2015 • Alumni Spotlight

Inspiration • Creativity • Innovation • Passion

Jimmy Gownley
Name: Jimmy Gownley
Major: BA Studio Art, Journalism Minor
Grad Year: 1994
Occupation: Award Winning Comic Artist, Author, and Speaker
Employer:  Self-Employed

Jimmy Gownley knew exactly what he wanted out of his academic experience from the moment he arrived at Millersville University. Growing up in Girardville, Pennsylvania, he began publishing his own comics as a high school student and was selling his work at comic book stores prior to college. In order to fulfill his lifelong dream, he combined his studies in Art and Design with Journalism. His commitment to his studies was profound as he continued to develop his talents and refine his comic voice. Jimmy has been extremely successful in the field of comics and graphic novels winning numerous awards including: nomination for thirteen Eisner Awards, the comic book industry's highest honor; nominations for six Harvey Awards in the categories of Best Artist, Best Graphic album reprint, and Best Humor Publication; winner of the Cybil Award for best Graphic Novel for ages 12 and under for his publication Amelia Rules!; winner of the Pennsylvania Library Associations One Book Award; and The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular, True Things (Adults Don't Want Kids to Know) and The Meaning of Life ... and Other Stuff were all named Junior Library Guild selections. The publishing rights to Amelia Rules! were purchased by Simon & Schuster in 2008 and resulted in an 8-book deal with a re-publishing of the first four Amelia Rules! books. Amelia Rules! was followed by the creation of a weekly web strip until 2012 that featured the comic exploits of a Catholic School girl and her family, which garnered immediate attention and favorable reviews. The Dumbest Idea Ever was released in 2014 under the Scholastic/Graphix imprint. As an Artist-In-Residence at the Museum of Cartoon Art and The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center he was able to make connections that enabled him to work on projects for the 50th anniversary of the famous Peanuts Comic Strip. - December 2015

Inspiration • Creativity • Innovation • Passion

Name: Jesse Krimes

Major: BA Studio Art
Grad Year: 2008
Occupation: Artist
Employer: Self-Employed

Philadelphia-based artist Jesse Krimes holds a BA in Studio Art from Millersville University. Krimes is an independent artist and faculty member at University of Pennsylvania’s Social Justice Research Academy.  His work investigates the human condition to disentangle complex value systems and hierarchies, much like the work of a contemporary sociologist.  Krimes' most recent body of work, "Jesse Krimes:Deus ex Machina," will debut at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University in January 2016.  He has upcoming exhibitions with Amnesty International, Marian University, and Colorado College. His work "Purgatory", was included in the exhibition "Le bord des mondes" at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France. His vast multi-panel work "Apokaluptein:16389067" debuted at the Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University.  His poetry project, "Apocrypha:16389067," is published in The New School’s MFA Creative Writing Program’s LIT Journal.  He has presented at various venues, most recently at TEDx Philadelphia and Amnesty International's general assembly and re-launch of Art for Amnesty in New York.  Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site currently features "Apokaluptein:16389067:II" in its 2015 contemporary art installation program. - November 2015

Inspiration • Creativity • Innovation • Passion

Name:  Amanda McFaddenAmanda McFadden

Major:  BSE in Art Education
Grad Year:  2015
Occupation:  Art Educator
Employer:  E.L. Martin Elementary; Lancaster PA

Amanda McFadden, ’15, earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and a certification in Art. She was hired following graduation to work in the School District of Lancaster, where she completed both of her student teaching placements in the Spring of 2015. Amanda teaches Kindergarten and 1st, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at E.L. Martin Elementary. Amanda also works as a tutor at the STEAM after school program at Martin Elementary. When asked about her MU experience, Amanda said, “I am satisfied with the community and family created between students and staff. The ties aren't cut after graduation; it's the beginning of a great relationship with them as colleagues." - October 2015

Inspiration • Creativity • Innovation • Passion

Name:  Chris BavariaChristopher Bavaria

Major:  BA - Photography
Grad Year:  2008
Occupation:  Photojournalist & Faculty
Employer: Christipher Newport Univerity; Newport News VA

Photographer Chris Bavaria specializes in environmental portraiture and photojournalism. He graduated with a BA in Art from Millersville University and an MFA in documentary photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. A passionate traveler, Chris has visited every state in America, as well as most of Western Europe, Argentina, Chile, Egypt, South Africa, Japan, China, and Australia.  But so far, Iceland is his favorite place to photograph. “At every turn there is another waterfall or rainbow!” His photos have appeared in a wide range of media: Washington City Paper, AOL, Playboy Magazine, NPR, Alternative Press Magazine, AMP Magazine, Ghettoblaster Magazine, Effort Fanzine, Fight Magazine, Punknews.org, The Sentinel, The Lancaster New Era, Fly Magazine, The Patriot News, Platform Magazine, Harrisburg Magazine, Delaware Bride Magazine, and Hi-Fi Weddings. His clients include The Travel Channel, Brooklyn Vegan, State Street Strategies, The 401 Group, Colormake, A389 Recordings, and React! Records. - September 2015


Inspiration • Creativity • Innovation • Passion

Name: Lauren Nye

Major: BFA - Sculpture 
Grad Year: 2010
Occupation: Exhibitions Director
Employer: Susquehanna Art Museum (SAM); Harrisburg PA

Artist Lauren Nye is Exhibitions Director at the Susquehanna Art Museum (SAM) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Prior, she served as Art Program Director at Gallery360 and as Gallery Manager at Isadore Gallery, both in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Lauren graduated from Millersville University in 2010 in sculpture, with experience in bronze foundry metalworking.  She was selected as artist-in-residence for the Millersville sculpture studio and the Nyholm Foundation in Denmark. She has curated regional exhibitions for five years and assisted in sculpture installations both nationally and internationally.

Her interest in public art sparked the beginning of the SAM mural project, and she is currently coordinating the installation of an ambitious 1,400 sq. ft. outdoor mural in the Midtown district of Harrisburg. Recent speaking engagements include the 2015 PA Museums Conference at the State Museum of Pennsylvania and the 2015 Impact Arts Conference panel on the challenges of opening a successful art space. - August 2015

Inspiration • Creativity • Innovation • Passion

Name: Kira Dunleavy

Major:  BA - Interactive and Graphic Design
Grad Year: 2014
Occupation:  Interactive Production Specialist
Employer:  Rodale Inc.; Emmaus PA

Kira Dunleavy is an Interactive Production Specialist at Rodale Inc. She is located in the humble surroundings at Emmaus, Pa headquarters. She specifically works with the Interactive Development Team by preforming production functions and design for the creation of tablet and smartphone editions of Rodale magazines. These magazines include Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Prevention, Runner’s World, Bicycling, and Rodale's Organic Life. Men's Health has also received the App of the Year award from the Society of Publication Designs, which Kira helped contribute to. She also manages creative graphics and editorial content the iTunes store for all of these brands. Her interests in design vary from print, branding, and web design. She takes advantage of being back on her old stomping grounds and utilizes everything Rodale has to offer by participating in their healthy life style activities by joining running and biking groups. - June 2015

Inspiration • Creativity • Innovation • Passion

Name: Danielle James

Major  at MU: BFA - Metalsmithing + Jewelry 
Grad Year: 2010
Occupation: Program Coordinator
Employer: The Eureka Springs School of Art

Danielle James is a Delawarean, metalsmith, educator and avid curator of offbeat jewelry exhibitions. A recent graduate of the MFA Metals design program at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, she received her BFA in 2010, concentrating in metalsmithing/jewelry design at Millersville University. Chair of the 2013 East Carolina University “Material Topics” Metals Symposium (Making Marks) Danielle has taught her love of metalsmithing through workshops and teaching at her local community college. Her current body of work aims to celebrate the cultural narrative of America through re-imagining American made objects into story telling adornment. Her work can be seen internationally in One Wall Galleries SupBrooch and SMALT ve vytvarne tvorbe” (Enamel in Art: Historical and Current Technology) her other honors include Third place winner of The World Championship Belt Buckle Competition, 2014 first place winner of the Yuma Symposium Saw,File, Solder Races and most recently third place honor at “Handcrafted” at the Imperial Centre in Rocky Mount NC. - May 2015

Inspiration • Creativity • Innovation • Passion

Name: Aaron Chu

Major: BA - Graphic and Interactive Design
Grad Year: 2011
Occupation: Software Engineer
Employer: Apple Inc.

Aaron Chu (2011) is currently a software engineer at Apple. After his move to California, Aaron is focusing his readings on food culture, urban agriculture and the relationship between soil and ecology. His current design interest is in Universal Design, a design paradigm that promotes true inclusiveness; one that is not reserved for only people without disabilities. Aaron thinks the field of UX should expand towards and integrate with Universal Design to become a new form of UX that is more holistic and more human. 

In 2014, Aaron completed a foldable bed that requires only 6 pieces of cardboard while his original stackable cardboard bed from 2012 remains sturdy and continues to serve him daily for the third year. 

In 2015, Aaron will continue building eco-friendly furniture with cardboard. He is currently conceptualizing a design for a work desk. As his New Year resolution, Aaron plans to learn American Sign Language and Spanish. He also plans to start a small urban garden and to master a dozen recipes, with most of them being desserts. - April 2015

Inspiration • Creativity • Innovation • Passion

Name: Laura Abbott

Major: BFA/BSE in Art Education
Grad Year: 2012
Occupation: Capital Campaign Director
Employer: YorkArts; York PA

Laura Abbott, ’12, earned dual degrees at Millersville (BFA/BSE) and also completed a minor in Psychology. Laura is currently working as  the Capital Campaign Director for YorkArts. In that role, Laura is in charge of coordinating marketing and donor  relations, and overseeing YorkArts’ donor database. She also sits on the planning committees for numerous fundraising events. Laura has maintained her commit-ment to making art and is using skills gained at Millersville University to help the local artist community thrive via YorkArts. - March 2015