Alumna Named Philadelphia Fashion Incubator Designer-in-Residence

Channelle Halsey '12 launched her childrenswear brand My Little Gent in 2016.

Channelle Halsey ’12 launched her childrenswear brand My Little Gent in 2016.

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City has named fashion industry management alumna Channelle Halsey ’12 a 2018 designer-in-residence.

“Being selected is a huge accomplishment,” said Halsey, who launched her childrenswear brand in 2016. “The program will give me the opportunity for additional education, guidance and access to resources and mentors. I plan to take full advantage of it to grow My Little Gent into everything I envision.”

She attributes much of her early success to the knowledge gained at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) where she learned the entire process of bringing a clothing line to market, including ideation, sourcing, pattern making, sample making, costing, and marketing and sales strategies.

The Incubator, which Jefferson sponsors, works to nurture emerging fashion entrepreneurs from Philadelphia design schools and the local fashion community. In the 12-month program, designers-in-residence have access to office and design/work space, business curriculum, mentoring and other resources at Macy’s Center City.

Plus, by connecting them to the global fashion network and encouraging them to expand and retain their businesses in the city, the non-profit organization contributes to the region’s creative economic development, said Elissa Bloom, executive director of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator.

“We’re thrilled to have My Little Gent as one of the nine companies selected for the 2018 residency,” Bloom said. “We have an exciting year planned of workshops on the business of fashion and impactful sales, runway show events and invaluable networking opportunities with industry leaders and mentors.”

In addition to Halsey, several other Jefferson alumni have earned the distinction of being named a designer-in-residence, including Melissa Choi ’06, Kaitlyn Doherty ’11, Jovan O’Connor ’06, Pia Panaligan ’06 and Amanda Stearns ’14.

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“Shot Doc” Coach Magee Talks to Deadspin about the 76ers’ Markelle Fultz

Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Herb Magee talked to Deadspin about the 76ers’ Markelle Fultz and his shooting problems.

Magee is known as the “shot doc” for his legendary shooting and success working with NBA players to improve their shooting.

“The number one thing when you’re teaching anybody is: the guy who’s being taught must agree completely that he needs help. Number two, the person who’s teaching had better know what they’re doing. Number three, is the person learning willing to practice in the gym for hour after hour? If you do those things, then I think anybody can improve, to be honest with you,” he told Deadspin.

Read the story here.

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Specter Center Hosting Training Event to Encourage Women to Run for Political Office

Chris Jahnke, a nationally recognized author, speaker and consultant on effective public speaking skills, will present at Ready to Run Pennsylvania.

Chris Jahnke, author, speaker and public speaking consultant, will present at Ready to Run Pennsylvania.

Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) will host Ready to Run Pennsylvania, which provides bipartisan political training to encourage women to run for government leadership positions. The daylong program on Saturday, Feb. 17, targets women considering or recently deciding to run for political office, providing training and mentoring by campaign professionals, political women and officeholders.

Presented by Jefferson’s Arlen Specter Center for Public Service and the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University, the event will feature Chris Jahnke, a nationally recognized author, speaker and consultant on effective public speaking skills. Jahnke was a speech coach to Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama and has worked with nearly all the current and former Democratic women governors.

“The Specter Center firmly believes the U.S. is a rich and diverse nation,” said Evan Laine, director of the Specter Center. “If we’re to be embodied properly in the government, then we should expect the same diverse group of people representing us.”

The United States is currently ranked 99th in the world in women’s representation in federal government, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Jefferson faculty, staff and students can attend Ready to Run free of charge. Contact or for the special registration code.

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Fashion Students Evoke the Imagination and Present Bold Looks at NYFW

New York Fashion Week 2018 Designers’ Premier ShowClick through the album above to see all the sights from the Designers’ Premier show.

Two fashion design students presented their work at the Designers’ Premier show at New York Fashion Week on Feb. 10. Kelsey Fickes ’18 and Kaelin Wilcher ’18 opened the program at the Stewart Hotel and were the only student collections featured in the show of up-and-coming designers.

“It was an unforgettable experience,” Fickes said. “Seeing my collection walk out on the runway after all of the long hours put into creating every garment was truly an unreal feeling. There was such a rush of energy when everything came together so beautifully.”

Her collection was inspired by decaying manors that evoke the imagination of enchantment. The collection of casual and nighttime looks used hand-dyed denim, pleated chiffon and a textured jacquard made by textile design student Madeline Halsey ’18 to tell the story of deconstruction and rebirth of new beauty.

Wilcher’s collection, “Hollow,” was inspired by the satirical artwork of Aubrey Beardsley. He said his bold looks focused on the topic of racism and explore what it means to feel “other in a Caucasian-centric world.” He collaborated with textile design student Sam Russo ’18 on the floral jacquard and alumna Morgan Jefferson ’17 on the textured knit.

“This is a milestone that very few designers ever get to achieve, let alone student designers,” said Carly Kusy, fashion design instructor at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), noting they each showed five looks. “It’s a really exciting moment for them and a proud moment for faculty as well. We’re always blown away at what our students design. The level of quality, sophistication and creativity we see from them grows every year.”

Another group of Jefferson students presented at New York Fashion Week as part of the Epson Digital Couture Project. Read more here.

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Former Student Pitches Organic Coffee Drink on ‘Shark Tank’

Jordan DeCicco, center, started Sunniva Super Coffee in his PhilaU dorm room.

Jordan DeCicco, center, started Sunniva Super Coffee in his PhilaU dorm room.

While former student-athlete Jordan DeCicco didn’t secure a deal Sunday night on “Shark Tank,” the appearance on the hit ABC show gave his company Sunniva Super Coffee national exposure and valuable insight into how to improve the product.

DeCicco developed the organic, low-sugar coffee drink in his dorm room to help him power through early morning basketball practices.

He appeared on “Shark Tank” with his two brothers, Jake and Jim, sharing their company’s history and rapid growth. Sunniva is now available in stores like Whole Foods, Target, Wegmans and Wawa.

“The experience was phenomenal, and we were honored to be on the show,” DeCicco said. “We have already implemented several changes and improvements to our products based on their feedback, including going 100 percent sugar-free to further differentiate ourselves and improving our taste profile.”

The sharks didn’t bite on the pitch of $500,000 for a 4.5 percent stake in the company, but they were complimentary to the trio. Barbara Corcoran loved their discipline and energy, while Lori Greiner applauded their hustle and the idea behind the Sunniva. Rohan Oza, who helped build the powerhouse brands Vitaminwater and Smartwater, agreed, saying the DeCiccos have recognized the market shift toward high-protein, high-good-fat and low-sugar beverages.

Watch the ABC segment here, and read Jefferson Today’s previous coverage on Sunniva here.

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By: Musa Kalombe “Africa is a shitty country. The country’s always at war, or like fighting disease or something. Pity,...
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Former Student-Athlete Competes on ABC’s “Shark Tank” With Super Coffee Drink: Philadelphia Inquirer

Former student-athlete Jordan DeCicco will compete with his two brothers on ABC’s “Shark Tank” tonight to try to lure investors for their Sunniva Super Coffee drink company, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Feb. 9.

DeCicco developed the all-natural, low-sugar energy drink in his dorm room to help power him through early morning basketball practices. Read the Jefferson Today story here.

Read additional coverage in The Daily Freeman and

Watch DeCicco and his brothers compete on ABC’s Shark Tank on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 10 p.m.

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Jefferson Students and Faculty Participate in Epson Digital Couture Event: Printing Impressions

Jefferson students and faculty members shared their designs and expertise at Epson’s  Digital Couture Event on Feb. 6, leading into New York Fashion Week, Printing Impressions reported Feb. 9.

Fashion design student Patricia Franklin discussed the vibrant collection she and a team of Jefferson students designed for the fashion show. With advanced digital printing equipment available on campus, Franklin said, students are able to design and test textiles on site, giving designers the ability to work on the textiles until they are satisfied with the result.

Mark Sunderland, textile engineer and director of Jefferson’s global fashion enterprise and textile materials technology programs, participated in a panel discussion on the future of textile printing and design during as part of the event.



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Jefferson’s New University Brand Campaign Focuses on Redefining Humanly Possible

The Jefferson advertising campaign debuted during the Winter Olympics on the local NBC10 station. Watch it above.

After Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University combined in July 2017, the work began to take stock of the strengths and develop messaging to let the world know the unique value the new Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) offers. Now, a bold and captivating multichannel brand awareness campaign will showcase how the University is transforming higher education.

The advertising campaign, which debuted during the Winter Olympics on the local NBC10 station, is aimed at establishing baseline brand awareness and understanding, increase preference and build loyalty for the new Jefferson.

The brand approach conveys to prospective students and other key audiences that the new Jefferson is committed to taking a radically different and less traditional approach to education.

“We are connecting disciplines in new and imaginative ways so that our students are fluent in the cross-disciplinary ways of the 21st century work world. It is through collaboration and transdisciplinary learning that the greatest human advancements are made,” said University Chancellor Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D. “The result is the delivery of highly valued education that prepares students for current and yet-to-be-imagined careers. For them and for society, we are redefining humanly possible.”

To showcase this new campaign, Jefferson will air TV ads regionally throughout the month. The campaign also includes regional transit print and digital ads in all Amtrak stations from Washington, D.C., to New York City, beginning in March, bus and train wraps, outdoor billboard, digital marketing and social media.

To watch the University’s new full-length anthem video, click here.

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Students Bring Striking Styles to Epson New York Fashion Week Event

New York Fashion Week 2018 Epson EventClick through the album above to see all the sights from the Epson Digital Couture Project.

A transdisciplinary team of Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) students had their work on display at the Epson Digital Couture Project, which kicked off the world-renowned Fashion Week in New York City. The University team was the only student collection presenting at the Feb. 6 industry event at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17.

“It’s really hard to grasp the magnitude of the event that’s sponsored by the leader in digital textile printing,” said Mark Sunderland, director of the M.S. in global fashion enterprise and B.S. in textile materials technology programs and the Robert J. Reichlin High-Performance Apparel Chair. “The students handled the atmosphere with professionalism and passion. Their designs were striking and spectacular, and they pushed the limits of technical textiles, fashion designs, coloration and printing to produce a collection that can compete on a professional stage.”

Using the theme “Cosmopolitan Couture with Impossible Colors—How Does Your Culture Dress-up,” 13 design teams from North and South America leveraged Epson’s textile printing solutions in a unique fashion presentation. Each designer told a story through their collection via textiles created with dye-sublimation and direct-to-fabric printing technology.

The Jefferson designers were inspired by the use of color and shape as a vehicle to transcend their current understanding and experience of space.

The Jefferson designers were inspired by the use of color and shape as a vehicle to transcend their current understanding and experience of space.

“We are delighted to have design students from Jefferson taking part in the fourth annual Digital Couture project, bringing their unique styles to the showcase to help underscore the design possibilities of Epson’s digital fabric printing technologies,” said Mark Radogna, strategic marketing, Epson America Inc. “Epson’s digital imaging technology is changing the business of fashion—providing a platform for designers to print high-quality, more unique designs for customers on-demand. These students are helping us showcase how the design potential and impact on the fashion marketplace is limitless.”

The Jefferson team lead by fashion design students Patricia Franklin ’18 and Alexandra Pizzigoni ’18 also included M.S. in textile design students Regan Marriner ’19 and Salwa Rasheed ’19 and M.S. in global fashion enterprise student Bhavik Mehta ’18.

They integrated 14 different prints on 10 different fabrics for four looks, including flexible composite fabrics digitally printed at the University’s Center of Excellence in Surface Imaging.

“We were inspired by the use of color and shape as a vehicle to transcend our current understanding and experience of space,” Franklin explained. “Our silhouettes were informed by how light moves in waves to create the optical illusion of color. That idea of light movement also informed our print designs, as we worked closely with textile designers allowing them to reimagine their own perception of how color transcends through space. We used dye-sublimation printing in order to create these highly saturated prints, allowing us to visually represent and explain our concept.”

The team put a high value on material technology and function, noted Sunderland, who also took part in an Epson industry expert panel before the fashion event on sustainability in fashions and textiles, technical and innovative textiles, advanced manufacturing fabrication and more. The forum also featured Aliza Licht, EVP of brand merchandising and communication at Alice + Olivia, fashion analyst and critic Anna Fusoni and interior designer Ryan Korban.

The faculty team of Sunderland; Sheila Connelly, fashion design program director; Catherine Casano, fashion design instructor; Carly Kusy, fashion design instructor; and Wendelyn Anderson, technical associate for the Center for Excellence in Surface Imaging, all played key roles in the Epson project.

Jefferson’s ongoing relationship with Epson helped lead the University to present at New York Fashion Week. The international company selected Jefferson to be an academic beta site for digital textile printing a few years ago due to the University’s advanced knowledge and reputation in textiles, materials, performance and digital printing. In one project, the University tested Epson’s first digital direct-to-garment printer.

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