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Star Scholars

October 5, 2010 — Image of Polish poster made by Star Scholars The Westphal College was proud to have twelve students participate in the 2010 Star Scholars Poster Day. STAR is a special program for academically talented students that matches Drexel University undergraduates with research faculty. Through STAR, freshmen are provided with opportunities to participate in a summer research project developing a research plan, proposal writing, conducting research, analyzing data and presenting results. 

Lauren Beltramo and Kristen Beck, Graphic Design students, worked with Jody Graff, Graphic Design Professor and Program Director, on a poster showcasing their work with our Polish Poster Collections administered by our Graphic Design Program. This summer the collections were organized physically and electronically, and work was started on creating a website that will detail the holdings in our collection of 2,065 posters. Rachel Young and Colin Wagner, Digital Media Students, worked with Dr. Glen Muschio and Chris Redmann, Digital Media Professors, on a project entitled “3-D Digital Recreation of Colonial Philadelphia,” in which virtual representations of colonial Philadelphia are created as tools for educational purposes. The students were charged with building a historically accurate virtual house from historical records including insurance and tax records, the measurements of the house foundation, and artifacts from the Independence National Park’s collection.  Allison Miller, Film and Video student, worked with Film and Video Professor Karin Kelly on her project “In-house Production Facility.” Allison worked on developing a production company for Film and Video that will take on video projects for the Drexel community that will launch this fall.  Allison researched local production companies, polled students, interviewed faculty and created a website.  Benjamin Fasano, David Golden and Julie Morningstar, Architecture students, worked on on-going research with Architecture Professor, Ulrike Altenmueller, involving innovative architectural design in Finland's public schools.

Four Music Industry students participated. Bobby Iacono worked with Terry Tompkins, Music Industry Professor, on a poster that featured his project “Current Trends in Sales, Touring, and Radio for Gold and Platinum Debut Records,” in which he collected data from 2007-2010 on total sales, RIAA certifications, radio airplay, position on the radio Hot 100 chart, tour dates and more, and compared it to existing data from 1999-2006. The greatest realization from the research was that since 2007 there has been an average of 6.75 gold and platinum artists per year, down from an average of 28 per year from 1999-2006. Joe Hoban also worked with Terry Tompkins on his project, “Impact on Sales of Live Television Performances,” in which he researched the effects of late night television performances by musical artists on single song downloads. Using an existing list of artists who performed on eight late night television programs between September of 2008 and May of 2009, he determined which songs were performed and correlated that data with weekly sales data from Nielson SoundScan, the official sales reporting agency for the music industry. Overall, 73% of the artists saw a spike in the weeks before, during or after the performance. The data he collected can help artists and record labels to determine which late night shows most impact sales, as well as helping the programs’ talent bookers determine which artists and genres best motivate viewership gains. Ryan Mueller and Lucy Briggs worked with Toby Seay, Music Industry Professor, researching two different aspects related to the history and archiving of Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios, the foremost recording studio in Philly music history.

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