Top Firms Conduct Record Number of Interviews at Design Expo

PhilaU's Design Expo attracted more than 80 leading firms.

Philadelphia University’s Design Expo attracted more than 80 leading firms.

More than 350 students from the College of Architecture and the Built Environment and the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce connected with employers from 84 leading design firms in the Gallagher Center at Philadelphia University’s annual Design Expo on March 23. Companies conducted a record 980 scheduled interviews with PhilaU students. In addition, during the open networking period, students could approach any employer’s table to pitch a project in their portfolio and network with design professionals.

“The employers at Design Expo are incredibly strong partners of PhilaU,” said Ainsley Maloney, assistant director of industry relations. “They have great respect for our programs and love to come back year after year to recruit our top talent. What’s also incredible is that more than 50 of the representatives are PhilaU alumni.”

The event allowed sophomore, junior and senior design students, fourth- and fifth-year architecture students and graduate students to discuss and interview for internships and full-time positions with some of the design industry’s leading firms.

“The employers at Design Expo aren’t coming for branding, they are coming to hire,” said Tracy DePedro, director of the Career Services Center at PhilaU. “They have actual openings. Students can receive valuable feedback on their portfolios and interviewing skills from professionals in the field.”

Alumni Stacy Haldeman, Leah Schultz and Danielle Masucci returned to PhilaU to recruit for HDR.

Alumni Stacy Haldeman, Leah Schultz and Danielle Masucci returned to PhilaU to recruit for HDR.

EwingCole has recruited PhilaU students for the past five years, said Robert McConnell, director of architecture. The firm sought architects and interior designers for full-time and summer internship positions at Design Expo.

“The students are well prepared to enter the profession,” he said. “We invest in training young professionals, but it is helpful when new graduates have good design skills and can explore options and develop concepts. The students have good foundational skills and can participate in advancing work in our office.”

Vanessa Rivera, art supervisor with healthcare advertising agency GSW, also continues to recruit at PhilaU because of the strong curriculum and the impressive work students produce. At Design Expo, they were looking for interns to potentially hire full time. She said students with the edge possessed high creative output matched with beautiful portfolios and could speak eloquently about their decision-making and design process.

For Beth Perkins, talent acquisition manager at Delphic Digital, she wanted to meet UX and interactive/web designers with top design-thinking skills who could be flexible and juggle multiple projects at once. “We’ve always looked to PhilaU for great talent,” said Perkins, noting the company has recruited at the University for over a decade.

Graphic design communication senior Lauren King interviewed with Delphic Digital, along with Vanguard, Profero Group, Robert Half, AWeber, Archer Group, GSW and Humid Creative Agency. With graduation a couple months away, she attended Design Expo to help land a full-time position.

“Design Expo was a great opportunity to practice interviewing and presenting my work to potential employers,” she said.

Fifth-year architecture student Ryan Schaefer also had a full slate of interviews, including meetings with Toll Brothers, JL Architects, Stantec, Cope Linder Architects and Buckl Architects, in hopes of finding a full-time job at a Philadelphia-area firm.

Brittany Ewing met with companies L2Partridge, Spillman Farmer Architects, WRT, Looney Ricks Kiss, among others. The fifth-year architecture student attended Design Expo to get her name and work out there.

“I figured this was a great opportunity,” she said. “It also gives me a chance to practice my interview skills and showcasing my work. Even if nothing pans out, I’m happy for the exposure.”

Students from all design-related disciplines, including animation, architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design communication, industrial design, interactive design and media, interior design and sustainable design, participated in Design Expo.

“It’s amazing to know that more than 1,000 connections between students and employers can be created at PhilaU in one exciting day,” Maloney said.

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Two PhilaU Teams Win IDEC East Region Student Design Competition

IDEC- Castelli

The Interior Design Educators Council competition focused on the Amazon rainforest and indigenous populations. The one winning PhilaU team used a tree canopy to develop its concept.

Two groups of Philadelphia University interior design students have won the 2016-2017 Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) East Region Student Design Competition. With the win, the teams of Kaitlin Johnson, Monica Tabet and Samantha Ringer, as well as Bridget Sax, Sarah DePinto and Giana Castelli moved on to the finals and had their projects on display at the IDEC National Conference in Chicago earlier this month.

The competition focused on the Amazon rainforest, indigenous populations and the role of education and service learning in an effort to preserve them. Organizers asked participants to consider how their project will illustrate the power of research and evidence-based design in a global context.

Both PhilaU teams designed a volunteer training center for Amazon rainforest conservation. Johnson, Tabet and Ringer were inspired by mycorrhiza, a complex network of fungus that allows for interspecies communication between plants. “They can send nutrients to plants in need and support one another, similarly to the ideas behind volunteer work,” Johnson explained. “We created flexible spaces that integrate innovative technology with a community atmosphere that fosters both learning and human communication.”

One PhilaU team inspired by mycorrhiza, a complex network of fungus that allows for interspecies communication between plants.

The second winning PhilaU team was inspired by a complex network of fungus that allows for interspecies communication between plants.

In the space, volunteers would prepare for months-long excursions to the Amazon rainforest through hands-on activities, plant education, climate and sound appropriation and even clothing exercises, Castelli said of her team’s project.

“Our concept stemmed from looking up at a vast tree canopy—shadows breaking through all of the leaves,” she said. “This concept is reflected through a system of suspended wood panels that hang under various skylights to create these shadows, as well as furniture that reflects the panel systems.”

As shown by the two winning projects, PhilaU interior design faculty members Lisa Phillips and Sue Seip challenged the students to set the bar high, said Lauren Baumbach, director of the interior design and interior architecture programs. “We know the students are good, and we want them to experience success first hand by participating in competitions and finding out that they can win. This affirms their capability and excellence.”

The competition drew submissions from schools across the Northeast and parts of Canada.  IDEC works toward the advancement of interior design education, scholarship and service.

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PhilaU Students Receive Top Honors in Area IIDA Design Competition

Senior interior design student Christine Migliore earned second place for her design of the Military Merit Museum.

Senior interior design student Christine Migliore earned second place for her design of the Military Merit Museum.

Out of a pool of dozens of entries from across the region, a trio of Philadelphia University students have received top honors in the 2017 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) PA/NJ/DE Student Design Competition. Senior interior design student Christine Migliore earned second place, interior architecture graduate student Dominique Waldrup came in third and senior interior design student Taijsha Bailey took home honorable mention.

The competition celebrates original design and rewards projects that demonstrate innovative, functional design solutions that have a positive environmental and human impact, according to the organizers.

Migliore focused on the Military Merit Museum, a project proposed in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. “By using massive portrait photography and sculptural elements, I was able to capture the essence of the strength, dedication and bravery of the individuals who serve and protect our country,” she said.

PhilaU students Dominique Waldrup, Taijsha Bailey and Christine Migliore present their winning projects.

PhilaU students Dominique Waldrup, Taijsha Bailey and Christine Migliore present their winning projects.

In Waldrup’s entry of a seaside environmental center, she honed in on simplicity, seeking connections with nature while utilizing sustainable materials. The center on the Delaware coast will educate people about the local ecology and climate change.

“PhilaU has taught me how to think creativity and logically and equipped me with the tools to visually compose my ideas,” she said.

Bailey designed [re]FORMED, an art museum that showcases reuse in art and architecture which could achieve a LEED Gold rating.

“The IIDA competition gives our students the opportunity to test themselves in the wider arena under the scrutiny of external review and competition,” said Lauren Baumbach, director of PhilaU’s interior design and interior architecture programs. “They get to see how their work stands up to that of their peers and the judgment of professionals in the field. When they stand back and see their work on exhibit in a public venue and win awards, it instills a confidence that carries with them into their future as professionals. It’s empowering.”

IIDA supports design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms and its clients through a network of 15,000-plus members in 58 countries. The organization has campus centers across the United States, including at PhilaU.

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Women’s Rowing Opens Season This Weekend

Come cheer on the Philadelphia University women’s rowing team this weekend for its home opener. On Saturday, March 25, the squad will be competing at the Murphy Cup on the Schuylkill River, a short trip from campus.

There will be a team tent on the race course near the grandstands. In addition, PhilaU faculty, staff, alumni and students can meet at Crescent Boat Club on Boathouse Row for a tour of the team’s new facility.

The schedule for PhilaU women’s races are:
* Varsity 4: 8:52 a.m.
* Junior Varsity 8: 10:39 a.m.
* Novice 4: 11:42 a.m
* Varsity 8: 12:03 p.m.
* Varsity 8 final: 4:30 p.m.

See the Rams in action below as they practiced in Miami Beach last week.

A post shared by PhilaU Rowing (@philaurowing) on

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Textile Program Director Beevers Creates Fabric for Michener Exhibit: Philadelphia Inquirer

Claire Beevers, director of PhilaU’s graduate textile design program, recreated fabric for a dress in the new James A. Michener Art Museum exhibit, “Charles Sheeler: Fashion ReproductionPhotography and Sculptural Form,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported March 22.

Beevers, associate professor of knit design, recreated the fabric for a navy blue and mustard yellow striped dress originally designed by Sheeler, who also worked as a textile designer.

Read more in PhilaU Today.

The exhibit on Sheeler, also an influential painter considered a founder of American modernism, will be on display through July 9 at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa. For more information, click here.

 

 

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Strategic Leadership Program Director Addresses Complex Problem-Solving

Larry Starr will speak at the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia’s Designing Leadership program.

Larry Starr spoke at the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia’s Designing Leadership program.

Larry Starr, director of PhilaU’s strategic leadership doctoral program, discussed decision-making in a volatile and complex world on Wednesday, March 22, as part of the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia’s Designing Leadership program.

“Leaders, administrators and managers need to be able to change their mindset and apply new methodologies and new tools,” said Starr, also director of strategic leadership executive education, research and consulting at PhilaU.

His session described and evaluated the capacity for complex problem-solving and decision-making by assessing paradoxical behavioral and nonlinear thinking styles. Starr also presented the methodology of third-generation design thinking for addressing organizational problems and opportunities.

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PhilaU Awards 2017-18 Nexus Learning Grants

Associate professor Marie-Christine Potvin will pilot a project for occupational therapy  students.

Associate professor Marie-Christine Potvin and her team will pilot a project for occupational therapy students.

The Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning at Philadelphia University announced the support for five research proposals through Nexus Learning and Nexus Online Grants. The grants for the 2017-18 academic year will support faculty and staff research on Nexus Learning approaches, all with the aim of enhancing student learning goals.

“Both culturally and financially, PhilaU values innovative teaching by supporting faculty and staff at the leading edge of pedagogical advancements through these grants,” said Jeff Ashley, director of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning.

Evan Pruitt, adjunct professor of architecture, along with David Kratzer, associate professor of architecture, will examine student engagement participation and productivity in architectural design studios. “It’s a great honor to receive a Nexus Learning Grant, an opportunity unique to Philadelphia University,” Pruitt said.

For Marie-Christine Potvin, associate professor of the occupational therapy (OT) program, the grant will enable her team to pilot a project for OT students that integrates coursework and clinical experiences while augmenting the offerings of the Office of Student Accessibility Services. “If the impact is positive, we hope to institutionalize the project,” she said.

This year’s Nexus Learning and Online Grant recipients include:

Student Engagement During Game-Based Learning
Jack Suss, DEC Core Instructor, and Damon Orsetti, DEC Adjunct Professor
Grant Purpose: To introduce and assess engagement through game-based learning in a non-majors science course.

Piloting an On-Campus Community-Based Learning Opportunity for Occupational Therapy Students While Expanding PhilaU’s Disability Services’ Offerings
Marie-Christine Potvin, Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy Program; Monique Chabot, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Program; and Zoe Ann Gingold, Coordinator of Disability Services
Grant Purpose: To pilot an on-campus, community and project-based experiential learning opportunity for occupational therapy students that integrates coursework and clinical experiences while augmenting the offerings of the Office of Student Accessibility Services.

Interprofessional Collaboration in a Student-Run Pro Bono Clinic: Excellence in the Professional Development of Occupational Therapy Students
Wendy Wachter-Schutz, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, and Bridget Trivinia, Assistant Professor and Fieldwork Coordinator, Occupational Therapy Program
Grant Purpose: Scale-up and further assess the learning outcomes of a successful and innovative fieldwork site that engages PhilaU occupational therapy students in interprofessional collaboration within a pro bono clinic.

Creating Equitable Learning Environments in Architectural Studio Courses
Evan Pruitt, Adjunct Professor, Architecture, and David Kratzer, Associate Professor, Architecture
Grant Purpose: To explore the dilemma of students with introverted tendencies operating in more extroverted “project-based learning” systems and their environments by examining student engagement participation and productivity in architectural design studios.

Exploring Best Practices in Delivering Online Master’s Project Courses
Gulbin Ozcan-Deniz, Assistant Professor, Construction Management
Grant Purpose: To compile and implement best practices in delivering an online master’s project course that will promote Nexus Learning strategies.

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PhilaU Nexus Learning Hubs Spur Engaged, Collaborative Learning: San Antonio Express-News

PhilaU’s Nexus Learning Hubs act as a catalyst for active and engaged learning and optimize collaborative involvement, the San Antonio Express-News said in reporting on this week’s SXSWWedu conference.

SXSWedu this year incorporated Learn by Design, a new competition program focused on the design of physical learning spaces and how they impact learning outcomes. “The launch of this program is evidence that leaders recognize the growing importance design plays to advancing learning,” the article said.

The article, titled “SXSWedu Shows 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Impact Education,” was also published in Greenwich Time, Stamford Advocate, Connecticut Post and NewsTime.

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Students to Connect With Leading Firms at Design Expo

PhilaU's Design Expo on March 23 will attract more than 80 leading firms.

PhilaU’s Design Expo on March 23 will attract more than 80 leading firms.

More than 80 leading employers will be at the Gallagher Center at Philadelphia University on Thursday, March 23, for the Spring 2017 Design Expo.

The event allows sophomore, junior and senior design students, fourth- and fifth-year architecture students and graduate students to discuss and interview for internships and full-time positions with some of the design industry’s top firms.

Lasko Products will be hiring for two positions within its engineering/design department—a full-time model maker and a part/full-time summer internship, said project manager of manufacturing and design and PhilaU industrial design alumnus Jeff Golin ’07. The company wants detail-minded and team-focused candidates with strong time management skills.

Lilly Pulitzer, which has recruited at PhilaU for the past seven-plus years, will be looking for fashion design and print design interns who are self-starters, creative and innovative with an entrepreneurial spirit, said recruiter Caroline Kiesler.

Megan Delevan, director of operations–interiors at Jacobs, said the firm will be primarily seeking interior designers ready to “learn and grow.” The company has hired interns from PhilaU for the last 15 years with much success.

Students will be able to interview for internships and full-time positions.

Students will be able to interview for internships and full-time positions.

“PhilaU interior design students usually have strong software, graphic and presentation skills, providing a great foundation for the next step in their emerging career,” she said.

While all the spots for scheduled interviews with firms are currently filled, students still can sign up on the day of Design Expo for open networking from 1-2:15 p.m.

Of the 83 employers registered for the Design Expo, 80 percent have hired a PhilaU student in the past three years, either through PhilaU’s Design Expo, Career Fair, HirePhilaU Job Board or other on-campus events, said Ainsley Maloney, assistant director of industry relations.

Visit here for the full list of employers attending and more info on the positions.

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Faculty’s Textile Reproduction to Be on Display at Michener Art Museum

This knitted textile reproduction by PhilaU's Claire Beevers will be on display.

This knitted textile reproduction by PhilaU’s Claire Beevers will be on display.

The exhibition “Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography and Sculptural Form” at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown will feature a knitted textile reproduction by Claire Beevers, director of Philadelphia University’s M.S. in textile design program.

Artist and fashion photographer Charles Sheeler is recognized as one of the founders of American modernism. The Philadelphia native also ventured into product and textile design.

The museum exhibition will feature a noted photograph Sheeler took of his art dealer wearing a knitted dress made from his textiles, along with a reproduction of that same dress that Beevers produced at PhilaU. After researching the original six-color warp knit stripe pattern at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, she translated it into a weft knit jacquard fabric that will be on display.

“Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography and Sculptural Form” will run from March 18 to July 9.

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