Executive Dean Matt Dane Baker Named Philadelphia University Provost

Matt Dane Baker

Matt Dane Baker

Matt Dane Baker, executive dean of the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts, will become provost at Philadelphia University effective June 1.

Randy Swearer, who has served as provost since July 2009, will become vice president for education at Autodesk in San Francisco, a world leader in 3-D design software for industries including entertainment, natural resources, manufacturing, engineering and civil infrastructure. His last day at Philadelphia University will be June 1.

“Matt Baker and Randy Swearer have worked closely together for five years,” President Stephen Spinelli Jr. said. “This is textbook leadership succession and a perfect transition.”

Baker has served as executive dean since 2011and was dean of the School of Science and Health prior to that. He joined PhilaU in 1994 as director of its nationally ranked M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies Program. He has been instrumental in working with faculty to develop new programs in health sciences, disaster medicine and management, community and trauma counseling, and athletic training and sports medicine.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to lead such a talented and dedicated group of faculty and staff during this exciting time in the University’s history,” Baker said. “Our commitment to delivering a transdisciplinary, student-centric professional education that integrates global perspectives, ethical reflection and strong communication skills sets a high standard in this dynamic higher-education environment. Our faculty and staff continue to develop and implement innovative curricula that address real-world challenges, often with industry education partners, and engage students in an active and collaborative manner. It will be a privilege to serve our faculty, students, staff and families.”

Baker holds a Doctorate of Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University, an M.S. in gerontology from St. Joseph’s University, a B.S. in Physician Assistant Studies from Hahnemann University and a B.A. in criminal justice from Stockton University.

Prior to joining Philadelphia University, Baker served as a physician assistant in outpatient, hospital and long-term care settings and worked in health care administration. He is the author of multiple publications on medical conditions, hospital procedures and physician assistant education. In 2007, Baker received the Physician Assistant Education Association Master Faculty Award.

“Matt Baker’s institutional commitment and success, coupled with his intimate involvement in the Strategic Plan and Strategic Build, make him the clear choice to build on our success,” Spinelli said. “He is a superior leader and will be an excellent provost and champion of Philadelphia University’s commitment to propel our students into the professions of their passion, into their careers, and into a lifetime success.”

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School of Business Administration Earns Accreditation Recognizing Academic Excellence

Philadelphia University’s School of Business Administration undergraduate programs have been awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) through April 2025.

“Philadelphia University has shown their commitment to teaching excellence and to the process of quality improvement by participating in the accreditation process,” said ACBSP Chief Accreditation Officer Steve Parscale, who will formally present the University’s accreditation certificate June 14 at the council’s annual conference in Philadelphia. “This accreditation is evidence that Philadelphia University is committed to providing the highest quality business education for their students.”

The 10-year accreditation for the School of Business Administration includes the B.S. in Fashion Merchandising and Management and B.S. in Business, for which students can concentrate in accounting, finance, international business, management or marketing.

Business students collaborate with Verizon Communications on an industry-sponsored project.

Business students collaborate with Verizon Communications on an industry-sponsored project.

“We are extremely proud and honored that our undergraduate business programs have earned ACBSP accreditation,” said Susan Lehrman, dean of the School of Business Administration. “This mark of distinction is the result of three years of hard work and dedication on the part of our faculty, staff and School of Business Administration Advancement Council. It is gratifying to see the school and our academic programs recognized for excellence, outstanding faculty and commitment to student-centric services.”

The transdisciplinary, collaborative Nexus Learning approach fostered by the PhilaU School of Business Administration translates into impressive student achievements and prepares students to be leaders in their fields. This spring, two fashion merchandising and management students won prestigious YMA FSF Geoffrey Beene scholarships, and one of the winners, Courtney Hunter, also won a National Retail Federation Foundation scholarship. In addition, undergraduate business students collaborated on a Verizon Communications industry project to develop innovations in the fast-expanding field of wearable technology.

Established in 1988, ACBSP recognizes excellence in the accreditation of business education programs around the world. ACBSP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as a specialized accreditation agency for business education.

Housed in the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, the School of Business Administration provides students with the knowledge and skills that allow them to succeed and lead in the 21st-century workplace. The innovative transdisciplinary curriculum fosters collaboration across majors, provides opportunities to work on real-world industry engagement projects and challenges students to use both analytics and creativity to conceive of new, valuable market-driven products and services. It is an approach that results in very high job and graduate school success rates year after year.

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Women’s Rowing Team Qualifies for NCAA Division II Championship

The women’s rowing team competes in the 2015 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuylkill River on May 8.

The women’s rowing team competes in the 2015 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuylkill River on May 8.

The Philadelphia University women’s rowing team will make its third NCAA Division II Championship appearance after the Varsity 8 team received an at-large bid into the championship field May 18. The 2015 NCAA Championship will take place from Friday, May 29 through Sunday, May 31 at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center in Gold River, Calif.

The Rams also qualified for the championship in 2009 and 2010. Read more here.

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PhilaU Showcase Highlights Innovative Student Projects: Roxborough Review

The 2015 PhilaU Showcase featured some of the most innovative student work of the year and highlighted the University’s Nexus Learning approach to learning, The Roxborough Review reported May 19.

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PhilaU Textile Collection A Rich Source of Inspiration: AATCC News

The Design Center at Philadelphia University houses a rich and historic textile collection that offers inspiration for designers, collection curator Marcella Milio wrote in AATCC News. Designers and others can view the collection in person or browse thousands of the collection’s fabric swatches online through the Tapestry site.

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Faculty Valerie Hanson and Chris Pastore Publish Books

“Haptic Visions: Rhetorics of the Digital Image, Information, and Nanotechnology” by  Valerie Hanson

“Haptic Visions: Rhetorics of the Digital Image, Information, and Nanotechnology” by Valerie Hanson

Philadelphia University faculty members Valerie Hanson, associate writing professor, and Chris Pastore, professor of transdisciplinary studies, recently have published new books in the fields, respectively, of scientific rhetoric and textile engineering.

Hanson’s book, “Haptic Visions: Rhetorics of the Digital Image, Information, and Nanotechnology,” explores the role of persuasion in scientific knowledge-making and
forges new connections between rhetoric, visual culture studies and the philosophy of technoscience. The book was published by Parlor Press.

Pastore is co-editor of  “Sustainable Composites: Fibers, Resins and Applications,” a textbook detailing how plant-based and recycled materials are incorporated as fibers, resins and additives into traditional and multifunctional composites, and how they may be applied in architecture, civil engineering and transportation design. The book is part of DEStech Publications Inc.’s Engineering with Fibers series.

“Sustainable Composites: Fibers, Resins and Applications” by Chris Pastore

“Sustainable Composites: Fibers, Resins and Applications” by Chris Pastore

In addition to Pastore’s role as co-editor, three PhilaU faculty members authored chapters in the book:

Rob Fryer, associate professor of architecture: “The Future of Green Materials”
Brian George, associate professor of textile engineering: “A History of the Use of Feathers in Textile Applications”
Hossein Rostami, mathematics professor: “Physical and Chemical Properties of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash Materials”

This summer, Pastore also will publish an e-book titled “Environmental Science: A Systems Thinking Approach,” aimed at high school and undergraduate environmental science students.

Jeff Klemens, visiting assistant professor of PhilaU’s DEC core curriculum, co-authored the e-book.

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PhilaU Showcase Designs Featured on WPHL

The PhilaU Showcase, featuring the innovative projects of this year’s graduates, was featured on WPHL May 15 during the 10 p.m. news. Students “tonight at Philadelphia University showcased designs not for a catwalk but humanity,” WPHL reported.

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PhilaU Commencement Speakers Reported by Inside Higher Ed

William R. Sasso, chair of Stradley Ronon law firm, and Jon Reichlin, chair of Nathan Sports, addressed graduates at Philadelphia University’s 2015 Commencement ceremonies, Inside Higher Ed reported May 19.

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PhilaU 2105 Commencement Photo Gallery Featured in Newsworks

Philadelphia University celebrated its largest graduating class ever at the 2015 Commencement ceremonies on May 16, WHYY Newsworks reported May 18.  To see the photo gallery, click here.

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Textile Design Students Win Big in ITMA Design Competition

Philadelphia University Textile Design students won numerous awards in the 2015 International Textile Market Association Virginia Jackson Design Competition.  Students created designs in jacquard woven and print for residential upholstery.  Congratulations to all of our award winners! 
1st Place Jacquard--Zhiwen Wang

2nd Place (tie) Jacquard--Minshu Liang

Honorable Mention Jacquard--Kailey Smith
1st Place Print--Laura Cherry


2nd Place Print--Yan Zeng
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