A decade of designing for good: Designathon ’18

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Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Every 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.

The 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.

During 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
  • Emily 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
  • Joey 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


  • Maranda 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