Study Abroad, No Matter Your Schedule!

Studying abroad can be one of the most transformative experiences in a college career.  But for students who have jam-packed schedules of balancing multiple labs and studio courses, coveted internships, and multiple extracurricular activities, going away for a whole semester doesn’t always seem feasible. At Jefferson, short courses or alternative break trips are great ways to fit studying abroad into any schedule! This week, Connor and Lauren are sharing how they spent their Winter break studying abroad in Costa Rica. 

Studying abroad for an entire semester as a Pre-Med student can be quite difficult and a bit unrealistic. Thankfully, Jefferson provides students like us the opportunity to participate in short courses for credit over Winter break. Costa Rica is one of those options, so of course, we jumped at the opportunity to spend ten days fulfilling our wanderlust…and to escape the cold at home!

The trip consisted of not only six Biology and Pre-Med students, but also six Industrial Design students, as well as a professor from each department. Being able to learn and explore with peers of different majors was one of the highlights of the experience – you don’t typically see students of such different majors learning material that will help with both of their careers! Throughout the ten days, we all became surprisingly close, and not just in proximity with the close quarters  we were in at all times of the day. It was so rewarding to learn more about people that we may have never met without this experience.

This particular short course focused on the topic of biomimicry, which is the process of observing biological processes in nature and conceptualizing them to fit into the built environment. Throughout our trip, we spent a lot of time hiking on trails in both the rainforest and dry forest, observing the varying ecosystems and seeing what different aspects of nature piqued our interest. We identified countless birds and plants and were lucky enough to encounter some  of the classic mammals and reptiles in the area – Capuchin monkeys, the venomous fer de lance snake, an armadillo, iguanas and Ctenosauras, a peccary, and even a sloth!

Using our observations from each of the areas we explored, we spent some time researching how the plants and animals we saw function on a biological level. How do they survive in conditions that threaten their life? How do they thrive in the conditions that they are most adapted to? What are the most extreme conditions in which they can endure before experiencing loss of life? Groups of two Biology/Pre-Med majors and two Industrial Design majors aimed to tackle a topic related to climate change using the newfound knowledge of the environment in which we were observing. Even though our short course is over, we will continue to work in our groups throughout the semester to work on creating submissions for a biomimicry competition.

While field research was our main focus in Costa Rica, we still had plenty of time for fun activities like a day trip to the beach, where we ate lunch and dinner right on the beach, as well as snorkeling, shopping for souvenirs, and eating dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate our time together.

We would definitely go back in a heartbeat and encourage you to take advantage of the study abroad opportunities here, no matter how long you have. It’s always worth it!


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Student Work in “Interactive Packaging Design”

A new international publication, Interactive Packaging Design, by Design Media Publishing (UK) Limited features two projects from the Graphic Design Communication course, Package Design, taught by Associate Professor Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel. Both projects developed from a shoe packaging assignment that ran in the class as a collaboration with Adidas. Hannah Volz, Jefferson alum 2012 and current senior package designer at Adidas in Herzogenaurach, Germany provided the students with supporting industry expertise and shared stories about working as an American designer abroad. The projects featured were created by Paige Graff (class of 2018 and lead designer at Warkulwiz Design Associates) and Gabi Stahley (future class of '19).

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Paige Graff chose to package climbing shoes, and her design features an innovative in-store storage solution. Rather than stackable boxes, her design is a hanging structure that uses a re-usable climbing rope to form a hanging loop. The shoes sit in climbing jugs that can be repurposed in various creative ways around the home.

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Gabi Stahley chose to package outdoor hiking shoes for a company that donates a percentage of profits to the US National Park Service. Her unique structure draws inspiration from topographic maps.

The Graphic Design Communication program is very proud of Gabi and Paige. We are also thankful to wonderful alums like Hannah who choose to stay involved with the program and give back. Great work, everyone!

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Jess Kaminski is Key to Magical Women’s Basketball Season: KYW Newsradio

Senior guard Jess Kaminski is key to the Jefferson women’s basketball team’s season-long winning streak, KYW Newsradio reported Jan. 16. The Rams, now 18-0, are one of only five undefeated teams nationwide in NCAA Division II.

Kaminski leads the Rams in scoring (16.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg) and she is second in assists (3.6 apg). The Rams next go up against Caldwell at a home doubleheader on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. in the Gallagher Athletic Center. The men will play at 4 p.m.

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A Day in the Life of an Architecture Major

Welcome to our new series, A Day in the Life. Every other week, a different student will give a sneak peek into what life is like as a Jefferson student. This week, one of our lead Rambassadors, Adam, will be taking us behind the scenes of a typical day in his life.

Hello! My name is Adam Hoover and I am a fourth year Architecture Major with a Minor in Historic Preservation at Jefferson. My weeks are full of studio work, two-part time jobs, and two extracurricular clubs. So, you can imagine, I am very busy. I invite you into a typical day here at Jefferson!

8:00 am – My morning starts with my Design Studio. This is my favorite class because it is the main course for architecture where you get to be creative and work on really interesting projects. My current project has a small program of 800 sq. ft. but the project focuses on extreme site conditions. Everyone in my studio has unique sites like the Redwood National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, on the Flatiron Mountains in Arizona, etc. My site is in the Florida Everglades. So, I have the design challenge of building in a swamp that must be able to withstand hurricane force winds and water levels. As a fourth year, our design studio is comprehensive, meaning we have to combine our knowledge from our previous major based courses (Structures, Building Technologies, and Visualization) in order to design projects featuring functioning buildings with working structure, plumbing, lighting, HVAC, sustainable technologies and techniques. This studio is probably the most intense course of the 5-year program, but it is also really cool to be able to create buildings that could actually be built!


12:00 pm – After studio it is off to our Kanbar Campus Center to grab lunch at Common Thread, our main dining hall on Main Campus. I like to order one of Miss Pat’s famous grain bowls through Common Thread Express which is an online service that allows me to order my lunch 5 minutes before class is over so it is ready for pick up when I get there! My order is always Brown Rice, Chicken, Avocado, Grilled Pineapple, and Mushrooms with Sesame Seeds and an Orange Teriyaki. Mmmmm…

1:00 pm – I have to stop by the bookstore to pick up some cardboard for a site model I have to make for studio. The bookstore offers a wide range of materials and supplies that you may need for projects, so I don’t have to go off campus.

2:00 pm – My next class is Uncovering the Past: Tools, Methods, and Stories. This is one of my minor courses for historic preservation. It is a very different course from your typical class. It focuses on a famous residence that the Jefferson just purchased, the Hassrick House, that was designed by Richard Neutra. For this class, we are creating an archive of all the drawings, photographs and any information we can collect about the house, and building a model of the home to display at an end of the year exhibition.

4:00 pm – back to Kanbar for one of my work-study jobs. I work as a Community Service Coordinator, which means I program on and off campus community service events. One of my projects is an Alternative Spring Break trip for students to spend their Spring Break giving back to the community. This year we are going to Raleigh, North Carolina where we will work with Habitat for Humanity for a week. We will also get to explore Raleigh in the evening.

6:00 pm – After work I head home to make dinner. I live off campus, just a few minutes away in East Falls, with 3 other students that go to Jefferson. We love living in East Falls; it’s close to school, has so many great restaurants like the Trolley Car Café and Slices Pizza, and always has something do.

7:30 pm – I head to studio to work on my design work and any other homework. I honestly enjoy working in studio with all my friends; we have tons of fun and it’s nice to always have someone to ask for a second opinion.

11:00 pm – After a long night in studio its back home to head to bed after an episode or two of Parks and Recreation. I just returned home from a semester long studying in Rome (spoiler alert: it was amazing), and while it is bittersweet to be back, Jefferson really has turned into my home over the past four years. It is so great to be back!

Thank you for following along for a day in my life. Being an Architecture major is challenging, but super rewarding. I feel fortunate to be able to study something I am so passionate about and spend class time working on projects that mimic what I will be doing in the work place one day. Are you interested in studying Architecture, or any of the other majors in our College of Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)? Come join us for a Visit CABE Day on January 30th, where you can hear directly from our faculty, tour of studios, and meet other prospective students. Sign up today, and I’ll see you there!

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Professor Emeritus Kleinbach Addresses Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan: Voice of America, Reuters

Sociology professor emeritus Russ Kleinbach, an expert on bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan, told Voice of America that some communities still see the practice as a tribal tradition, although the practice was outlawed in 2013.

The story details continuing efforts to combat the practice of kidnapping women to force them into marriages in the Central Asian country. As a faculty member, Kleinbach was named a Fulbright Scholar to study the issue and co-founded the women’s advocacy group Kyz Korgon Institute.

The story also was published by Reuters.


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Seven Ways a Jefferson Fashion Degree Sets You Apart

Jefferson teaches students to develop their own aesthetic and how to work within the real-world fashion industry.

Studying fashion is more than just aesthetics. Fashion can push boundaries, challenge norms and change the world. The fashion design, fashion merchandising and management, and textile design programs at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) cover everything from concept to consumer, encouraging students to take advantage of unique industry-entrenched opportunities. These seven differentiators below help to show why the influential website Fashionista recently recognized Jefferson as one of the top fashion programs in the world.

1. Industry Entrenched
Jefferson teaches young designers to develop their own aesthetic, and more importantly, how to work within the real-world fashion industry. That means they learn how to design into market-driven parameters, such as customer, delivery, raw materials, price points and branding. This novel industry-based approach in the world of fashion education develops students into design professionals and helps them earn internships and jobs at top fashion companies, including Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, Coach, Under Armour, Free People, QVC, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Nike, Lilly Pulitzer, Abercrombie & Fitch, Kate Spade, Macy’s, Li & Fung, Global Brands, PVH, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.

Fashion industry leaders have graduated from Jefferson, including Mike Ternosky ’00, owner and creative director of Obey.

2. Collaboration
During the creation of their two senior collections, Jefferson fashion design students collaborate with other disciplines, including industrial design, architecture and graphic design communication. In addition, all fashion students collaborate with textile design students—as they will in industry—to design and develop custom fabrics for their senior collections, which are produced in Jefferson’s state-of-the-art weaving, knitting and printing facilities.

3. New York Immersion Course
Sophomores in Jefferson’s New York immersion course attend New York Fashion Week, attending shows, shopping fabric and trim markets, and attending exhibits. As part of their most recent trip, students visited the Heavenly Bodies exhibit at the Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Met. They researched a piece from the collections and then developed a fabric/trim story, color palette and modern-day collection for their final project. “The New York immersion course is one of the first pieces of conversation in interviews and has helped me land multiple internships,” said fashion alumna and M.S. in global fashion enterprise student Naomi Milrod ’17.

4. Annual Fashion Show
Over a thousand fashion industry leaders, area fashionistas, students and more attend Jefferson’s annual spring fashion show, which is produced by the student Fashion Industries Association. In addition, major media outlets, such as WWD, cover the event that features some 400 looks. Fashion design students begin designing collections as freshmen and have the opportunity to submit collections to be shown at the show starting sophomore year. With this type of experience, students graduate from Jefferson ready to hit the ground running in the $3 trillion global fashion industry.

5. Noted Alumni
Leading figures in the fashion industry have graduated from Jefferson, including Mike Ternosky ’00, owner and creative director of Obey; Wendy Santana ’83, executive vice president of Li & Fung Americas; and Kate Kibler ’97, vice president of North America direct-to-consumer business at Timberland.

6. Renowned Scholarship Opportunities
Jefferson students are no strangers to success when it comes to the prestigious YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund—the largest fashion scholarship program in the world. Jefferson has historically done well in the YMA competition, with 36 winners over the last five years. Fashion design alumna Vivian Cooper ’17 earned the first-ever top award of $35,000 in 2017.

7. On-Campus Recruitment
Representatives from the industry’s top firms come to campus to recruit Jefferson students for internships and full-time positions. At last year’s Design Expo, 100 design companies conducted a record 1,003 interviews with students. Eighty percent of employers attending the 2018 Design Expo have hired a Jefferson student over the past several years.

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Jefferson Makes Room For Modernism With New Preservation Program: Hidden City Philadelphia

Jefferson’s College of Architecture and the Built Environment is starting a new M.S. in Historic Preservation, Hidden City Philadelphia reported Jan. 4. “What sets Jefferson’s program apart is the bold move to focus on the conservation and protection of mid-century architecture and the opening of their Center for the Preservation of Modernism.”

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A Day in the Life of a Fashion Design Major

Welcome to our new series, A Day in the Life. Every other week, a different student will give a sneak peek into what life is like as a Jefferson student. This week, one of our very talented Rambassadors, Carly, will be taking us behind the scenes of a typical day in her life.

Hi everyone! My name is Carly McAndrew and I am a junior fashion design major. Junior year is pretty much the thick of it; between all of my classes, clubs and activities, as well as an internship search, I’m always on the go. Stay tuned to find out what a day in my life is like!

8:00 am- My first class is Pattern Development II. This is one of my studios, so most days are spent working on our various projects and collections. Today, we are working on a red evening wear gown for the American Heart Association. The top four dresses are selected to be put in the Macy’s Center City Window!

11:00 am- Next, I have Biology for Design, which is part of the curriculum for the School of Design, Engineering and Commerce. This curriculum brings together majors ranging from Fashion Design to Engineering to Business to collaborate within transdisciplinary learning. This course in particular had us find an environmental issue and look for potential solutions. Since many of my classmates in my group are design majors, as well as Fashion Merchandising and Management, we are analyzing the negative effects of textile dying. I think it’s important to be aware of such a pressing issue within my own industry so that when I work, I can take a more sustainable approach.

12:00 pm- Every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30pm-2:30pm we have break period, a time where no one has class on campus! Clubs usually meet during break period. I am on the executive board for Fashion Industries Association (FIA), and we put on the annual spring fashion show every year that features all student work from fashion and textile design. It’s the largest student-run fashion show across the nation! Last year, my children’s wear collection made it down the runway! You can check out some footage from last year’s show here:

12:30 pm- After the FIA meeting, I usually head over to Common Thread, one of the two dining halls on campus, and grab a grain bowl. My favorite part about Common Thread is that there is an Express app where we can order ahead of time and pick it up on the way to class. This is a life saver on the days I’m in more of a rush. Plus, they’re delicious and one of the healthier options we have on campus!

1:00 pm- Once I’m done eating lunch I head on over to my next studio, and last class of the day: Fashion Design. I love this class, primarily because it’s a great portfolio builder. We do sketchbook work, concept and fabric boards, illustrations and flats, covering the entire design process up to production. The final project is a scholarship project for Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The top four are selected to move on to the next round, and mine was one of them! I love how this kind of project is integrated into the curriculum because if not, I would have never known about it. It’s another great resume builder too! This class also helped produce projects that helped me land an internship at Abercrombie and Fitch this coming summer! *Editor’s note: Carly is too humble, but around 10,000 students applied for this internship!* Jefferson has amazing connections with so many recruiters, and our job placement rating of 97% is proof of that. Between the career fair, design expo, and all the on campus interviews we have, there’s so much opportunity!

4:00 pm- My classes are done for the day and around this time I usually had back to my apartment. My roommates and I love to go out to eat and explore the different restaurants around us. One of our favorite places to go is the Couch Tomato in Manayunk, which is only five minutes away. They have the best tomato soup!

6:00 pm- I will try and start my homework around this time. Usually, I head back over to Hayward Hall, where the studios are to continue sewing my red dress!

10:00 pm- Later in the night I have my chapter meeting for my sorority, Theta Phi Alpha. Going to these meetings and seeing all my friends is a nice way to wind down after a busy day. Here we discuss different events for the upcoming week. A popular one we host often during break period is making PB&Js for the homeless! Another one of my favorites is Greek Week which involves different competitions between our two social sororities and two social fraternities on campus.

11:00 pm- After chapter I head back home, and if I’m lucky I’ve already gotten all my homework done. If not, it’s back off to the studio! Even though there can be some late nights working on my collections, I would not change a thing about being a Fashion Design major. Not only have I made some of my best work in those studios, but I’ve also made the best of friends. And now I get to go abroad to Italy with these lovely people, doing what we love! The past three years have been some of the best yet and I can’t wait to see what the last one has in store.

I hope you all enjoyed this glimpse at my life, and hopefully I get to see some of your faces on campus next year!

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New Jefferson Program and Preservation Center Celebrate Modernism: Architectural Digest

“Whether exploring the landmark-rich streets of Philadelphia, the Bauhaus Building in Dessau, Germany, or the Giuseppe Terragni Archive in Como, Italy, students at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) are about to receive a thoroughly modern education. Opening in April, the Center for the Preservation of Modernism is a key facet of the school’s newly launched master of science program in historic preservation; the new degree program, which will debut next fall, will focus on preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of historic buildings and sites,” Architectural Digest reported Dec. 24.

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The Power of Design

Industrial Design Juniors design the next generation of products for Powerhouse

Industrial design is all about discovering how a product fits into a market, or how a current product can be improved. But design isn’t an individual task. Many times designers will work with engineers, graphic designers or even other industrial designers. Teamwork is a crucial skill. That’s why at Jefferson, students create design firms within the class. Containing four or five student, each firm selects a name and works together to solve a variety of projects.

This year for the first firm project, juniors of the program were asked to analyze an existing generator to improve upon. Several factors were considered in the design such as “rapid deployment” or making the generators start up as quickly as possible. Each firm was also given a specific “lens” to look at their generator; some examples were wet environment, sporadic use, and environmentally friendly.

Powerhouse Final Board

Toto’s Final Presentation board

Each firm spent two months dissecting the current generator and designing their own generators based around their given scenarios. The final presentations were given in the DEC forum to a group of prospective high school students from New Jersey whose teacher, Ygor Carvalho is an alum of the industrial design program, Class of 2002.

Interested in visiting the school or shadowing an Industrial Design Student? Contact Mark Havens the Associate Director of the Industrial Design program at

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