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STAR Student Scholars

August 1, 2009

STAR Scholars is a wonderful program that gives academically talented students opportunities to conduct research and scholarship working with members of Drexel's faculty. The Pennoni Honors College oversees the Star Scholars Program which selects incoming freshman prior to their entrance to college or during their freshman year to pursue research during the summer term. This year, 15 Westphal students participated in the STAR program and they presented their research to the public on August 19th.

Digital Media students Girish Balakrishnan and David Myers presented "Stone Age Meets Digital Age: The Future of Historical Preservation.' Their research, part of Digital Media Program's work on 3D Colonial Philadelphia, involved creating 3-D scans of fossil remains of a Thoracosaurus, a 65 million year-old ancestor of the crocodile, and pot shards and other Neolithic artifacts.

Fashion Design students Cassandra Milani and Lydia Hryshchyshyn worked alongside Drexel Historic Costume Collection (DHCC) curator Clare Sauro. Cassandra's "Donor History: The DHCC' researched the earliest and iconic donations to our collection of over 10,000 garments and accessories, while Lydia's "Conservation Methods for the DHCC' focused on the collection's management and conservation.

Dance Major Eileen Moran presented "The Mind in Motion,' a study of elementary school students analyzing the cognitive processes that occur while creating shared, artistic experiences through dance.

Music Industry student Eric Sanderson examined "Problems of Intellectual Property in the Twenty-First Century,' which identified the numerous legal issues facing content creators in our era where creative content is readily available through numerous digital distribution channels.

Music Industry student James Connor researched "Late Night Record Sales,' which examined the impact on record sales following a band's appearance on late night television shows such as David Letterman and "The Tonight Show.'

Kevin Matthews researched "The Future of Fashion: Technology in Textiles' creating a database of various companies who are at the forefront of incorporating technologies into clothing design.

Graphic Design Students Allison Pfiffner and Jillian Skovran have been archiving and cataloging the Westphal College's collection of 2,400 Polish posters. Allison's research, "Solidarity in the Polish Poster,' focused on the Solidarity political movement. Jillian's research, "Evading Censorship,' focused on the differences between Polish and American film posters, as well as censorship Polish designers worked under during communist rule.

Architecture students Robert Hallock and Ritu Thomas presented research on Philadelphia row houses and their changing designs over the decades.

Film & Video student Nicole Rosen produced "Ready, Set, Action!,' the first ever promotional video for the Film & Video Program.

Design & Merchandising students Kristin Levine and Caitlin Stelben focused their research on environmental issues. Kristin researched "Greening Retail,' which researched why retail buildings should go green by changing their lighting, HVAC, water and energy sources, and Caitlin researched "Luxury Goes Green,' which compared the branding of traditional luxury companies (Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Hermes) to sustainable luxury brands (Linda Loudermilk, Bodkin and Elena Garcia).