Congratuations to the PCA&D Class of 2019

Posted by Kathy Smyser on May 6, 2019 5:06:07 PM

PCAD Class of 2019On Thursday and Friday May 2 and 3, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design honored and celebrated its 51 graduating seniors of the Class of 2019 who received their bachelors of fine arts degrees on Friday, May 3.

beret-1Senior Send-Off

The festivities began on Thursday, May 2, at the College with the inaugural Senior Send-Off, a graduates-only ceremony that included a toast by the College President, Michael Molla, and an opportunity to see each others’ work in a preview of the Senior Show & Celebration. The Class of 2019 received their graduation berets at a special Senior Send-off that included presentations by the faculty, including founding faculty member Tom Scullin, Professor Emeritus, staff and alumni of the College, and by Milzy Carrasco, Director of Neighborhood Engagement, and Joanna Davis, Public Art Manager of the City of Lancaster.

PCAD_Grad(2019)_001For the first time Pennsylvania College of Art & Design’s history, black velvet berets, a symbol of the artist, will  worn by the members of the graduating class instead of a traditional mortarboard to celebrate their unique calling in earning their Bachelors of Fine Art degree. These berets were designed and made by Lancaster County’s own Bollman Hat Company, the oldest hat manufacturer in the United States.

The 37th Commencement of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design was held Friday, May 3 at 10 a.m. at Barshinger Hall, on the Campus of Franklin and Marshall College, 620 College Ave, Lancaster PA 17603.

PCAD_Grad(2019)_021Michael Molla, addressed the graduates at his first commencement since taking the mantle of President at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, “This year has been an extraordinary experience of partnerships and possibilities as we have embraced the inclusive power of theAmpersand. The mantra of “Yes &” creates opportunities and invitations; it invites collaboration and collective creativity. “Yes &” empowers your lives today and opens you to holistic ways of envisioning your future. “Yes &” makes room for everyone’s voice, everyone’s ideas, everyone’s perspective. I dare to say that the idea of the Ampersand can change the world.”

Molla expressed his gratitude to the Class of 2019, “In this, my first year as the president of PCA&D, I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to bid a fond farewell to you – a class who gave me such a warm welcome.”

PCAD_Grad(2019)_022PCA&D Trustee Russell Urban presented the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa to S. Dale High, Chair Emeritus of Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based High Industries Inc. and High Real Estate Group LLC., for his visionary entrepreneurship, civic leadership, dedication to innovation, champion of creative energy to the betterment of our community, and philosophy of building trustworthy relationships. In speaking to the graduates,

High said, “Artists can be characterized as prophet; someone who touches our soul and who encourages us to recognize our ragged realities and one who can help shape our world. Entrepreneurs and artists - we are sometimes thought as trouble. But your creativity is needed now more than ever, to ground us with soul and purpose."

Rob and Deborah BarberThe 2019 recipients of the Medal of Honor and the 2019 Commencement Speakers are the team of  Deborah and Rob Barber, entertainment industry thought leaders and community-focused couple in Lancaster City and its arts and design scenes.

Ms. Barber encouraged the students, “You may not always the opportunity to see people experience your art, but when you do, you’ll see the experience through someone else’s eyes.” Ms Barber, as an employer of creative talent, thanked PCA&D for preparing the graduating creatives

Mr. Barber spoke about art is influential and impactful in our lives. “People will argue because of you; people will smile because of you; people will cry because of you; people will be calm because of you; and people will feel joy because of you.”


Penelope CochranTwo members of the Class of 2019, Brian Fenstermacher and Penelope Cochran, both graphic designers, also spoke to their fellow graduates:

Brian Fenstermacher’s talk “ We’ve Figured it Out” revisits key points in the Class of 2019’s time at the college.

“Looking back and remembering the struggles and victories we were both faced with and those that we overcame, I find, is a fantastic way to prepare for what comes next.”

Penelope D. Cochran’s remarks “Never Stop Exploring” encourage the Class of 2019 to embrace the change the future brings. “Every person here is a never-ending art piece, and it’s important that we never stop exploring. You haven’t met all of you yet.”

The graduates:

Graduating seniors received their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in one of five majors: illustration, graphic design, fine arts, digital media, and photography, during the commencement ceremonies. The candidates for graduation are:

Digital MediaDigital Media

  • Hannah DiGirolamo, Charlotte, NC
  • Phu Do, Sinking Spring, PA
  • Phillip Kieffer, Hershey, PA
  • Isaac Kuhn, Carlisle, PA
  • Noah Miller, Sellersville, PA
  • Christopher Morris, Bear, DE
  • Symone Saunders, Dover, pa
  • Xeng Vang, Ephrata, PA
  • Huy Vo, Lancaster, PA

PCAD_Grad(2019)_007Fine Art

  • Alexandra Downs, Lititz, PA
  • Brigitte Errickson, Changewater, NJ
  • Dylan High, Lititz, PA
  • Shealyn Oto, Northumberland, PA
  • Sara Otto, Carlisle, PA
  • Amanda Scudner, Lancaster, PA
  • Melanie Vera, Bel Air, MD
  • Shyanne Wilson, Mapleton Depot, PA


PCAD_Grad(2019)_005Graphic Design

  • Joseph Bend, East Greenville, PA
  • Erik Cochran, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Brian Fenstermacher, Allentown, PA
  • Naomi Hudnall, Baltimore, MD
  • Logan Myers, Lancaster, PA
  • Lauren Runkle, Wyomissing, PA
  • Erik Shirk, Lancaster, PA
  • Cathrine Spengler, Lancaster, PA


  • Paige Baxter, Carlisle, PA
  • Amber Benner, Brownstown, PA
  • Rachel Busichio, Bellefonte, PA
  • Brittany Campo, Alexandria, VA
  • Kimberly Cook, Bensalem, PA
  • Karla Daher Urgiles, Nanuet, NY
  • Samantha Didyoung, Lititz, PA
  • Elizabeth Geckle, Rising Sun, MD
  • Shelby Jones, Lancaster, PA
  • Kathryn Mikus, Denver, PA
  • Alexi Morton, Wallingford, PA
  • Georgie Rider, Bushkill, PA
  • Tiffany Rodriguez, Hanover, MD
  • Marina Salvatore, Frederick, MD
  • Emma Siegfried, Lancaster, PA
  • Trent Sheaffer, Lancaster, PA
  • Laurel Tompkins, Red Lion, PA
  • Antoinette Troller, Effort, PA
  • Shelby Young, Berwick, PA
  • Marshaun Zeigler-Dumas, Allentown, PA


  • Kay Baier, Cranberry Township, PA
  • Jose Collantes, Ridgewood, NJ
  • Alexandria Martin, Lititz, PA
  • Larissa Ramey, Leesburg, VA
  • Michaela Robertson, Hershey, PA
  • Connor Stillman, Downingtown, PA

Michael Molla - Karla Daher Urgiles - Joseph Bend 2The following graduates received special awards, presented by Jessica Edonick, Dean of Student Services, assisted by the Department Chairs:

Departmental Awards Recipients

Digital Media - Christopher Morris 

Fine Art - Melanie Vera 

Graphic Design - Cathrine 

Illustration - Trent Sheaffer 

Photography - Jose Collantes 

Award for Academic Excellence

Brigitte Errickson, Fine Art

Mary Colleen Heil Vanguard Award

Larissa Ramey, Photography

Founders Awards for Excellence in Leadership (2)

Karla Daher Urgiles, Illustration

Joseph Bend, Graphic Design


senior-show-animatedSenior Show & Celebration

Later on Friday, May 3, the College honored the Class of 2019 at the annual Senior Show & Celebration.

Art filled Pennsylvania College of Art & Design on Friday, May 3, as the Class of 2019 exhibit professional-level senior thesis projects in a variety of media, the culminating work of PCA&D’s graduates in fine art, illustration, photography and graphic design.

Following a Parent’s Preview at 4 p.m., the College opened the Senior Show & Celebration to the public from 5 to 8 p.m. The event, which kick’s off Lancaster’s Art Walk weekend, drew an attendance of approximately 1,200. Senior Show Artwork was created this year by graduating illustration student Marina Salvatore '19.

Two special art installations were in PCA&D’s Art Garden to honor the day. “Charlie the Peacock,” a kinetic metal sculpture with 15,000 LEDs created by Tim Scofield, Kyle Miller, and Steve Dalnekoff, illuminated the Art Garden. Katie Trainer, Lebanon County artist and muralist, created a larger than life peacock transversing the Art Garden’s walkway.

The Senior Show & Celebration was sponsored by Benchmark Construction, Residence Inn, Triode Media Group, House of Pizza, M&T Bank, J&J Heating & Cooling, Rettew, Merrymaker Catering, Bollman Hat Company, Special Occasions & Queen Street Linens, Murray Securus, Lemon Street Market, S&T Bank, and Henrietta Heisler Interiors.

Senior Exhibition

From May 4-26, one work from each member of the Class of 2018 will be featured in the Main Gallery. Hours for the exhibit are Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed Memorial Day).


Commencement Photography by Nick Gould

Topics: graduation, commencement, art students, commencement speaker, Bachelor of fine art, class of 2019, honors

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