10 years of designing for good: Designathon '18

Posted by Kathy Smyser on Mar 1, 2018 9:29:24 AM

designathon 18a.jpgEvery year for 10 years, non-profits from Central Pennsylvania have brought their needs for professional-quality design materials to Pennsylvania College of Art & Design’s American Institute of Graphic Arts Student Chapter (AIGA) for the annual Designathon. Every year, PCA&D students, aided by faculty members and PCA&D alumni (and lots of coffee), create brochures, logos, t-shirts, posters, websites and more during a 24 hour period.

Pam Barby.jpgThe annual event was started in 2009 by Graphic Design Chair Pam Barby, as a way to encourage students to give back to the community while putting into practice the skills they are developing in class. Students at PCA&D who participate in the Designathon gain real-world experience in creating projects for clients under a tight, 24-hour deadline. They learn that non-profits have very real marketing needs in order to be successful, and strong graphic design on well-organized collateral pieces are vital components in successful communications and marketing plans.

New Designathon Logo - cropped for newslettter.jpgDuring the 10th annual event held on Friday and Saturday, February 23 and 24, 2018,  28 Graphic Design students aided by 8 faculty members and 8 alumni, one of whom, Dan Birzak, Class of 2009,  participated in the original Designathon, sequestered themselves at PCA&D starting at 6 p.m. on February 23 to deliver professional-quality design services at no charge to the non-profits.

Over the last decade PCA&D students have completed 75 design projects set forth by these non-profits during the yearly 24-hour Designathon.

For the 10th anniversary, a new logo was developed by Graphic Design Junior Cathrine Spengler. A T-Shirt for the event was designed by Graphic Design Senior Kelsey Harmon.

 Here are the student teams and the work they produced:


Ten non-profits were beneficiaries of the 10th annual Designathon. The non-profits were:

Participating in the 2018 Tenth Anniversary Designathon were:


  • Lauren Runkle, Graphic Design, Junior
  • Brian Fenstermacher, Graphic Design, Junior
  • Cathy Spengler, Graphic Design, Junior
  • Erik Shirk Graphic Design, Junior
  • Lauren Duffy, Graphic Design, Sophomore
  • Andrea Ho, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Jessica Mizak, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Rachel Keel, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Alicia Brooks, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Kelsey Harmon, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Casey Capece, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Austin Lord, Illustration, Senior
  • Jared Shuey, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Rachel Busichio, Illustration, Junior
  • Presenting.jpgEmily White, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Patrick Foley, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Naomi Hudnall, Graphic Design, Junior
  • Devron Jones, Graphic Design, Sophomore
  • Emily Phillips, Graphic Design, Sophomore
  • Elizabeth Fino, Graphic Design, Sophomore
  • Kevin Foss, Graphic Design, Sophomore
  • Ellie Cochran, Graphic Design, Junior
  • Tyler Birky, Graphic Design, Sophomore
  • Josh Gingerich, Graphic Design, Senior
  • Marshaun Zeigler Dumas, Illustration, Junior
  • Cali Loftus, Illustration, Sophomore
  • Karla Daher Urgiles, Illustration, Junior
  • Designathon 18.jpgJoey Bend, Graphic Design, Junior


  • Megan Zettlemoyer, Graphic Design Instructor
  • Tom Newmaster, Graphic Design Instructor
  • Bill Dussinger, Graphic Design Instructor
  • Brian Gunzenhauser, Graphic Design Instructor
  • Maria Cummings-Miller, Graphic Design Instructor
  • Jim Castanzo, Graphic Design Instructor
  • Jessica Edonick, Dean of Student Services
  • Pam Barby, Graphic Design Department Chair


  • IMG_3208 (1).jpgMaranda Bressi, Graphic Design, ‘17
  • Juss Disciullo, Graphic Design, ‘11
  • Emily McKelvey, Graphic Design, ‘15
  • Lisa D'Angelo, Graphic Design, ‘13
  • Kyle Newkirk, Graphic Design, ‘15
  • Dan Birzak, Graphic Design ‘09
  • Nancy Wiggins, Graphic Design, ‘17
  • Kevin Mancuso, Graphic Design, ‘16

PCA&D's March 24th Open House

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