Penn State Harrisburg to welcome Penn State Laureate Rebecca Strzelec

March 28, 2017

Rebecca Strzelec, professor of visual arts at Penn State Altoona and Penn State laureate for the 2016-17 academic year, will visit Penn State Harrisburg at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 6, in 118 Science and Technology Building, at Penn State Harrisburg.

Strzelec has been a Penn State faculty member since 2002 and is head of the degree program in visual art studies at Penn State Altoona. Her work focuses on investigating the ways wearable objects interact with the surfaces of the body and includes the creation of these wearable objects through computer aided design (CAD) and rapid prototyping or 3D printing. 

Her work has appeared in more than 65 museum exhibitions nationally and internationally and can be found in the permanent collections at such institutions as the Museum of Arts and Design, Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin, and the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, as well as in private collections, such as that held by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Strzelec is currently a co-principal investigator on a four-year, $2 million National Science Foundation grant focusing on multi-field responsive origami structures, and she was a 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Research and Creative Activity Award from Penn State Altoona. In 2009 Strzelec was named a Penn State Alumni Associate Teaching Fellow. She also served as chair of SIGGRAPH 2012 in Los Angeles, an annual conference showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Strzelec said her speaking engagements as laureate will range in scale and subject, from intimate “show and tell” talks where audience members can touch and wear her work and other precious objects from her many collections, to critique sessions with art and design students, and large public lectures focused on the relationship between tradition and technology.

The Penn State Laureate is an annual faculty honor established in 2008 to bring greater visibility to the arts, the humanities, the honoree’s work, and the University. The Laureate brings an enhanced level of social, cultural, artistic, and human perspective and awareness to a broad array of audiences.  The annual honoree is a full-time faculty member who is assigned half-time to serve as the University Laureate for one academic year. The Laureate appears regularly at events throughout Pennsylvania.

For more information about the Penn State Laureate, visit

Last Updated March 28, 2017