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2013 is better than ever
1/23/2013 8:18:00 AM by PCA&D



Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is well-known for its creative and influential engagement with the community. The night of February 23 was no exception.

The fifth annual, 24-hour Designathon wrapped up as teams of students presented newly-created solutions to the marketing challenges of area nonprofits.


As students made their presentations, there were often audible reactions of approval from the audience, comprised of representatives of the nonprofits, alumni, Designathon team members, and other PCA&D staff and friends.


Tears flowed down the cheeks of two nonprofit members who were so touched and impressed with the solutions our students created for them. When each of the Designathon teams re-convened with their nonprofits for the group photos, there were hugs all around and heartfelt appreciation expressed by each nonprofit.


Click here to see group photos of PCA&D teams with representatives from each nonprofit organization, and one sample of the work the students created for them.


You can see photos as the 24-hour creative marathon unfolded on our Facebook wall.


Very soon, we'll be posting group photos from Saturday night and samples of work completed by our Designathon teams.  Keep watching this news page and our Facebook wall for udpates.


About PCA&D's Designathon: For 24 hours straight, dedicated students and faculty from PCA&D’s graphic design and illustration departments create concepts for marketing pieces, such as logos, websites and brochures. 


Students who participate in Designathon are members of PCA&D's chapter of the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), the professional association for design.  This project is a big part of the fulfillment of their goals as AIGA members.


At the start of Designathon, teams comprised of dedicated students and faculty meet with nonprofits to discuss creative concepts.  Then, over the next 23 hours, these teams create marketing pieces.

See our YouTube video that shows Designathon from a past year.

The nonprofit clients in 2013 included Aaron’s Acres; Downtown Ephrata, Inc.; Junior Achievement of Central Pennsylvania; North Star Initiative; Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center; Special Olympics (Lancaster County); Water Street Ministries, and three charitable organizations through the Ephrata National Bank.


To date, Designathon has linked PCA&D with two dozen nonprofits serving more than 200,000 people in Lancaster County.  At the end of this article, see the full list of nonprofits we've worked with.

Pam Barby, chair of PCA&D's graphic design department and assistant professor, coordinates Designathon.

This year, she was joined by her fellow PCA&D faculty members for the 24-hour gig: Robert Hochgertel, chair of PCA&D's Illustration department and associate professor; Charles Beyl, assistant professor in the Illustration and Graphic Design departments; Brian Gunzenhauser, assistant professor in the Illustration and Graphic Design departments; Tom Bejgrowicz, instructor in the Graphic Design department; PCA&D alumna and admissions counselor Gretchen Schwartz '07; Linda Forte, adjunct instructor in the Graphic Design department; Jonathan Yeager '04, PCA&D alumnus and adjunct instructor in the Graphic Design and Illustration departments; and Bill Dussinger, adjunct instructor in the Graphic Design and Illustration departments.

Dedicated students who participated in 2013 (in alphabetical order) were Nicholas Belcher '13 GD; Socheata Chhun '15 GD; Stephanie Choy '15 GD; Elizabeth Cleaves '13 IL; Lisa DeAngelo '13 GD; Tom Dombrosky '14 GD; Danielle Farrell '14 GD; Jordan Heisey '14 GD; Samantha Heller '14 GD; Brittney Hippensteel '14 GD; Meagan Kelso '13 GD; Courtney Lynn '14 GD; Patrick Mendoza '13 GD (AIGA student chapter president); Jessica Messerschmidt '13 GD; Emily McKelvey IL '15; Holly Press '14 GD; Kathryn Smith '14 GD; Mindy Tang '13 GD; Rudolph Gene Testa '13 GD; Kaitlyn Trout '14 GD; Nick Velardi '13 GD; and Christa Zinner '13 GD.


Team T-shirts this year were designed by senior graphic design major Meagan Kelso (shown below).  (And read more about our graphic design program at PCA&D.)



You can see many of the faculty, students and reps from participating nonprofits from last year’s Designathon in PCA&D’s ad in the holiday 2012 issue of figLancaster magazine.  Click here.
Read about Designathon from years past: 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.



Students gain real-world experience in creating projects for clients, and learn parameters imposed by tight budgets and tighter deadlines. Students also learn that non-profits have very real marketing needs in order to be successful, and strong graphic design is a vital component in any comprehensive communications and marketing plan.

Nonprofit organizations that participate gain professional level-products that they otherwise might not be able to afford. And the students forge new relationships with each organization, thus ensuring a spirit of community mindedness.


Here’s a list of all the nonprofits PCA&D has worked with since our first Designathon in 2009:

Project Access Lancaster County (PALCO)
Manos House 
Downtown Ephrata, Inc.  
Compass Mark
Gifts that Give Hope Lancaster 

Ephrata Performing Arts Center  
Heritage Center Museums 
Lancaster Area Habitat for Humanity  
Neighborhood Services 
Welsh Mountain Health Centers

Milagro House 
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lancaster
Fulton Theatre 
Milagro House 
Paradise Township Lions Club
Heritage Center of Lancaster County  
Institute for Children & Families 
Rumschpringe Short Film Festival

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lancaster 
Junior Achievement of Central PA 
City of Lancaster, Neighborhood Issues 
Janus School     
Big 33 Scholarship Foundation   
Lancaster Spina Bifida Resource





















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