A Message from Dean Jason Schupbach
September 1, 2020
Hello Westphal students, faculty, staff, alumni and the whole Drexel and Philadelphia community!
I am so excited and honored to be joining all of you as Dean of Drexel University's Westphal College of Media Arts & Design! Westphal is such a dynamic community of scholars, creatives, makers, thinkers and doers. It is humbling and inspiring to be joining this awesome institution with its rich sense of place and mission.
As I start my job on September 1st, the world feels like it is reeling around us — that the intersecting crises of the viral pandemic, structural racism in American society, our global environmental issues, and the economic upheaval of the arts, media, and design fields weigh heavy. We are being shaken by an earthquake of epic proportions, and the effects of it have disproportionately affected Black and Brown communities and institutions. The exhaustion and trauma we all feel from the disruption is real.
I, like many of you, however, am tired of just reacting to crises. It is time for us to respond as field leaders with intention and design by looking forward and collaboratively planning ahead to build a better world — together. Westphal, through its fantastic programs and scholarship, can build on its existing strengths to create an institution that matters to, and affects, the solutions we all need. I’m excited about engaging with and learning from our various community stakeholders, forward-thinking advocates for change and long-time industry partners to build an even better Westphal — one that takes risks and experiments to prepare students to create the future they want and deserve. We have great strength to build upon, from our University’s dedication to civic engagement and community-based initiatives, to the already apparent commitment to justice and equity in our student body.
It is true, there will be hard conversations and decisions ahead, but there will also be joy, dance, song, compassion and love. We all need to participate. The journey for authentic transformation and solutions requires resilience and sustained commitment. I promise to be tireless in helping you all succeed and dedicated to bringing my full self to you all in every way I can.
The world needs creative minds more than ever. We can and will do the hard work necessary through healing engaged practices to turn Westphal into a collaborative, experimental, and just laboratory for creative careers for the 21st century.
Let’s get to work.
All my best,
Westphal College of Media Arts & Design