Year of the Dragon: October 2012


Celebrating Dragons Giving Back!
During this global month of service, we will recognize our alumni who are active members in their communities. Community service is a key initiative for the University and we celebrate those who share our passion for giving back.

Dragons Giving BackDragons Giving Back!

Alumni Community Service Stories

The Alumni Association celebrated giving back by tracking and sharing the community service that Drexel alumni are providing to their communities.

Alumni were invited to share their stories of service and highlight organizations being helped by alumni throughout the month.

There's still time to share your story!

Check out some of the volunteer efforts Drexel alumni are making in their own communities:

Drexel Alumni Organizations & Stories
Suzanne Anderson '06
Philadelphia, PA
Aid for Friends
Aid for Friends is an organization that provides food and friendship to elderly shut ins. Volunteers visit and bring meals. I make breakfasts bags and baked goods as well as donate other necessities. It is a wonderful community organization. It is very rewarding to work with the elderly who are so often unseen and forgotten.

Neighborhood Parenting Program
I also served on the advisory board of the Neighborhood Parenting Program in Fishtown for 5 years. This organization provides playgroups and other activities for parents and children birth through 5. I started with this program as a parent to connect with other parents. It is great to be able to give back to an organization that was important to me.

Barbara Bonner '88
Kunkletown, PA

Special Olympics PA
[I] support this organization as a Coach in Basketball, Assistant Coach in Soccer and work on their Management Team as Athlete Registration Coordinator. My daughter was adopted with special needs, and has found a wonderful group of people to encourage her as well as enable her growth in all skill areas, both on the court or field, and in school/everyday life.

Philadelphia Folk Festival
[I] support this music festival by operating their On Site Office during the set up and running of the 51st Festival.  Funds raised here benefit the community through music therapy, grants and education efforts regarding the role of music of the people in everyday lives.

Michelle Walden Butera '87
Havertown, PA
Merwood Civic Association
The past five years I have been active with my civic association as a street captain in my community. My responsibilities include introducing myself to new members of our community to see if they wish to be introduced via our monthly news letter. I also update any births, special events or any information someone in our community would like to share. This volunteer position allows me to stay in touch with my community while sharing my experiences and helping new families settle in. I revel in a position that allows face to face contact in a world that keeps us inside more that outside.
Randy Cook '92
Washington Crossing, PA

Newtown Presbyterian Church
[I] served as a member of Session for 4 years, co-chaired the Education committee for four years, and taught Sunday School for 8 years. Working with a church community and the children is an extremely rewarding experience.

Council Rock Lacrosse Association
Head coach for five seasons with varying age groups (2nd grade to 7th graders). It was a developmental elague and we focused on the fundamentals of the game.

Future City Mentor
[I] volunteered as a mentor for five years for a number of middle school teams competing in the regional competition. I learned a lot by watching the kisd work as a team and was pleasantly surprised by their creative ideas.

Newtown Soccer Association
Head coach for four season. A great first sport for the very young children to develope teamwork and sportsmansip.

Stacey Dubowitch '06
Costa Mesa, CA
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
For the last two years, I volunteered at the hospital here in Newport Beach, CA.  I was able to experience various aspects of hospital life. From providing comfort care to those in the Oncology floor, to celebrating new life on the Mother/Baby Unit. It has been a joyous time to be able to help the nursing and medical staff to provide better care for their patients. For the last 9 months of my time at the hospital I was on the PACU (post anaesthesia care unit) and was the first person patients saw when they came out of surgery. It was my responsibility to help the nurses with whatever they needed as these patients were in very precarious states. It has been an extremely rewarding experience and I have gained so much from it!
Maryann Elwell '85
Gig Harbor, WA
Point Fosdick Center
I have served as the President for my local homeowners association in Washington, the Point Fosdick Circle Association, for the past five years. I have served 1 year as President, 3 years as a board member and 2 years as a Landscape Committee member for my homeowners association in Virginia, the Fox Creek Homeowners Association. I also volunteer along with my fellow Deloitte employees each year during the company sponsored Impact Day. I am a board member for my local car club, Porsche Club of America Olympic Peninsula Region and help run our annual charity car show with proceeds going towards charities such as Big Brothers/Sisters of America, Children's Hospital, and the Salvation Army.
Nasirali Emadi '88
Mechanicsburg, PA
Boy Scouts
I have been involved with Boy Scouts since my oldest was a cub scout. I have spent thousands of hours over the years camping, hiking, and working with the scouts on their development.  I am also the Sea Base leader. Having led 3 adventures in the Florida Keys and Bahamas. Our last was this past summer where we Scuba Dived for a week in the coral reefs of Florida. My four sons are all involved in scouting. My oldest two are Eagle Scouts.
Jill Foster '09
Souderton, PA

Philadelphia Zoo, Delaware Valley Science Fair
In the beginning of October I helped Drexel alumni fix up a local playground. It looked great when we were done. I also volunteered with the Philadelphia Zoo to give out candy to children visiting the zoo. We wore our Halloween costumes; it was very fun!

In April, I volunteered with the Delaware Valley Science Fair to be a judge. There were so many interesting topics! It felt great to support the students and learn from them.

Peter Grice '70
Flanders, NJ
Chatham (NJ) Community Band
I am active with several community bands. Having played saxophone in high school and at Drexel, I had put the horns away after graduation in 1970. About 20 years later, my mother brought the horns to me and said for me to do something with them, and SHE MEANT every word of it. Today 20 years later I am active with a community and jazz band and we perform free concerts for the communities, senior citizen homes and holiday events. It is all volunteer and very enjoyable.
Latanya N. Jenkins '06
Baltimore, MD
American Library Association
This volunteer activity was multifaceted. I assisted my peers with directions as well as my international [participants] with becoming acclimated with the conference. I volunteered as an ALA Ambassador and for the International Relation's Round Table's "International Visitor's Center". Hopefully, I put any conference anxieties aside for all and allowed those I encountered to relax and have an enjoyable conference.
Carvon P. Johnson '85, '88
Newtown, PA
Christian Stronghold Church
[I am a] Youth Mentor/Instructor at my church.  Youth (ages 13-18) participate in events, Sunday School, Bible Study, sports, and Discipleship, and have an opportunity to develop and discover gifts and talents that will enhance their leadership ability. They reach out to and motivate other youth to access and develop their leadership potential.  Model citizens giving back to the community.
Erica Leeds '09
North Wales, PA
STEM Programs
[I am] active in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Initiative. [I volunteer] for Block Kids, Discover the Future, TransportationYOU, MAGIC Camp, and the Earn and Learn Program. [I have] assisted students with constructing bridges out of pasta and marshmallows and towers out of tape and drinking straws. [I have also] presented on 'what is an engineer?' and engineering drawings and software.
Michael Magruder '84
Wilmington, DE
Delaware SPCA
Primarily walking shelter dogs (mostly pit bulls) to get them out of the cages to blow off some steam. They are great, gentle dogs in spite of their reputation. I get my exercise and a great tan, too. Keeps me productive while I am unemployed and the flexibility is great while I am seeking a new job. But I am surrounded by UDel people who tease me when I wear my Drexel T-shirt!
Steven Mann '93
Philadelphia, PA
Philly SNUG
I started a local computer user's group in Center City Philadelphia for SharePoint and .NET Professionals. We have monthly meetings each month. I spend about 10 hours a month organizing the meetings and obtaining sponsors. I also maintain the web site ( and send out partner communications. Most Microsoft-based user groups meet out in Malvern, PA so I wanted to provide an alternative venue to those that work with Microsoft technologies in Center City.
Jackie McClure '87
Hainesport, NJ
Bridge of Hope Burlington
I volunteer as the event coordinator for organization. I raise funds needed for the organization's operating expenses and staff their booth at community events.
A. Stanley Norkiewicz '70
West Chester, PA
American Red Cross
I've been the Red Cross blood drive coordinator for my church since 2004. (Approx 10-15 hours/year).
Ngoc-Emily Phung '04
Lancaster, PA
NY Cares & Personal Pro Bono Projects
My love for community service grew as an undergraduate at Drexel University. As a sister of the service sorority, Gamma Sigma Sigma, I spent a lot of time volunteering on various projects, and until this day, the passion continues. Currently, I spend a lot of time volunteering with the NY Cares program. I was recognized recently on their 50+projects honor roll. My favorite project has been running with the Achilles Track Team. My role is to be a running partner by helping motivate, train, and 'coach' blind or handicap athletes. It is motivational in so many ways. These athletes have an imparity of some sort, and when you see them drive hard to try to do an activity that you take for granted, it gives you a drive to perform better and do the same. It is a win-win situation. You help them overcome their weaknesses while you grow mentally and physically stronger.

My passion also lies in pro bono healthcare awareness. Last year, I organized a health forum for the Asian population in Lancaster County in collaboration from doctors and nursing staff from the Hershey Medical Center. I wanted the Asian population to be aware of what the top health diseases and killers were. In the Asian culture, a lot of people either are afraid to ask due to language barriers or since their knowledge is only what others experienced, which a majority of the time is based off of myths. With the help & generosity of the pastor of the Chinese Bible Church of Lancaster, I was to present such a forum during their annual picnic. In Lancaster, religious organizations are the best way to communicate such awareness due to the large numbers that frequent the organization. It went with quite a success since there were bilingual translators and informative materials in different languages for those to take to become even more educated.

At my current company, for the last 4 years, I have been recognized as being one of the top volunteers in the company. I have done everything from fundraising walks to painting local schools with them.

Overall, my experiences from Drexel have allowed me to bring much community pride into all that I do. And with that, I am proud to be a Drexel alumnus.

Teakia Sabb '05
East Windsor, NJ
AIDS Walk – Philly
Created team of volunteers to walk/run and fundraise in the 2012 Philly AIDS Walk. Particiapted in walking the 12K (approx. 7.5 miles).
Mariza Shavelle '99
Downingtown, PA
Gift of Life House
As a student at Drexel University, I was involved in Gamma Sigma Sigma service sorority. Since graduating, I've been involved with a number of adult based community service groups including Gemini Alumni chapter of Gamma Sigma Sigma, University City Kiwanis, West Chester Kiwanis, and Alpha Phi Omega.

I have volunteered at and continue to work with a number of different non-profits in the Philadelphia area and suburbs. Some of my favorites are Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (Lemon Ball in January), MANNA (packing Thanksgiving dinners and assisting with Pie-N-The-Sky), PAWS (cat foster care), Inglis House (helping with ice cream and pizza social for wheelchair community), and Gift of Life House (cooking dinners and brunches for residents).

There are always worthwhile organizations and causes that can use a few extra helping hands. For more information about University City Kiwanis, please visit our webpage:

Harold Issadore Sharlin '48
Washington, D.C.

I founded Retired Scientists, Engineers and Technicians (ReSET) in 1988. We are celebrating 25 years in 2013. ReSET recruits scientists and engineers to teach science to children in day care, elementary schools and libraries by doing hands-on experiments. This is the children's introduction to science and engi9neering.. I an active CEO and chairman of the Board. I am 87.

Linda Rachman Silverman '61
Tucson, AZ

As a volunteer in the Newborn ICU at the local hospital, my position title is "Cuddler."  I hold and feed newborns, who are there for a variety of reasons, including prematurity.

I also participate in a weekly "Current Events" gathering of seniors.  As one of several facilitators, I select important issues in the news,and the group, which numbers from 12 in the summer months, to 30 the rest of the year, joins in the discussions.

JoAnna Turner '10, '12
Philadelphia, PA
Living Independently for Elders
I volunteer at the Living Independently for Elders which is a day facility providing care for seniors with various health issues. I spend most of my time with seniors who have advanced dementia/Alzheimer's disease. I feel it is a privilege to be able to provide dance/movement therapy to a "vulnerable" population who are often overlooked. I also attend the caregivers meetings to provide support and to thank them for what they do. Their resilience and commitment is inspiring.
Jamie Wallen '11
Rockaway, NJ
Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House
I volunteer every other Sunday at the Ronald McDonald House on Chestnut Street. I feel extremely fulfilled after I complete a shift of helping families with basic needs while they are coping with their child's disease. They spend all day and sometimes all night at the hospital and come back to the Ronald McDonald House for rest and a good, homecooked meal. We are glad to be able to help them and offer all of the services the house has to fit their needs. It is a much more welcoming and warm atmosphere than staying in a hotel.

George Wisser, Jr. '89
Trumbauersville, PA

Cross Keys, ASL, SME
Actually, post graduation, as a University City resident, I drew upon my high school track and cross-country experiences to revive a ten-year dormant CYO track program at Saint Francis DeSales elementary school at 47th Street and Springfield Ave. Although not a classic Drexel activity, it gave the right thing at the right place and time. Hard as it was, I got back equal to what I gave.

Share your story!

Archive for Greek LifeDragons are invited to give back through the Archive for Greek Life at Drexel!

Drexel University Libraries is excited to announce a new project, the construction of an Archive for Greek Life at Drexel, built out of a joint partnership between the Libraries, the Drexel Inter-Fraternity Alumni Association (DIFAA) and the Drexel University Alumni Association.

"The job of the University Archives is to collect records that tell the story of Drexel's interesting and diverse history," said University Archivist Rob Sieczkiewicz. "We have academic and administrative documents, but the history of student organizations is hard for us to capture, particularly the history of Greek life on campus."

Click here for more information!

CAN DU VolunteersDragons give back at the CAN DU Community Playground Project

The Community Alumni Network at Drexel University (CAN DU) revitalized a playground at Drexel's Vidas Athletic Complex, which is utilized by the surrounding West Philadelphia and Powelton Village neighborhood on Saturday, October 13, 2012.

During this community service experience, 108 Drexel alumni, student, faculty, staff and friends volunteered to refresh the community playground area at the Vidas Complex, which included repainting the existing basketball court, backboards and nets; painting colorful playground games; clearing overgrowth and debris; painting fence posts; planting new shrubbery; laying mulch; and assembling and installing two park benches and two trash receptacles.

Click here to check out photos from the day!

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