For the seventh year in a row, GDUSA magazine has named Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) a top graphic design school. In addition, the publication recognized graphic design communication seniors Peter Aston and Zachary Faust as Students to Watch.
“It’s a high honor to be included,” said Frank Baseman, director of the graphic design communication program at Jefferson. “I think it speaks to the outstanding work of our students, the extremely talented and energetic faculty, and our strong curriculum. We firmly believe that we’re training the next generation of talented design thinkers and strategists.”
GDUSA said Jefferson “cultivates design strategists with an innovative spirit and superior critical thinking skills applicable to a diversity of human needs.” In addition, the publication praised the University’s curriculum, which embraces design thinking and strategic planning, features real-world assignments and is based on active, hands-on learning emphasizing traditional design skills and the ability to responds to complex problems across a variety of media.
And, having found personal and professional growth through their programs, this year’s Students to Watch are “ready to burst” onto the design scene, the magazine said.
Baseman shared some recent accomplishments from the program:
* Graphic design seniors enrolled in systems design integration participated in an industry-sponsored project with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Over the course of a semester, eight student groups researched, developed and prototyped a design system that would help build community resilience around heat emergencies. Associate professor Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel and assistant professors Beth Shirrell and Renee Walker had a presentation accepted to the AIGA Make Conference on this project.
* Senior Paige Graff had a project selected for the international publication Graphis New Talent Design Annual 2018.
* Adobe invited alumnus Ronnie Alley ’16 to present at Adobe Live in San Francisco.
* Alumna Ali Doucette ’13 won the Fresh Award from AIGA Philadelphia, an honor given to an emerging designer.
* Baseman will participate in two upcoming presentations: a panel discussion on design thinking and entrepreneurship during Penn State Startup Week and a lecture to MFA students at Marywood University.
The influential GDUSA list of top programs is based on a mix of objective and subjective factors, including the publication’s relationships with designers, students, recruiters and educators.