Lighting Laurel Hill

Industrial Design Students light up Laurel Hill Cemetery

Laurel Hill Cemetery is a historic cemetery located in East Falls, Philadelphia, right down the street from Jefferson University. Founded in 1836, it was the second major cemetery in the country. Every year, Laurel Hill Cemetery hosts its annual Soul Crawl. The Soul Crawl features flashlight tours along winding, dimly-lit paths, focusing on the cemetery’s rich history and the spirits buried within. The lighting for public experience class, taught by Lyn Godley, was asked for the second year in a row to help light up the cemetery.
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MCDOWELL Statue, Lighting display designed by Zane Shalchi, Charles Barilo and McKenna Burns

The students learned how to wire and code a sequenced light show using a variety of color changing lights. In addition, some groups also added sounds and music, to transform the dark cemetery into a night time spectacle, highlighting some of Laurel Hill’s and the country’s oldest statues.

Zane Shalchi, a junior industrial design student says, “It was a thrilling and dynamic way to connect to and with the people of the community.”

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MCDOWELL Statue, Lighting display designed by Zane Shalchi, Charles Barilo and McKenna Burns  

The event is one of the largest fundraisers for the cemetery. This year over 800 people attended the two-day event. The students worked on the light shows as part of a class project in two lighting courses taught by Lyn Godley, associate professor of industrial design. The courses are part of a lighting concentration in the industrial design program.

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Designing the Future of Glassware

Industrial Design Juniors and Graduate Students partner with ARC International

One of the most unique experiences of the industrial design program at Jefferson University is the client sponsored projects. Over the years, Jefferson has remained close with many of its alumni whose relationships spawn new and exciting projects. In the past, companies like Johnson and Johnson, Comcast, iHome and Target all have been a part of collaborations with Industrial Design students at Jefferson.  

Several years ago, Jasmine Meley graduated from the ID program at Jefferson and landed herself a job at ARC International, one of the largest glass companies in the world. This year Jasmine came back to Jefferson with a challenge for the Juniors and Graduate students; Design the Future of Glassware. Students were given three weeks to design and develop their products. The challenge asked students to look at future trends and examine where the glass market might be heading.


Students analyzing current ARC products at the project kickoff

Students were to take part in the challenge, which was also an international competition. In addition to Jefferson University, several schools around the world, located in France, China and Germany, were also asked to participate in the challenge. At the end of the competition, one student from each school would be selected to travel to Germany to present their concept at the annual Ambiente table top show.

ARC also invited the classes to explore their facilities in Millville, NJ, where over one million glasses are made a day. The trip allowed students to gain a better understanding of different glassware manufacturing methods. After three weeks of design and development, Jefferson design students presented to ARC in a trade booth style presentation. Everyone was given 5 minutes to present their ideas and receive feedback from a panel of judges.

Three finalists were picked to present their ideas in New York at a smaller private show, exclusive to buyers to gain valuable insights on their designs. “Getting selected to go to New York was a very beneficial experience, especially to talk with industry professionals about our projects,” says Jess Monteleone, a junior of the program.

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NY Finalists Jess Monteleone, McKenna Burns and Ilan DiFilippo

After several weeks of deliberation, Jess was also selected as the first place finalist for the project. When asked about the experience she said that “Working with ARC on this project provided a great new perspective for the development of our product, as we were challenged to be creative and respond to feedback, while staying within the company’s guidelines.”

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Jess with her double walled glasses: “DEUX”


Stay tuned for updates on Jess’s trip to Germany!

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Fashionista Names Jefferson Fashion Among the World’s Best

In the highly regarded rankings, Fashionista praised Jefferson for its holistic approach to fashion design education.

In the highly regarded rankings, Fashionista praised Jefferson for its holistic approach to fashion design education.

Fashionista has just named the University’s fashion programs No. 7 in the world and No. 3 in the United States. This marks the best ranking ever for Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) fashion by the influential website.

The Fashionista Fashion Schools ranking is the most widely distributed ranking of its kind in the world,” said Sheila Connelly, director of the fashion design program at Jefferson. “This ranking is a solid endorsement of our uniquely industry-entrenched and industry-focused curriculum, which sets us apart from competitive programs.”

Fashion design students exercised their creativity at the Design X show.

Fashion design students exercised their creativity at the Design X show.

In the United States, Jefferson made the top three fashion programs, along with New York’s Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institute of Technology. Globally, Fashionista listed the University along with international powerhouses like Central Saint Martins in London, London College of Fashion, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and Polimoda in Florence.

“Jefferson focuses on providing a holistic approach to fashion design education—addressing not only design but also merchandising, technology, production, business and other elements required to actually make it in the industry,” wrote Fashionista, also citing the University’s study-abroad opportunities, proximity to New York City and successful fashion alumni.

Fashionista based the rankings on annual tuition, famous and successfully placed alumni, student and alumni feedback, quality of the faculty, the practical and business training provided, resources, technology, social life, career counseling and financial aid options. Nearly 4,000 students took the website’s survey.

Among Jefferson fashion’s recent highlights: five students won prestigious YMA Fashion Scholarships; alumni presented their collections at New York Fashion Week; and the annual Fashion Show and Design X showcased the talents of more than 100 student designers.

The latest Fashionista rankings further show Jefferson’s reputation on the international stage. Both CEOWORLD Magazine and Business of Fashion have recently named the University’s fashion programs among the world’s best as well.

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Jefferson Fashion Design Is Named a Top 10 Program Worldwide and #3 in U.S.: Fashionista

Jefferson’s fashion design program has been ranked #7 in the world and #3 in the United States, according to the 2018 rankings released by the influential site Fashionista. This was the best ranking ever for Jefferson fashion, which was ranked in the top three U.S. programs with New York’s Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institute of Technology.

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A Day in the Life of a Textile Materials Technology Major

Welcome to our new series, A Day in the Life. Each week, a different student will give a sneak peek into what life is like as a Jefferson student. This week, we are kicking things off with one our lead Rambassadords, Kellyn!

Hi, my name is Kellyn Kemmerer and I am a senior Textile Materials Technology major here at Jefferson. As a senior involved in clubs, works a part time job, and, of course, has classes, sometime my schedule can be pretty busy, but it’s full of things I love. Follow along with me on a typical day in my life.

8:45am – Get to campus for the day. Head to Kanbar Student Center to get my morning cup of tea before going to class. I love walking on campus in the morning while it’s still quiet and before the craziness of the day has actually started.


9:30am – Go to Hallmarks Capstone, my first class of the day. Being in this class, the culmination of all of my General Education core, really means I am officially graduating soon – can’t believe it!


10:45am – Quick break before my next class. Usually I like to log on to the @hercampusjefferson Instagram account, which I run, to put up a post for the day. Her Campus is a club focused on writing by college women, for college women. I love being part of something that’s so empowering and fun!


11:00am – Next class! Intro to CAD, which is all about learning Photoshop and Illustrator. These are brand new types of art forms to me and it’s neat being able to learn something I never knew before, every single class.


12:20pm – Still in class and I’m praying no one can hear my stomach rumbling. Time to log on to Common Thread Express to order my favorite lunch, one of their signature grain bowls, for me to pick up when class is over.


12:45pm – Out of class and sprinting to Common Thread so I can pick up my lunch. I love ordering from the Express window, both because the food is great and talking to Ms. Pat, the chef, always brightens up my day.


1:00pm – I have a 45 minute break before my next class, so it’s time to eat and study for a possible pop quiz…and probably spend a few minutes procrastinating with Netflix.

1:45pm – Time for Color, Dyeing, and Finishing, my textile chemistry course. This class is typically regarded as the most difficult for my major, but I really enjoy every minute of class. I learn something new each day!


3:00pm – Classes over for the day – time to head to the gym. I love having a gym right on campus to use, it makes it way easier to stay motivated to get a workout in a few times a week.


4:15pm – Headed home to relax a little, eat an early dinner, and figure out what homework I need to get done.


6:00pm – With one of my weave collections due soon, I like to spend some time each day putting some work on my loom. I head back to campus and into studio in Hayward, where I can just put in my headphones and weave. I think it’s even a little relaxing to do this and is a great day to wind down for the night.

8:00pm – Back home for the night and I’m going to work a little bit on my Color, Dyeing, and Finishing Lab Report. Every week we study the science between working with different dyes and fabrics, so I’ll need to do some  research on how the last dye we used functioned.

9:30pm – Time to cozy up, turn on an episode of my favorite show, and relax for a while before going to sleep.


10:30pm – My eyes feel heavy and I think it’s time to call it a pretty early night – I’m going to sunrise yoga tomorrow morning, need to make sure I’m not so tired I’ll fall asleep on my mat!

Like what you read? Come see for yourself what a day in the life of YOUR major would be! Sign up to Shadow a Current Student and spend a full day on campus attending classes, meeting current students, and getting a real feel of what your life would be like at Jefferson! 

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Pests at Ravenhill: A viral student photograph and inspection reports indicate a consistent problem

      “That was very disturbing, I didn’t eat at this dining hall for a couple weeks after.” said freshman Christina Devone, when asked about the photograph. “I have been eating at the other side of campus, but other than that I try to be careful of what I am eating over here.”   …

Pests at Ravenhill: A viral student photograph and inspection reports indicate a consistent problem Read More »

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Stephen Spinelli Jr., PhD, Named President of Babson College

spinelliUniversity Chancellor Emeritus Stephen Spinelli Jr., PhD, has been appointed the 14th president of Babson College. Before joining Philadelphia University in 2007, Dr. Spinelli held several leadership positions at Babson.

“It is a perfect fit for Babson to recruit him to return to the institution where he first made such a significant impact in entrepreneurship, global management and more,” said Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, president of Thomas Jefferson University. “As a visionary, with the wisdom and guts to take the bold steps to ensure that higher education delivers real-world experiences and the training students need to compete in the 21st century, Dr. Spinelli is answering a call that is part of his DNA. Those who know him well, also know that he doesn’t stand still for too long. That is what has and will continue to make him so successful.”

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Five Jefferson Students Win Prestigious YMA Fashion Scholarships

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Fashion design senior Colton Snavely’s award-winning concept was based on market research surrounding emerging sustainability trends and the Chinese “ethical luxury” brand Icicle.

Five students will receive $5,000 awards from the 2019 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund—the largest fashion scholarship program in the world. The winners include fashion design seniors Tommy Heidebrecht and Colton Snavely, sophomores Kinley Lingenfelter and McKenzi Migliorini, and industrial design junior Elena Krupicka. The educational fashion non-profit recognized Heidebrecht and Snavely for the second and third years in a row, respectively.

In this year’s case study, applicants explored opportunities for a fashion company to expand in the global market, proposing a research-based model and/or products through the lens of design, merchandising, analytics or supply chain.

For example, Snavely’s concept was based on market research surrounding emerging sustainability trends and the Chinese “ethical luxury” brand Icicle. The capsule collection he designed would bring the essence of sustainable luxury and progressive production to New York’s Dover Street Market.

“I really wanted to shatter the formula of presenting visual information,” Snavely explained. “It was about bringing this energy from one of the foremost up-and-coming fashion capitals in the world, Shanghai, and reinterpreting their reinterpretation of Western hip-hop culture and streetwear into something fresh.”

Eleven Jefferson students from multiple programs submitted concepts to the prestigious competition. In total, the Fashion Scholarship Fund received 740 applicants from students in both creative and business disciplines from 64 colleges and universities nationwide.

“Every year, Jefferson students up the bar in their ability to compete against some of the top programs across the country,” said Sheila Connelly, director of the fashion design program at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University). “Being a YMA scholar opens so many doors for our graduates. I consistently hear from our industry partners that those are the resumes that go on the top of the pile.”

In January, all the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund winners will attend a gala event in New York City and a career fair the following day to network with top companies and make critical connections within the industry.

The YMA association, made up of fashion industry leaders, promotes education of the fashion arts and business through internships, mentorships and career programs to talented students.

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 January 2017.

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Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing Appoints Parviz Shamlou, PhD, as Executive Director

Under the leadership of Parviz Shamlou, PhD, the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing will provide education and training in the fast-emerging field of biopharmaceutical processing.

Under the leadership of Parviz Shamlou, PhD, the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing will provide education and training in the fast-emerging field of biopharmaceutical processing.

Parviz Shamlou, PhD, the George B. and Joy Rathmann Professor of Bioprocessing and director of the Amgen Center for Bioprocessing at Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, Calif., has been appointed executive director and head of the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing at Thomas Jefferson University.

“Parviz Shamlou’s impressive academic and industry experiences make him the perfect choice as inaugural executive director of the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing,” said Ronald Kander, PhD, dean of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce and associate provost for applied research at Jefferson. “His technical knowledge of bioprocessing and dynamic leadership abilities will help us accomplish our vision for the Institute to provide unique education, training and workforce development opportunities for our students, the biopharmaceutical industry and the region.”

Opening spring 2019, the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing will provide state-of-the-art education and training in the fast-emerging field of biopharmaceutical processing, which advances new therapeutics to treat a range of acute and debilitating diseases.

“Fantastic and rapid advances in biologics are leading to innovative and high-impact discoveries that have the potential to become new medicines for patients with life-limiting and debilitating diseases,” said Shamlou, who will join Jefferson in January 2019. “Success depends on investing in new and fast-changing skills, infrastructure, research and technology. I’m delighted to join the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing and help facilitate its mission to be an international center of excellence that develops and delivers innovative training and research for a new generation of scientists and engineers in bioprocessing and biomanufacturing.”

As director of the Amgen Center for Bioprocessing, Shamlou has led pioneering and collaborative bioprocessing research. Previously at Eli Lilly and Company, he was responsible for innovation and technology evaluation for development and commercialization of biotherapeutics, including insulin, human growth hormone and monoclonal antibody molecules currently in development for treatment of Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, cancers, diabetes and lupus.

Shamlou received his PhD in chemical engineering and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom. His first academic appointment was at University College London, where he co-founded the Department of Biochemical Engineering. He has served on scientific committees and boards, as editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed Journal of Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry, and co-authored some 200 journal articles, book chapters and conference presentations.

The Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing, located at Spring House Innovation Park in Lower Gwynedd, Pa., includes state-of-the-art laboratory and research and development spaces. When fully operational, it is expected to serve 2,500 people annually, including programs for pharmaceutical professionals, workforce training through community college partnerships and bioprocessing certifications through regional university partnerships. Importantly, the Institute will facilitate enrollment of 70 additional Jefferson students in bioprocessing engineering at the undergraduate through PhD levels.

“With Dr. Shamlou as executive director, the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing is further positioned to carry out our vision of leveraging partnerships with industry, academia and government agencies to provide globally recognized, transdisciplinary education and training to support current and future workforce demands in this critically important field,” said Kathleen Gallagher, University executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Biologics, with new therapies that can turn acute and debilitating illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and cancer into manageable chronic diseases and sometimes cures, are rapidly gaining momentum throughout the world. Yet, because of the complex manufacturing process and lengthier regulatory approval process compared to traditional small-molecule drugs, biologics remain challenging to produce, with only a handful of centers throughout the world dedicated to training people to produce these potentially life-saving drugs. The Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing will close that gap.

The Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing is the only education and training institute for biopharmaceutical processing in North America to be established in partnership with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT), which is based in Dublin, Ireland.

Internationally recognized for its excellence in bioprocessing research and training, NIBRT serves about 4,000 industry professionals worldwide at its Dublin headquarters, including many from the United States. The Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing will leverage the renowned NIBRT curriculum to provide a premier U.S.-based option with a significant potential market that includes 900-plus pharmaceutical-related companies in the Northeast U.S. The Institute will utilize the latest single-use engineering technology pioneered by General Electric.

Biologic pharmaceuticals are manufactured in a living system such as a microorganism, plant or animal cell, often utilizing recombinant DNA technology. The development of biologic pharmaceuticals is growing rapidly, representing a major shift in the industry from traditional chemical synthesis techniques. More than 40 percent of therapeutics currently in research and development are biopharmaceuticals.

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Electronics Prototyping Kit Wins Top Ram Business Pitch Competition

Industrial design student Delara Kiani pitches the winning electronics prototyping kit.

M.S. in industrial design student Delara Kiani pitches the winning electronics prototyping kit.

A kit for electronics prototyping and programming earned first place in the University’s annual Top Ram Idea and Business Model Competition presented by Blackstone LaunchPad.

D&D Smart Kit, pitched by M.S. in user experience and interaction design student John Rodrigues and M.S. in industrial design student Delara Kiani, is an affordable kit and course that helps designers develop their prototype without having to learn to code. Developed over the past year, their solution saves time and money, as well as allows people to get more creative and see their inventions come to life faster, they explained.

Along with the $1,200 Matt Glass Award for Entrepreneurship—established by Steven Glass, MD, in honor of his late son Matt Glass ’15—and coaching from Blackstone LaunchPad, the pair said they gained confidence, valuable feedback on their concept and a better appreciation of the pitching process.

Judges scored on product/service innovation, research, potential impact, concept viability, business model innovation and storytelling.

Judges scored the concepts on product/service innovation, research, potential impact, viability, business model innovation and storytelling.

“It’s so important to simplify the technical terms, so everybody can understand and connect with the idea,” Rodrigues said.

In Top Ram, 10 teams of students from Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) pitched their ideas in the Lawrence N. Field DEC Center Forum on Dec. 6 to a panel of judges. A brief Q&A followed each seven-minute presentation. Judging criteria included product/service innovation, research, potential impact, concept viability, business model innovation and storytelling.

Runner-up went to Revive, a sustainable clothing company that allows consumers to repurpose their out-of-style denim by reviving them into fashion-forward pieces. With the concept, they would embellish gently worn and used denim, giving items a fresh, new look.

The team of fashion design senior Ally Laskowski, fashion merchandising and management junior Brianna Giarraputo and finance freshman C.J. Goodz won $500, as well as coaching from Blackstone LaunchPad. They also earned the $100 award for business model innovation.

“It’s always great to talk to industry professionals and get their opinion on your presentations,” Laskowski said. “It’s another thing we can add to our professional careers.”

Top Ram judges included Heather Rose, PhD, JD, director of technology licensing at Jefferson’s Innovation Pillar; Irving Gerber ’69, university alumnus and former equal employment opportunity manager with the United Parcel Service; Shubha Bennur, PhD, director of Jefferson’s M.S. in global fashion enterprise program; Jason Crook, MBA, assistant professor of marketing at Jefferson; Ben Barnett, CEO of Media Bureau; and entrepreneur and investor Harvey Hoffman.

In Top Ram, 10 teams of Jefferson students pitched their ideas.

In Top Ram, 10 teams of Jefferson students pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges.

Judging Top Ram for the third year, Hoffman was impressed with the innovation and passion he saw by the students, noting he thought several concepts could be commercialized. “I love the opportunity to see early-stage ideas and ventures,” Hoffman said.

Other pitches ranged from an electric skateboard, to a care package subscription plan, to a convertible whiteboard table/presentation board, to a scalp applicator and occlusion headcap for people with skin conditions, which won the product innovation prize.

“Top Ram allows the entrepreneurship center to stir up ideas on campus and get students to think twice about opportunities that have the potential to be a real business if you put in the effort,” said Abena Nyarko, program manager of Blackstone LaunchPad at Jefferson.

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