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 so that they can participate.

The 2016 Connect Program starts Monday, August 15 and ends Wednesday, August 24 before New Student Orientation programming starts.

Meet the Peer Mentors!

Check out the AAP Facebook Page for photos.

TENTATIVE Overview for Connect 2016:
Please note: This schedule is tentative and is subject to change. 


-Check in/Move in.
-Welcome Dinner/ Movie night.


-Placement test & Reading Assessment.
-Trip to the Barnes Foundation.


-Strategic Writing & Reading I.
-Bucket Drumming.
-Art Studio.
-Optional: Spruce St. Harbor Park Roller Skating.


-Strategic Writing & Reading II.
-Photo + Identity/Critical thinking.
-Journaling with Patch.
-Optional: Coffee Night.


-Strategic Writing & Reading III.
-My Map/Digital Tools.
-Professional Practice for Artist.
-Optional: Walnut St. Walk & Shop- free movie screening. 


-Team Building + High Ropes Course.


-NYC Trip + Broadway Show.


-Theater Play.
-Singing/Song Writing.
-Creative Process/ Making it at UArts. 
-Work on final presentaion. 
-Optional: Lucky Strike Bowling or Capogiro. 


-My UArts Philly Presentation.
-Global Dance.
-Group Photo.
-Picnic & Karaoke Dance Party. 


-Celebration Breakfast.
-Student Mixer. 



// 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 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.

// Bucket Drumming

Workshop Presenter: Jason Chuong 

Jay Chuong is a senior lecturer for the MAT program at the University of the Arts. He teaches the graduate-level course entitled “Alternative Ensembles,” which discusses inner-city education, lesson planning and using an alternative ensemble as tool to achieve educational goals.

Jay is also a full-time Class Instrumental (itinerant) Music Teacher for the School District of Philadelphia. He provides small group instrumental music lessons in multiple schools throughout the week and has taught in over 18 different Philadelphia public schools in the past three years. He teaches grades 3-12 in some of the most challenging neighborhoods in Philadelphia with a $100 budget. He is actively involved with advocating for quality Arts Education programs in the Philadelphia public schools. His ingenuity and advocacy efforts have been recognized by President Barack Obama, Arne Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association for Music Education, and the School District of Philadelphia.

Jay also performs professionally as a jazz drummer in the Philadelphia area. He has performed in many theaters, clubs, festivals, and he frequently performs with the three-time Grammy nominated Brazilian-Jazz band Minas. Jay is a member of the Pennsylvania Music Education Association (PMEA) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). He holds a Pennsylvania Instructional II Teaching Certificate in Music K-12. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with an MAT in Music Education degree and a BM in Jazz Drum Set Performance degree.In November 2011, the U.S. Department of Education created a short film pertaining to Jason Chuong’s work.


// Art Studio

Workshop Presenter: Veronica Cianfrano

Veronica Cianfrano is a multimedia artist who has been examining "the communication break down" through photographic images and memories of her familial ties and through our current reliance on digital communication. Her work serves as a display for these vignettes of examination whether it be through memory decay, new meanings found in old footage, or the effects of the news media on our state of mind. Since receiving her MFA from the University of the Arts in 2010, Veronica Cianfrano has served as both Co-Founder and Curator for Manifesto-ish and Champions of Empty Rooms. She has also served as a Mentor and Teacher for pre-college and college level art students as well as professional artists. 


// 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."


// Digital Tools

Workshop Presenter: April Read

April Read is the Assistant Director in International Student Programs. At the University of the Arts, she enjoys administrative, teaching, and design duties. Part of her responsibilities includes organizing Culture Vultures; a program that arranges for students to see important cultural events, art exhibitions, and performances in Philadelphia and New York. She also helps to organize and promote ISP’s student exhibitions and performances. As an instructor in ESLI (English as a Second Language Institute) she has taught Reading, Writing, Film, and a creativity building course she developed called Journal Power Hour.

April received her BFA in Illustration in 2010. As a freelance artist, she specializes in promotional materials with a fondness for performance event posters.


// Journal Lecture 

Workshop Presenter: Christian Patchell

I am a cartoonist, illustrator, designer and all around art monkey. I have lived in Philly my entire life and truly love this city. I divide my time between making art, teaching and collaborating with the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society. My art has appeared on everything from comic books to greeting cards.

Theory on art: "Monsters & Robots make everything better." I live in a tree house on the top of the highest hill with my lovely girlfriend, and we make pictures.  ArtByPatch.com >>


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