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Awards & Recognition

As Drexel University pursues its commitment to intercultural engagement and diversity, we stop to recognize our progress and to reward individual and group accomplishment and contribution.

Latina Community Advocate Karla Márquez Awarded Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Leadership Grant to Attend Drexel's Graduate Center in Sacramento

Four Grant Finalists also Receive $10,000 Scholarships to Attend Drexel

Sacramento, September 28, 2010 — As the first-born child of Latino immigrants, Karla Márquez came to the U.S. as an infant and quickly learned the English language, becoming the spokesperson and advocate for her family by age 8. It’s a role that Márquez continues to excel at today in her professional career and also as a volunteer leader in the Latino community.

In recognition of her leadership qualities and willingness to mentor others, the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Drexel University, announced today that it named the civic-minded Márquez as the recipient of the Hispanic Leadership Master’s Grant. The full tuition grant to attend Drexel’s Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento is given annually to an up-and-coming leader from the Hispanic community.

This year, in response to the region’s depressed economy, Drexel decided to increase its support to the Chamber, to help it achieve its key objective of developing its next generation of leaders. In addition to the full tuition grant for Márquez, Augustine Chavez, Amy Gutierrez, Mauricio Rodriguez and Adriana Alvarez all received $10,000 scholarships as finalists for the Leadership Master's Grant.

Drexel and the Chamber established the Hispanic Leadership Master’s Grant in the Fall of 2008 and the first two award winners are currently pursuing graduate degrees at Drexel. The first, Wells Fargo manager Gloria Mirazo, will be graduating from Drexel with her MBA this December.

Márquez is a program manager for KidsFirst, a nonprofit agency that provides social services for the well-being of children and families in Placer County. She is also a board member of the Latino Leadership Council of Placer County and is a Council member for Saint Joseph Parish in Lincoln.

Márquez, who lives in Lincoln, is enrolled in Drexel’s Master of Public Health (MPH) curriculum.

"At this point in my career and with the wealth of Latino heritage as my defining foundation, I have the capacity to be the strong leader this community needs to continue the progress of Latinos in the Sacramento area," Márquez said. "The best way for me to influence policies that can improve the well-being of Latinos is by using the weapon of education. In its short time in Sacramento, Drexel has established itself as a prestigious, top-ranked graduate program that will equip me with the educational foundation and the tools to be a dynamic leader."

áándola, President and CEO of the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "Drexel has not only continued its commitment to the Latino community this year, it raised the bar by offering four additional scholarships to the finalists for the Leadership Master’s Grant. We’re very proud to support this grant for young working professionals like Karla Márquez that have such a bright future ahead of them."

The Hispanic Leadership Master’s Grant is awarded through a competitive process to a student whom the Hispanic Chamber's selection committee believes holds excellent promise for future leadership in Greater Sacramento’s Hispanic community. It is expected, and a condition of the award, that the winners will continue to be active in the Chamber and give back to their communities as they pursue their graduate degrees at Drexel.

A panel of leading Hispanic business and community leaders reviewed grant applications, met with finalists, and awarded the grants. This year, the Master’s Grant selection committee was chaired by Larry Garcia, Principal with the Diepenbrock, Harrison law firm.

"Drexel has a long history of demonstrating its commitment to diversity and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber in the development of the Latino community," said Carl "Tobey" Oxholm III, Senior Vice President of Drexel and Dean of its Center for Graduate Studies. "Our faculty and staff have a strong commitment to excellence and have done a fabulous job of creating innovative, dynamic programs that meet the needs of working professionals so they can achieve success in their careers, personal lives, and become responsible community leaders."

The Graduate Center, which opened in January 2009, is already known as one of Northern California’s most high-tech conference and educational facilities. In its state-of-the-art classrooms, Drexel – a top-tiered national comprehensive university – is teaching six master's, one doctorate, and one post-baccalaureate program this fall that are designed for working professionals.

All eight programs are focused on the heart of Greater Sacramento's growth and economic development initiatives – entrepreneurial business, human resource development, higher education, public health, knowledge management and information science. Classes "fit" with the students’ business responsibilities, and are a blend of in-class and on-line pedagogies. All classes are held in the evenings or on occasional weekends.

For more information on Drexel's graduate programs in California, visit or call 888-389-3781 or 916-325-4600.

Drexel University Recognized by Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce for Our Commitment to Leadership, Diversity and Economic Development

SACRAMENTO - January 22, 2010 - The Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce Foundation (SACCF) recognizes Drexel University for their commitment to leadership and to our underserved communities. Within a year of its arrival in the greater Sacramento region, Drexel University has made a tremendous impact in our community.

As part of the partnership between the SACC Foundation and Drexel, Drexel University will sponsor one participant each year in the Chamber’s Catalyst Leadership Program and will award a special fellowship to a Catalyst Program graduate to attend Drexel’s Sacramento Center for Graduate Studies in whatever master’s program the award recipient chooses.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for a future leader of our community,” said Pat Fong Kushida, President and CEO of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce. “We are thankful that a nationally ranked university like Drexel realizes the importance of educating and preparing our future leaders of the Greater Sacramento region.”

In May 2009, Drexel University and the SACC Foundation awarded its first Catalyst Leadership Scholarship to Amie Ichiho of Kaiser Permanente. Ichiho is pursuing her Master’s of Science in Human Resource Development, a Drexel program recognized as one of the top 30 in the country. She lives in Elk Grove with her husband Byron, daughter Kamryn, 4, and son, Payton, 2. She works as a Human Resources Compliance Manager with Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento. She joined Kaiser Permanente almost two years ago and has excelled in her management role and been identified as an emerging leader at Kaiser.

The SACC’s Foundation Catalyst Leadership Program prepares our region’s diverse workforce for leadership opportunities. The commitment this Chamber has to diversity and inclusion

For more information on the Catalyst Leadership Scholarship, please visit, or contact Karen Nelson at 916-446-7883.

Drexel Commended by the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for Our Commitment to Diversity and Partnerships with Community

Sacramento, May 21, 2009 — The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has commended Drexel University, the Greater Sacramento area's newest university, for its commitment to the community and diversity.

As Drexel marks the one-year anniversary of its announcement that it would open a graduate studies center in Sacramento, the Chamber commended the university for making a great impact on the community in its first year here.

"From day one, Drexel University and its leadership team have embraced the diversity that makes Sacramento a special city," said Nick Montoya, Chairman of the Chamber's Board of Directors. "We appreciate Drexel's partnership with not only our organization, but with many diverse groups in the community."

Drexel and the Chamber co-sponsor a Hispanic leadership master's program, which provides full tuition for a master's degree to an emerging leader in the Hispanic community.

"Drexel continues to demonstrate its commitment to diversity through its own diverse staff and faculty in Sacramento and through its community partnership like this leadership grant. We are pleased and honored to be continuing our partnership with Drexel," said Steve Gándola, President and CEO of the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "Establishing the Hispanic Leadership Master's Grant is a real testament to Drexel's commitment to diversity and to being an active member of our community."

Gloria Mirazo of Sacramento was awarded the inaugural Hispanic Leadership Master's Grant in December and was among the first group of students to attend classes in January at Drexel's new graduate center at One Capitol Mall in downtown Sacramento.

Mirazo, who received a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley, is a sales manager for the mortgage division of Wells Fargo. She continues to work fulltime while being enrolled as a business administration student at the Drexel Graduate Center, which allows individuals to continue to work and complete a full MBA program with its flexible, evening class schedule.

A panel of Hispanic business leaders will review grant applications, meet with finalists, and award the grant. All materials related to the application process must be received by July 31, 2009. Applications will be open to qualified candidates living in Sacramento, Yolo, San Joaquin, Sutter, Placer, El Dorado, or Yuba counties.

For more information or to apply for the master's grant, please visit the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce web site at or call Celia Cortez at 916-486-7700.

Athletics Recipient of NCAA Overall Excellence in Diversity Award

Indianapolis, May 15, 2008 — The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which oversees 1,200 member institutions and over 300,000 student-athletes, has awarded the Drexel University Athletics Department the Diversity in Athletics Award in the category of Overall Excellence in Diversity.

"We are proud to receive this award," said Drexel University President Constantine Papadakis. "Diversity is an integral part of the college experience at Drexel. Our students and athletes enrich their education by interacting with students and employees from all walks of life and highly diverse backgrounds."

A research study supported by the NCAA and conducted by the Laboratory for Diversity in Sports at Texas A&M University identified Drexel University as one of the top athletics programs to have achieved the highest total combined scores in the areas of diversity strategy, gender and racial diversity of departmental employees, value and attitudinal diversity of departmental employees, graduation of African-American females and male student-athletes, and gender equity compliance. Besides Drexel Athletics, 11 other schools were recognized including Stanford, Miami, Ohio State and Colorado. Drexel Athletics was also singled out as an award recipient in the category of African American graduation rates for female student-athletes.

The NCAA Award in Diversity will be awarded on June 11 in Dallas, the site of the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors (NACDA). The Laboratory for Diversity in Sports at Texas A&M University will perform a site visit at the top five diversity programs, including Drexel, to learn about the Athletics Department's approach to diversity, which will be used to develop a NCAA diversity best practices report for intercollegiate athletics programs.

Drexel Athletics has been ranked by US News & World Report as the #1 program nationally in gender equity. The Women's Law Project examined gender equity in Pennsylvania's interscholastic athletics programs and ranked Drexel's athletics program in the top five as a program that provides equitable athletic opportunities for women. Drexel Athletics boasts substantial gender proportionally and a 100 percent graduation rate for African American females.

"We have a responsibility as a university athletics department to initiate a meaningful dialogue around the topic of diversity," said Drexel Athletics Director Dr. Eric Zillmer. "We must ask ourselves, how diversity can broaden and enrich our experiences, our athletic teams, and our workplace as we face an ever-increasing multi-cultural society. This recognition by the NCAA not only validates our commitment to diversity, but it also allows us to celebrate it."

Tom Yeager, commissioner of the Colonial Athletics Association said, "Drexel's athletic program has received many accolades over the past several years and this is another important statement about the excellence of the University's program and its commitment to student-athletes and staff. The Colonial Athletics Association shares Drexel's pride."

Charlotte Westerhaus, NCAA vice president for Diversity and Inclusion, said, "The Diversity in Athletics Awards not only provide visibility for member schools with good practices, but also create dialogue that focuses on the essential need for diversity and inclusion in athletics and higher education."