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Alumni & Friends - Penn State College of Arts and Architecture

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Be involved & connected!

Support the arts and design

Alumni and friends are an integral part of the College of Arts and Architecture family. Thanks to your involvement, we are able to support students and faculty in their studies and in their creative and research pursuits. Graduating does not take you out of the equation – it just means there are new ways for you to stay involved and connected.


Being involved? It’s just an email away!

A&A Alumni Society

WE ARE…award-winning actors, architects, graphic designers, artists, musicians, lighting designers, set designers, stage managers, photographers, landscape architects, art historians, art, music and museum educators, and more. Nearly 20,000 Penn State alumni call the College of Arts and Architecture home!

If you are a College of Arts and Architecture graduate and you join the Penn State Alumni Association, you automatically become a member of the Arts and Architecture Alumni Society. We benefit from annual funding from the Penn State Alumni Association based on membership. Some of this funding is used to support alumni events, and a portion of it is made available to departmental alumni groups (APGs) for activities specific to the department’s alumni base. The Arts and Architecture Alumni Society is governed by a board of directors that meets quarterly. There are occasional openings for new members. For more information about a position on the Alumni Society Board, please get in touch!

Contact Joyce Hoffman, director of constituent engagement
Email: jeh7@psu.edu
Phone: 814-863-0622

College of Arts and Architecture alumni and friends gather together for a picture during a tailgate party on blue and white weekend.

We love our alumni volunteers!

The Arts and Architecture Alumni Society and departmental alumni groups serve as vital resources for students and fellow alumni. Networking, mentoring, connecting across disciplines – these are just a few ways you can be involved.

A&A Alumni Society Leadership

As the governing body of the Arts and Architecture Alumni Society, the members of the board serve as a resource for the College of Arts and Architecture by promoting ongoing communication and relationships among alumni, students, faculty, administration, and affiliated groups.

Board Members

Ed Black

Ed Black – ’66 Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture Alumni Group Representative
President, H. Edward Black & Associates; Harrisburg, PA | edward.black@heblack.com


Frank Dittenhafer

Frank Dittenhafer – ’78 Architecture

Vice President/President-Elect
President, Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects; York, PA | fed@murphdittarch.com


Mike Fisher

Mike Fisher – ’79 Landscape Architecture

Principal, Site Resources, Inc.; Phoenix, MD | mfisher@siteresourcesinc.com


Michael Fratangelo

Michael Fratangelo – ’01 Visual Arts

Visual Arts Alumni Group Representative
Artist and Art Educator | michael@fratangelo.com | http://fratangelo.com


Mark Hackenburg

Mark Hackenburg ’88 B.S. Landscape Architecture

Principal, RGS Associates, Inc.; Lancaster, PA | mhackenburg@rgsassociates.com


Kimberly Henrikson

Kimberly Henrikson – ’98 B.A. Art History

Immediate Past President
Executive Director, Center for Contemporary Printmaking; New Canaan, CT | kabpsu@yahoo.com


Brian Kappel

Brian Kappel ’98 B.A. Visual Arts

Artist/Owner, Spacemonkey Designs; Beaverton, OR | bk@spacemonkeydesigns.com


Michael C. Karns

Michael C. Karns, ’11 BFA Theatre (Stage Management)

CEO, Marathon Digital; New York, NY | mike@marathondgtl.com


Allison Keilman

Allison Keilman – ’09 Bachelor of Arts

Exhibition Program Specialist, National Portrait Gallery; Washington, DC | alli.keilman@gmail.com


John Kovalchik

John Kovalchik – ’71 Music Education

Alumni Bands Alumni Group Representative
Retired Music Educator; State College, PA | jkt6tuba@aol.com


Peter Margittai

Peter Margittai – ’93 Architecture

President
Architect; Pittsburgh, PA | peter@margittai.com


Jared Edgar McKnight

Jared Edgar McKnight – ’11 B.Arch.

Graduate Student at USC; Los Angeles, CA | mckjared@gmail.com

 


Richard Nasto, Ed.D.

Dr. Richard Nasto, Ed.D., ’96 B.S. Music Education, ’99 M.Mus.

Music Educator at Merrick Union Free School District; New York | jazzersaxman@gmail.com


Doug Patt

Doug Patt, ’91 B.Arch.

Architect, Creator, Author, Teacher; Allentown, PA | dpatt@mac.com


Morgan Pierce

Morgan Pierce – ’89 B.S. Landscape Architecture

Principal, 3 North; San Francisco, CA | mpierce@3north.com


Carol Poblete

Carol Poblete – ’08 B.S. Music Education

Music Alumni Group Representative
Music Teacher, Highland Elementary School; Silver Spring, MD | cnelson349@gmail.com


David Schrader

David Schrader, FAIA, LEED AP – ’91 B.S. Architecture

Architecture Alumni Group Representative
Principal, Schrader Group Architects; Philadelphia, PA | dschrader@sgarc.com


Michael Smanko

Michael Smanko – ’77 MFA Theatre

Theatre Alumni Group Representative
(Retired) Production Props Supervisor; New Jersey | michaelsmanko@gmail.com


Lynne Smyers

Lynne Smyers – ’84 Graphic Design

Owner, Smyers Design; King George, VA | lynne@smyersdesign.com

Affiliate Program Groups

APGs are groups of alumni who share a common interest in a particular academic unit or department. There are no dues to join the department-based groups – by being a graduate, all alumni are automatically members. The APGs in the College of Arts and Architecture are focused on issues that are uniquely valued by their own departments, and each is governed by its own board of directors. The College of Arts and Architecture is also home to the Alumni Blue Band Association APG, because of its unique relationship with the School of Music.

To become actively involved in an APG, contact Joyce Hoffman in the Arts and Architecture Alumni Office or get in touch directly with the group’s current contact person listed below.


Architecture

Membership in the Architecture Alumni (AAG) is automatic for all graduates of Penn State Architecture with no dues. The group exists to help provide a connection with alumni, and the board of directors acts as an informal advisory group to the department. By expanding the participation of alumni relationships, the group hopes to promote interaction between alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends for the benefit and ongoing improvement of the department.

Connect

Board

Members Position
Sara Pettit (2009) President
Bob Holland (1973) Vice President
Matthew Graham (2012) Secretary–Treasurer
David Schrader (1991) Immediate Past President and Representative to Arts and Architecture Alumni Society
Alex Donahue (2013)
Andrew Phillips (1988)
Rob McClure (2000)
Danielle Mitchell (2015)
Savannah Cranford (2018)
Lynn Gaffney (1991)
Mehrdad Hadighi Department Head
Katsu Muramoto Faculty Representative
Patricia Kucker Director of Stuckeman School
Joyce Hoffman Director of Constituent Engagement
Peter Morano (2020) Recent Graduate

Recent + Upcoming

The Architecture Alumni Group (AAG) held its most recent meeting on February 6, 2021, kicking off first with a joint meeting including the Landscape Architecture and Graphic Design alumni groups before delving into the business at hand. The board heard reports from department head Mehrdad Hadighi, and from faculty liaison Katsu Muramoto. The group spent time discussing the work of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, which is continuing to meet independently and then reporting back to the group. Any architecture alumni who are interested in contributing to these conversations are welcome to contact Alex for more information. The group is submitting the Materials Resource Fund project to the Penn State Alumni Association for consideration in its Volunteer Awards Program, in the fundraising project category.

There will be one position available on the board starting in July, due to the end of Bob Holland’s term. Elections will be conducted in May, preceded by a call for nominations at the end of April. The group is working on another installment of its semi-annual newsletter that will be out later this spring.

It is likely that for 2021, there will be a second version of the summer seminar series that was initiated in 2020. These will once again be open to both students and alumni. Links to the recordings of the 2020 sessions are still available below.

Summer Seminar Series 2020

5/22 – General open session “Series Introduction with Q&A”

  • Matt Graham, B.Arch. 2012
  • Jerry Briggs, B.Arch. 1974

5/29 – Technology & Working remotely

  • Carmen Gervasio (Parallel Edge) – “Working remotely”
  • Nathalie Waelbroeck, B.Arch. 2015 – “Technology trends”

6/5 – General open session “Alternative Careers”

  • Bob Holland, B.Arch. 1973
  • Jeff Brown, B.Arch. 2012

6/12 – Sensible Solutions to Real Emergency Situations – AIA CES

  • Andy Simmons, B.Arch. 2007
  • Brad Earl, B.Arch. 1967

6/19 – General open session “Demystifying the ARE/AXP”

  • Alex Donahue, B.Arch. 2012
  • Ross Weinreb, M.Arch. 2012

6/26 – Advanced Enclosures: High Performance Custom Design – AIA CES

  • John Jackson (SGH)
  • CJ Brandmeier (SGH)

7/10 – General open session “Whole Practice”

  • Sara Pettit, B.Arch. 2009
  • Lauren Powers, B.Arch. 2009

7/17 – Starting a business? “Going out on your own”

  • Samantha Josaphat, B.Arch. 2012
  • David Schrader, B.Arch. 1991

7/24 – The Master Builder Meets Reality: A Discussion on Contemporary Design and Construction

  • Phil Wessell, B.Arch. 2008
  • Alex Donahue, B.Arch. 2012

7/31 – Return to Campus: Design & Implementation Strategies

  • Matt Graham, B.Arch. 2012
  • Patricia Kucker, B.S. in Arch. 1981, B.Arch. 1982

Art History

The Art History Alumni Circle was established to help foster the alumni community and promote interaction between alumni and the department by communicating alumni achievements, departmental news and events; and supporting mentoring and networking opportunities for alumni, students, and faculty.

Connect

Recent + Upcoming

This group is seeking some leadership! Meeting in person is not required; arrangements for occasional Zoom or Teams meetings can be arranged. A mix of art history undergrad and graduate alumni would be desirable; relatively recent (past 10-15 years) alumni are particularly encouraged to consider how you might support the department through your service. If interested in the Art History Alumni Circle, please contact Joyce Hoffman in the A&A Alumni Office.

Graphic Design

The Graphic Design Alumni Group was established with the purposes of providing a forum where alumni of the program can continue to grow professionally and personally, and to provide a way for alumni to stay connected to each other and the program. The group helps encourage and support educational and career opportunities for students in the field of graphic design. Membership in the Graphic Design alumni group is open without membership dues, to all graduates of the program.

The group held its inaugural meeting on Saturday, February 6. The first portion of the meeting was a joint meeting with the other two Stuckeman School alumni groups (Architecture and Landscape Architecture). In the later hour, the group heard an update from department head Phil Choo, about the work of current faculty and students, curricular changes in the department, and the benefits of having elevated the status of Penn State Graphic Design from a program to a department.

The group also discussed the celebration of 51 years of Penn State Graphic Design, which will be held virtually on Saturday, September 17 starting at 6:00 p.m. Alumni are invited to register for the event here.

Connect

Join the Graphic Design Alumni Listserv by contacting the Arts and Architecture Alumni Office.

Board

Members Position
Jennifer Appleby (1985)
Jordan Barnett (2016)
Anshey Bhatia (2005)
Lisa Hopey (2006)
Gabe Kean (1995)
Katherine O’Hara (1992)
Karin Satrom (2001)
Phil Choo Department Head, Graphic Design
Patricia Kucker Director of Stuckeman School
Joyce Hoffman Director of Constituent Engagement
Taylor Shipton Faculty Liaison

Landscape Architecture

Membership in the Landscape Architecture Alumni Group (L.Arch. APG) is automatic for all graduates of the program with no dues. The group exists to provide a connection with alumni, and the board of directors acts as an informal advisory group to the department. The L.Arch. APG was the first academic department-based alumni group in the College of Arts and Architecture, and the group provides strong support to current students in numerous ways, including a mentorship program. The group has also established a program endowment that will provide funds in perpetuity to be used to benefit students.

Connect

Board

Members Position
Lisa Thomas (1981) President
Stacy Fisher (1979) Vice President
Julie Cantola Kirsch (2009) Secretary
Josh Lippert (2011) Treasurer
Ken Mizerny (1970) Immediate Past President
Katie Kovalchik (2015)
Terrie Brightman (2004)
Jim DeTuerk (1961)
Evan Stone (1986)
C. Andrew Cole Interim Department Head
Eliza Pennypacker Faculty Representative
Patricia Kucker Director of Stuckeman School
Joyce Hoffman Director of Constituent Engagement

Recent + Upcoming

The group met most recently on February 6, where they were introduced to and heard a status report on the department from interim department head Andy Cole. The group also discussed content for their semi-annual newsletter, which will be published later this spring. Professor Bonj Szczygiel gave a status report on the mentorship program and offered some suggestions for the next iteration of the program that will kick off in the fall of 2021. Bonj will step down as faculty liaison for this group, and former department head Eliza Pennypacker has agreed to assume this role. The group will meet again on Saturday, May 1.

Music

The Penn State School of Music Affiliate Program Group was founded with the purpose of providing a forum by which alumni can continue to grow professionally and personally and stay connected with each other and to the School. The group works with the Director of the School of Music in remaining informed about the affairs of the School, encourages and supports educational and career opportunities for students in the field of music, and helps foster a sense of pride in the School of Music while enhancing its reputation and prestige.

Connect

Recent + Upcoming

Spearheaded by group leader Carol Poblete, two virtual meet-ups for segments of the School of Music alumni community have been held recently—the first for Music Education alumni, and the second for Composition and Technology alumni. These meet-ups served as an opportunity for alums to get to know current faculty in the School, and to mix/mingle with former professors and fellow alumni.

This group is looking for additional volunteers to serve as board members for the alumni group.  Meetings can be held by teleconference, Zoom or Teams, and at the collective convenience of the Board and the Director of the School. Carol Poblete currently represents the group on the Arts and Architecture Alumni Society Board. If you are interested in the possibility of serving on the alumni group board, please contact Carol or Joyce Hoffman in the A&A Alumni Office.

Establish a legacy of your support for our School of Music family by dedicating a seat in our new hall.

Theatre

Membership in the Theatre Alumni Group is automatic for all graduates of the Penn State School of Theatre with no dues. The group exists to help provide connections between alumni, and between alumni and current students. The board of directors meets by Zoom regularly, to discuss the group’s initiatives. In its relatively short time of existence, the Theatre Alumni Group has already been recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association for its exceptional alumni/student interaction programming. The group is currently governed by the board of directors listed below.

Connect

Board

Members Position
Allison Lee (1995 BFA) President
Carolyn Quinn (2016 BFA)
Laura Matey (2011)
Courtney Cavanaugh (2009 BFA)
Kate Pappas (1997)
Jodi Stevens (1990)
Benjamin Nissen (2018 BFA Musical Theatre)
Mike Smanko (1977 MFA)
Mike Karns (2011 BFA)
(TBA) Student Representative
Jonah Schwartz Student Representative
Steve Snyder Faculty Liaison
Rick Lombardo Director, Penn State School of Theatre
Joyce Hoffman Director of Constituent Engagement

Recent + Upcoming

With the pandemic making it impossible to gather in person for the annual one-day program called STAGES (School of Theatre Alumni Giving Experience to Students), the group made the decision to take the program to the virtual space and offer it throughout the fall semester. Two sessions were offered every other Sunday afternoon, and a wide array of theatre professionals were engaged to speak to students. One of the group’s future initiatives is to produce another edition of “The Living Room Project” to be streamed in June.

Visual Arts/Art Education

The School of Visual Alumni Group was founded with the purpose of providing a forum in which alumni of the Penn State School of Visual Arts (SoVA) can stay connected to each other and to the School, remain informed about the affairs of the School and the College. The group hopes to assist the School, as appropriate, in the recruitment of students, and to support and encourage educational and career opportunties for students in the fields of visual arts and art education.

Connect

Board

Members Position
Jason Lahr (1999)
Nicole Packard (2014)
Emilee Taylor (1974)
Taryn McMahon (2006)
Barbara Campbell Thomas (1998)
Vicente Ortiz Cortez (2014)
Michael Fratangelo (2001) Liaison to Arts and Architecture Alumni Society Board
Angela Rothrock Faculty Liaison
Yang Deng Student Representative (Ph.D. Candidate, Art Education)
Vagner Mendonça-Whitehead Director, School of Visual Arts
Joyce Hoffman Director of Constituent Engagement

Recent + Upcoming

Meeting in January, the board decided to establish a regular meeting time on the second Friday of every other month. The hope is that in the off-meeting months, some form of programming will be offered.

Blue Band

As an alum of Penn State University and the Blue Band, you have three opportunities to join the Alumni Blue Band Association and support the alumni and current members of the Penn State Marching Blue Band! Complete details about the Alumni Blue Band Association (ABBA) can be found at the ABBA website.

Connect

Woskob gallery showcasing interactive light painting by a participant.

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We are...

Penn State Arts and Architecture is stronger for all of the students, alumni, and friends who are engaged and active contributors to our community!

Keeping in Touch!

We want to keep in touch with you! As you move through life – taking on new roles and marking new achievements – we hope that you will reach out and let us know so that we can celebrate your successes. Feel free to provide updates via the Alumni Association update form. If you have professional news that might be of interest to the larger community of Arts and Architecture alumni and students, please reach out to us.

Similarly, we love to share student, faculty, alumni, and school news, events, and happenings. Units across the college send out e-news publications that help to keep you abreast of the latest from your alma mater. Please complete the form below to indicate the information you’d like to receive.

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