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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.

May 16, 2023

Faculty & Staff

PBS recently aired the first two episodes of The Articulate Hour, a documentary miniseries that features writing by Screenwriting & Playwriting program director Matt Kaufhold and music composed by Film & Television program director John Avarese. The show was recommended by the New York Times as part of their "What to Watch" column.

Television & Media Management program director Michelle McHugh is leading a team of student researchers (undergraduate and graduate) in collaboration with the Drexel Solutions Institute. The team's research spanned the spring 22-23 quarter and explored the digital media presence of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, with a focus on deliverables designed to enhance the hospital's reputational branding and to build increased rapport with community members, donors, corporate partners, and the healthcare field as a whole.

Ricardo Zapata, assistant teaching professor of Art & Art History, exhibits new work at The Study at University City through 6/28. In the exhibition "Hold the Line," Zapata brings together drawings and paintings that utilize linear motifs and strategies intertwined with representation and text.

D.S. Nicholas, associate professor and program director of Design Research, was invited to the Swiss Center of Design and Health: Living Lab, to give a talk on May 9, as part of the "Design and Science" Launch in Bienne Switzerland. Dee co-wrote a chapter with Dr. Shivanthi Anandan (provost at LaSalle University). This volume is published by Bloomsbury Press and edited by Professor Leslie Atzmon, of Eastern Michigan University.

Photography professor Andrea Modica’s exhibition “Theatrum Equorum” is on display at Unique Photo in Philadelphia, through June 30.

Bill Fennelly, associate professor of Theatre, was quoted in a May 12 article in The Times Herald about ‘The Puzzle,’ a personal story about autism debuting at the Hedgerow Theatre. Link to story. Bill was also was mentioned in an April 26 Broadway World story that highlighted "Essential," a web series he created with David Lee White, who was an adjunct professor in the College. Link to story.

Jeff Apruzzese, assistant professor and program director of Music Industry, was quoted in a May 10 Philadelphia Inquirer story about the rising cost of concert tickets. Link to story

Andrew Susskind, associate teaching professor in the Department of Cinema & Television, was a guest on the May 9 episode of KYW Newsradio's "In Depth" podcast to discuss the writers guild strike. Link to story

Music Industry professor Toby Seay’s paper "I hear crickets: Otte field recordings in The Academy of Natural Sciences" was accepted for the 54th International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) Conference & 4th International Council for Traditional Music Forum to be held from 11-15 September, 2023 at Istanbul University in Istanbul, Türkiye. This paper outlines the collaborative project between the Drexel Audio Archives and the Academy of Natural Sciences, specifically the technical considerations for preserving such a collection and what can be learned from high resolution digitization of field recordings.

Rosalind Erwin, music director and conductor of the Drexel University Orchestra and adjunct professor, was mentioned in a May 5 Broadway World story about her participation in the upcoming Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra festival concert. Link to story.

LaNeshe Miller-White, adjunct professor in the Department of Performing Arts, was featured in a May 3 Broadway World article about her recent executive director appointment for Philadelphia Young Playwrights. Link to story

Blanca Huertas-Agnew, interim Dance program director and Jennifer Morley, associate teaching professor and director of the Drexel Pilates Studio, were quoted in an April 26 Dance Magazine article about how dancers can use their kinesthetic knowledge to become physical therapists. The article mentions Drexel’s bachelor of science degree in Dance, which offers a concentrated co-op experience in physical therapy. Link to story

Students & Alumni

Congratulations to Television & Media Management master's candidate, Kelsey Welsh! Kelsey landed her dream job, working with the Philadelphia Eagles. She is the Tik Tok Content Manager for the NFL team.

Dalia Banevicius (Graphic Design ‘22) joined Mitchell Associates, a multi-disciplined design consulting firm, as a graphic designer. While studying for her degree in Graphic Design, Dalia worked at Macquarie Group for as one of her co-op jobs. She is also a freelance graphic designer. Link to Article.

The Digital Media & Virtual Production program was mentioned in an article from Black Magic Design, a leading provider of video hardware and software. Link to article.

Christopher G. Hytha (B.Arch ‘21) was profiled in an article "Young photographer captures irreplaceable art deco peaks of Buffalo and beyond" in The Buffalo News. Mr. Hytha, photographer, and his creative partner Mark Houser have been working on a book project that exhibits Mr. Hytha's drone camera pictures of the tops of art deco buildings in American cities such as Buffalo, NY and Philadelphia. His streetscape images of Philadelphia have earned him more than 70,000 followers on Instagram. Link to Article

Tulika Puri Katyal (MS Interior Design ‘02), vice chairperson of the IVS School of Design in India, was quoted in an article on an Indian online education publication, India Education Diary, about Drexel University and the IVS School's signed collaborative agreement which would promote scholarship, innovation and learning through student and faculty exchanges, research, joint publications and civic engagement. Ms. Katyal stated that the collaboration would "give Indian students the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of global design practices and accord our youth the edge they need to stand out in the national and international job markets." Link to Article

Leandra Davis(Interior Design ’08), an established professional in higher education capital and master planning, was named executive director for the Office of Planning, Design, and Construction at Caltech Facilities. Ms. Davis is joining Caltech after spending more than 15 years at the University of Pennsylvania, where she most recently led the planning, design, and construction group in the School of Engineering. She received three Penn Models of Excellence Awards and is a trustee on the Board of the Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC) of Philadelphia, where she leads the CYC House and Grounds Committee's master planning. Ms. Davis also founded the CYC's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Link to Article

Ilaria Guerra (MS Arts Admin & Museum Leadership ‘22) was interviewed by Pointe Magazine about her typical day in San Francisco and on tour as an Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancer. In the interview, Ms. Guerra details her routine from waking up at 7am to going to bed at 10:30pm.

Eileen Madigan, ASID (Interior Design ‘90) was honored at the HD Expo + Conference's inaugural Women in Design Awards, hosted by Hospitality Design magazine. Ms. Madigan is celebrating five years with Las Vegas Sands Corp., where she is at the forefront of the company's strategy and mindset around design excellence as a key factor for success. With her 30-plus-year career focused on luxury hospitality, Ms. Madigan brings a combination of creative and business acumen to her role, managing billions of dollars of CapEx and new development projects for the company while overseeing a global design team. Link to Article