Celebration of Innovation Recognizes Students, Alumni and Industry Leaders

Thomas Shirley Jr., Jefferson’s assistant vice president of athletics and head coach of the women’s basketball team, received the Lifetime Impact Award at the Celebration of Innovation.

Jefferson recognized alumni, industry leaders and students at the Celebration of Innovation, the University’s platform for advancing the importance of higher education and innovation, and the impact they have on the global economy. Some 350 people attended the May 8 event, which supports student scholarships.

Leader of Innovation Medal recipients included Donna Nicoletti Ferrier ’80, owner of Talisman Designs and partner and owner of Philadelphia Suburban Development Corp.; Nicholas Siciliano III PhD ’15, CEO of Invisible Sentinel; Denise Tjokrosaputro ’96, CEO of Papan Land and co-founder and CFO of Milestone Pacific Group; and David Tuttleman ’83, co-founder and CEO of Matrix NV and vice chairman of the Tuttleman Foundation. This honor is presented to innovative entrepreneurs and scholars who have made significant contributions to education, industry or the professions that better society and exemplify Jefferson’s mission, vision and innovative spirit.

Attendees saw a variety of student work, including the Smart City Philadelphia 2050 project.

Thomas Shirley Jr., Jefferson’s assistant vice president of athletics and head coach of the women’s basketball team, received the Lifetime Impact Award. (Read more about Shirley’s career in Innovator magazine.) This award is presented to an individual who has made a significant impact at Jefferson, and more importantly, on the students which it serves.

The Student Leader of Innovation Scholarship went to architecture student Theresa Chiarenza ’20 for her contributions to meet current and emerging social needs through innovation. Chiarenza played a leadership role with a team of 13 students, who collected oral histories and developed a cohesive exhibition about Jefferson’s Hassrick House, designed by Richard Neutra, that was presented to the public at the recent opening of the Center for the Preservation of Modernism.

A variety of student work also was on display during the Celebration of Innovation. For example, a group of Jefferson students teamed up with Fresh Artists, a Philadelphia-based children’s art-focused philanthropic organization, to create a virtual reality experience; industrial design and occupational therapy students designed the Heart Helping Handbag, a post-heart surgery recovery device that respects a patient’s desire for privacy and the need to carry essentials; and graphic design communication students developed Farm to Fridge, a brand system that partners with farmers to bring local, fresh produce to the residents of rural areas.

Celebration of Innovation sponsors included Philadelphia Suburban Development Corp., Federal-Mogul Systems Protection, Hemp Black and the Tuttleman Family Foundation.

Read about the University’s Innovators’ Expo here.

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