College of Arts and Architecture undergraduates had the opportunity to network with alumni and other professionals in the arts and design at a career symposium on Tuesday, April 11, at the Penn State Center Engaging Philadelphia. Organized by a steering committee led by Wilna Taylor, arts engagement and programming manager for the College of Arts and Architecture, the event was especially geared toward students interested in entrepreneurship and arts management.
Students, alumni, and industry professionals praised the event, noting participants represented a wide range of interests and careers.
“This was incredible and everything I could have asked for and more,” said one student.
An alum appreciated learning about the students’ career goals. “It was helpful learning about the industry, diversity, and the work students are doing and the employment they are seeking.”
In addition to Taylor, steering committee members included Jonathan Gangi, professor in arts entrepreneurship and affiliate faculty in the School of Music; Curt Marshall, multicultural programs coordinator for the College of Arts and Architecture; Ross Weinreb, instructor in architecture and Stuckeman School career advisor; and Angela Smith, administrative support assistant in the college’s Office of Academic Affairs and Outreach.
Student presenters included Walker Konkle (senior, violin performance), Danielle Spewak (third-year, B.F.A. sculpture), and Alicia Campbell (senior, theatre performance; minors in business and international studies).
Panelists included Penn State alumni Jared Edgar McKnight, Associate AIA, associate and designer at WRT in Philadelphia; Jessica Paholsky, assistant video producer for MensHealth.com; Terrell Graham, independent web developer, graphic designer, and digital artist (Smeal College of Business alum); and D’nae Harrison, Philadelphia-based visual artist. Other panelists included Sylvia Watts McKinney, regional director of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) in Greater Philadelphia; Jean Brody, teaching professor and director, online arts administration, for Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University; Andrew Palmer, senior art director, Giant Creative Strategy; Lisa Nelson-Haynes, executive director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights; Rosalyn McPherson, marketing executive, The ROZ Group; Kevin Wonder, director of visitor services for the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art; and Danielle Rice, program director of the museum leadership program at Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design.
The symposium also included a presentation on “Live It,” a platform designed to help students develop and share their valuable interpersonal skills to achieve better life outcomes.
The College of Arts and Architecture plans to hold similar symposiums on an annual basis, alternating between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.