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

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

September 19, 2022


Joseph Hancock, PhD, Professor of Retail & Merchandising, was quoted in an Aug. 22 Wall Street Journalarticle about how prop comedy and conversational pieces are contributing to the promotion of luxury fashion brands. Link to story.

The Visual Studies program of the Art & Art History Department is pleased to partner with The Study at University City in presenting a solo exhibition of new paintings by our Associate Teaching Professor Josh Weiss. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 29 from 5-7pm.

Art & Art History adjunct instructor Rashidah Salam will have her solo invitational exhibition, Taman (Garden) at the Gallery at the Ann Felton Multicultural Center, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse New York. The artist's reception is on October 12 at noon. The show runs from September 26-October 27, 2022. Learn more.

Art & Art History Professor Jen Blazina will be teaching a One-Week Intensive Class from September 5th - 10th 2022 at the Corning Museum of Glass. This class titled Alternative Approaches to Printmaking and Glass explores innovative approaches combining printmaking onto kiln formed glass. Jen’s work, a glass purse, will be included in CraftNOW Philadelphia. Jen's solo exhibition, Little Worlds, closes on September 30th at Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts Minneapolis, MN in Glass Art Exhibition Space.

Art History Professor Pia Brancaccio delivered an invited special lecture on "Indian Buddhism and Maritime Trade: Recent Studies" at the International conference "Buddhist Cultural Heritage of India: Recent Archaeological Findings" organized by the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Savitribhai Phule Pune University, India. Pia also delivered a lecture entitled "The Rock-Cut Mavihara at Krisnagiri/ Kanheri" at Jnanapravaha, Mumbai, India (watch the video here). Additionally, she spoke on The Buddhist Caves at Aurangabad at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for their Art History Course on the Arts of South Asia from Ancient to Modern.

Digital Media Assistant Professor Nick Jushchyshyn participated in a Q&A with the ACM SIGGRAPH blog, discussing the organization’s newest event: Educator’s Day. Read the interview.

Alan Greenberger, vice president for Facilities and Real Estate and Distinguished professor in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, was quoted in an Aug. 26 Philadelphia Inquirer story about Monument in Waiting, a sculpture installation by artist Theaster Gates, inspired by the rise and fall of heroes, that Drexel is hosting. The story also mentioned another installation that was recently completed on Lancaster Walk, Pars pro Toto. A related Washington Post story also was picked up by the Philadelphia Tribune on Aug. 26. Link to story (Inquirer). Link to story (Tribune).

Harris Steinberg, a professor in Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and executive director of the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, was featured in an Aug. 25 episode of KYW Newsradio’s “The Jawncast” and an online article about the legend of “DisneyQuest” a Philadelphia tourism driver that never came to be. Link to story (KYW). Link to story (Jawncast).

Music Industry Professor Toby Seay presented his paper “The Mediation Paradox: Conflict with the Music Engineer’s Ethos” at the 21st Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) held in Daegu, KR. Toby presened two papers at the 2022 Innovation in Music Conference. Royal College of Music, Stockholm, SE. Along with Rankin Scholars, Kirk McNally and Paul Thompson, Seay presented research with the paper “Multiple Takes: Multitrack Audio as Musical, Cultural, and Historical Resources.” Additionally, Seay and Daniel Pratt presented “Time, Space, and Reflexivity: The Recording Space as an Instrument.”

Entertainment & Arts Management adjunct faculty member Taneshia Laird is a new professional member of the Recording Academy. Learn more.

Art & Art History Assistant Professor Delia Solomons has published an essay titled “To Break Through the Animation Cel, in Technicolor” in Alex Da Corte: Mr. Remember, the Philadelphia-based artist’s mid-career retrospective, which opens at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen in July 2022. The essay examines Da Corte’s engagement with cel animation, color, and the infrathin boundaries that separate the real from the imagined, oneself from other souls, and the authentic self from the performed self.


Fashion Design student and Westphal BRIDGE Scholar Dot Pallanes is the recipient of the 2022 Gucci Changemakers North America scholarship! Dot won a $20,000 scholarship and spent six weeks working with Gucci professionals and other Gucci Changemaker Scholars this summer. Dot’s final case study was on styling in the metaverse. They met the President of the NAACP, the CEO of Gucci (Marco Bizzarri), and Beyonce! Learn more.

2022 Fashion Design alumni Charlie Kenney and Maia Rivera were chosen for CFDA's Fashion Future Graduate Showcase (FFGS), and their work was showcased as part of Runway 360 for New York Fashion Week.

Lexx Fusco (Screenwriting & Playwriting ’18), wrote and produced shorts in the anthology film Give Me an A, which responds to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The project was featured in Deadline.

Dana Claire Redden (Interior Design ‘06) wrote the article "New Frameworks for Clean Energy: We're Not In Kansas Anymore" which was published in Smart Energy Decisions' website. In addition, Ms. Redden will co-present a session on "Integrating DEIJ and Climate Goals" at Smart Energy Decisions' Net Zero Forum, September 12-14, 2022 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, AZ. She is a solar professional dedicated to the development of distributed generation solar globally. Ms. Redden founded Solar Stewards, a social enterprise connecting corporate social responsibility initiatives with education institutions, housing, places of worship, and nonprofits in marginalized communities. She is among GRIST Magazine's 50 Fixers, a two-time judge at the DOE/NREL Solar District Cup, and an ACORE Accelerate member, as well as a DiCE Board Member. Link to Article.

Architecture alum Amanda Cohen recently became the first Registered Architect to be licensed in Pennsylvania through pre-graduation completion of the integrated path to licensure (IPAL) program.

MS Interior Architecture student Hanisha Rudhraraju is a finalist for the Next Work Environment Competition by Work Design Magazine.

Eddie Sugarman (MS Arts Administration ‘13) will be teaching a theater introductory workshop called Studio or TWS 101 on September 6 to 18, 2022, at the Theatre in Western Springs in Illinois. The workshop is for stage acting or backstage training. Mr. Sugarman serves as executive artistic director at the Theatre of Western Springs and has been an adjunct faculty member at Drexel University. Link to Article.

Cory A. Henry (B.Arch ‘10), principal and founder of Atelier Cory Henry, will be a part of the National Building Museum's Equity in the Built Environment signature series. The museum launches "INTERSECTIONS: Where Diversity, Equity and Design Meet," dynamic discussions about culture, equity and representation in the built world through the lens of design. Mr. Henry closes out the series with the question of whether design should reflect culture, history and community concerns on December 14, 2022. He challenges traditional partnership dynamics and reframes perceptions about who design truly serves. Link to Article.

Andrea Silva (MS Arts Administration ‘17), the former interim CEO of Citizen Diplomacy, was appointed vice president of the new World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, the organization resulting from the merger of The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and Citizen Diplomacy International Philadelphia. The two non-profits merged with a unifying goal of amplifying the city's presence in the international economy and began working as one entity on August 18, 2022. Link to Article.

Chan-Kyoo Hwang (Fashion Design ‘22) was a finalist of the 2022 Supima Design Competition (SDC) organized by Supima, the non-profit brand that promotes the use of American grown Pima cotton around the world. He showcased eveningwear capsule collections created with Supima cotton fabrics during New York Fashion Week on September 10, 2022. The 15th Annual competition provides students both visibility and a chance to win a financial prize of $10,000 awarded to the winner. Link to Article.

Laurel Hostak Jones (Screenwriting & Playwriting ’12) is a Movies & TV writer for the entertainment website Screen Rant. Laurel also writes, produces, and hosts Sleep & Sorcery, a folklore and fantasy-inspired bedtime story podcast and YouTube channel.

Matt Kleinman (BS, Music Industry, Westphal, 2016) was the guest on the Tennessee Voices video podcast. He is the CEO of KIT Plugins, audio software firm dedicated to developing high quality audio augmentation software, which he founded in 2020. Mr. Kleinman was an audio mixer and pursued a career in music, moving from the east coast to Los Angeles and then to Nashville. Link to Article.

Jordan Egan (Interior Design ‘21) joined SOSH Architects, an award-winning architecture, interior design, and master planning firm, as an interior designer. In his new position, Mr. Egan will collaborate with the design team on material selection and all phases of design and apply his extensive background in planning and rendering to bring cutting-edge designs to life.

Kaileigh L. Feichtel (Entertainment & Arts Management ‘11) and LeBow alum G. Grant Geiger's wedding was featured in Brides magazine. Their wedding took place on November 4, 2017 at The Bowery Hotel in New York City's Lower East Side. Link to Article.

Amanda M. Forastieri (Fashion Design ‘20) was featured in a Fashionista article. Her namesake label debuted in July 2022 which consisted of an apparel capsule made entirely in Puerto Rico and four scarves. Ms. Forastieri aims to design unique, sustainable pieces and connect her work to her Puerto Rican roots. When she graduated from Westphal in 2020, she had an award-winning collection, and she received a $10,000 grant. Her next goal is to find a more permanent workspace in Puerto Rico. Link to Article.

Roger L. Lee, Jr. (MS Arts Administration ‘12) was named director of innovation and entrepreneurship at Penn State Brandywine in Media. He is the owner and founder of Roger Lee Arts, LLC, a business that produces his work in artist career development, visual arts and dance. He is also the founding artistic director and resident choreographer of Roger Lee Dance Company, a professional contemporary jazz dance company based in Philadelphia. Mr. Lee previously worked at Drexel University as assistant director of pre-college engagement, as an entrepreneur-in-residence and as an adjunct professor at Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship. Link to Article.

Anthony W. Catana AIA (BArch ‘92) has been promoted to associate principal at Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc. Throughout his time at Spiezle, Mr. Catana has led more than 800 projects. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the New Jersey Society of Architects, the ICC, and the ICC Sustainable Membership Council. Link to Article.

Melissa L. Menago (Music Industry ‘09) headlined the Ladybug Music Festival on July 30 in Milford, DE. A music artist, songwriter, and producer, she will be releasing a new solo album independently. Ms. Menago recorded her most recent solo album with Chesky Records in 2016. She and her band June Divided celebrated their 10-year anniversary this past February. Link to Article.

Avery Sohn (Graphic Design ‘14) was promoted to senior art director at Calcium, a full-service healthcare marketing agency, according to a LinkedIn update. She is also a freelance graphic designer at Avery Sohn Design and a board member at CreativeMornings. Link to LinkedIn.

Twyla Grider (Fashion Design ‘11) was highlighted in the "Putting People First" section on the web site for the City of Burlington, AL. She recently designed all costumes for the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Games on July 7, 2022, including the corseted couture gown worn by singer Yolanda Adams. She was responsible for 500 costumes connected to the World Games. Since studying fashion design at Drexel University, she has spent years in the fashion industry, including designing for the lines of Jessica Simpson and William Rast. Her designs have been highlighted in InStyle and O magazine. Link to Article.

Ellen Martignetti (Interior Design ‘88) was appointed Main Street manager at Building a Better Boyertown (BaBB), a non-profit organization that seeks to preserve the artistic, historical, and agricultural heritage of Boyertown, PA. Ms. Martignetti has been a volunteer for BaBB for over ten years, most recently serving as board secretary and dedicating her time to the Design and Promotions Committees. She has worked in the commercial design and furniture industry for many years. She also gained retail experience working at the Disney Store. Since 2016, she has worked in Boyertown at Pine Forge Elementary School as a learning support aide. Link to Article.

Richelle Parham (Design & Merchandising ‘91; Marketing, LeBow ‘91) will be leading the data, e-commerce and media branch of the newly launched UMusic Media Network, part of Universal Music Group for Brands (UMGB) to help connect brands and partners to UMG's artists. Ms. Parham is the president, Global E-Commerce and Business Development at UMG. Link to Article.