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Textile engineer Mark Sunderland fits Olympic rower Chierika Ukogu for her seamless unisuit and tights.

Textile engineer Mark Sunderland fits Olympic rower Chierika Ukogu for her seamless unisuit and tights.

When members of the U.S. Olympic rowing team hit the waters in Rio later this summer, they will be wearing an innovative seamless unisuit developed by performance apparel expert Mark Sunderland, textile engineer and Robert J. Reichlin High-Performance Apparel Chair at Philadelphia University.

The unisuits, designed for superior performance, mobility and protection, are the first of their kind in rowing apparel. Sunderland’s collection of rowing apparel for the Olympics, which also includes tights and sports bras, uses leading-edge technology that intimately blends fibers to create a seamless, ultra-lightweight product that fits like a second skin.

“The seamless construction and other innovations in the unisuit take it to another level of technology in performance wear,” said Sunderland, citing the suit’s moisture barrier, wicking ability, anti-microbial finish and double-layered bottom construction that enables rowers to forego underwear for more comfort and closer fit.

U.S. Olympic rowers will be wearing Sunderland’s innovative seamless sports apparel at the Rio games this summer.

U.S. Olympic rowers will be wearing Sunderland’s innovative seamless sports apparel at the Rio games this summer.

In addition to its performance attributes, each seamless unisuit is knitted with an anti-microbial material that will provide an extra layer of protection for the athletes from the contaminated waters of Rio. Moreover, the unisuit is one of the most environmentally friendly pieces of apparel manufactured anywhere, with less than a gram of waste–less than the weight of a piece of paper–for each suit.

“There’s nothing else like this out there,” said Sunderland, who also is director of academic operations for the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. “We are setting a new standard of excellence in rowing apparel.”

USRowing Chief Marketing Officer Beth Kohl said, “We’re excited to be part of this new direction in rowing gear and look forward to seeing our athletes in this new unisuit while training for the podium in Rio.”

Top-level apparel performance, mobility and fit are paramount for today’s Olympic athletes, competing in sports where hundredths of a second can make the difference between winning a medal or being left off the podium.

That’s why Philadelphia-born Chierika Ukogu also will be wearing Sunderland’s unisuit at the Rio Olympics–while representing Nigeria as its first Olympic rower ever.

At a recent fitting with Sunderland at Boathouse Sports, the Philadelphia firm that holds the contract for providing Olympic apparel for USRowing, the six-foot-tall Ukogo said of the unisuit, “It fits so well, I can’t even feel it.”

The 2014 Stanford University graduate, whose parents are Nigerian, has dual citizenship. Her Olympic unisuit will be all green (the Nigerian flag is green and white), while the Americans’ unisuit will have navy blue bottoms and white tops with a USA logo.

The road to the Olympics for Sunderland, a 1984 PhilaU graduate who received his M.S. in here in 2005, started about a year ago. As the Robert J. Reichlin High-Performance Apparel Chair, he received a five-year, $100,000 award–the largest amount donated for a chair at PhilaU–which he used for research and development of the seamless rowing apparel.

Ukogu will be representing Nigeria as its first Olympic rower ever.

Ukogu will be representing Nigeria as its first Olympic rower ever.

The development process included much trial and error to find the right combination of materials, knitting, engineering and design. Sunderland, a leading expert in high-performance athletic apparel with more than 30 years of experience in engineered advanced textile materials and products, said there were times he thought he had the correct fabric recipe, but the finish wouldn’t adhere properly and he had to go back to the drawing board.

In addition to its seamless innovation, the water-repellent unisuit provides athletes with increased mobility from power-stretch panels knitted at strategic locations. It also addresses the issue of heat by wicking the athletes’ sweat from inside the suit and venting their body heat through the power-mesh panels, which are designed both for aesthetics and performance.

To bring the unisuit to market in time for the Aug. 5-21 Olympic games, Sunderland partnered with Boathouse Sports, a world leader in rowing apparel whose president John Strotbeck was an Olympic rower. Sunderland is continuing to work with the firm to bring the innovative technology to wider commercialization.

Having his rowing apparel worn by this year’s Olympic athletes “is exciting, but our job isn’t done,” Sunderland said. “There’s lot more innovation to come–not only for Olympic gear but to find opportunities for advanced textiles and apparel in other sports.”

Read more about Mark Sunderland’s innovative rowing apparel in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

PhilaU textile engineer Mark Sunderland’s innovative rowing apparel will be traveling with the U.S. rowing team to the 2016 Rio Olympics, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported June 24.

The seamless, ultra-lightweight unisuits, tights and sports bras were engineered to be wicking, water-repellent and have an antimicrobial finish to help ward off bacteria in Rio’s waters.

“I’m always looking for new cases for innovation,” Sunderland said.

 

Philadelphia University has named Henry Humphreys, Ph.D., a veteran leader in collegiate student life, as dean of students, effective Aug. 1, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported June 21.

Read the PhilaU Today story here.

Queen Victoria was a trendsetter at her 1840 wedding to Prince Albert–wearing a formal white gown with lace details, Philadelphia University’s Design Center Curator Marcella Martin said in a June 19 Philadelphia Inquirer story on the use of lace in bridal wear.

“The thing about weddings is that, prior to the 19th century, there wasn’t a major differentiation between formal wear and wedding attire,” Martin said. “Queen Victoria’s wedding was the beginning of many traditions we see today.”

 

Humphreys

Henry Humphreys, Ph.D., has been named PhilaU’s dean of students.

Henry Humphreys, Ph.D., a veteran leader in collegiate student life, has been named Philadelphia University’s dean of students, effective Aug. 1, 2016.

Most recently, Humphreys served as senior associate dean of students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His 25 years of experience also includes serving in top residence life positions at Boston College, St. John’s University and Fairfield University.

“Dr. Humphreys comes to PhilaU with a diverse professional experience and in-depth knowledge of a wide range of student life issues, as well as a demonstrated excitement for the future of Philadelphia University and supporting our student body,” said PhilaU President Stephen Spinelli Jr. “He will be a great asset during the integration with Thomas Jefferson University, and we are excited to have him join the Philadelphia University family.”

Humphreys will succeed Mark Govoni, who will retire from PhilaU June 30 after nine years as dean of students. During his tenure, Govoni has played a vital role in the University’s growth, Spinelli said. Govoni served as Title IX coordinator, strongly supported the University’s student retention efforts, brought faculty together in co-curricular activities to fulfill PhilaU’s Nexus Learning educational philosophy and improved residence life opportunities for students.

“Dean Govoni has been a staunch student advocate, and our students have deeply respected and admired him for his visible role in student affairs,” Spinelli said.

PhilaU’s dean of students oversees a broad range of student-centered services and development programs, including student activities, counseling, career planning and placement, residential life, student discipline and services for students with special needs. The dean is responsible for oversight and coordination of the University’s Title IX compliance efforts and works closely with other campus leaders on student retention, academic success, spiritual development, campus life and student wellness issues.

At MIT, Humphreys helped develop services to improve the stress management, mental health and physical well-being for students, implemented an organizational restructuring to establish cross‐collaborative partnerships and develop student‐centered services and implemented gender-inclusive student housing. He has experience working on Title IX cases, overseeing first-year student experience programs, managing crisis response in residential communities and developing programs and services for student-athletes.

Humphreys earned his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Boston College, M.A. in educational administration from Columbia University’s Teachers College and B.S. in elementary/special education from Green Mountain College in Vermont.

This image shows how the original tent appeared in Valley Forge in 1909.

This image shows how the original tent appeared in Valley Forge in 1909.

Philadelphia University textile design faculty have participated in the restoration of a linen canvas tent used by George Washington as his office and sleeping quarters during the Revolutionary War. The tent will be featured as a permanent installation at the Museum of the American Revolution, which will open in Philadelphia in spring 2017.

Following the Revolutionary War, the tent was preserved by the family of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, whose daughter Mary Custis Lee sold the tent at the turn of the 20th century to Rev. W. Herbert Burk to be exhibited at what was then called the Valley Forge Museum of American History.

The recent restoration project entailed using digital inkjet printing to reproduce as closely as possible new fabric that matched the original material. The new fabric swatches were then used to repair holes, rips and a large piece that had been cut away, said Wendelyn Anderson, technical associate for PhilaU’s Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging, who worked on the tent with noted textile conservator Virginia Whelan.

Color Trials for authenticity

The fabric swatches underwent color trials for authenticity.

E.J. Herczyk, associate professor and drawing coordinator in PhilaU’s textile design program, also served as an adviser on the project.

The restoration process involved using dye sublimation to digitally print the image on transfer paper and then transfer the design to the fabric with a heat press, Anderson said. The matching process began with high-resolution digital photos of the fabric, which Anderson then manipulated in Photoshop, printed the samples and sent them to Whelan’s conservation lab in Valley Forge for review and further refinement. This trial-and-error process was done in two stages, first to match the scale and then the color.

“As far as we know, digital inkjet printing for textile conservation purposes has never been used in this way before,” Anderson said. “Most textile conservation, if it involves inkjet printing, has been to print a copy of the original on a very shear netting-type fabric and use it to cover the original as a means of protection and enhancing the cover.”

fashion designer Cassie O’Toole won the Mike Ternosky Obey Clothing award  for most creative collection for her collection inspired by blown glass pieces in collaboration with textile design students Katherine Burghart, Sarah Mersky, Huanlin Wang and industrial design student Valerie Gibbons.

CEOWORLD Magazine named PhilaU one of the top fashion schools in the world.

Philadelphia University is among the top 50 fashion schools in the world, according to a new ranking by CEOWORLD Magazine.

The publication’s 2016 Best Fashion School rankings were based on academic reputation, employer reputation, quality of teaching and diversity, as well as learning experience, influence and value.

“Studying in a world-renowned fashion school is practically everyone’s dream,” CEOWORLD said in announcing the rankings.

PhilaU’s award-winning fashion programs include undergraduate programs in fashion design, textile design, fashion merchandising and management and graduate programs in textile design and global fashion enterprise.

Fashion students in the New York Immersion course presented designer Isaac Mizrahi with plans to extend his brand to home goods.

Fashion students in the New York Immersion course presented designer Isaac Mizrahi with plans to extend his brand to home goods.

PhilaU’s fashion programs also were recently ranked among the top programs worldwide by the Business of Fashion Global Fashion School Rankings. In particular, the undergraduate fashion programs were ranked 4th in learning experience, while graduate programs were ranked 3rd in long-term value and 5th in learning experience. PhilaU also has been twice named one of the Top 50 Fashion Schools in the World by Fashionista, a leading international web site for fashion news and trends.

The University recently began work on its new $3 million Fashion and Textiles Futures Center, which will advance its innovative and highly regarded fashion and textiles curricula and enhance partnerships with industry leaders to more closely connect students to current and future jobs in an evolving marketplace. The Futures Center will be completed by the start of the fall 2016 semester. Read more here.

The Futures Center will further support the University’s signature Nexus Learning approach: teaching and learning that is active, collaborative, tied to the real world and infused with the liberal arts. It will provide state-of-the-art facilities to support student learning and foster collaboration, facilitate industry-sponsored projects, increase research opportunities for students and help attract and retain world-class faculty.

A leading business and technology magazine for CEOs and high-level executives, CEOWORLD surveyed more than 62,000 former students, fashion houses, fashion recruitment consultants, fashion designers and industry professionals to generate the list of top fashion schools. To read the full rankings, visit here, and see scenes from PhilaU’s 2016 Fashion Show below.

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PhilaU fashion design alumna Arielle Salkowitz ’11 has designed a “handmade, affordable, versatile dress that actually fits,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported June 10.

For her Earl Salko label,  she created the “Classic dress, a tea-length, natural-waist tank dress made of four-way-stretch fabrics like cotton/nylon, cotton/spandex, or rayon/Lycra – all wrinkle- and stain-resistant and machine washable,” the Inquirer said of Salkowitz, who has been working on her women’s-wear line since graduating.

“Salkowitz’s entire range of women’s wear is made and sold exclusively at Nostalgia Vintage & Contemporary, the shop she co-owns with partner Rafael Rosado. Offered in a diverse range of hip prints, just-right girlie florals, and classic solid colors, each of Salkowitz’s dresses draws the eye without outright provocation, and feels good on the body. They drape and hug and move and collect compliments, and look great on camera,” the paper reported. “These clothes are designed by women for women,” Salkowitz said.

Photo

Tom Shirley has been selected as CACC Athletic Director of the Year for the second-straight year.

Philadelphia University Director of Athletics Tom Shirley has been named the 2015-16 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Athletic Director of the Year, earning the distinction for the second straight year. The award is voted on by the CACC’s 14 athletic directors.

“It’s a great honor,” said Shirley, who early this year became only the third women’s basketball coach in NCAA Division II history to earn 700 career wins. “To win it back-to-back is pretty special.”

“Tom’s energy, enthusiasm and professionalism is enviable, and he is a great coach and administrator,” said PhilaU President Stephen Spinelli Jr. “More importantly, he is a world-class educator. Philadelphia University student-athletes are prepared to engage with their companies and communities as leaders. Exceptional GPAs, job placement and graduate school admissions are only the beginning of the student-athlete outcomes under Tom’s leadership. He also has had a profound impact on PhilaU’s culture of teamwork and collaboration. We are grateful for his passion and dedication.”

During the 2015-16 academic year, PhilaU won a conference-high four CACC titles: women’s soccer, women’s cross country, women’s basketball and women’s lacrosse. The four championships propelled the PhilaU women to their third straight Alfred R. Restaino Cup, an annual award given to the CACC men’s and women’s athletic programs that perform the best in conference competition. On the men’s side, PhilaU’s basketball and baseball teams reached the CACC tournament finals, earning them fourth place in the Restaino Cup standings.

PhilaU also led the conference with four student-athletes taking home CACC Player of the Year awards, and senior second baseman Fernando Garza became the baseball team’s first All-American in 18 years.

In the classroom, the University had 56 student-athletes named to a CACC All-Academic Team for earning a GPA of 3.5 or better, which ranked second in the conference. Shirley said he is particularly proud that student-athletes boasted a 94 percent graduation rate this year and completed over 350 hours of community service.

“We are respected in the community and in the conference, and we want to keep moving forward,” said Shirley, who said he appreciated the University’s support for athletic programs and student-athletes.

Philadelphia University head men’s basketball head coach Herb Magee has been selected to receive the 2016 Joe Lapchick Character Award.

PhilaU men's basketball Coach Herb Magee will receive the Lapchick Character Award.

PhilaU men’s basketball Coach Herb Magee will receive the Lapchick Character Award.

The award is named for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach and recognizes those who have shown the outstanding character traits of Lapchick, who coached at St. John’s and with the New York Knicks. Other 2016 recipients include former Fordham University men’s basketball head coach Johnny Bach and women’s basketball pioneer Maryanne Stanley.

“I am completely humbled and honored to win this award,” said Magee, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Magee is second in NCAA men’s basketball history with 1,032 career victories, all at his alma mater Philadelphia University. Magee, who will be going into his 50th season as the Rams’ head coach, has led the team to 29 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 1970 NCAA College Division National Championship.

His coaching has produced 13 All-Americans, including 2007 Daktronics NCAA Division II Player of the Year Christian Burns, and 44 1,000-point scorers. Magee is a member of seven Halls of Fame, including the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame, and received the “Living Legend” award from the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association in 2012.

The Lapchick award will be presented Nov. 18 at a luncheon ceremony at the Wyndham New Yorker in New York. The recipients also will be honored that night during the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden, which will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Previous winners of the Lapchick Award include Hall of Famers and coaches Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith, Pat Summitt, Lou Carnesecca, John Thompson Jr. and Cathy Rush.