Drexel was mentioned in a Nov. 30 Philadelphia Business Journal story about Philadelphians on Forbes' "30 Under 30" list. Westphal alumni Evan Ehlers and Victoria Wilson, who founded the food-sharing nonprofit Sharing Excess, and Mari Llewellyn, co-founder of Bloom Nutrition, were featured on the list. Link to story.

Paige Mueller, an undergraduate in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was interviewed in a Nov. 18 KYW-TV (CBS-3) feature on Longwood Garden's holiday décor, which features floral dresses designed by Westphal fashion design students. Link to story.