PhilaU to Hold Inaugural Induction Ceremony for Counseling Honor Society

DeltaDelta Sigma Mu, the Philadelphia University chapter of the national counseling honor society Chi Sigma Iota, will hold its inaugural induction ceremony on Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m. in the Kanbar Performance Space. Delta Sigma Mu will be inducting 41 graduate students from the community and trauma counseling (CTC) program. To be eligible for induction, students must be able to demonstrate the traits, dispositions and characteristics of professional counselors, as well as maintain a 3.5 GPA.

Delta Sigma Mu was named in honor of PhilaU associate professor Dale Michaels, who was instrumental in the foundation of the CTC program, said Astra Czerny, assistant professor and faculty advisor for Delta Sigma Mu. Michaels will be the guest speaker at the induction ceremony.

In addition to the induction of the students, two scholarship awards and a faculty appreciation award will be presented at the ceremony—the Daniel Gerstein Memorial Award, the Delta Sigma Mu Emerging Professional Award and the Delta Sigma Mu Faculty Appreciation Award.

“To have an inaugural induction with so many students being initiated is very exciting for us,” Czerny said. “The students have worked hard to earn this honor and establish the Delta Sigma Mu chapter. It has been an honor to be a part of this special endeavor.”

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PhilaU Named a Top Graphic Design School by GDUSA Magazine

GDUSA magazine named graphic design communication senior Kelli Seiple a Student to Watch.

GDUSA recognized graphic design communication senior Kelli Seiple as a Student to Watch.

For the sixth year in a row, GDUSA magazine has named Philadelphia University a top graphic design school. In addition, the publication recognized graphic design communication seniors Kelli Seiple and Lauren King as Students to Watch.

“It’s gratifying to know that the stellar work of our students and faculty are being consistently noticed by our professional community,” said Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel, interim program director of the graphic design communication program.

GDUSA said PhilaU excels “in preparing students to work successfully and effectively in a professional graphic design setting.”

And, having found personal and professional growth through their programs, this year’s Students to Watch are “ready to burst” onto the design scene, the magazine said.

“Design education is more important than ever as the lines between studio and classroom, office and academy, university and society continue to blur,” GDUSA said. “Designers play an increasingly influential role in shaping commerce and culture.”

The influential GDUSA list of top programs is based on a mix of objective and subjective factors, including the publication’s relationships with designers, students, recruiters and educators.

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Occupational Therapy, Industrial Design Students Solve Real-World Problems in Assistive Tech Collaboration

Industrial design student Michael Grosso and occupational therapy student Laura Cannon created the assistive device called the Stair Server.

Industrial design student Michael Grosso and occupational therapy student Laura Cannon created the assistive device called the Stair Server.

In a longstanding tradition at Philadelphia University, dozens of occupational therapy and industrial design students took part in the Assistive Tech Collaboration presentation in the Kanbar Performance Space on April 21, showcasing their innovative designs to help clients with special needs.

“Nexus Learning is all about collaborative and real-life experiences,” said Monique Chabot, assistant professor in the M.S. in occupational therapy program. “This project embodies these values.”

The semester-long project requires high levels of communication and teamwork, which helps the students develop these skills while also defining their own roles and professional identities, she said. “In addition, the students from both groups find great value in having a real person to design for, who can test the devices and provide feedback. It increases the level of investment in the project for sure.”

Occupational therapy student Pooja Joshi and industrial design student Max Munao worked with 13-year-old Anna. She was born with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A, a condition that affects her peripheral nerves and causes weakness in her hands. As a result, she has difficulties with some basic tasks, including tying her hair into a ponytail. They created a device that allows her to use her stronger torso and biceps to put her hair back.

“After completing this project, I have gained perspective on how something so small, like tying my hair into a ponytail, could mean so much to someone else,” Joshi said. “This project really helped me solidify an OT’s role and how important OTs really are.”

Munao described the experience of working with Anna as “powerful.” “Her input gave me validation of my concept,” he said.

Industrial design student Michael Grosso and occupational therapy student Laura Cannon created the assistive device called the Stair Server—an adapted sliding tray mechanism custom made for an existing product, the Stair Steady. Their 69-year-old client, Connie, has limitations with stairs due to osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis. She enjoys eating her meals with her husband in front of the TV on another level of the house, but this poses a safety concern as she attempts to navigate the different floors with plates and drinks in hand.

The Stair Server lets her carry meals up and down the steps while holding onto the bar of the Stair Steady, Cannon said. This allows her to support her weight, protect her joints and conserve her energy, as well as assists with balance and proper body mechanics without the added juggling of handling other items.

Occupational therapy student Pooja Joshi and industrial design student Max Munao worked with 13-year-old Anna. She was born with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A, a condition that affects her peripheral nerves and causes weakness in her hands. As a result, she has difficulties with some basic tasks, including tying her hair into a ponytail. They created a device that allows her to use her stronger torso and biceps to put her hair back.

Occupational therapy student Pooja Joshi and industrial design student Max Munao worked with 13-year-old Anna, who was born with a condition that causes weakness in the hands. They created a device to help her tie a ponytail.

“This collaborative project really merged the two disciplines together,” Cannon said. “The initial idea behind it was from an occupational therapy standpoint in finding a way to allow our client to continue her preferred activities intrinsically tied to her roles and routines that she holds dear. The mechanical aspects, logistics and poster design layout come from an industrial design standpoint and factor in universal design principles. It was a great opportunity to learn from each other.”

Some of the other projects on display included a violin platform shoulder rest for injured or older musicians to allow the neck to be in a less painful position; a motorized scooter positioning seat to help prevent people from sliding out of their seat and make it less fatiguing to sit in their mobility device; and a safer bed-making system for people with limited mobility.

Chabot said the Assistive Tech Collaboration, now in its 18th year, gives occupational therapy students the opportunity to explain their profession and scope of practice to another group, learn to advocate for clients’ needs and introduce them to a design profession they may never have interacted with otherwise.

“Every year, the OT students marvel at the creativity of the industrial design students and get excited to see their ideas come to life,” she said. “From the industrial design side, they learn about the unique perspectives and contributions of an OT to designs and leave the project with a greater understanding of how their designs and products can have a profound effect on someone’s life. This is one of the projects and events that makes PhilaU truly unique. The students should be proud of what they have accomplished this semester.”

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PhilaU Honors Faculty at Annual Reception

President’s Award for Excellence recipient Raju Parakkal with Marion Roydhouse, founding director of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning.

President’s Award for Excellence recipient Raju Parakkal with Marion Roydhouse, founding director emerita of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning.

Members of the Philadelphia University faculty were honored at the annual Faculty Reception on April 20 for their exemplary work, dedication and commitment to education excellence.

2017 President’s Award for Excellence
Raju Parakkal, associate professor of international relations, College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts

2017 Roydhouse Teaching Innovation Award
Lisa Phillips, associate professor of interior design, College of Architecture and the Built Environment
Melissa DeGezelle, adjunct professor of writing, College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts

Recognition of Distinguished Adjunct Faculty
Joseph Campbell, adjunct professor of occupational therapy, School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Tatianna Swenda, adjunct professor of geospatial technology for geodesign, College of Architecture and the Built Environment
Peter Maher, adjunct professor of finance, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce
Philip Gibbon, adjunct professor of contemporary perspectives, College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts

Recognition of New Retirees with Emeritus Status
Alexander Messinger, professor of architecture and interior design, College of Architecture and the Built Environment
Creighton Frampton, associate professor of marketing, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce
Elizabeth Mariotz, associate professor of fashion management and merchandising, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce

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PhilaU Business Students to Be Inducted into Delta Mu Delta Honor Society

Delta Mu Delta member senior Mike Louden Jr. at last year’s induction ceremony with his parents.

Delta Mu Delta member senior Mike Louden Jr. at last year’s induction ceremony with his parents.

The Philadelphia University Chapter of the National Business Honor Society, Delta Mu Delta, will hold its annual induction ceremony at the Germantown Cricket Club on Friday, April 21 at 6 p.m.

PhilaU currently has 24 members on campus, and 29 new undergraduate and graduate students will be inducted into the Delta Upsilon chapter of Delta Mu Delta. To be inducted, students must have completed at least half of the program credits, be in the top 20 percent of the class, and have a GPA of 3.7 or better for undergraduates and 3.9 for graduate students.

Geoffrey Cromarty, PhilaU’s vice president for administration and chief operating officer, will welcome the students, parents and faculty and recognize PhilaU’s high-achieving business students. Monica Lam, academic dean of the School of Business Administration, and Ron Kander, executive dean of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, will congratulate the students after the induction ceremony.

Keynote speaker and PhilaU alumna Ginny Palmieri M’95, vice president of specialty services for Independence Blue Cross, will share how being courageous, transparent and authentic can lead to both success in the corporate world and a happier and fuller life.

“As faculty adviser to Delta Mu Delta, it’s a pleasure to participate in such a celebratory event,” said Susan Christoffersen, associate professor of economics and finance. “These students have a proven track record of scholastic achievement, and they’re going to enter the business world with the talents and knowledge to continue to grow throughout their careers.”

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Occupational Therapy Assistant Students Achieve 100 Percent Certification Pass Rate

“This is an outstanding achievement,” said PhilaU's D.R. Widder.

“This is an outstanding achievement,” said D.R. Widder, vice president of innovation at PhilaU.

All eligible 2016 certification candidates who are graduates in Philadelphia University’s occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program have passed the certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Inc. (NBCOT), the national certification body for occupational therapy professionals in the United States.

“This is an outstanding achievement,” said D.R. Widder, vice president of innovation at PhilaU and the Steve Blank Innovation Chair. “It’s an entirely external measure of the quality of the program and fulfills the promise that a PhilaU education prepares you for your profession and gives you a high return on investment. Most of all, this success is a testament to the dedication and skill of Marianne Dahl, director of the OTA program, and her faculty.”

The primary purpose of awarding the NBCOT credential—the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)—is to serve the public interest by certifying only those people who have the necessary knowledge of occupational therapy to practice, according to the agency.

“In order to practice as an occupational therapy assistant in any of the 50 states, you must hold a license issued by that state,” Dahl said. “States have similar but not identical requirements for obtaining a license; however, all require initial certification. We’re very proud of our OTA graduates who are well prepared to obtain a license to practice in any state as evidenced by this well-earned pass rate.”

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Textile Expert Mark Sunderland Says Buying U.S. Goods May Not Impact Jobs: 6ABC

PhilaU textile engineer and strategist Mark Sunderland said buying American-made products may not do much to increase U.S. jobs in the fashion-apparel sector, 6ABC reported April 18 at 11 p.m.

“Whatever jobs that left here in 30 or 40 years ago in the textile/apparel industry could come back America. But they’re going to come back as 5 jobs, 10 jobs because we’re advancing the technology in this area as well, so you won’t have as many blue collar workers working on the same fashion apparel items if they came back to the United States,” Sunderland said, addressing President Trump’s executive order issued that day calling for federal agencies to add protections for certain American-made goods.

Sunderland is the Robert J. Reichlin High-Performance Apparel Chair and director of PhilaU’s global fashion enterprise and textile material technology programs.

View the 6ABC clip below.

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Six More Outstanding Faculty Members Named Academic Chairs

Six more outstanding Philadelphia University faculty members have oeen named academic chairs, a prestigious designation that will provide support to advance research, support innovative projects and program development and enhance student learning on campus:b

* Anusua Datta, associate professor of economics, was named the Robert P. ’76 and Kathleen F. Smith Term Chair for Economics.
* James Doerfler, director of the architecture and architectural studies programs, was named the Cheryl Smith, AIA, Term Chair for Architecture.
* Kimberlee Douglas, director of the landscape architecture program, was named the Anton Germishuizen/Stantec Term Chair for Landscape Architecture.
* Donald Dunham, associate professor of architecture and director of the M.S. in architecture program, was named the Amanda Weko Family Term Chair for Architecture.
* Jeanne Felter, director of the community and trauma counseling program, was named the Zeldin Family Foundation Chair in Community and Trauma Counseling.
* Barbara Hackley, associate professor of midwifery and program director for the doctorate in midwifery, was named the Dorothea Lang Term Chair in Midwifery.

Each of these prestigious chairs will provide a minimum of $5,000 per year over multiple years to support a wide range of faculty activities, including research and instructional innovations.

In all, 20 PhilaU faculty members have been awarded academic chairs since the start of the University’s now-completed record-breaking Power to Innovate capital campaign.

“Term chairs are a powerful tool to support faculty in their pursuits of excellence in scholarship and teaching,” said PhilaU Provost Matt Dane Baker. “We are very proud of these outstanding scholars and deeply grateful to their sponsors.”

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Anusua Datta, the Robert P. ’76 and Kathleen F. Smith Term Chair for Economics

Anusua Datta, the Robert P. ’76 and Kathleen F. Smith Term Chair for Economics

Anusua Datta said it’s an honor to receive the Robert P. ’76 and Kathleen F. Smith Term Chair for Economics and thanks them for their support.

“In my many years at PhilaU, my students have been my greatest inspiration,” she said. “Challenging them with new ideas, working on research projects and helping them navigate through this phase of their life has been most rewarding. The term chair will allow me to work toward enhancing my own research, explore external funding sources and, most importantly, enhance undergraduate research and learning at PhilaU.”

Her educational background, extensive research and peer recognition—both nationally and internationally—is inspiring, said Robert Smith ’76, president/CEO of the IMARK Group and a member of the Kanbar College Advancement Council. “Couple Dr. Datta’s background with our deep-rooted feelings for the University, Kathy and I are honored to be able to support this term chair.”

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James Doerfler, the Cheryl Smith, AIA, Term Chair for Architecture

James Doerfler, the Cheryl Smith, AIA, Term Chair for Architecture (photo/courtesy Jack Carnell)

Calling the term chair a “very special gift,” James Doerfler said he looks forward to using these funds to continue to develop his research into transdisciplinary teamwork and façade design and technology, as well as to create innovative architectural education at PhilaU.

“I met Cheryl Smith soon after I arrived at PhilaU in 2013, and we found many common interests,” he said. “As the chair of the Philadelphia chapter of the Building Enclosure Council, Cheryl connected me with her local network and made things happen more quickly than I could have done on my own. Cheryl has been a great supporter of the architecture program and the College, and I’m very honored and thankful for this additional support.”

Smith also chairs the Advancement Council for the College of Architecture and the Built Environment and said she has experienced firsthand the leadership that Doerfler brings to PhilaU.

“His work is evidenced through global connections and relationships with façade researchers where Jim provides the College with valuable resources and innovative ideas,” said Smith, principal of Cope Linder Architects LLC. “Jim’s teachings not only prepare the students for real-life careers, but his knowledge in building performance and sustainability will embolden the students to create healthier environments for everyone.”

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Kimberlee Douglas, the Anton Germishuizen/Stantec Term Chair for Landscape Architecture

Kimberlee Douglas, the Anton Germishuizen/Stantec Term Chair for Landscape Architecture

Kimberlee Douglas said the funding in part will support the Lab for Urban and Social Innovation (LUSI), the community outreach arm of the College of Architecture and the Built Environment.

“Through the projects in LUSI, I’m interested in researching the effects of nature on children who live in poverty,” said Douglas, noting she’s using some of the funding for a collaborative research project with Thomas Jefferson University’s master of population health students to assess the impact of a small park her students designed.

“We believe in Philadelphia University and its teaching methodologies regarding design and the built environment as a result of firsthand experience with their graduates,” said Anton Germishuizen, senior vice president of buildings for Stantec and a member of the Advancement Council for the College of Architecture and the Built Environment. “Kim Douglas has shown tremendous commitment and passion through her curriculum, doing relevant work engaging our local communities. This work, which also aligns with our organization’s mission and values, has to be encouraged and supported.”

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Donald Dunham, the Amanda Weko Family Term Chair for Architecture

Donald Dunham, the Amanda Weko Family Term Chair for Architecture (photo/courtesy Jack Carnell)

“I’m truly humbled by this honor, to say the least,” Donald Dunham said. “To be awarded the Amanda Weko Family Term Chair for Architecture is an amazing accolade. The term chair will provide me with the means to continue my research in architectural theory and technology—this is essential in design-based pedagogy.”

Weko, principal of AGW Communications and a member of the College of Architecture and the Built Environment Advancement Council, said she’s pleased to support the work of Dunham with the term chair.

“Donald and I have worked closely on the student-produced annual design journal SPACEWORK,” she said. “Now in its fourth year, the book gives students an opportunity to learn about effective communication and discourse in the design professions, an area of focus for my own career. Donald’s patience, encouragement and expert guidance have empowered students to initiate and continue this publication.”

Weko has provided critical guidance as the consulting editor of the publication, Dunham added. “I look forward to our continued collaboration.”

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Jeanne Felter, the Zeldin Family Foundation Chair in Community and Trauma Counseling

Jeanne Felter, the Zeldin Family Foundation Chair in Community and Trauma Counseling

Jeanne Felter said the Zeldin Family Foundation’s generosity will give PhilaU’s community and trauma counseling program “an incredible opportunity” to further a critically important aspect of its mission: to meaningfully engage with and positively impact the Philadelphia community. The funding is currently being used to seed an interprofessional conference aimed at growing the city’s trauma-informed child-serving workforce.

“Unfortunately, almost half of U.S. children have experienced one or more traumatic events, and nearly one-third of youth ages 12-17 have experienced adversity in doses that can contribute to poor physical, social, emotional and educational outcomes across the lifespan,” she said. “Few professionals and paraprofessionals that interface with our city’s children have the knowledge and skills to appropriately address their trauma-related needs. As the only trauma-focused professional graduate program in the region, we’re uniquely qualified to lead this training conference, and we’re grateful to the Zeldin Family Foundation’s support, which propelled us to mobilize and enact our vision.”

Supporting children’s capacity to realize their potential is a primary focus of the Zeldin Family Foundation’s work, said trustee Marty Zeldin ’55, a long-time PhilaU supporter.

“We understand that among the numerous challenges that many children must overcome is healing from and making positive adjustments to trauma,” added Stefanie Zeldin, an officer with the foundation. “We were pleased to create the Zeldin Family Foundation Chair in Community and Trauma Counseling at Philadelphia University. Dr. Jeanne Felter and her colleagues are training professionals throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond not only to recognize and address trauma, but to arm children and families with the tools and knowledge needed to break free from harmful behaviors and create more positive, nurturing environments.”

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Barbara Hackley, the Dorothea Lang Term Chair in Midwifery

Barbara Hackley, the Dorothea Lang Term Chair in Midwifery

Barbara Hackley described it as a high honor to be the recipient of the Dorothea Lang Term Chair, named for one of the founders of midwifery in the United States.

“Our goal at the Midwifery Institute at PhilaU is to continue her mission by establishing the first national doctoral program for midwifery in the nation,” Hackley said. “Our purpose in this program is to grow the profession by developing midwifery leaders in advocacy, education and clinical practice. The Dorothea Lang Term Chair will be used to establish scholarships, support faculty and create a nationally recognized program in midwifery.”

 

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PhilaU Names Howard Ways III Director of M.S. in Real Estate Development Program

Over the past 20 years, Howard Ways III has worked as an architect, planner and real estate developer.

Howard Ways III, an experienced professional and educator, has been named director for Philadelphia University’s new M.S. in Real Estate Development program launching in the fall.

Over the past 20 years, Ways has worked as an architect, planner and real estate developer. He managed over $960 million in mixed-use real estate development and capital improvement projects and taught at Catholic University of America, Morgan State University and most recently Georgetown University.

Ways grew up outside of Philadelphia and attended Temple University as an undergraduate student of architecture.

“Philadelphia provides an ideal balance of historical and contemporary real estate development, urbanity and drivable suburban settlement patterns from which to learn from,” said Ways, who also earned a master’s in city and regional planning from Morgan State and attended Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program.

PhilaU’s M.S. in Real Estate Development program will focus on preparing students to address economic, social and ecological issues when developing commercial, industrial, institutional and residential real estate projects in the 21st century. Faculty members who are industry experts will provide real-world insights to sustainable practices, legal aspects of land-use, city and regional planning, construction science and management. Collaborative projects, case-study analysis, on-site visits and real-world projects will provide experience in the development process, from market analysis and valuation, while enabling students to build a network of professional contacts.

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PhilaU Fashion Students Rock the Red Dress Runway to Support Heart Health

PhilaU fashion students created two dozen stunning red gowns to support women's heart health.

PhilaU fashion students created two dozen stunning red gowns to support women’s heart health.

Philadelphia University fashion design students created two dozen stunning red gowns featured at the American Heart Association’s Rock the Red Runway show April 13 to promote women’s heart health.

Four winning designs selected by a panel of judges will be featured at the AHA’s annual red dress luncheon next month and will be prominently displayed in a Macy’s Center City window after that.

The winning student designers are Alana McHugh, first place; Deanna Wedge, second place; Tricia Franklin, third place; and Alia Sod, who won the People’s Choice award selected by attendees.

An appreciative audience applauded the fashion finale.

An appreciative audience applauded the fashion finale.

The appreciative crowd clapped and cheered as the designs came down the runway. For some 12 years, fashion design juniors have created stunning dresses in all shades of red for the event. Designs this year ranged from stately column gowns to a red and gold gown inspired by Chinese culture.

The red dress has become a symbol of efforts to raise awareness about heart health in women. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the U.S. For more info about the AHA’s Go Red for Women event and heart health for women, click here.

The Rock the Red Runway show was featured on NBC10, WPHL and CBS Philly. View the CBS Philly coverage here.

Fashion designers (from left) Alia Sod, Alana McHugh and Deanna Wedge stand to the right of their designs. Tricia Franklin (dress far right) is studying in Rome this semester.

Fashion designers (from left) Alia Sod, Alana McHugh and Deanna Wedge stand to the right of their designs. Tricia Franklin (dress far right) is studying in Rome this semester.

 

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