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CoAS Students, Faculty Win Awards

By Furrah Qureshi

May 14, 2011 — As the 2010-11 school year comes to a close, students and faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences continue to receive prestigious honors, ranging from Fulbright Scholarships to the Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship, to awards from Drexel's own Steinbright Career Development Center.

For the first time in Drexel’s history, four students received the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship for the 2011-12 year. Sponsored by the Federal Government, the Fulbright program provides scholarships based on academic merit and leadership potential. Three of the Fulbright recipients are College of Arts and Sciences students. The recipients are: Caitlin Costello (B.A. International Areas Studies, 2010), Karen Sullam (Ph.D. Environmental Science, 2013), and Daniel Tedesco (B.A. International Areas Studies, 2011).


Caitlin Costello

Caitlin Costello

Costello will spend a year in Senegal and conduct research on domestic rice production in one of the most food-import-dependent countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.








Karen Sullam

Karen Sullam

Sullam will travel to Switzerland to conduct research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, one of the world’s leading aquatic ecology research institutes.









Dan Tedesco

Dan Tedesco

Tedesco plans to study the Chinese government's Student Village Officials (SVOs) program, a youth leadership program which places recent graduates into rural villages as assistants to local officials.

Tedesco has also been named president of Global China Connection, a leading organization for promoting cooperation between premier students in China and the international community. A student-run, nonpartisan 501(c)3 nonprofit funded by private and corporate donors, GCC leads over 50 international university chapters to meaningfully engage their counterparts in China.

Cindy Schaarschmidt of the Fellowship office remarked that “what the students all have in common is enthusiasm for intercultural exchange and a very strong reason to do research in a particular country. That is true for CoAS students as well as students from across the university.”


Dr. Joel Oestreich

Joel Oestreich

Dr. Joel Oestreich, associate professor and director of the International Area Studies program, was named a Fulbright Scholar for 2011-12. Oestreich will conduct research in India on “Human Rights and Development in the Indian Context."








Tetyana Ivanishena

Tetyana Ivanishena

Tetyana Ivanishena, an undergraduate international area studies major, was awarded the prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship provided by the Department of State through the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. The fellowship provides financial support of $40,000 annually for the senior year of college and the first year of graduate study, and two internship stipends of $10,000 each. Fellows commit to four and a half years of foreign service.






Sajjan Singh Mehta

Sajjan Singh Mehta

Sajjan Singh Mehta, BS/MS student in physics and mathematics, received the Goldwater Scholarship, which is awarded to outstanding undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Mehta is the fourth CoAS student to receive this award in the last three years (and the third physics student). Sajjan plans to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, conducting research in particle cosmology and mathematical physics while teaching at the university level.






Kristopher Ruth

Kristopher Ruth

Kristopher Ruth, senior history major, was named the 2011 Cooperative Education Student of the Year for the College of Arts and Sciences by the Steinbright Career Development Center. Ruth is a senior history major, graduating this spring with a 3.58 GPA. He currently serves as President of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. Ruth completed his last co-op at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He was nominated by his supervisor, Michael Lynch, who was amazed at Ruth’s ability to work independently, “He was on time and dependable; if he said he could do it, we considered it done.”




Dr. Jeffery Twiss

Dr. Jeffrey Twiss

Dr. Jeffery Twiss, professor and head of biology, was named Faculty of the Year by the Steinbright Career Development Center for his dedication to improving and growing the co-op program for biology majors. Twiss recently received a prestigious award from the National Science Foundation. The award included funding for at least one co-op position each year and potentially additional positions during the second and third years of research.






Dr. Brian Daly

Brian Daly

Finally, Dr. Brian Daly, assistant professor of psychology, was awarded a Drexel University Career Development Award. Daly will receive mentorship from Dr. Mark Weist, professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina and internationally-recognized expert in the field of evidence-based practices and school mental health. The goals of the project are to: foster interdisciplinary relationships with faculty at Drexel; expand current behavioral and socio-emotional prevention and intervention programs in school-based settings; and, significantly increase involvement and exposure of Drexel undergraduate and graduate students to clinical research with at-risk, underserved youth in a school-based setting. As part of this award, Dr. Weist will deliver a symposium on providing evidence-based mental health services in school-based settings to Drexel faculty in fall 2011.

The College of Arts and Sciences has had an incredible year, marked by its 20th anniversary. In these past two decades, students and faculty have increasingly received prestigious national awards, and the trend is sure to continue. Congratulations to our most recent awardees!


Furrah graduated with her B.S in English and M.S. in Communication in June of 2012.

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