Renée Weiss Chase holds a Bachelor`s Degree in Fashion Design and a Master`s Degree in Science and Technical Communication from Drexel University. Chase comes from an entrepreneurial background and was the designer and owner of a women`s sportswear company prior to joining Drexel`s faculty. She is the author of two books: Design Without Limits, 1990, Simplicity Pattern Company, a text on designing clothes for the disabled: and CAD for Fashion Design, 1997, Prentice Hall, the first text on the topic of computers in the fashion industry. She has been a contributor to a number of other publications on fashion design and fashion drawing and has achieved national and international recognition for her work in wearable art and couture.
The strength of the fashion programs is closely linked to its faculty and their belief that each student has a distinct vision and a unique esthetic that must be cultivated on an individual basis through a flexible, broad-based curriculum. The curriculum is delivered through the studio experience with a strong mentoring approach. Class sizes are kept small so that individual interaction with faculty and outside critics from industry is maximized.
As director of the fashion design programs for more than a decade, Ms. Chase has shaped the curriculum to embrace two focused areas of endeavor. The first, is an appreciation for and mastery over craft and materials as they manifest themselves in the highest level of professional practice. The second, is the delivery of information and expertise regarding industrial production methods and skills including economic feasibility of design ideas and integration of technological advancements - primarily in the area of computer aided design (CAD). At the root of this pedagogical philosophy lies a foundation in traditional fine art which fuels and inspires creative and critical thinking.
These two components, fashion as art and the technology of fashion, have strongly influenced the tenor and identity of the fashion design programs at Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Under the direction of the Provost, the Fashion Design Programs recently underwent an external peer review. A quote from the response document submitted by the review team offers an extremely positive opening statement: "Drexel University is considered by its peers, to be one of the top design schools in the country."
Chase was the 2002 recipient of the Christian and Mary Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching which recognized outstanding service in stimulating and guiding the intellectual development of students at Drexel University.