Chancellor Spinelli Says Latest Tax Proposal Better for Graduate Students: Philadelphia Business Journal

Chancellor Stephen Spinelli Jr. said he is pleased that a proposal to tax graduate tuition waivers reportedly has been dropped from the compromise tax bill working its way through Congress, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported Dec. 14.

“At Thomas Jefferson University, half of our students are in graduate programs, and these students are going to make significant contributions throughout their careers,” Spinelli said. “We’re in the business of empowering these students to be leaders in their fields, so we are pleased that the compromise tax bill reportedly no longer calls for the taxation of graduate student tuition waivers. It is in the public interest to enable students to pursue graduate-level programs, not set up barriers to their doing so.”

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Students Gain Valuable Real-World Experience in NY Immersion Fashion Course

Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising and Management students presented their final projects to top executives at Li & Fung in New York City.

Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising and Management students presented their final projects to top executives at Li & Fung’s New York City office.

Fashion students spent this semester in an innovative immersion course that provides hands-on experience in the New York fashion industry by meeting with top industry professionals, visiting fashion houses, attending New York Fashion Week and collaborating on possible new product designs and merchandising concepts.

As part of the course, 39 Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising and Management students presented their final projects to Rick Darling, executive director at Li & Fung, and other top executives at the company’s New York office on Dec. 8.

“The students were poised, professional and extremely polished during their presentations to an impressive panel,” said Nioka Wyatt, Fashion Merchandising and Management program director at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), who co-teaches the course. “I was impressed to see how they answered some tough questions about their design and merchandising concepts. The students demonstrated lifelong skills that they will utilize to jumpstart their careers in fashion.”

Throughout the semester, students collaborated with design and merchandising experts at Li & Fung.

Throughout the semester, students collaborated with design and merchandising experts at Li & Fung.

Throughout the semester, students collaborated with design and merchandising experts at Li & Fung. Six teams of students presented projects centered on finding open markets in various product categories for Anthropologie. While Li & Fung—a global multibillion-dollar apparel supply chain leader—doesn’t actively work with Anthropologie, it’s using the course as a platform to cultivate a business relationship with the company, Wyatt said.

“From our vantage point, it is always exciting to work with such a talented group,” said Wendy Santana ’83, executive vice president for Li & Fung/Oxford Collections and a member of the University’s School of Business Administration Advisory Board. “We can always use fresh ideas and perspectives into the current retail landscape and environment. The talent that comes out of this immersion course is exceptional.”

After the presentations, Darling told the group, “We need to infuse this type of talent into our company.” In fact, the University plans to soon offer an internship program at Li & Fung for students.

“In this course, design and merchandising students worked side-by-side, as they will in industry, to develop a comprehensive concept, which encompassed competitive research, branding, design and product development, and in-store merchandising strategies,” said Fashion Design program director Sheila Connelly, who also teaches the course. “Our students wowed the team of 10 senior-level executives from one of the most influential apparel companies in the world. It was a proud day for the Jefferson fashion team, and we couldn’t be more grateful to alumna Wendy Santana for her support on this initiative.”

The New York immersion course built Fashion Design sophomore Katelyn Adamson’s overall confidence in the business world.

The New York immersion course built sophomore Katelyn Adamson’s confidence in the business world.

Fashion Merchandising and Management student Julia Allison said the course helped her develop her professional speaking and teamwork skills.

“Plus, not only did I get to familiarize myself with New York,” she said, “I also went to amazing companies, learned a lot about the different jobs and their role in the industry, and gained some great experience.”

The course built Fashion Design student Katelyn Adamson’s overall confidence in the business world, she said. “New York Immersion has definitely prepared me for my future.”

Jefferson’s highly regarded fashion programs regularly rank among the best in the world. For example, the influential fashion web site Fashionista recently placed the University’s fashion programs in the top 25 globally and top 10 in the United States.

In addition, in the Global Fashion School Rankings 2017, Jefferson’s graduate fashion business program—which includes Global Fashion Enterprise, Strategic Design MBA and Fashion Design Management—ranked No. 3 in the United States and No. 6 internationally; the graduate fashion program—which includes Surface Imaging, Textile Design and Textile Engineering—ranked No. 3 in the United States and No. 23 internationally; and the undergraduate fashion program—which includes Fashion Design, Textile Design, Fashion Merchandising and Management, and Textile Materials Technology—ranked No. 9 in the United States and No. 31 internationally.

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Associate VP of Operations Honored by APPA

TomBecker

Tom Becker, associate VP of operations at Jefferson

Tom Becker, associate vice president of operations at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), was honored on Dec. 2 by members of APPA’s certification board and executive committee.

He served as the chair of the board from 2014-2016 and vice chair in 2017. The organization thanked Becker for his service, saying he was instrumental in the program’s advancement.

APPA (formerly the Association of Physical Plant Administrators) is an international association dedicated to maintaining, protecting and promoting the quality of educational facilities.

Read more about Becker’s career at Jefferson here.

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Interior Design Student Wins First Place in Jacobs Design Competition

Senior Aubrey Coughlin won a $5,500 scholarship for her design.

Aubrey Coughlin won a $5,500 scholarship for her coworking space design. Photos/Timothy Tiebout

Interior design senior Aubrey Coughlin won first place in the 16th annual Jacobs Student Design Competition, earning a $5,500 scholarship.

At the Jacobs Philadelphia Interiors Studio in Center City, 60-some students from six area universities competed in a one-day, eight-hour charrette to design and space plan a conceptual coworking space in Philly. The design had to include reception, open/private work areas, collaborative/meeting areas, support functions and hospitality/café space. Besides working under tight time constraints, students needed excellent hand-drawing skills since they couldn’t use digital tools in their projects.

“This demands that they can think on their feet, problem solve and present a complete design vision in a short timeframe,” said Lauren Baumbach, director of the interior design and interior architecture programs at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University). “This is great preparation for the workplace.”

Winning the competition can boost a resume to potential employers, said Amanda Sickler, an interior designer at Jacobs and 2016 alumna from the University, noting the judges commending Coughlin for her cohesive presentation and materials palette.

Judges commending Aubrey Coughlin for her cohesive presentation and materials palette.

The judges commending Aubrey Coughlin for her cohesive presentation and materials palette.

“She had a well-defined brand/concept, which was carried out in her plan and perspective,” Sickler said. “The planning arrangement was thoughtful, and the sequence of spaces had great relationship adjacencies with a strong balance of quiet and private zones. Aubrey made great use out of alternative seating and clearly thought through how future generations prefer to work.”

Coughlin said she’s thrilled to have been chosen and thanks Jacobs for the opportunity to compete with other design students.

“I believe my experience this past summer as a corporate studio intern at Meyer Design, the support of my professors in CABE and my participation in the competition last year as a junior helped to prepare me to meet this challenge,” she said.

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Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams Topple Chestnut Hill College: Chestnut Hill Local

Jefferson men’s and women’s basketball teams edged out Chestnut Hill College in games last Tuesday, Chestnut Hill Local reported Dec. 11.

Read about the men’s game here and the women’s game here.

 

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Specter Center Awards Prestigious Research Fellowships

Elizabeth Lane received the fellowship for “A Matter of Great Importance: Senator Preparation for Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings.”

The University’s Arlen Specter Center for Public Service has awarded four $5,000 fellowships to promote scholarship and research in an area supported by the Arlen Specter Collection.

“These fellowships will highlight and raise awareness of the significant impact the late senator’s work had on American politics, criminal justice, healthcare policy and culture, thereby advancing the profile of the Center and University,” said Evan Laine, director of the law and society program at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).

Shanin Specter, prominent Philadelphia trial attorney and son of Arlen Specter, and his wife, Tracey, funded the fellowships. The original announcement called for two fellowships, but the Specters agreed to fund two more based on the high quality of submissions.

The recipients include:

  • Travis Douglas, MEd, doctor of management in strategic leadership student at Jefferson; “Efficacy of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act”—Douglas will explore the effectiveness of the emergency notifications and timely warnings provision of the law, which can have an immediate impact on campus safety when incidents such as active shootings, sexual assaults, fires and chemical spills occur. Specter sponsored and advocated strongly for the Clery Act, which was enacted in 1990.
  • Sean Kelly, PhD, professor of political science at California State University, Channel Islands; “Hot Buttons and Health: Arlen Specter and the Politics of Congressional Appropriations”—Kelly’s research will explore how Specter employed the appropriations process to promote his pro-choice policy position and increase funding for cutting‐edge health sciences research, as well as how he used appropriations to promote the interests of Pennsylvania.
  • Elizabeth Lane and Jessica Schoenherr, PhD students in political science at Michigan State University; “A Matter of Great Importance: Senator Preparation for Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings”—They will seek to understand how senators’ preparation for Supreme Court confirmation hearings influence their behavior during and after the hearings.
  • The fellowships will highlight the significant impact of Arlen Specters work.

    The fellowships will highlight the significant impact of Arlen Specter’s work.

    Menika Dirkson, PhD student in history at Temple University; “Racial Violence/Race Relations and the Philadelphia Police”—To address contemporary issues involving racial tensions between the police and the black community, she will study how Philadelphia city officials and community organizations sought to forge amiable relationships between the police and the black community during the 1970s. Dirkson will use papers associated with Specter’s tenure as Philadelphia district attorney, as well as other archival materials.

“In addition to publishing their research, the fellows will present their work at the Specter Center’s Roxboro House Roundtables and Knowledge Exchanges on the East Falls campus to bolster intellectual discourse and further advance the senator’s legacy,” said Karen Albert, coordinator of the Specter Center.

 

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Industrial Design Student Wins Top Ram Business Competition for Medical Device

MS in industrial design student Julia Anthony pitches her winning concept, a dual chamber auto-injector for people with adrenal insufficiency disorders.

MS in industrial design student Julia Anthony pitches her winning concept, a dual chamber auto-injector for people with adrenal insufficiency disorders, to the judges.

Living with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a potentially life-threatening condition that affects the adrenal glands, inspired MS in industrial design student Julia Anthony to develop SOLU-tion—which earned first place in the annual Top Ram business model competition at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).

“I’m really excited,” she said just after winning the Matt Glass Award for Entrepreneurship. “I’ve had this idea for a long time.”

Her dual chamber auto-injector offers those with adrenal insufficiency disorders a fast and effective way to dispense medication in emergency situations. Anthony said she plans to use the $1,000 prize to help with prototyping. She also will receive a free one-hour consultation with a lawyer to support her idea, as well as meet with Dr. Steven Glass, who sponsors the competition in memory of his son Matthew Glass.

Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences student Tanziyah Muqeem discusses a wearable platform for respiratory disease management.

Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences student Tanziyah Muqeem describes a wearable platform for respiratory disease management.

In Top Ram, seven teams of students from East Falls and Center City campuses pitched their ideas in the Lawrence N. Field DEC Center Forum on Dec. 7 to a panel of judges. A brief Q&A followed each seven-minute presentation. Finalists were scored on concept, research, storytelling, business model feasibility, and business model design and innovation.

Second place and the $500 prize went to Circalux, a team that featured three Sidney Kimmel Medical College students. They’re developing portable, user-responsive, circadian-friendly nightlights designed to give caregivers sleep-friendly light.

“The pitch was especially fun because I had the chance to interact with such a diverse panel of judges,” said medical student Lorenzo Albala. “I’m happy to have received validation from this community.”

Top Ram judges included Heather Rose, director of technology licensing at Jefferson’s Innovation Pillar; entrepreneur and investor Harvey Hoffman; Zoe McKinley, ESII director of the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Jefferson; Drew Morrisroe, president and CEO of IT management company CTN Solutions and a member of the University Board of Trustees; and Jenn Daug, manager of new business ventures at Jefferson’s Innovation Pillar.

“Bravo to all of the students who pitched at the Top Ram competition,” Daug said. “The teams presented thoughtful business models that addressed an unmet need for a wide variety of problems, from medical devices to social disparities in developing countries. I can’t wait to see which of these companies goes on to be the next success story from the Philadelphia region.”

Industrial design student Adam Hecht discusses his firm, Dive Design. Industrial design student Adam Hecht discusses his design consultancy concept.

Industrial design student Adam Hecht discusses his design consultancy concept.

Ideas ranged from a wearable platform for respiratory disease management to a company that provides underdeveloped communities with sustainable and affordable housing to a firm that uses recyclables to create art and puzzles for children and seniors.

“Top Ram gets the idea out the door,” said Abena Nyarko, program coordinator at Jefferson’s Blackstone LaunchPad, which presents Top Ram. “We want finalists to use this validation and feedback provided by the judges to build upon their business model and pursue the venture further.”

For example, the 2015 Top Ram winner, Renee Kakareka ’16, won for her assistive technology company Olive Devices. She was accepted to the Angel Venture Fair the following semester and went on to win $5,000 in the JAZ Tank pitch competition. She soon will have a final prototype ready for her smart glasses to help the hearing impaired.

Also in 2015, student entrepreneur Jordan DeCicco pitched his organic coffee energy drink company Sunniva. While DeCicco didn’t win Top Ram, he continued to develop his business with great success. He recently received a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship.

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Jefferson and City Host Pioneering Government Innovation Expo

Orlando Almonte, of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, detailed how he’s streamlining the call flow in his program at the Expo.

Orlando Almonte, of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, detailed how he’s streamlining the call flow in his program.

The City of Philadelphia and Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) continued to expand their partnership in government innovation with a groundbreaking expo held this week.

For the past five years, Jefferson and the city have collaborated on the Academy for Municipal Innovation (AMI), a novel program designed to help city workers innovate in their jobs. Each class focuses on a specific innovation-centric topic, such as discovering opportunities through design thinking, analyzing complexities through systems thinking and developing value propositions through business analytics. Jefferson faculty from a range of disciplines teach the courses to city employees, who come from diverse areas such as Philly311, the Department of Licenses and Inspections, the Fire Department and the Department of Commerce.

More than 100 people have graduated from the program since its inception, and many more have benefited from their knowledge, skills and insight.

Chancellor Spinelli told attendees they're redefining the culture of government through their efforts.

Chancellor Spinelli told attendees they’re redefining the culture of government through their efforts.

To highlight the cumulative impact the Academy has had on city employees and departments, Jefferson—in partnership with the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, which coordinates AMI on the city government side—held its inaugural Government Innovation Expo with alumni from all five cohorts on Dec. 4.

“AMI is pioneering,” said D.R. Widder, Jefferson’s vice president of innovation and founder of the government innovation program at the University. “We have 100 city leaders practicing Jefferson-inspired innovation and have reached a critical mass with them teaching their peers and even consulting to other city groups. Together, we’re changing government culture to foster innovative thinking and acting.”

In her opening remarks, Christine Derenick-Lopez, chief administrative officer of the city, thanked the attendees for being the disruptors and their courage in standing up to the status quo.

“It’s not easy to go in and say, ‘I know that piece of paper has four boxes to check, but maybe, we only need two,’” she said, urging the audience to continue the momentum going. “We’re growing our network of innovators, and we’re seeing things happen. Keep on pushing, keep on asking, ‘Why, why, why.’ Before you know it, everything will be different, and we’re going to look back at this moment and say, ‘We did it.’”

Eliza Pollack, senior program manager for innovation management, said she was incredibly excited to host the Expo at the city’s Innovation Lab.

“Bringing together program graduates, city leadership and Jefferson faculty and administrators is a unique opportunity for us to re-engage with each other and the innovation work, and it provides us with a platform to think intentionally about where this portfolio goes in the future,” she said. “The unique partnership between government and academia has been invaluable to all of us involved, and we’re eager to see what happens next.”

Tracey Bryant, of the Human Resources and Talent Unit, explained how she’s working to leverage expertise and eliminate redundancies.

Tracey Bryant, of the city’s Human Resources and Talent Unit, explained how she’s working to leverage expertise and eliminate redundancies.

During the Expo, Jefferson faculty gave a workshop on problem-solving and AMI alumni shared their experiences in the program and how they’ve used innovation principles in their jobs. For example, Graham Quinn, administrative operations manager at Philly311, discussed how he’s empowering his staff to build morale; Tracey Bryant, director of training and recruiting in the Human Resources and Talent Unit, explained how she’s working to leverage expertise and eliminate redundancies; and Orlando Almonte, language access program manager for the Office of Immigrant Affairs, detailed how he’s streamlining the call flow in his program.

James Onofrio, who graduated from the most recent AMI class, enjoyed attending the Expo. He said he loved hearing how previous cohorts remain engaged and use what they learned in the Academy to improve how city agencies function.

“I think we can see an ecosystem of change-makers forming now, where we start to break down silos and stale thought processes that have prevented city government from serving the citizens to its highest capacity,” said Onofrio, the community development corporations program manager at the Department of Commerce. “I’m excited to join this community and implement what I’ve learned and maybe make my own Expo presentation one day.”

Jefferson Chancellor Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D., applauded the role AMI graduates have taken to lead change and be innovators in the city at the Expo. “You are redefining the culture of government,” he said.

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Chancellor Spinelli on Preparing Students for Jobs Amid Increasing Automation: Bloomberg Daybreak Asia

Chancellor Stephen Spinelli Jr. was interviewed on Bloomberg Daybreak Asia radio Dec. 4 about the impact of automation in the workplace and the role of higher education in preparing students for jobs as automation increases.

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Five Rams Named to CACC Volleyball All-Academic Team

VballFive members of the Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) volleyball team were named to the 2017 CACC Volleyball All-Academic Team. They include sophomore Mariah Cadzow and juniors Daniela Cintrón, Alexandra Harrington, Becca Lutterschmidt and Emily Pilla. This marks the second time Harrington, Lutterschmidt and Pilla have earned this distinction.

To be named to a CACC All-Academic Team, recipients must have participated in a CACC-sponsored championship sport, be at least a sophomore academically and athletically, been a student-athlete at their current school for at least two semesters and achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher through the preceding semester.

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