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Graphic Design Goes into Orbit

July 8, 2011

two mission patches designed by studentsOur Graphic Design program is out of this world. Literally. With NASA's final Space Shuttle launch scheduled for Friday, July 8th, graphic design students have created a set of mission patches at the request of shuttle commander and Drexel mechanical engineering alumnus Christopher Ferguson. The selected patches, Jen Choy's Spaceswan and Jeremy Bloom's Waves, will accompany Ferguson and the other astronauts when the shuttle lifts off on its final mission and will remain at the International Space Station indefinitely. Ferguson came to Drexel on March 16th to spend time with graphic design students, talking about the U.S. space program, the role of mission patches and the end of the shuttle program. Click here to watch a 6ABC story about the student designed patches.

The patch design project was an independent, non-credited assignment that a team of five upperclassmen students worked on, under the direction of Professor Don Haring, Jr. and Graphic Design Program Director Jody Graff.  The students that participated are: Jeremy Bloom, Cara Brobst, Jen Choy, Herbie Hickmott and Evan Raisner.

A Philadelphia native, Ferguson has spent more than 28 days in space, piloted Atlantis on mission STS-115 in 2006 before commanding Endeavor on mission STS-126 in 2008 to deliver a water recycling system, sleeping quarters, a kitchen, space commode, exercise equipment and a combustion science experiment to the International Space Station. He also served as lead spacecraft communicator for mission STS-118 by Endeavor in 2007. Ferguson was awared an honorary degree from Drexel in 2009, and was also named the University's 2009 Engineer of the Year. He was selected to be an astronaut in 1998, the third Drexel alumnus to be chosen by NASA, following James P. Bagian and Paul Richards.

The graphic design program has won 136 industry awards since September 2009.  In addition to an unprecedented number of wins at the Creativity 41 Annual Awards and the 27th Annual American Graphic Design & Advertising Awards, the program also has had three students named “Students to Watch” by the prestigious USA Graphic Design magazine: Kathryn Hall and April Moralba in 2011, and Kat Madamba in 2010.