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The Latest Shoutouts: Westphal Student, Faculty, Staff & Alumni Achievements

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

February 9, 2021

Faculty & Staff Shout-outs

Brea Heidelberg, Associate Professor and Program Director of Entertainment & Arts Management, has been selected to join the Cultural Research Network Steering Committee. The Cultural Research Network (CRN) is an open resource-sharing community of practice for anyone involved in arts- and culture-related research. CRN emphasizes the practice and process of current research, and the opportunities to inform that active work among peers, academics and fellow professionals. Learn more about the steering committee and the nomination process.

Raja Schaar, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Product Design, is an advisory board member of Diversify by Design (DxD). DxD launched on January 29, 2021 with the central purpose of breaking down the racial inequities through the industry, DxD is focusing on five critical, interconnected aspects of the design ecosystem: Exposure, Education, Experience, Employment, and Empowerment. Read more here.

Pia Brancaccio, Professor in Art History, is giving a talk titled “The Narrative of the Buddha’s Life in Gandharan Art Between Storytelling and Performance” at The Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS) at UC Berkeley on February 19, 2021.

Raja Schaar, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Product Design, will participate on the panel following Dr. Bettina Love’s keynote: “We Gon’ Be Alright, But That Ain’t Alright: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom,” as a part of the ExCITe Center’s 7th Annual STEAM Education Workshop on February 15. Raja will also be giving a talk titled “Future Matter(s): Design Ethics, Equity, and the Environment” at the University of Houston’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture & Design on April 5.

Sarina Miller, Adjunct instructor in Art History, is chairing “Designed by Quarantine: Space and Place in the Current Global Crisis,” during the 109th Annual CAA Conference on February 12, 2021.

Adjunct instructor in Visual Studies Susan White’s “In the Weeds” is on display at Millersville University through February 25, 2021. For this installation, White covered the gallery walls with over 5,000 leaves that were screenprinted, cut out and wired by hand.

Herbie Hickmott (BS Graphic Design ‘12), Graphic Design adjunct faculty, and his colleagues at the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) were recently named winners of the 2020 Water Data Prize from the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC). Their submission, Tap You Can Trust, aims to present information about Philadelphia’s water quality in an accessible, approachable and thoughtful way. View their submission here and learn more about the Water Data Prize here

Alex Stadel (BS Civil Engineering ‘11, BS Architectural Engineering ‘11, MS Civil Engineering ‘11), adjunct associate professor in the Architecture program, was promoted to Project Manager for Keast & Hood, a structural engineering firm founded in 1953. Alex is an invaluable asset to Keast & Hood and has been involved in many the firm’s most iconic projects. His recent work includes the renovation of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology & Anthropology and the Frank Gehry designed Philadelphia Museum of Art Core Renovation. Read the full article here

Student & Alumni Shout-outs

Alum George Poulin, AID, LEED AP (BA Architecture ‘07), president of the University City Historical Society and Senior Associate at Strada, an architectural firm, was quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer column discussing the new renovations planned for the International House on the University of Pennsylvania’s Campus. Read the full article here.

Aluma Anne G. White (MS Interior Architecture & Design ‘13), president of AGW Interiors, was featured in a Philadelphia Business Journal article highlighting her design work at the Christmas themed pop-up bar Tinsel in midtown Philadelphia. Read the full article here.

Alum Bruce J. Walck, AIA, MRAIC (BA Architecture ‘00) was promoted to president of Powers Brown Architecture, a professional services firm practicing architecture, interior design, programming and urban design. Walck, a principal with Powers Brown since 2008, has worked in the firm’s Houston headquarters, as well as established the firm’s offices in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, in 2015, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 2017. Read the full article here.

Alumi Tom Falzani (BS Graphic Design ‘20) and Adit Gupta (BA Software Engineering ‘19) were featured in Philly’s January 25 article, “These are Philly’s young tech companies to watch this year: RealLIST Startups 2021” for their eco-conscious convenience store delivery startup, Lula. Read the full article here.

Congratulations to Drexel’s 2021 Truman Scholarship nominees Alisia Lipsey (BA Dance ‘22), Nishka Seth (BS Psychology ‘22) and Melissa Hoxha (BS Biology ‘20, Honors). The Truman Scholarship is a highly prestigious national award that recognizes the nation’s top undergraduates committed to careers in public service.