PhilaU Fashion Student Vivian Cooper Wins Top YMA Scholarship Award: Women’s Wear Daily

Philadelphia University fashion design senior Vivian Cooper won the top award at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund’s 80th Annual Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner in New York Jan. 12, Women’s Wear Daily reported Jan. 13.

The YMA created a new scholarship award of $35,000 for Cooper, above the $30,000 scholarships received by three other finalists in the competition.

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PhilaU CIO Cepull Advises on Top Issues Facing Higher Education: CIO Review

Philadelphia University Vice President for Information Resources Jeff Cepull advised on the top issues facing higher education chief information officers in 2017 in a Jan. 13 article in CIO Review.

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PhilaU Launches MilkCrate Sustainability App Pilot: Philadelphia Business Journal

Philadelphia University is launching the pilot for the new sustainability app from MilkCrate, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported Jan. 13.

The new app allows companies a way to encourage their employees to make choices that are more sustainable and earn some type of reward for doing so, the article said, noting that Comcast has also recently signed up for the program. MilkCrate founder Morgan Berman is a graduate of PhilaU’s graduate program in sustainable design.

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PhilaU Fashion Student Vivian Cooper Awarded Top National YMA Geoffrey Beene Scholarship

Vivian Cooper receives her award from actor and Geoffrey Beene brand ambassador Kellan Lutz and Marc Mastronardi, EVP of business development at Macy’s.

Vivian Cooper honored by actor and Geoffrey Beene brand ambassador Kellan Lutz (left) and Marc Mastronardi, EVP of business development at Macy’s.

Philadelphia University fashion design senior Vivian Cooper was awarded the first-ever top award of $35,000 from a national pool of 600 student designers at the YMA Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner in New York Jan. 12.

Marc Mastronardi, executive vice president of business development at Macy’s, announced the unprecedented scholarship award for Cooper in front of a packed ballroom of 1,500 industry leaders, educators and students. Mastronardi, chair of the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund committee, said she was the unanimous choice of the judges.

A surprised Cooper, smiling broadly, accepted the award from Mastronardi and actor Kellan Lutz, who is Geoffrey Beene brand ambassador.

“I am beyond humbled and honored by this amazing award and cannot thank the faculty, my amazing friends and my family enough for all of the support, guidance and love they have given me,” Cooper said. “This award will open up doors in the industry, and I look forward to what the future holds.”

At the scholarship dinner, one of the year’s top fashion industry events, Cooper was cheered on by a PhilaU contingent that included Sheila Connelly, fashion design program director; Nioka Wyatt, fashion merchandising and management program director; Michael Leonard, academic dean of the School of Design and Engineering and the David and Lillian Rea Chair of Design and Engineering; and Jesse Shafer, vice president for development and alumni affairs; as well as her parents.

Vivian Cooper with Geoffrey Beene brand ambassador and actor Kellan Lutz and other YMA scholarship winners.

Vivian Cooper with Geoffrey Beene brand ambassador and actor Kellan Lutz and other YMA scholarship winners.

“To see the YMA present its first-ever grand prize $35,000 scholarship award to Vivian was an enormously proud moment for Philadelphia University,” Connelly said. “Vivian is the real deal–talented, smart, genuine and kind. She put countless hours into this project, and this extraordinary honor is well deserved. I could not be more thrilled.”

Cooper and seven other YMA top finalists had to present to judges a project focused on the future of sustainability in the fashion industry. They were challenged to design a product for a mass retailer that adheres to the retailer’s sustainable business objectives while remaining consistent with the retail price of comparable products in the store.

For her case study, Cooper created Full Circle, a private-label junior’s swim and beachwear line for Target made from recycled plastic bottles. Full Circle would partner with Repreve, a company that turns recycled plastics into fibers that can be used to create unique fabrics. In addition, the fashion line would engage communities to support sustainability through the Full Circle Movement.

“The brand would get Target employees out into the communities and, in turn, invite communities to get involved in the bigger mission behind the line–which is to reduce pollution in our oceans,” Cooper said.

In addition to Cooper, seven additional PhilaU students won YMA Fashion Scholarships of $5,000 each in this year’s competition, as previously announced: fashion design students Colton Snavely, Keren Espina, Maria Balestino and Emily DeBernardo and fashion merchandising students Nicole Braun, Zoe Wilson and Maddie Bill, who received the award for the third straight year.

All the scholarship winners attended an internship fair and networking event with top industry officials on Jan. 13.

The annual YMA Geoffrey Beene scholarship competition and its industry-based board provide an extraordinary network that encompasses every leading apparel company in New York, Connelly said.

This year’s YMA competitors represented leading collegiate fashion, fashion merchandising and business programs; finalists along with Cooper included students from the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Cooper was selected to move on in the competition from an original pool of some 600 students from across the country.

PhilaU fashion students historically have performed well in the YMA scholarship program. Fashion design alumna Tia Pion ’15 was a Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship finalist in 2015, and alumni Casey Saccomanno ’08 and Jessica Steele ’09 each won top honors. In addition, dozens of PhilaU students have received $5,000 and $10,000 scholarships in recent years.

The YMA association, made up of fashion industry leaders, promotes education of the fashion arts and business through internships, mentorships and career programs. It awarded $1.3 million in student scholarships this year.

In addition to the students, other honorees at the annual fashion gala included Michael Strahan, fashion entrepreneur and former NFL star; John Tighe, EVP and chief merchant of JCPenney; and Judy Person, EVP group president of Randa Accessories.

In addition to Vivian Cooper’s $35,000 award, seven other PhilaU students received $5,000 scholarships. Pictured here: (l-r) Zoe Wilson, Nicole Braun, Madeleine Bill, Colton Snavely, faculty members Sheila Connelly, Mike Leonard and Nioka Wyatt, Cooper, Keren Espina, Emily DeBernardo and Maria Balestino.

In addition to Vivian Cooper’s $35,000 award, seven other PhilaU students received $5,000 scholarships. Pictured here: (l-r) Zoe Wilson, Nicole Braun, Maddie Bill, Colton Snavely, faculty members Sheila Connelly, Michael Leonard and Nioka Wyatt, Cooper, Keren Espina, Emily DeBernardo and Maria Balestino.

 

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Real World Portfolio Building

Portfolio specialist Diane Fox

By Zach Samalonis, BsID ’20
Recently in the DEC forum, a portfolio building workshop was held for design students across campus to discuss what employers look for in a portfolio. To open the event PhilaU was privileged to host Diane Fox, from the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. During her speech she discussed what makes a portfolio stand out, by showing various digital and printed examples that she has seen throughout her years as a professor. She discussed project importance, image placement, font choices, and a variety of binding methods. At the conclusion of her presentation, there was a robust q&a session.

IMG_0287The second part of the event included a “breakout session” which divided students up by major to continue a more detailed discussion on portfolio development. Representatives from both Bresslergroup and Archer Group, two of the Philadelphia area’s largest design firms came to discuss different attributes that they, as industrial and graphic designers looked for as well as show example portfolios from graduates they ended up hiring.

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Reviewing portfolios in one of the breakout sessions.

As a freshman, this experience was valuable as it got the gears turning on how I’ll approach creating my own portfolio. The best part of the experience was that the portfolios they showed were ones from students just out of school. It helped me to see where my work should be in four years and what I should to help myself succeed. The best advice given was to start early and stay organized. It’s workshops like these that make PhilaU stand out from other schools and help keep me one step ahead.

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PhilaU ID Undergrad Creates Prosthetic Arm

Philadelphia University industrial design student Jackson Gordon  has designed and fabricated a 3D-printed prosthetic arm to help a local man born without a left hand, Philly Voice reported Jan. 9.

Jackson, who has started the design firm Armatus Designs, based the aesthetics of the hand on the video game “Metal Gear Solid V” at the request of the user, designing it to be cost-effective and highly functional. Gordon has also made the design of the forearm, which can be created for about $100, available to others to use through open-file sharing.

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PSU Coach, Former Ram Pat Chambers Plays Michigan State at Palestra: Washington Post, Detroit News and others

Penn State University men’s basketball coach and PhilaU alumnus Pat Chambers brought his team to play Michigan State at the storied Palestra on the University of Pennsylvania campus Jan. 7, The Washington Post, Detroit News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mlive, Reading Eagle and other media outlets reported.

John Feinstein reported in The Washington Post: “I’m a Philly kid. I’ve got six Philly kids on my team,” said Chambers, who played at Philadelphia University. “I’ve coached here as an assistant, played here in college, coached here as the road team [against Penn and Drexel]. This is obviously a key recruiting area for us. I knew there was some risk giving up a home game, but I figured it was a risk-reward situation that was worth it.”

Chambers ’94 played starting point guard on the Rams squad that won a PhilaU-record 30 games during Chambers’ junior year.

Penn State scored a 72-63 victory over Michigan State this weekend.

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PhilaU Industrial Design Student Creates Prosthetic Arm for Local Man: Philly Voice

Philadelphia University industrial design student Jackson Gordon created a 3D-printed prosthetic arm based on a video game to help a local man born without a left hand, Philly Voice reported Jan. 9.

Jackson, who started the design firm Armatus Designs, based the hand on “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain,” designing it to be cost-effective and functional for the recipient. Gordon has made the design of the forearm, which can be created for about $100, available to others to use through open-file sharing.

Robotic Arm

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PhilaU Student Mixes Business and Basketball For Winning Combo: 6ABC

PhilaU student Jordan DeCicco has found success on the basketball court and in business, with his all-natural, protein-packed coffee drink company Sunniva, 6ABC sports reporter Jeff Skversky reported Jan. 6.

Watch the 6ABC video here.

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PhilaU Partners with Aqua America to Offer Employee Tuition Benefits

The 10 percent discount is available starting this semester for full- and part-time Aqua employees.

The 10 percent discount is available starting this semester for full- and part-time Aqua employees.

Philadelphia University is partnering with Aqua America to offer a 10 percent tuition discount to the company’s employees and their spouses/domestic partners. The discount, which is available starting this semester for full- and part-time employees, can be used for eligible undergraduate and graduate programs, on campus and online.

With 1,500 employees nationwide, Aqua is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly traded water utilities.

PhilaU also has tuition agreements with the City of Philadelphia and the Alliance of Community Service Providers Member Organization.

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