About Gateway

Gateway was the community newsletter of Pratt Institute published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement through spring 2014. For current Pratt-related news, visit the News page on Pratt’s website.


Staff Focus

Jessica Tallman, M.P.S.
Arts and Cultural Management ’10

Director, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving


Describe what it is you do as director of alumni relations and annual giving at Pratt.
My job is to engage Pratt alumni and keep them connected to the Institute.  We start with current students and continue to celebrate alumni through 50th reunions and beyond.  My team of six meets with hundreds of alumni face-to-face; we host events around the country; we keep the alumni site alumni.pratt.edu fresh with new information; and we raise support for Pratt through alumni giving to The Fund for Pratt. 

When did you start, and what background did you bring to this position?
I started at Pratt in 2008.  I began my career in development as the assistant director of alumni and parent programs at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where I fostered lasting relationships between the university and current students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I developed a highly successful alumni relations stewardship program and participated in strategic planning and implementation of Reunion Weekend. I was also responsible for the university’s key $700,000 annual fundraising program and served as a staff coordinator for the university’s $200 million campaign.

You earned your master of professional studies with distinction in May 2010 while working full-time in your present position.  Has becoming an alumna yourself made a difference in your role at Pratt?
I am proud to be an alumna of Pratt and it gave me important perspective on the alumni experience. The Pratt community is very loyal and alumni are always happy to hear that we share a Pratt experience.

Have you taken new measures to find and involve “lost” alumni? 
Finding “lost” alumni was an immediate priority when I arrived at Pratt. We worked closely with our Operations team to locate over 15,000 alumni mailing addresses, over 6,000 alumni phone numbers, and nearly 10,000 email addresses. Our first step to involve them was reaching out. The new electronic Gateway has three times the former print circulation and Prattfolio is now mailed overseas. Taken together, the annual circulation of these publications has more than doubled. We have had a great response from alumni who are happy to be reconnected. 

So far, what do you consider your major accomplishment in promoting alumni relations at Pratt?
The recent launch of the Pratt Institute Alumni Association has been a major accomplishment. Alumni should check the mail for the new membership card which is free and will be mailed annually. The Alumni Association offers exclusive access to alumni.pratt.edu, free entry to several New York City museums, and more. New benefits and discounts are being added, so enjoy the new card and stay tuned for more.

What is the most challenging aspect of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at Pratt?
The most challenging aspect is reviving alumni support of Pratt through annual gifts to The Fund for Pratt. Our key message is that you don’t have to make a large gift to make a big difference, and alumni are responding. In just two years, the number of gifts from Pratt alumni has increased 60%. We are thankful that Pratt alumni are showing their commitment to Pratt’s continued success.

What can Pratt alumni look forward to next?
Pratt’s 125th Anniversary Kick-Off is October 1–2, 2011.  It is a weekend for alumni, students, faculty, families, and friends. We are excited for the opportunity for the entire Pratt community to celebrate Pratt. Save the dates!

What do you do for fun?
I’m a foodie and I’m always exploring Brooklyn restaurants.

Photo: Kevin Wick




A number of Pratt faculty members participated in the 99th Annual 2011 College Art Association Conference from February 9–12. This conference is designed to unite major artists, scholars, and professionals to elaborate on the core concepts behind visual art. 

Eva Díaz, assistant professor, History of Art and Design, spoke on “The Evidence of Things Not Seen: From Document to Site in the Work of McCallum/Tarry” as part of the “Imagining Art History in Proximity of Race” program on February 10. Shirley Kaneda, professor, Fine Arts, and Suzanne McClelland, visiting associate professor, Fine Arts, participated in “Studio Art Open Session: Abstract Painting at 100” on February 10. Anita Cooney, chair, Interior Design, and Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, acting chair, Fashion Design, chaired “Studio Art Open Session: Green and Sustainable Art” during which Rachel Miller, visiting instructor, Fashion Design, spoke on the topic of “Transient Interconnection” on February 11. Sheila Pepe, special assistant to the dean for academic affairs, Art and Design, spoke on the topic of “Rehearsal for the End of Ephemera” as part of the February 11 “Performative Tendencies” program. Hazel Siegel, visiting assistant professor, Interior Design, co-chaired a Studio Art Open Session titled “Textiles and Social Sculpture” on February 12. Jim Costanzo, adjunct associate professor, Fine Arts and Media Arts, spoke on February 12 about “The Second Whiskey Rebellion: A Distillation of the American Spirit” as part of the “Dark Matter of the Art World, Part II” program. Ayreen Anastas, visiting assistant professor, Undergraduate Architecture, participated in an in-depth conversation with Jaleh Mansoor of Ohio University.

Fine Arts faculty members Allan Frame, adjunct associate professor; Donna Moran, chair; and Kit White, assistant professor, were selected to feature work at the New York Academy of Art, as part of “Put Up or Shut Up,” a group showing of faculty and student artists from prestigious M.F.A. programs in the greater New York Area. The goal of this inaugural exhibition is to engage in the discourse between teacher and student, reflecting the challenges and growth presented to each as a result of their pedagogical relationship. The show ran concurrently with the 2011 College Art Association (CAA) conference and the 7th CAA New York Area M.F.A. Exhibition at Hunter College. “Put Up or Shut Up” runs through March 6.

L-R: Donn Albright and author Ray Bradbury. Photo: Elizabeth AlbrightDonn Albright, professor, Undergraduate Communications/Package Design, continued his 37th year working as bibliographer, archivist, and editor for iconic science fiction writer Ray Bradbury. He recently visited Bradbury, accompanied by his daughter Elizabeth Albright (Pratt ’14), who snapped a photograph of the two unlikely friends.

Melissa Barrett, assistant chair, Digital Arts, adjunct instructor, Digital Arts and Fine Arts, is leaving Pratt to pursue her art work.

Jeff Bellantoni, chair, Graduate Communications/Package Design, authored the article “Kinetic Typography,” which was recently published in The McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology 2011 (McGraw-Hill Professional, 2010). Bellantoni is included among international leaders in the science and technology industry, adding to the text’s longstanding history.

Jim Costanzo, adjunct associate professor, Fine Arts; Media Arts, spoke as a panelist at “Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture” at Parsons The New School For Design on February 10. The talk was both a book launch for Gregory Sholette’s new work of the same title, and a discussion about non-commercial and collective art. Costanzo will also perform at the book launch on behalf of New York’s Aaron Burr Society. 

Deborah Gans, professor, Undergraduate Architecture, recently praised the text Architecture From the Inside Out—From the Body, the Senses, the Site and the Community 2E (John Wiley & Sons, 2007).  

Sheila Goloborotko, 108 Ways to Connect , 2011, porcelain. Photo: Courtesy of the artist Sheila Goloborotko, visiting instructor, Associate Degree Programs, was awarded a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Regrant Program for her work in advancing printmaking through her studio educational workshop series “Hands and Eyes on Printmaking.” Goloborotko exhibited works in the group show “Sculpted Memory” at Rush Arts Gallery in Manhattan and will have work on display at “Crossing Disciplines: Books” at Pratt’s Rubelle and Norman Schafler Gallery through March 9. 

Bob Gill, adjunct associate professor, Graduate Communications/Package Design, had a design referenced in the new project “Similarities” by fellow artist Bob Caruthers. Caruthers paired images that suggest Gill’s work had been repurposed: Gill’s 1962 black-ink design was juxtaposed with a concert poster from 2009 for the folk group “Death Vessel” that bears a resemblance to his. The assembled works, including Gill’s, are featured in Eye magazine.

Tom Healey, visiting instructor, Humanities and Media Studies, was selected to participate in The Library of Congress’s spring “Poetry at Noon” program. Healy will read selected poems on the theme “Away From Home” on May 24 in the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. 

Bill Hochhausen, professor, Foundation Art, exhibited his piece Day Lilies and Old Maple at the semi-annual Members’ Exhibit at Rockland Center for the Arts in West Nyack, New York. 

Gregg Horowitz, chair, Social Science and Cultural Studies, lectured at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee on January 31 on the topic of the changing authority of art in the contemporary age. 

Debera Johnson (B.I.D. ’86), academic director of sustainability and visiting associate professor, Graduate Center for Planning, recently spoke at Compostmodern, a two-day conference in San Francisco devoted to exploring different ways in which designers can help create a sustainable future. Johnson discussed the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation, which she founded, and her efforts to produce students’ innovations in the real world. Johnson’s participation in Compostmodern was featured in articles online by Living Principles, CNET, and idea couture.

Sophie Kahn, Body/Traces, 2009, digital stop-motion 3-D animation composed of thousands of 3-D laser scans.Sophie Kahn, visiting associate professor, Digital Arts, showed her long-running work Body/Traces as part of Dance New Amsterdam’s Frameworks festival on February 13. Body/Traces is a digital stop-motion 3-D animation composed of thousands of 3-D laser scans, made with a DIY laser scanner made from LEGO, which originated from a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Dance Movies commission in 2008–2009.

Dave Kim, visiting instructor, Humanities & Media Studies, participated in the long-running performance art piece “Identical Lunch” at The Museum of Modern Art, created by the Fluxus movement and led by its director, Alison Knowles. The piece consisted of 12 strangers coming together to eat an identical meal in a surreal environment. The performance evolved from casual meetings of the Fluxus art group that began in the 1960s.

Artist and Pratt Professor Emeritus Michael Knigin passed away on January 19 after a long battle with lung cancer. Knigin studied printmaking at Pratt and continued to teach at the Institute for over 40 years.  He was a pioneer of the digital computer art revolution and his work appeared in countless exhibitions worldwide. Knigin is survived by his wife, artist Joan Kraisky, of East Hampton.

Lara Kohl, adjunct assistant professor, Digital Arts, exhibited her works Once Upon A Time, Yesterday as part of the group show “Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven,” an exhibition presented by the Bureau of Open Culture at Canzani Gallery at the Columbus College of Art and Design. The exhibition runs through March 12.

Manuel Miranda, visiting assistant professor, Graduate Communications/Package Design, co-designed the recent exhibition “Cartoon Polymaths” at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design. The exhibition looks at the work of six cartoonists from the last century. The works are on view until April 15. 

Mario Naves, visiting instructor, Continuing and Professional Studies, was honored by the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah with a Distinguished Alumni Award for his accomplishments in art and art criticism. Earlier this year, Naves was awarded a $12,000 grant from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Naves’s works on paper recently appeared in a solo exhibition at Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York City.

Rob O’Neill, adjunct assistant professor and acting director of the Pratt Digital Arts Research Lab, will be leaving Pratt for a position at DreamWorks Animation as a lead character technical director in the Glendale, California studio.

Sheila Pepe, special assistant to the dean for academic affairs, Art and Design, featured work alongside Katy Heinlein and Halsey Rodman at Sue Scott Gallery in Manhattan in an exhibition, titled “A Room, In Three Movements.” Pepe’s work, A Mutable Thing, a large-scale sculpture made from silk, cotton, and metallic thread will morph and relocate during the show’s run through February 27. Pepe spoke about her piece in a gallery talk held on February 6. She also exhibited work, titled Common Sense In Boston, in the interactive group show “Common Sense and Other Things,” which ran through February 19 at Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston.

Vanessa Rocco, adjunct assistant professor, History of Art and Design, authored the soon-to-be-released book The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870s through the 1960s (University of Michigan Press, 2011) with Elizabeth Otto. The book explores film and photography as sites of gender construction. A celebration of Rocco’s new book, featuring presentations by distinguished faculty from several New York City colleges, took place at Pratt Manhattan Gallery on February 11.

John Shapiro, chair, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, was influential in passing a development proposal for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Shapiro was retained to advise the community board to adopt guidelines that call for affordable and market-priced residential units, retail space, open space, and options for a school and theater. 

On January 27, Petra Todorovich, visiting assistant professor, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, regarding the future of high-speed rail in the Northeast. Speaking on behalf of the Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility, a coalition of over 30 leading business and civic groups from Boston to Washington, D.C., Todorovich advocated rail services to boost the economy. 

Ellen Wallenstein, adjunct associate professor, Film/Video and Photography, was interviewed by Progressive Radio Network about her project “80+: Respecting My Elders,” a series of photographic portraits of older people in their own environments.  The conversation with host Virginia Reed appeared in a segment, titled “A Woman’s Perspective,” and will be archived on the station’s website for future listeners. 

Beth Warshafsky, adjunct professor, Foundation Art, art directed the post-production of interactive video installations at the “President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation” exhibition in Independence Mall, Philadelphia. The videos feature the nine slaves and servants of George and Martha Washington, providing first-person accounts of their experiences.