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The Latest Shout-Outs: Westphal Student, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Achievements

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

June 2, 2021

Faculty & Staff Shout-Outs


Two articles from the journal Fashion, Style & Popular Culture were chosen to be featured in Intellect Books' Pride celebration. "Patrick Kelly: Fashions' great black hope" by Van Dyk Lewis and Keith A. Fraley and "The body as costume: The theatricality of the male body and the modern peep show" by Jorge Sandoval will be available for open access through July 3, 2021. The articles were nominated for inclusion by Principal Editor and Professor of Retail & Merchandising Dr. Joseph H. Hancock II. 


Sites of Dance, a site-specific performance series created by the Drexel Dance Ensemble and FreshDance was the subject of a feature in Broad Street Review. Olive Prince, Director of the Drexel Dance Ensemble, and student choreographer Alisia Lipsey were interviewed about creating dance in a COVID world. Read the article.


Alan Greenberger, vice president for Real Estate and Facilities, and Harris Steinberg, a professor in the Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism and executive director of the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, co-authored an opinion piece that was published May 26 in The Philadelphia Inquirer about how the Amazon HQ2 pitch can be the playbook for Philadelphia’s post-COVID-19 renaissance. Link to story. 


Music Industry Assistant Teaching Professor Rob Weitzner and Digital Media Assistant Professor Nick Jushchyshyn are quoted in the Drexel News Blog in a piece titled Q+A Are NFTs Changing the Business of Art, or Making a Parody of It? Read the article. 


PA Senator Nikil Saval’s virtual visit, hosted by the Urban Strategy program and Lindy Institute, was the subject of a DrexelNow article. Read more. 


Art & Art History adjunct faculty member Rami George published an interview with the moon baby, Philadelphia-based musician and artist, about their newest single ‘Yours Truly – Tom DeBlase Remix’ for The Art Blog. Read the article. 


Alphonso McClendon, Associate Professor of Design & Merchandising, was an invited panelist for "A Fashion Culture Online Event: From Louis Armstrong to Dizzy Gillespie: Jazz and Black Glamour." Mr. McClendon is the author of Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural ImprovisationLink to Article and Link to Video. 


Art & Art History adjunct faculty member Katie Knoeringer has two pieces in Cerulean Arts' 9th Annual Juried Exhibition. The show was juried by Sarah McEneaney and runs from June 16-July 18. 


Elizabeth Quinn adjunct professor of Fashion Design at Westphal, presented a paper she wrote with an assistant professor titled, "Transforming the Fashion Industry by: The Evolution of Design & Merchandising Education" on March 21 at the 23rd International Conference, Sustainable Innovation 2021: Accelerating Sustainability in Fashion, Clothing, Sportswear & Accessories. Link to Article. 


Assistant Professor Nick Jushchyshyn has accepted an invitation to Epic Inc.'s Unreal Engine Virtual Production Fellowship, which runs from May 17 through June 21. Learn more about the Fellowship here. 


The Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection's exhibition, "The Clothes We Wore and the Stories They Tell," was featured in a May 10 Broad Street Review article. Link to story. 

Andrew Susskind, Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Cinema & Television, was quoted in a May 7 Washington Post story about Elon Musk hosting Saturday Night LiveLink to story. 


The Pennsylvania Fabric Discovery Center at Drexel’s Center for Functional Fabrics was mentioned in a May 6 Women’s Wear Daily story about AFFOA, the Department of Defense institute that the Center is part of, signing a deal to use a product lifecycle management platform called FlexPLM. The piece was also picked up by Yahoo! FinanceLink to story. 
Sandra Parks,
 Assistant Teaching Professor of Dance, was featured in a May 5 Dance Magazine
 piece about the online-only Dance degree program she created. Link to story. 

Cooper Wright, Facility Manager for Product Design, contributed to a beautiful new mural in North Philly, which was covered by NPR. Cooper worked with the laser cutters in the Hybrid Making Lab to design and make stencils for the mural. 


Theatre faculty member David Lee White and his collaborator Kate Brennan were selected as 2021 Grantees by the MAP Fund for their work on The Infinity Trilogy. The trilogy features three young adult musicals including ALiEN8, which was fully developed and produced by the Theatre program's Mandell Professionals in Residence Project in November 2019.


Student & Alumni Shout-Outs


Rasheem Clark (Mechanical Engineering ’21), a member of the Drexel University Symphony Orchestra, was selected as a student commencement speaker for the College of Engineering. He shares, “College is challenging, especially when pursuing a STEM degree such as mechanical engineering. Chamber Strings have been a part of maintaining my mental health during my time at Drexel. The music we play is soothing and allows me to escape any stress that I may be experiencing. I enjoyed the relaxed environment chamber strings have to offer. We get to choose our repertoire and have flexibility in rehearsals. I say the most memorable project that stands out to me is Hannah Sturges’ (Entertainment & Arts Management ‘21) current capstone project on Black Musicians and their works. As a person of color, it is great to be exposed to more representation and play lovely works that I personally never knew existed. I can’t wait to see how it comes out at the end of the term.” 


Design & Merchandising alumna Victoria Costa was recently promoted to Lead Designer at Cohere, a branding agency in Philadelphia, Baltimore and NYC. 

Fashion Design major Catherine Pfingst is featured in a New York Times story titled “What Will We Do With Our Masks Now?” Read the article here. 

The animated short Sign Language, created by alumni Jason Aziz, Josh Jager, Max Lewing, and Anthony Srnka (Animation & Visual Effects ‘20) was recently accepted into the 2021 International New York Film Festival, which will be held in June 2021 in Times Square. Sign Language and Caged, created by alumni Julia Schultz, Sara Meixner, Mackenzie Keslin, and Anthony Srnka (Animation & Visual Effects ‘20) received 2021 Telly Awards. Sign Language received Gold, while Caged received Bronze in the Non-Broadcast Student category. 

Interior Architecture & Design graduate student Lindsay Bedford is among the 2021 Cohort of Mural Arts’ Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists. The Fellowship is designed to fund, foster and elevate the important work of Black artists residing within the City of Philadelphia. Learn more. 


Christopher Kissel (Music Industry ‘09) was hired as a national account manager at the Garnet Valley, PA-based IMS Technology Services, an award-winning provider of event staging and systems integration solutions. Mr. Kissel has 12 years of experience in the event production industry and spent most of his career working in luxury hotels throughout the Philadelphia area. Link to Article 


Anita Washington (Design & Merchandising '03) became director of digital commerce at the retail company, Victoria's Secret Pink. Previously, Ms. Washington was director of ecommerce at Saks OFF 5th where she was responsible for driving the sales performance, marketing and merchandising strategies for eight ecommerce categories.

Rachel McCausland (Arts Administration '14) was named to Philadelphia Business Journal's 40 Under 40. Link to Article. 


Michael Heffner (Computer Science, CCI ‘19), Mark Hurley (Game Design & Production '19), Jeffrey Mostyn (Computer Science '19) and Drexel student Joseph Brown's indie video game developer Pharaoh Hound Games launched their award-winning competitive tower defense game, Sons of RaLink to Article. 


Lauren Johnson (Design & Merchandising ‘05) was interviewed for Women's Wear Daily, in which she shared her career path from school to founding her own agency. Ms. Johnson is the founder and chief executive officer of The Hyacinth Group, and she has over ten years of experience in the digital space, which began as an assistant internet merchant at Victoria's Secret. Link to Article. 


Lendrell Martin (Fashion Design ‘10) was selected to be a contestant on the second season of Amazon Prime Video's fashion competition Making the Cut. Mr. Martin is the creator of his own namesake line of ready to wear fashion for men and women in mixed media materials with an emphasis on jackets and outerwear. Link to Article 


Richelle Parham (Design & Merchandising ‘91; Marketing, LeBow ‘91) was appointed president of Global E-Commerce and Business Development at Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, effective June 2. In this newly created role, Ms. Parham will oversee UMG’s global e-commerce strategy and business development across the company’s iconic labels, music publishing company, operating units and territories. Link to Article 1 and Link to Article 2.  


Jason Varney's (Photography ‘01) still-life demo for the Princeton Day school was chosen for inclusion in the photography contest, American Photography 37. Mr. Varney is an adjunct professor at Westphal.  Link to Article. 


Anthony Bracali, AIA, LEED AP (Architecture ‘99) became senior director of design, planning and construction at Thomas Jefferson University, according to a LinkedIn update. Previously Mr. Bracali was a guest lecturer at the Community College of Philadelphia where he developed and taught a formative course for students titled "Introduction to Architecture, Design and Construction Professions." Link to Article. 


Alvia Howard, NCIDQ, CID, Associate AIA (BS Interior Design ‘04) was appointed director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access at OTJ Architects. Previously, she served as the firm’s design director and worked on distinguished government projects including workplaces for the National Institute of Health, the Department of Justice, the Department of Interiors, Department of Treasury, and Department of State. Link to Article. 


Kristen Lancia (Design & Merchandising '04) was promoted to assistant vice president of Wayne Bank in Honesdale, PA. Ms. Lancia began her career with Wayne Bank in 2012 and currently serves as the bank’s marketing officer. Link to Article. 


Christopher Miller (Architecture ‘09) was featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal “People on the Move.” Mr. Miller has joined Stantec as a senior associate. Previously he was a senior project manager at Granum A/I. Link to Article. 


Marissa K. Donapel (Graphic Design '20) wrote the newly published children's book Around the World with Remy + Fox. Ms. Donapel is an artist and works as a graphic designer at Life Celebrations, Inc. Link to Article and Link to LinkedIn.


Natalie Krumenacker (Design & Merchandising '19; Honors Program) became the owner of Shop Ravel, a women's boutique, according to a LinkedIn update. Previously, Ms. Krumenacker was an assistant buyer at Ross Stores, Inc. Link to LinkedIn.


Natalie Malawey-Ednie (Architecture '03) is a principal at Watchdog Real Estate Project Management, which was recognized as one of Philadelphia Business Journal's "Best Places to Work 2021: Small and Micro Businesses." Link to Article and Link to LinkedIn.


Maria Renz (Interior Design '90), EVP and group business unit leader at SoFi, offered her insight into the steps companies can take to diversify their boards during the Consciously Unbiased LinkedIn Live virtual panel. Link to Article and Link to Video. 


Pamela Rogers (Interior Design '89;) became co-owner of the consumer services company, SERVPRO of Firestone, Platteville, according to a LinkedIn update. Previously, Ms. Rogers was the area director of operations of Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services. Link to LinkedIn.


Dounia Tamri-Loeper (Graphic Design '10) wrote an article “Lighting the Way to Transparent, Ethical, and Fair Trade” for the IDSA’s (Industrial Designers Society of America) quarterly journal Innovation. Ms. Tamri-Loeper is the founder and CEP of Dounia Home, a lighting and home décor design company.