AAP Connect Program


New AAP students participate in this special orientation program, which is scheduled nine days before the general New Student Orientation. The Connect Program jump starts the college experience for AAP students with academic and professional development workshops, team building activities, and cultural and social events. There is no charge for the Connect Program. AAP students are permitted to move into the Residence Halls early on Monday, August 17 so that they can participate. The 2015 Connect Program starts Monday, August 17 and ends Wednesday, August 26 before New Student Orientation programming starts.

Meet the Peer Mentors!

Check out the AAP Facebook Page for photos.

Click here for a TENTATIVE schedule for Connect 2015.
Please note: This schedule is tentative and is subject to change. All evening events in purple on the schedule are optional.


// Theatre Play
A series of group exercises and interactive theater exercises and games designed to acquaint and entertain incoming Academic Achievement Program students.

Workshop Presenter: Kristen Schier, BFA '00 (Acting)
Faculty, University of the Arts
Artistic Director, The Philly N Crowd

Kristen Schier is a teacher at the University of the Arts as well as a performer, instructor and Improv Producer at the Philly Improv Theater. She is also the Artistic Director of The Philly N Crowd, which performs weekly improv shows at The Actor's Center.  She has taught improv for Delaware Theater Company, Drexel University, and The Actor's Center. Kristen has a B.F.A. in Theater Arts from the University of the Arts and has been working in Philly as a professional actor, improviser and teacher for several years. As an actor she has worked with Commonwealth Classic Theater Company, Shakespeare in Clark Park, and Ego Po. She has appeared in many productions including the originally created Art of War, which received a Barrymore Nomination for Outstanding Ensemble. Kristen has also studied clowning intensively with Virginia Scott and Giovanni Fusetti. She has studied improv at The Second City, the Annoyance Theater in Chicago and the Magnet Theater in NYC.

// Singing/Songwriting Workshop

Workshop Presenter: Nicole Tranquillo, BM '08 (Vocal Performance)
Faculty & Ensemble Director, University of the Arts
Singer-songwriter, SONGS Music Publishing
Lead Vocalist/Co-band Leader, Melanie Rice Entertainment

At age 25, Nicole Grace Tranquillo has already built an international name for herself. It was during her extensive training at UArts that she became a Top 12 Girls finalist and cast member on American Idol, Season 6.  After her time on American Idol ended, she finished school and from there began to pursue her music career.  While teaching at various music studios, and serving as an Adjunct Professor at The University of the Arts, Tranquillo started to work on her solo project with producers such as Noizetrip (Fergie, Pink, Black Eyed Peas), Dre and Vidal (Usher, Ciara, Michael Jackson), Devo Springsteen (Kanye West), Phatboi (John Legend, Rick Ross), and Dot Da Genius (Kid Cudi), among others.  Tranquillo has collaborated in the studio with Gift of Gab (Quannum Projects/Cornerstone RAS) and has worked in the studio with John Legend (Atlantic Records).  While performing her original music in the Philadelphia and New York area, she was given the opportunity to be an opening act for such artists as The Roots, Wale, and Snoop Dogg.  After 3 laborious years of traveling, writing, and recording, Tranquillo landed a song placement deal with a Pop artist in Japan whose album will feature “Shockwave”, a song written by Nicole and produced by Right Hook Productions.  Tranquillo is currently an active songwriter, performer, and teacher in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

// Art Studio

Workshop Presenter: TBA

// Global Dance Celebration
The Dunya Performing Arts Company, directed by R. Jeannine Osayande, performs an expansive repertoire featuring selections of music and dance from West Africa, the Caribbean and Brazil. Their program weaves the audience on a captivating journey that includes audience participation, performance and history. As part of our celebration of life, Dunya has served as a performing arts educational resource throughout the country and internationally.

Workshop Presenter: R. Jeannine Osayande
Founder, Dunya Performing Arts Company

R. Jeannine Osayande is committed to exploring art through all aspects of life. She is a performer, educator and choreographer of West African (Old Mali Empire) and Brazilian (Samba & Bahian) dance. She is founder and director of Dunya Performing Arts Company, specializing in Artist-In-Residence programs throughout the Tri-state area, and a principle dancer with Alo’ Brasil, A highly acclaimed Philadelphia based Brazilian dance band. Ms Osayande has performed throughout the U.S. and internationally for over 23 years including; Lincoln Center OOD festival, Dance Africa / Brooklyn Academy of Music, WXPN World Cafe Live, International Exchange Program; Dakar, Senegal, and as a guest touring/teaching artist with Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad, India. In addition to her teaching at UArts, Jeanine is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Bryn Mawr College, an Artist in Residence at Swarthmore College and a certified Dale Carnegie trainer. Osayande adheres to the African Proverb, "Good dancing restores the community to wholeness."

INTERESTED? Contact our office!
//  215.717.6818 (t)
//  aap@uarts.edu (e)