Weather Forecast for Philadelphia

Thursday 07/28 90%
Showers and thunderstorms. Lows overnight in the low 70s.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Friday 07/29 60%
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Mostly cloudy skies. Scattered thunderstorms during the morning. High 84F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Saturday 07/30 60%
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Scattered showers and thunderstorms. High near 85F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Sunday 07/31 60%
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 82F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Monday 08/01 40%
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Mixed clouds and sun with scattered thunderstorms. High 83F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.


Philadelphia University’s landscape architecture program is helping to develop community green space throughout the city, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported July 16.

“There are all sorts of assets in that area that people just can’t get to. We are looking to create stepping-stones in the community,” Kim Douglass, director of PhilaU’s landscape architecture program, told the Inquirer. PhilaU landscape architecture students will be integral in designing and implementing a vision for the spaces.


PhilaU hosts The Basketball Tournament for the third consecutive year.

For the third consecutive year, Philadelphia University will host the Northeast Regional of The Basketball Tournament (TBT). Alumni teams from Villanova, Temple and LaSalle, as well as former New York Knicks and Syracuse players, will be among those competing for the $2 million prize at the Gallagher Center on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.

PhilaU’s Peter Alexis ’16 and Christian Burns ’07, who won the DII National Player of the Year award as a Ram, will be playing for the North Street Bullies.

“We are proud to have joined TBT at the tournament’s inception in 2014,” said PhilaU’s Director of Athletics Tom Shirley. “We have watched it grow for three years and have proven to be a great site to enjoy the event.”

More than 300 teams applied to play in TBT this year, including more than 400 players with professional experience and 130 with NBA experience. A total of 135 teams met the eligibility requirements to compete.

Opening rounds began last weekend in Charlotte and Los Angeles, and continue this weekend in Chicago and Philadelphia. The Super 16 takes place at the Gallagher Center on July 21-23 (which will be covered on ESPNU/ESPN2/ESPN3), and the semifinals and winner-take-all championship final–to be aired on ESPN–head to New York July 30 and Aug. 2, respectively.

See all the teams competing here. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by visiting this link.

Target products 2016

Designed by PhilaU students, the Plika (top) and Sidekick are now available at Target.

In collaboration with Target and design firm Umbra, two Philadelphia University industrial design students and two recent alumni are having their products manufactured and sold as part of the mega-retailer’s back-to-school line.

Under the label Loft by Umbra, the items are now available online and on the shelves of Target’s almost 1,800 stores.

The PhilaU designers and their products are:

Industrial design seniors Aria Lee and Jacob  Brosius with their Target products.

Seniors Aria Lee and Jacob Brosius with their Target products.

Jacob Brosius ’17: Sidekick, a holder for credit and debit cards, school IDs, money and keys (buy it here and here).

Aria Lee ’17: Plika, a floating wall organizer (buy it here and here).

Nick Friez ’16: Bunky, a bedside stand to hold electronics and books (buy it here).

Sam Pawlak ’16: Cacti, a multi-surface desktop organizer (buy it here).

The student designers and PhilaU’s industrial design program will share royalties on sales of the items, which range in price from $7.99 to $19.99. The products by recent graduates Friez and Pawlak were first sold last summer and Target brought them back for the 2016 back-to-school line.

The designs were developed as part of a junior-class design studio in fall 2014 and 2015 co-taught by Lyn Godley, associate professor of industrial design, and Michael Leonard, David and Lillian Rea Chair and academic dean, School of Design and Engineering, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce.

“The opportunity to not only work with a sponsor, which we do often in the industrial design program at PhilaU, but to have the students’ designs produced in volume and marketed through a major retail chain is invaluable,” Godley said. “The students also participated in after-design decisions that manufacturing demands, such as packaging designs for shipping and store display and pricing considerations.”

Jacob Brosius' Sidekick holds credit cards, school IDs, money and keys.

Jacob Brosius’ Sidekick holds credit cards, school IDs, money and keys.

The project, she said, also teaches students the importance of meeting market needs. “Many ideas in the classroom are good, but when they hit the market you realize if they are viable for a wide audience,” Godley said. “Students see how critical it is to understand that audience when it is linked to real-world sales and royalties based on those sales.”

For Target and Umbra, the PhilaU students bring not only top design skills to the table, but also first-hand knowledge of the challenges of living in dorm rooms and small spaces and the need for innovative solutions.

“When developing the idea for my product, I wanted to find a problem that applied to a wide range of college students,” said rising senior Brosius. “Sidekick takes into consideration that all students on campuses are required to carry a college ID and first-year students are usually required to live on campus. My design combines a way to store your ID, license and credit/debit card, as well as a pivoting slot to place your dorm key. It keeps all the college essentials together in one place.”

Brosius said he couldn’t have done the project without the guidance of Godley, Leonard and other industrial design faculty.

“They’re always pushing us to perform for the real world, and this was as real as it gets,” said Brosius, who is interning with noted PhilaU alumnus and benefactor Maurice Kanbar ’52, H’03, in San Francisco this summer. “It’s truly unreal to have a product out on the market, particular in Target—it’s a dream come true.”

Under the label Loft by Umbra, the items are now available online and on the shelves of Target’s almost 1,800 stores.

The items are now available online and on Target shelves.

Lee said the experience of creating Plika taught her what it means to be a working designer. Her idea initially grew out of a simple problem: items slipping between the bed and wall. Lee wanted to create an organizer that offered a solution, but could be used anyplace in the home.

“Throughout the project I kept thinking, ‘What did I need as a freshman? What would I benefit the most from?’” she said. “Starting college is very hectic and I was very unorganized. The wall shelf should act as a hub and an organizer, offering a place where all your most essential items live.”

This summer, Lee is interning with New York-based opera set designer Doug Fitch, and after graduation next May she would like to specialize in sustainable design or furniture design.

For recent graduate Friez, sharing the design process behind the Bunky was a focal point of his job interviews and he said the creation of his bedside storage space solution helped him land a job as associate product designer in Armstrong World Industries’ ceiling division.

“With this new position, I have so many opportunities to grow as a designer and learn new techniques from other designers and engineers,” said Friez, who interned for the retail design firm Fleetwood Fixtures last summer—another connection made because of his time at PhilaU.

Pawlak also now works as a designer at Armstrong World Industries and credits his PhilaU education, in particular the real-world industry experiences and networking opportunities facilitated by the industrial design department, with his job success.

“To have my product back on store shelves for a second year feels greatly rewarding and I’m forever thankful to my professors and Umbra for making this happen,” Pawlak said. “The exposure was a huge boost to my career.”

Click here to read about the PhilaU students who had their products sold as part of Target’s 2015 back-to-school line.

Industrial design students Nick Friez, Anthony Maladra, Chloe Muller and Sam Pawlak with their Target products from the 2015 back-to-school line.

Industrial design students Nick Friez, Anthony Maladra, Chloe Muller and Sam Pawlak with their Target products from the 2015 back-to-school line.

Philadelphia University alumna Renee Kakareka ’16 created a startup to develop and market smart glasses to help deaf children communicate, Observer reported July 8. Kakareka, founder and CEO of Olive Devices, first developed the glasses for her senior industrial design capstone.


Lauren Brosius, B.Arch ’15, won second place in the 2016 Dencity Competition.

Philadelphia University alumnus Lauren Brosius, B.Arch ’15, has earned second place in the 2016 Dencity Competition, a design contest that works to foster new ideas on how to better handle the growing density of unplanned cities and to spread awareness of this global problem.

A continuation of her PhilaU thesis project for architecture professor Chris Harnish, her winning submission focused on Alexandra Township in Johannesburg, South Africa, home to a fluctuating population of 350,000 to 700,000 people in a 2 square mile area.

“Alexandra is characterized by the residents’ struggle for the right to remain in the city,” Brosius explained. “The intent of this project was to understand growing urban centers and design an effective, yet personalized solution that addressed housing and infrastructure. My thesis statement which drove all of my research and design was: A more effective government housing strategy focused on user participation, flexibility and micro-grids may receive greater user satisfaction and control infrastructure challenges and urban density.”

She won $1,500, and her work will be published in several international online magazines.

“We congratulate Lauren for addressing the global challenge of informal communities,” said David Breiner, associate dean for the College of Architecture and the Built Environment. “In her award-winning scheme, she proposes a practical solution that recognizes how people actually live in codependent environments, and in doing so, she helps raise the profile of our College and University. Lauren’s interest in South Africa reflects recent opportunities that many of our architecture students have had working with professor Chris Harnish, whose specialty is humanitarian architecture in Africa.”

Philadelphia University textile engineer Mark Sunderland created innovative seamless rowing apparel with an antimicrobial finish that will be used at the Rio Olympics, reported the Kansas City Star, Miami HeraldSingapore News, Popular Science and other national and international media outlets.

In the 24-page report, the eight-person team found that PhilaU met or exceeded all MSCHE’s 14 Standards for Accreditation.

In the 24-page report, the eight-person team found that PhilaU met or exceeded all MSCHE’s 14 Standards for Accreditation.

In front of a packed audience of faculty and staff in Philadelphia University’s Lawrence N. Field DEC Center, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) evaluation team read a glowing report leading to the MSCHE issuing a 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation for the University on June 24. The team report, which is just one part of the entire Middle States evaluation process, commended the University for excellence in a number of areas, especially in the assessment of student learning, strategic planning and innovative programs.

“This reaccreditation further affirms that Philadelphia University is a world-class institution,” said PhilaU President Stephen Spinelli Jr. “The University continues its dramatic ascent, with our nationally and internationally recognized academic programs, numerous opportunities for industry partnerships and internships with top companies, and a job success and graduate school placement rate of 95 percent.”

As part of the reaffirmation of accreditation process, PhilaU completed an exhaustive self-study in 2015. In addition, the team of peer reviewers selected by the MSCHE from comparable member institutions, including Misericordia University, the Fashion Institute of Technology and Stevenson University, visited campus on Feb. 7-10, 2016.

In the impressive 24-page report, the eight-person team found that Philadelphia University met or exceeded all MSCHE’s 14 Standards for Accreditation. The review team highlighted significant accomplishments and noted that:

  • Philadelphia University should be commended on the ongoing committee work to make the Common Core and Hallmarks offerings relevant and understandable to their students and faculty.
  • the University’s Budget Advisory Committee consists of wide-ranging representation to provide input and recommendations, as well as communication of budget development.
  • the University has achieved strong positive operating results over the last five years, averaging $7.3 million increase in unrestricted net assets, increasing debt service coverage and increasing total net assets.
  • implementation of the Growth and Resources Opportunity model which encourages sound fiscal management and returns one-third of the prior year budget surplus into the next fiscal year.
  • the University has successfully raised external funds to support faculty development.
  • the reorganization and creation of the three-College structure facilitates collaborative decision-making.
  • the creation of a well-defined shared governance system guides collaborative planning and provides many opportunities for faculty to participate in the decision-making process of the University.
  • success in implementing a comprehensive first-year retention program, including the Starfish early alert program with a high degree of faculty use.
  • successful management of net tuition rates and overall discount rate offsets a decline in full-time undergraduate enrollment and growth in traditional financial aid.
  • the University should be commended for its development of an accessible and informative website, noting that information about programs and learning goals is readily available to students, applicants and the community at large.
  • the development of Nexus and Nexus-Maximus and the use of design thinking as an approach to design and business solutions.
  • industry partnerships present real-life problems for the students.
  • the University is commended for effective organization and management of assessment at the program level with a special emphasis on the successful engagement of adjunct faculty in the assessment process.
  • the University is commended for the collaborative work of Advising, Assessment, Nexus Learning and Research Advocates and their impact for integrating assessment in teaching and learning practices and sustaining a genuine culture of assessment.
  • The team also commended the University for the use of quality assessment instruments including rubrics.

“Philadelphia University offers a one-of-a-kind learning environment that launches its students into careers of their passion,” Spinelli said. “Everything we do is about our students, and I am proud of the dedicated faculty and staff who deliver an exceptional, creative academic experience for the innovators of today and tomorrow.

“The standards for reaffirmation of accreditation set by the MSCHE are rigorous, and it is gratifying to be recognized for the work over the last decade that has resulted in Philadelphia University being in the strongest position in its 132-year history,” he said. “We have much to look forward to as we plan for and build an international profile for the benefit of our students and alumni.”

Visit here to see the entire MSCHE report.

“This re-accreditation confirms what we already know: Philadelphia University delivers on the promise to its students that they will become leaders and innovators in the careers of their passion,” said President Spinelli.

“This re-accreditation confirms what we already know: Philadelphia University delivers on the promise to its students that they will become leaders and innovators in the careers of their passion,” said President Spinelli.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has renewed Philadelphia University’s accreditation.

The Commission’s accreditation process ensures institutional accountability, self-appraisal, improvement and innovation through peer review and the rigorous application of standards within the context of institutional mission.

As part of the re-accreditation process, PhilaU completed a well-researched and exhaustive self-study in 2015 and an outside team of peer reviewers selected by the Commission from other comparable Middle States member institutions visited campus over a three-day period in February 2016.

The peer reviewers found the University met or exceeded the 14 Standards for Accreditation with additional commendations established by the Commission and PhilaU has accomplished its institutional goals as according to its Mission Statement and Strategic Plan.

“This re-accreditation confirms what we already know: Philadelphia University delivers on the promise to its students that they will become leaders and innovators in the careers of their passion,” said PhilaU President Stephen Spinelli Jr. “I am grateful to our students, faculty and staff for making Philadelphia University an institution that practices innovative professional education, and I am thankful for the hard work and dedication of all the faculty and staff who contributed to the self-study report.”

Regional accreditation through the Commission is an important process to assure the government and the public that the University has been thoroughly evaluated by accreditation professionals and peers and meets rigorous standards, said Matt Dane Baker, PhilaU Provost and Dean of the Faculty.

“It is another point of validation that we are meeting our obligation to our students,” Baker said. “The process of performing and writing a self-study facilitates continued institutional assessment and quality improvement. It takes an amazing amount of time and effort from all parts of the University to accomplish this. I am grateful for all of the hard work our faculty and staff have put into this. I am thrilled that we received this re-affirmation of accreditation and that the site team commended out assessment process.”

PhilaU textile engineer Mark Sunderland has developed innovative new seamless, lightweight unisuits that will be worn by U.S. rowers at the Rio Olympics, CBS Philly reported June 30. The unisuits, as well as tights and sports bras, also are treated with an antimicrobial finish to help protect against bacteria in the water.

PhilaU textile engineer Mark Sunderland developed innovative rowing apparel for the Rio Olympics that is seamless, lightweight, form-fitting and has an antimicrobial finish that will help protect athletes from bacteria in the water, CNN reported June 28.

“The new unisuit and other apparel are finished with a general antimicrobial to control exposure to most bacteria that rowers may come in contact with in the water,” Sunderland told CNN. He added, however, “A rower could still be exposed to bacteria through parts of their bodies not covered by the rowing apparel.”