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November 2021 Shout-Outs: Westphal Student, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Achievements

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

November 10, 2021



Westphal College of Media Art & Design was mentioned in an Oct. 26 Philadelphia Tribune article about a citywide project that redefines the traditional orchestra and introduces The Philadelphia Public Orchestra, part of Rehearsing Philadelphia, which  jointly produced and presented by Westphal and the Curtis Institute of Music. Link to story.

The Department of Design welcomed two new professional staff members, Jack Meisterich, Administrative Coordinator, and Sierra Tilghman, Department Administrator.


The Journal of Fashion, Style & Popular Culture (principal editor Professor Joe Hancock, Program Director of the MS in Retail & Merchandising) is making several sustainability-centered articles free to access for the month of November in alignment with the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26). Free articles include 'Fashion systems of earth logic and transition for this time and place' by Jennifer Whitty, 'Spirals, spikes and spinning wheels: Temporal models challenging the sustainability agenda in relation to fast fashion consumption' by Helen Powell, and 'Generational cohorts’ views on local sustainable practices in fashion' by Noël Palomo-Lovinski.


As the film industry makes its own moves toward the “metaverse,” Tribeca and Epic are running a special program to teach a group of hand selected film writers and directors how to use virtual production software Unreal Engine to transform how films are written. Through the program, each director is partnered with an Unreal Engine artist to work on developing their film. Digital Media Assistant Professor Nick Jushchyshyn is an invited artist for the program, and will work with a writer/director in development. Learn more on Tribeca’s website, in Venture Beat, and in Deadline.

The Pearlstein Gallery was featured in a Nov. 2 artblog article about its current exhibition, “Errors and Omissions” which will be on view through Feb. 20, 2022. Link to story.

Theo. A. Artz, Digital Media Associate Professor Emeritus, had his recently completed interactive wall-mounted art construction, "sMundi", awarded 3rd Place within the Oxford Art Alliance 7th Annual National Juried Exhibition in October 2021. From the catalog: "Juror Charles Goolsby, Professor of Art at Emory & Henry College and Chair of the Division of Visual & Performing Arts curated a collection of 30 artworks out of 250 entries for the 7th Annual National Juried Exhibition. The result is cohesive, yet varied in medium and style." Learn more.

Bruce Katz, Distinguished Fellow in the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and director of Drexel's Metro Finance Lab, was quoted in an Oct. 30 Washington Post article about mayoral candidates across the country shifting their campaign messaging on the role of police. The article was picked up on Oct. 31 by Seattle Times. Link to story.

Professor of Art & Art History Jen Blazina will be included in a Group Show in Main Gallery at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, NC. There she will exhibit a new body of incorporating flowers, imagery of nature, and the animals who live in her back yard. The exhibition runs through December 31st. Learn more. 

Assistant Professor of Art & Art History Delia Solomons, PhD will present on November 30 a paper titled “Sign Display: Sarah Grilo and José Antonio Fernández-Muro in 1960s U.S. Exhibitions” for a panel organized by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (NY) and the Institute of Fine Arts (NY) on the occasion of the exhibition José Antonio Fernández-Muro: Geometry in Transfer (2021-22).

The Preservation of Art and Culture in Times of War, co-edited by Distinguished Teaching Professor and Executive Director of University Collections and Exhibitions Derek Gillman, Claire Finkelstein and Frederik Rosén, will be published by Oxford University Press on December 24th, 2022.

Digital Content Specialist Laurel Hostak Jones is a guest on the Nov. 15 episode of The Mommy Labor Nurse Podcast.

Harris Steinberg, executive director of the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and Bruce Katz, Distinguished Fellow in the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, and director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab, co-authored an Oct. 26 Philadelphia Inquirer piece introducing "Rebuilding Philly," a new series, authored by Drexel experts, that will explore how to make the city more equitable and resilient following the COVID-19 pandemic. Link to story.





Sasha Mendez (’23), a student in the MS Urban Strategy program, is a recipient of a scholarship through the Nina Henderson Provost Scholars Program. Sasha will work with Associate Dean Alonzo Flowers (School of Education) on a project titled Graduate College Diversity Exploration. Learn more about the Provost Scholars program here.

Cat Pfingst (Fashion Design ’21) exhibited work in the Design Collaboration at the Hotel De Ville in Paris on October 20. Her design, along with five others from this year’s Supima Design challenge, are part of the showcase with this year’s coveted Festival De Hyeres Designers.

Jessie Amadio (BS Digital Media ‘10) was interviewed for Randi Altman's "postPerspective's" website about her career in visual special effects. Ms. Amadio is a VFX supervisor who leads the CG (computer graphics) team at MPC, a creative production studio specializing in visual effects for film, episodic and advertising. Link to Article.

Adriana Falco (MS Arts Administration ‘92) became VP of marketing at Hivecell, a computer software company focused on support software, according to a LinkedIn update. Previously, she was the vice president of global marketing at Rajant Corporation. Link to LinkedIn.

Tom Nolan (MS Television Management ‘21) serves as the COO for the TCT Television Network, which recently received FCC approval for the purchase of WACP Channel 4 Philadelphia. This is the latest station in an ongoing expansion over the past two years. TCT's inspirational programming will be broadcast over the air and through all local cable and satellite outlets in Philly, the country's fourth largest media market (Philly/DMA 4) this November. Link to LinkedIn.

Neilly Robinson (BS Fashion Design ‘04), founder and owner of Heirloom Kitchen, is hosting a six-week pop-up restaurant in Philadelphia at 931 Spring Garden Street. Designed as a three-course, $55 dinner, the restaurant will be running from November 10 to November 18. Link to Article.

Mia Rosensaft, LEED AP BD+C (Architecture ‘18) received her LEED AP BD+C (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, Building Design and Construction) certification. Ms. Rosensaft is a lighting designer I at The Lighting Practice. Link to Article.

Richelle Parham (Design & Merchandising ‘91), president of global e-commerce and business development for UMG (Universal Music Group), was quoted in a Variety magazine article about Universal Music Group's Bravado, which announced its partnership with British girl group, Spice Girls. In celebration of the group's 25th. anniversary, Bravado will be offering a wide-ranging deal spanning Spice Girls merchandising, direct-to-consumer products, touring, brand and retail licensing and distribution on a global scale. Link to Article.

Laurence J. Frial (Film & Television ‘19) and Westphal student Charlene Campbell's short documentary, TORNERO EN LA TIENDA, was named an Official Selection in the 2021 Belize International Film Festival. They co-directed this film while studying abroad with the Cinema & Television Department's Drexel Spring Break in Cuba: Documentary Film Production in 2019. TORNERO EN LA TIENDA screened virtually over the Festival Week, November 5th through 14th.

Anna Greenwald (Music Industry ‘15), founder of On The Goga, recorded her podcast, Leadershit, live during the annual Founder Factory, an in-person experience designed to help local startup leaders find solutions to the most pressing obstacles and challenges in business. Link to Article.

Joshua Keily (Architecture ‘21) was promoted to lighting designer I at The Lighting Practice (TLP). Since joining TLP in 2019, Mr. Keily's project experience has grown to include hospitality, transportation, and healthcare environments. Link to Article.