Career & Alumni Highlights
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Employers hire Thomas Jefferson University graduates for their unparalleled skill-set and their ability to hit-the-ground running from day one, including:
Selected Alumni Highlights
TJU alumni are leading in all areas of the fashion industry, check out a couple selected stories to see where you might be in a few years.
Mike Ternosky - Distinguished Alumn
Mike Ternosky ’00, is head designer for the influential OBEY Clothing brand, which specializes in progressive design in apparel and classic streetwear.
Growing up skateboarding and surfing in Avalon, N.J., Ternosky came to Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) to study fashion design. After graduating, this combination of interests led him to California, where in 2000 he helped establish OBEY Clothing as an offshoot of the work of Shepard Fairey, the famed artist known for his iconic "Hope" poster of President Obama. With Ternosky, he creates designs that represent his influences, ideals and philosophy.
"I had a real passion for the punk-rock, streetwear aesthetic," Ternosky told Jefferson students during a campus visit. He also talked about the importance of having true passion for their work and making sure they have the building blocks to succeed.
"I learned key technical things at this school," Ternosky said of Jefferson. "A strong foundation is essential."
He received the University’s prestigious Spirit of Design Award at the 2016 Fashion Show.
Alicia Pickney - Distinguished alum
Alicia Pickney ’13, is a Jordan Global Men’s Apparel Designer for Nike. She is also founder of Black Talent in Design & Fashion Fund
Alicia was born and raised in Philadelphia to a family with a great appreciation for art and music. From an early age, Alicia used creativity as an outlet to express herself and decided that she wanted a career in fashion. Alicia chose to pursue her undergraduate education at Thomas Jefferson University because of its small class sizes and attention to developing proper technical skills. In her time at the school, Alicia participated in multiple runway competitions and was an active member of the Black Retail Action Group (BRAG) on campus, an organization which connects black students and industry professionals to create a network of support through internship and networking opportunities. After a short time working in New York City, Alicia decided she was not fulfilled and was ready for a new challenge. She was awarded a scholarship through Vogue Italia to study for her Master’s degree in Italy at the Domus Academy. From there, Alicia has worked for numerous Italian brands as well as Timberland’s Switzerland division and Adidas in the United States.
Morgan Fitzpatrick - '21
Morgan is an Assistant Apparel Designer at QVC. During her time at Jefferson, she interned at QVC and Under Armour allowing her to gain ample experience to accept an assistant designer role at QVC during the fall semester of her senior year. Her grandmother taught her how to sew at a young age and the love for creating art has never ended. Throughout her years in secondary school, she attended pre-college courses and many sewing classes to build her skills in preparation for attending Jefferson. During her time at Jefferson, she was an active member of the Ramettes dance team and was able to fulfill her passion of dance again. Morgan’s advocacy for the environment plays a big role in her design aesthetic and is always experimenting with new ways to create sustainable collections.
Miaysha Horshaw -'20
Miaysha Horshaw, class of 2020, is the owner and operator of her own fashion company, known as MUSE BRND. Founded in 2016, She created her unorthodox brand as a testament to the environment in which she grew up in, Philadelphia. She uses the skills she learned at Jefferson to navigate the fashion industry on her own, creating a brand growing in worldwide notoriety by the day.
“The curriculum was very well rounded and industry focused which helped me feel comfortable creating my brand while still enrolled at the university and even more ready once I graduated. Every day I am faced with obstacles that I know how to tackle with my knowledge from the program. I appreciate the balance of industry and art that the fashion design program provided me.”
Vanessa Fath - ’19
Vanessa Fath ’19 is an associate designer for womenswear at Jetty, the most notable surf and skate apparel brand on the East Coast. Growing up with a background in sewing, Vanessa wanted to study fashion at a top school with reputable faculty. As a BS Fashion Design student at Thomas Jefferson University, Vanessa’s senior collection was shown at an Emerging Designer Fashion Show at NYFW. After graduation, she took a job designing for PVH as a knitwear designer before deciding to return to the university for her MS in International Fashion Design Management. As part of her Masters capstone project, Vanessa, under the mentorship of Valentina Rainone- CFO of Marni, developed a sustainable business model with Italian designer brand, Marni. Her project is valued to offer the brand additional profits of approximately $500,000 during its first year of incorporating the Business Model.
Since graduating with her MS, Vanessa enjoys combining her love of fashion and surf culture by designing womenswear for the New Jersey based surf and skate company, Jetty.
Brittany DeColli - '16
Brittany Decolli ’16 is a Product Development Manager for Women’s Retail Leather Goods at Coach, working in the new Hudson Yards area in NYC. Brittany landed a job at Coach only three months after graduating through a good friend that is also a Thomas Jefferson University Fashion Design Alum. In her role as Product Development Manager, Brittany uses the foundational knowledge she received at the school as a framework to build upon as she advances in her career. Since August 2016, Brittany has helped develop product for two Runway Shows, four Look Books, and four Retail Collections. She has even had the opportunity to work on some more special-edition campaigns, such as the “Dark Disney” line launched by the brand in 2018.
Brittany chose to study Fashion Design at Thomas Jefferson University for a number of reasons. Course material and the overall design curriculum excited Brittany, as did the opportunity to study abroad her junior year in Rome. The Fashion Design faculty was another big factor in Brittany’s decision to study here. Faculty mentors with industry experience, as well as a well-connected Career Services Department, provide expert knowledge and support so that students can graduate and be ready to succeed in the fashion industry.
Nicole Murphy - '15
Nicole Murphy ’15 is the Program Coordinator for the Fashion Design Department at Thomas Jefferson University. Immediately following graduation, Nicole was hired by Destination Maternity, a maternity clothing company that was the world’s largest designer of maternity apparel at the time. There, she spent four years designing swim, sweaters, and knit tops as an associate designer for their contemporary brand A Pea in the Pod. In fall 2019, she left that role to pursue other opportunities, and stumbled upon an open Program Coordinator position at her alma mater. Through her continued correspondence and networking with the program and its faculty since graduation, Nicole was brought on to support the Fashion Design team. In her role as Program Coordinator, she assists the department in organizing industry opportunities; event planning, including the annual fashion show & senior fashion film; social media planning & outreach; and departmental planning & scheduling. She constantly exercises the strong time management and organizational skills she developed during her undergraduate years at Jefferson in this role. In her free-time, Nicole continues to practice her design skills and creativity through freelance fashion or floral design opportunities.
Christine Michalek - '13
Christine Michalek ’13 is a Senior Product Developer at Under Armour in Hong Kong. She began her post-college career at the company as an assistant technical designer working on professional international soccer and rugby uniforms at the company’s Baltimore, MD headquarters. Her early experience at Under Armour also saw her working on the Olympics product category, where she worked on a variety of products including Olympic sport uniforms, retail product, and even Virgin Galactic space kits. Managing the development of such a wide range of products has allowed Christine to partner closely with Under Armour’s Innovation Center and specialize using 3D pattern software. Her experience has allowed her to travel the globe fitting top focused performer athletes, including Lindsey Vonn and the US boxing, bobsled, and speedskating teams, as well as attending memorable events such has the Rio and PyeongChang Olympics. Christine is even listed as a designer on a patent for the US Longtrack Speedskating team uniform!
Christine is currently living in Hong Kong and manages a team of developers in the APAC Under Armour headquarters focused on product categories ranging from graphic tees to technical outerwear and is responsible for fit for the global and Asian markets. She continues to work closely with Baltimore based partners at Under Armour in leading new initiatives within supply chain and training apparel/ accessories vendors across southeast Asia.
Christine credits Thomas Jefferson University’s fashion design program for teaching her to be adaptable and problem solve creatively, skills she finds necessary for success in her job. The real-world collaborative experience and mix of creative and technical training offered through Thomas Jefferson University’s fashion design program prepared her for industry success and innovation.