Welcome to the Class of 2021!

New students greet Phil the Ram as they walk into the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center.

New students greet Phil the Ram as they walk into the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center.

Faculty and staff greeted some 600 new students and their families as they streamed down the walkway to the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center Aug. 17 for Convocation. They are the first freshman class of the new Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).

“Today, we honor our past successes, live in the present and eagerly map our aspirations for the future,” said Chancellor Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D., at the first official gathering of the Class of 2021. Spinelli said the recent combination with Thomas Jefferson University will give students greater access to world-class facilities, more Nexus Learning opportunities, an alumni base of 80,000 and the benefits of both a city and a suburban-like campus.

“Philadelphia University’s merger with Thomas Jefferson University formed a blockbuster comprehensive University,” he said. “This University will be an example for all of higher education by expanding and amplifying the potential of your education.”

Spinelli also shared some of the University’s recent accomplishments, including a 95 percent job and graduate school success rate; 10 nationally and internationally ranked programs; 40 industry partners sponsoring Nexus Learning projects; award-winning students in industrial design, architecture, textile design, interior design, graphic design, fashion design, fashion merchandising, business and health science programs; and expert faculty recognized by Fulbright fellowships, teaching awards and external grants.

Welcoming the new students to campus, alumna Christina Wong ’08 called the merger “exciting and revolutionary.” Wong, a member of the Philadelphia University Board of Trustees and Jefferson Academic Board, said, “The University is here to serve you, the students are the lifeblood of the campus. And you, Class of ’21, will be the very first students to fully reap all of the benefits. Use every single tool the new Jefferson has to offer.”

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Rahming Signed to Play Soccer for Jefferson Rams: Bahamas Local

Christopher Rahming, Jr. has signed to play college soccer with Thomas Jefferson University (formerly Philadelphia University), in Philadelphia, a DII power house, this fall, Bahamas Local reported Aug. 10.

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University Holds Convocation Ceremony to Welcome Students: 6ABC

Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)-East Falls Campus marked the start of academic year with a Convocation ceremony to welcome new students to campus, 6ABC reported Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.

 

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University Welcomes the Class of 2021 at Convocation Ceremony

New students greet Phil the Ram as they walk into the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center.

New students greet Phil the Ram as they walk into the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center.

Welcome to the Ramily!

Faculty and staff greeted some 600 new students and their families as they streamed down the walkway to the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center Aug. 17 for Convocation. They are the first freshman class of the new Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).

“Today, we honor our past successes, live in the present and eagerly map our aspirations for the future,” said Chancellor Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D., at the first official gathering of the Class of 2021 and—for five-year architecture students—the Class of 2022.

“Today, we honor our past successes, live in the present and eagerly map our aspirations for the future,” said Chancellor Spinelli.

“Today, we honor our past successes, live in the present and eagerly map our aspirations for the future,” said Chancellor Spinelli.

Spinelli said the recent combination with Thomas Jefferson University will give students greater access to world-class facilities, more Nexus Learning opportunities, an alumni base of 80,000 and the benefits of both a city and a suburban-like campus.

“Philadelphia University’s merger with Thomas Jefferson University formed a blockbuster comprehensive University,” he said. “This University will be an example for all of higher education by expanding and amplifying the potential of your education.”

Spinelli also shared some of the University’s recent accomplishments, including a 95 percent job and graduate school success rate; 10 nationally and internationally ranked programs; 40 industry partners sponsoring Nexus Learning projects; award-winning students in architecture, textile design, interior design, graphic design, fashion design, fashion merchandising, business and health science programs; and expert faculty recognized by Fulbright fellowships, teaching awards and external grants.

Welcoming the new students to campus, alumna Christina Wong ’08 called the merger “exciting and revolutionary.” Wong, a member of the Philadelphia University Board of Trustees and Jefferson Academic Board, said, “The University is here to serve you, the students are the lifeblood of the campus. And you, Class of ’21 and ’22, will be the very first students to fully reap all of the benefits. Use every single tool the new Jefferson has to offer.”

SGA President Isabella Siravo ’18 urged her new classmates to step outside of their comfort zones.

SGA President Isabella Siravo ’18 urged her new classmates to step outside of their comfort zones.

Student Government Association President Isabella Siravo ’18 encouraged her new classmates to step outside of their comfort zones, put their ideas into action and take advantage of the many opportunities before them. By her third semester, she was commuting to New York several days a month to work on a class project for Xcel Brands, the company that owns the labels Isaac Mizrahi, C. Wonder and Judith Ripka.

“You will have the chance to gain hands-on experience in your field and to connect with professionals in the industry that you want to pursue,” said Siravo, a fashion merchandising and management student. “I know I did.”

At the ceremony, four Centennial Educator Awards were presented by Spinelli and Mark Tykocinski, M.D., University vice chancellor and provost, to outstanding high school educators nominated by incoming Jefferson students. The annual awards were created in 1984 by the Board of Trustees to celebrate the University’s 100th anniversary.

New student James Sweeney nominated his high school architecture teacher Allison Rogalewicz for a Centennial Medal.

James Sweeney nominated his high school teacher Allison Rogalewicz for the Centennial Educator Award.

The recipients honored at the ceremony include:

  • Isabelle Bitton, interior design student, nominated Yolanda McDuffy, library assistant at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa.
  • Madisyn Peoples, biochemistry student, nominated Kelly Berry, chemistry and physics teacher at Lackawanna Trail High School in Factoryville, Pa.
  • Harleen Gonzalez, pre-medicine student, nominated Robert Burns, English teacher at Central High School in Philadelphia.
  • James Sweeney, architecture student, nominated Allison Rogalewicz, architecture teacher at Abington Heights High School in Summit, Pa.

Spinelli closed the hour-long ceremony—which took place in the home of the Jefferson Rams athletics teams—by providing a final dose of inspiration as the students begin their collegiate careers.

“Jefferson has evolved enormously over the years and continues to do so today,” he told the enthusiastic crowd. “You are the new face of our great community, and we look forward to seeing your many, many accomplishments.”

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University Completes Phase I of Rebranding Effort

Crews have added new banners on the walkways announcing Jefferson’s motto “Redefining Humanly Possible.”

Crews have added new banners on the walkways announcing Jefferson’s motto “Redefining Humanly Possible.”

In a massive undertaking, phase I of the campus-wide rebranding effort has just wrapped up. As students return for the fall semester, they will see new Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) signage throughout the Jefferson – East Falls Campus.

Crews spent six weeks this summer rebranding everything from the Herb Magee Court floor, to banners on the walkways, to bus shelters, to the lettering for the corner signs at the intersection of Henry Avenue and School House Lane. Even smaller details, such as door tags for Facilities Services, have been updated with the University’s new visual identity.

“It took drive and commitment from our University staff and vendors to complete this project,” said Matthew Gulbicki, assistant director of operations.

Here’s a breakdown of some changes people will notice around East Falls Campus to reflect the University’s new identity:

* banners on the walkways announcing Jefferson’s motto “Redefining Humanly Possible”
* vehicles from Athletics, Physical Plant, Dining Services, Public Safety and Mail Services
* banners lining Henry Avenue
* wayfinding signs around campus
* map toppers

Projects slated for phase II of the rebranding to be completed by Homecoming on Oct. 7 include awnings on Hagger and Partridge Halls, three sports field scoreboard toppers and emergency phones around campus.

The Herb Magee Court floor was one of the many rebranding projects.

The Herb Magee Court floor was one of the many phase I rebranding projects.

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University’s Girl Scout STEM Camp Featured on 6ABC, CBS3, Fox29, NBC10 and KYW Newsradio

The University’s Girl Scout STEM camp, which encourages girls to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and math, was featured Aug. 16 on 6ABC, CBS3, NBC10, Fox29 and KYW Newsradio.

Read more about the camp here.

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Executive Dean Barbara Klinkhammer to Serve on ACSA Leadership Committee

This opportunity will allow the architecture programs at Jefferson to be a key player in shaping the national discourse about the future of design, education and practice, Barbara Klinkhammer said.

This opportunity will allow the University to be a key player in shaping the national discourse about the future of design, education and practice, Barbara Klinkhammer said.

Barbara Klinkhammer, executive dean of the College of Architecture and the Built Environment at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), will serve on the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Leadership Committee for 2017-2018.

The committee leads the association’s efforts to support the strategic development of architecture programs, identifies and disseminates best practice models of program leadership and administration, and oversees the organization’s efforts to promote awareness of architecture education.

“This is an opportunity for the architecture programs at Jefferson to be a key player in shaping the national discourse about the future of design, education and practice,” Klinkhammer said.

 

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Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2017 Celebrates Commencement

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of physician assistants on the East Falls Campus, as well as the first combined graduating class with the New Jersey Campus students.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of physician assistants on the East Falls Campus, as well as the first combined graduating class with the New Jersey Campus students.

In front of family, friends and faculty members, 68 physician assistant studies students from the East Falls and New Jersey Campuses at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) celebrated their commencement Aug. 11, reciting an oath to carry out their responsibilities as health care providers with honesty and dedication.

This year marked several important milestones: the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of physician assistants on the East Falls Campus, as well as the first combined graduating class with the New Jersey Campus students.

“Every one of you should be proud of your accomplishments,” said Jesse Coale, physician assistant studies program director, at the ceremony in the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center. “The faculty of the physician assistant studies program acknowledges the work that you have done and the challenges that you have faced, and we applaud you.”

Jefferson Chancellor Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D., said the ceremony celebrated “an amazing group” of new physician assistants, as well as the incredible growth of the program. He noted that graduates volunteered in communities both locally and abroad, applied for licensure in 16 states and have positions in almost every medical specialty. And, he reminded them, “You will always have a home here.”

The physician assistant studies Class of 2017 celebrates.

The physician assistant studies Class of 2017 celebrates.

Graduates have jobs in specialties including critical care, cardiology, hematology/oncology, emergency medicine, OB/GYN surgery, dermatology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, plastic surgery, psychiatry, cardiothoracic surgery, internal medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation. They will be working at such top healthcare providers as the Rothman Institute at Jefferson, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Penn Medicine, Lankenau Medical Center and AtlantiCare.

During their time at the University, the class participated in numerous outreach efforts, including raising funds for the Mazzoni Center, volunteering at the Philadelphia Science Festival and participating in medical mission trips to Ghana and Nicaragua.

The ceremony was peppered with exuberant cheers for their faculty members and fellow physician assistant graduates, as class members donned their professional white coats and walked across the stage to accept their diplomas.

Awards presented at the ceremony included:

* Program Director’s Award for Clinical Excellence: Kelsey Marie Glidewell
* Dr. Edward E. Dowden Award for Academic Excellence: Angela Ferro
* Dr. Joel Chinitz Award for Community Service: Kaitlyn Alibrando, East Falls Campus, and Morgan Sartori, New Jersey Campus
* Class President’s Award for Student Service: Patrice Maro, East Falls Campus, and Yechiel Weiss, New Jersey Campus
* Clinical Preceptor of the Year for Outstanding Performance as Medical Educators and for Assisting in the Advancement of PA Education: Demetrios Menegos, DO

More than 23 years ago, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Matt Baker started the physician assistant studies program.

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Matt Baker started the physician assistant studies program more than 23 years ago.

Matt Baker, the University’s senior vice provost for academic affairs, delivered the keynote address. Baker is a physician assistant with experience in healthcare administration, research, education and clinical medicine. More than 23 years ago, he started the physician assistant studies program at what was then the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science and served as its founding director. It was the first professional health program at the college and one of the first physician assistant programs in Pennsylvania.

When the program began, physician assistants couldn’t practice in New Jersey and Mississippi and could only prescribe medication in about half the states, Baker said. Now, physician assistants can practice and prescribe medicine in all states, and the profession is consistently listed as one of the fastest growing in the U.S.

“You are bright, you are energetic and you are well trained; you will be great,” Baker told the students. “Go out and save the world.”

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Fashion Design Alumnus Jay McCarroll in “Project Runway” Update: Inquisitr

University fashion design alumnus and first-season “Project Runway” winner Jay McCarroll was featured in an Inquisitr update on the hit Bravo show’s winners. McCarroll, who also taught fashion design courses at his alma mater, was considered by many fans to have the best final collection in the show’s history, Inquisitr said.

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University Camp Engages Girl Scouts in STEM Programs

Engineering student Brandon Smith helps camper Leticia Bonds with her model.

Engineering student Brandon Smith helps camper Leticia Bonds with her model.

Thirty-six Girl Scouts in grades 7 to 9 are on the East Falls Campus for a two-week STEM summer camp, and the timing couldn’t be better. Just last month, the Girl Scouts announced 23 new badges, including those in science, technology, engineering and math.

“The objective of the camp is not only to attract students toward STEM programs but also to motivate, engage and mentor them to take the math, science and English courses during their secondary education that will prepare them for college,” said Fernando Tovia, associate professor of engineering at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), who directs the Aug. 7-18 camp.

Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Female leadership in these fields is lagging, and skills associated with STEM will support girls’ readiness to assume leadership and productive roles in other professions as well,” Tovia said.

The University has run the summer camp in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP) since 2012 and the U.S. Navy since 2013.

This summer, the campers will use robotic Lego Mindstorm systems to design, build and program a subsystem required to operate a Navy ship. Working in teams, they will create a model water purification system, crane and alternative energy system, using a 3D printer to design some of the necessary components.

The camp also will feature two speakers from the Navy, a field trip to the Battleship New Jersey and a debate on alternative energy sources, for which campers will work in teams to research, give a presentation and debate the pros and cons of their energy source with the other teams.

Sydney Bell is attending the camp for the third straight year.

Sydney Bell is attending the camp for the third straight year.

“The program engages girls in daily leadership and team-building activities and lets them experience hands-on STEM projects that challenge their creativity in a friendly, free-thinking, discovering and learning environment,” Tovia said.

Hossein Rostami, professor of mathematics, and undergraduate engineering students Mitchell Maurer, Savannah Webb and Brandon Smith also are participating in the camp. They will help the campers with their robotic systems and provide research guidance for project posters and the energy source debate. As he helped camper Leticia Bonds with her model, Smith noted that working in the camp also will help strengthen his leadership and teaching skills.

Sydney Bell, who’s attending the camp for the third straight year, said she may pursue a career in engineering and liked working with her teammates to develop the crane. Camper Kayla McDonald’s two older brothers are engineers, which inspired her to attend. “Building things is fun,” she said with a smile.

“This unique experience is one that the girls wouldn’t otherwise have had without the support of Jefferson and the Navy,” said Liz D’Angel, GSEP assistant director of strategic communications. “The partnership is one important way that GSEP is introducing more girls to the world of STEM, building their abilities, curiosity and confidence along the way.”

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