Weather Forecast for Philadelphia

Partly Cloudy
Tuesday 08/30 20%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy. Lows overnight in the upper 60s.
Partly Cloudy
Wednesday 08/31 20%
Partly Cloudy
Sunshine and clouds mixed. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 88F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Thursday 09/01 60%
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Scattered thunderstorms in the morning, then cloudy skies late. High 81F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Friday 09/02 0%
Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. High 78F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.
Partly Cloudy
Saturday 09/03 10%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy. High 77F. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph.


Industrial design graduate Renee Kakareka ’16, who created “smart” glasses to help the hearing impaired for her senior capstone and turned it into a startup, was named one of 17 “Who’s Next Entrepreneurs” by Billy Penn, the publication announced Aug. 26.

Mark Havens, assistant professor of industrial design, has released a new book of photography celebrating the iconic mid-century architecture of Wildwood motels, Philadelphia magazine reported Aug. 25.

In his book, Out of Season: The Vanishing Architecture of the Wildwoods, Havens chronicled the fast-disappearing examples of colorful, kitschy and whimsical design at the Jersey shore.

In addition to its architectural significance, Wildwood exemplified the aspirational vacation dreams of many families, Havens told the magazine. “You know, you could actually go on vacation, you had a little bit of disposable income and these places — you just have to look at the titles. I mean they were so aspirational, you know what I mean? The Waikiki or the Kona Kai or the Isle of Capri. You know, any of these places where the family from South Jersey (where I’m from) or from the Philadelphia area never would have been able to afford to take the family to the real place. They could afford to spend a week on the Astroturf around the pool at the Bel Air.”

Fashion and textile students started classes in the state-of-the-art Fashion and Textiles Futures Center.

Fashion and textile students started classes in the state-of-the-art Fashion and Textiles Futures Center.

This summer has been busy with the completion of substantial facility projects at Philadelphia University aimed at supporting Nexus Learning and enhancing the student experience.

Fashion and textile students started classes in the new state-of-the-art $3.1 million Fashion and Textiles Futures Center (FTFC) in Hayward Hall. Students will be eating in the newly renovated Ravenhill Dining Hall. There is a new active Nexus Learning Hub in the Paul J. Gutman Library, and the 2016 Energy Payback project that converted most of campus to transportation gas and removed more than 20,000 gallons of underground oil storage was completed this summer and new HVAC was installed in the A&D Center. This particular project will save the University more than $200,000 in utilities annually while reducing our carbon footprint.

Other upgrades include new roofs for Haggar and Weber Halls; new furnishings for Downs Auditorium; new ceilings and energy-efficient lighting in Fortess Hall; a new rear façade on Archer Hall; expansion and updates at PhilaU’s Bucks County and New Jersey campuses; as well as a dozen other initiatives.


The FTFC represents new ways of viewing the typical fashion design and textile design studio.

Fashion and Textiles Futures Center
The FTFC is a space with integrative studios and workspaces in which companies can partner with faculty experts and students in the University’s internationally ranked fashion and textiles programs. Students and faculty are often assembled in transdisciplinary teams and work on projects that produce innovative industry solutions.

The Center includes design studios, display windows, digital printing facility, fabrication labs, collaborative learning spaces, textile production facilities, presentation spaces and faculty offices.

“The FTFC represents the University’s commitment to developing transformational teaching spaces,” said Michael Leonard, David and Lillian Rea Dean’s Chair and academic dean, School of Design and Engineering, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. “The FTFC represents new ways of viewing the typical fashion design and textile design studio as more of a ‘collaboratorium’ where disciplinary strengths can evolve and combine.”

Read more about it here.

Ravenhill Dining Hall
The $531,000 Ravenhill Dining Hall project was a comprehensive renovation of all the main floor dining areas, said J. Thomas Becker, associate vice president for operations at PhilaU. Among the highlights: removing the breakout room partitions to add more general dining area; a new layout to open up the space with new furnishings, including countertops, booths and flexible seating formats; new audio and acoustic treatments; bathroom renovations; new carpet and finishes; and conversion of the private dining room to a Nexus Learning-style meeting and dining area.

PhilaU donated the old furnishings to the Philadelphia Furniture Bank whose mission is to turn empty houses into welcoming homes by providing no-cost furnishings to those in need, Becker said.

The Gutman Library instructional space now better reflects learning spaces within existing Nexus Learning Hubs.

The Gutman Library instructional space now better reflects learning spaces within existing Nexus Learning Hubs.

Gutman Library Instructional Space
In the spring, Jeffrey Ashley, director of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning, proposed that the Gutman Library’s instructional space be modified to be more reflective of learning spaces within existing Nexus Learning Hubs.

“The new Gutman Library Nexus Learning Hub dually enhances instructional workshops that are active and engaging and provides students with the space, flexible furniture and technology to facilitate active and collaborative interactions when workshops are not being held,” Ashley said.

The adjacent area to this instructional space invites students to be collaborative through movable, comfortable furniture in a space equipped with both digital (monitors, interactive whiteboards) and analog (whiteboards). “The instructional space now mirrors the configuration and technologies that we see in Nexus Learning Hubs,” he said. “This space will enable students to further their collaborative, peer-to-peer learning when not in class and in the absence of instructors.”

Energy Payback
The $1.3 million 2016 Energy Payback, primarily a design/build project developed by Honeywell and Plant Operations in cooperation with PGW, included:

* Removal and environmental closure of over 20,000 gallons of underground oil storage tanks at Downs, Reichlin, Search, Althouse and Hayward Halls.
* Conversion of those boilers from oil and to transportation rate gas with 72-hour emergency oil back up for greater efficiency and lower cost.
* Installation of new underground gas services.
* Removal of the original HVAC equipment from the A&D Center and installation of new high-efficiency water-cooled heat pumps.
* Kanbar and Ravenhill Dining Hall energy improvements.


PhilaU textile engineer Mark Sunderland has been selected to judge a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense to redesign protective suits used by the military, Yahoo!Women’s Wear Daily and the Los Angeles Times reported Aug. 24.

The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, a division within the Defense Department, launched the competition called “Proof-The Chembio Suit Design Challenge” and is offering a total of $250,000 to finalists and semifinalists.

Sunderland is the Robert J. Reichlin High Performance Apparel Chair, and director of the M.S. in Global Fashion Enterprise and B.S. in Textile Material Technology programs.

Industrial design senior Jacob Brosius designed a silicone carrying case for cards and keys that was selected for Target’s back-to-school line this summer, the Reading Eagle reported Aug. 23. Brosius’ Sidekick was one of four Philadelphia University student designs selected for the mega-retailer’s 2016 line; four PhilaU-designed products were also part of the 2015 line of products aimed at providing solutions for students living in residence halls and other small spaces.

Sidekick is sold nationwide in Target stores and online. Buy it here.

Read the PhilaU Today story about the student  designs for Target here.


Many graduates have jobs in such specialties as orthopedics, internal medicine, urology, trauma surgery, dermatology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, family medicine and transplant surgery.

In front of family, friends and faculty members, Philadelphia University’s physician assistant studies students celebrated their commencement Aug. 12, reciting an oath to carry out their responsibilities as health care providers with honesty and dedication.

“As I look out at the 48 faces of our graduating PA students, I see 48 students who gave their all to countless hours of study, patient care, more hours of study, community service, more hours of study, support of fellow students and, yes, more hours of study,” Jesse Coale, director of the physician assistant program, said at the ceremony. “Every one of you should be proud of your accomplishments.”

The Class of 2016 participated in numerous outreach efforts around the world.

The Class of 2016 participated in numerous outreach efforts around the world.

Many graduates have jobs in such specialties as orthopedics, internal medicine, urology, trauma surgery, dermatology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, family medicine and transplant surgery. Two students will head to surgical residencies at Yale and Duke university medical schools.

During their time at PhilaU, the class participated in numerous outreach efforts both locally and abroad. For the Global Medical Brigades, they traveled to Honduras, Panama, Ghana and Nicaragua, providing patient care and meeting with community health workers to help improve the care of area residents.

Awards for this year’s graduates include:

  • Class President’s Award for Student Service: Dominique Koons
  • Joel Chinitz Award for Community Service: Anju Thomas
  • Edward D. Dowden Award for Academic Excellence: Morgan DeWalt
  • Program Director’s Award for Clinical Excellence: Bethany Gilbert
  • Clinical Preceptor of the Year for Outstanding Performance as Medical Educators and for Assisting in the Advancement of PA Education: Dr. Helene Koch

At the White Coat Ceremony, the Class of 2017 marks the start of their clinical rotations.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. David Nash, the founding dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health and a board-certified internist internationally recognized for his work in public accountability for outcomes, physician leadership development and quality-of-care improvement.

Earlier this summer, the physician assistant studies Class of 2017 took an important career step at the White Coat Ceremony marking the start of their clinical rotations working on-site with healthcare providers. During the July 15 event, 78 students ceremonially donned their new white medical coats, assisted by their mentors in the Class of 2016.

During this professional phase of the program, students get hands-on clinical experiences in specialties that include internal medicine, primary care, pediatrics, women’s health, emergency medicine, psychiatry/mental health, surgery, dermatology, neurology, orthopedics, cardiology, neonatal intensive care, neurosurgery, oncology and plastic surgery.

PhilaU is ranked in the top 20 percent of accredited physician assistant programs nationally, according to U.S. News and World Reports. Click here to contact us about applying to PhilaU’s physician assistant studies program.

Philadelphia University textile engineer Mark Sunderland designed innovative seamless unsuits for U.S. Olympic rowers, NBC10 reported Aug. 11.

Sunderland’s rowing suit–in green–also was worn in Rio by Philadelphia rower Chierika Ukogu, who was the first female rower representing Nigeria, and who placed 20th in the women’s single finals.

Watch the news clip here.

Faculty and staff cheered as new students and their families walked into Convocation.

Faculty and staff cheered as new students and their families walked into Convocation.

Applause, high fives and shouts of “Welcome to PhilaU” by faculty and staff greeted new students and their family members as they streamed down the walkway to the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center Aug. 18 for Convocation 2016.

“Make no mistake, you will work hard,” President Stephen Spinelli Jr. told students at the first official gathering of the Class of 2020 and—for five-year architecture students—the Class of 2021. “Philadelphia University’s professors will challenge you beyond any challenges you’ve faced before. Sometimes you’ll struggle and sometimes you’ll fail. That’s OK. You will learn and grow as individuals and as professionals and you will be prepared to be leaders in your industries. When you are alumni, you will be the role models for new students.”

One such alumnus described the impact PhilaU has had on his life. He shared the excitement of making new friends, NCAA appearances, CACC Championships and how Nexus Learning helped launch him into a successful career.

"When you are alumni, you will be the role models for new students," President Spinelli said.

“When you are alumni, you will be the role models for new students,” President Spinelli said.

“I went to a University that comes second to none in preparing students for jobs and experiences they have never had before,” said Nicholas Christian ’14, now a senior operations auditor at Comcast. “I attended a University that has a 95 percent job success and graduate acceptance rate.”

Christian, an accounting major and four-year starter on the basketball team, said new students should be ready for the inevitable obstacles that will come their way and invoked the wisdom of one of the country’s greatest innovators.

“As you embark on this epic journey that is full of fear, resistance, faith and triumph, you must take with you the great words of Henry Ford, ‘When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind not with it,’” said Christian, who received a standing ovation from the audience.

In an inspiring speech, Nicholas Christian ’14 described the powerful impact PhilaU has had on his life.

In an inspiring speech, Nicholas Christian ’14 described the powerful impact PhilaU has had on his life.

Student Government Association President Naomi Sampat ’17 welcomed her new classmates by describing the many benefits of PhilaU.

“The campus culture is unlike any other,” she said. “Students are focused, ambitious, determined and unique. Philadelphia University is the breeding ground for all things innovative. The faculty, staff and administrators are highly invested in every student’s success and will help you get to the next level. Here at Philadelphia University, we are a team and a family, comprised of people who aren’t afraid to push the limits of innovation. We are always powered to do.”

Also at the ceremony, five Centennial Medals were presented to outstanding high school and college educators nominated by incoming PhilaU students. The annual awards were created in 1984 by the Board of Trustees to celebrate the University’s 100th anniversary.

The recipients honored at the ceremony include:

* Victoria Falasco, health sciences student, nominated Leah Lightcap, Spanish teacher at Archmere Academy in Claymont, Del.
* Alexa Giannini, fashion merchandising and management student, nominated Kathleen Ware, family and consumer science teacher at Shawnee High School in Medford, N.J.
* Elizabeth Lower, architectural engineering student, nominated Kitty Wittich, art teacher from Oley Valley High School in Bernville, Pa.
* Molly Pace, architecture student, nominated Paula Behrens, associate professor and department head of design technologies, Community College of Philadelphia
* Todd Sweeney, physician assistant studies student, nominated Anthony Rafaniello, music and performing arts teacher at Cranford High School in Cranford, N.J.

At the close of the ceremony, Spinelli took a final moment to wish the students well on their journey at PhilaU. “You are the new face of our great community,” he said, “and we look forward to seeing your future accomplishments year after year.”

A team of four Philadelphia University students won honorable mention in the prestigious Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture student competition, ArchDaily reported Aug. 18. For Timber in the City: Urban Habitats, students were challenged to explore wood as an innovative building material. The winners were selected from more than 850 architectural student entries. The PhilaU team included students Ross Silverman, Kelly Hayes, James Ko and Caitlin Powell, and faculty sponsors Lisa Phillips, Li Hao and Edgar Stach.

The award for $224,640 runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

The HHS award for $224,640 runs to June 30, 2017.

Philadelphia University recently received a sizeable grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration to further strengthen its Midwifery Institute.

The Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships award for $224,640 runs from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. The funds can go toward tuition, books, fees and living expenses.

“This grant will allow us to recruit strong students who want to give back to their communities and to extend our reach to students committed to addressing health disparities in their future practice,” said Dana Perlman, program director of the Midwifery Institute. “Students who receive this traineeship want to work in underserved areas, which may be urban or rural. Midwives can make a huge difference in our country’s health.”

In 2014, the journal The Lancet reported the return on investment from the education and deployment of community-based midwives is similar to the cost per death averted for vaccination, said Perlman, noting midwives provide expert care for the vast majority of pregnant women who are healthy or have well-controlled medical conditions during their pregnancies.

The University’s midwifery program also received this grant for $350,000 in 2014; however, since then, the program changed from a formula to a competitive grant, said Robert Skomorucha, director of corporate, foundation and government relations at PhilaU. “And it is very competitive, indeed.”

The application scored an impressive 96 out of 100, with no stated weaknesses, he said. “That’s quite a feather in the hat of Dana and the midwifery program.”