Kelly Vass, Academic Advisor (A-C)
Kelly Vass has been an advisor in the College of Engineering for the past two years. She is originally from the middle of Connecticut, but fell in love with Philly when she moved here to get her Master's Degree in English at Villanova four years ago. When she's not finding ways to help you make the most of your first two years at Drexel, she loves UConn basketball (go Huskies!), making friends with the food truck owners at 33rd and Arch St, watching Arrested Development, playing with her cat Mascarpone and baking lots of sweets for her friends.
Jeff Birou, Assistant Director (Freshmen D-G | Transfers: A-C)
Jeff Birou is a proud native of the great, mitten-shaped state of Michigan. After getting his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, Jeff came to Philadelphia to earn his M.S.Ed in Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania. With a background in student programs, Jeff is happy to continue to help students succeed as an advisor in Drexel Engineering. He also enjoys the following things, in no particular order: bacon, superheroes, coffee, gummi bears, going to the movies, and traveling.
Emily Bogunovich, Academic Advisor ( Freshmen: H-K| Transfers: D-K)
Emily Bogunovich is excited to be working with the new Drexel Engineering students. After graduating from Temple University, she completed a Masters degree from the University of Massachusetts. In addition to advising, Emily has experience in coordinating student programs, working with ESL students, and teaching writing. She enjoys traveling, cycling (you will definitely see her riding around the city), running, lying around in our city's amazing parks, reading cookbooks and novels, trying out new recipes, and checking out new and old favorite Philly restaurants. She lives in South Philly with her husband and cat, Steve. She is a big fan of pizza and is always willing to offer advice on where to go to get a slice.
Rachael Switalski, Director (L)
Rachael is from the Empire State, but grew up on a dairy farm, not in New York City. Rachael earned a BA in English Literature & Rhetoric at Binghamton University and her Master's in Higher Ed Administration at Temple U. Rachael has been working in advising for many years and is always excited to greet a new freshman class. Rachael and her husband live in the Queen Village neighborhood in Philly with a small, but very determined, aging wire-haired terrier and a very energetic Italian Greyhound/Rat Terrier puppy. In her free time, Rachael enjoys traveling to far away lands, improving her photography, knitting rather obsessively, wondering what would really happen during a zombie apocalypse, and catching up on the latest Doctor Who episodes.
Jennifer Matthews, Academic Advisor (M-P)
Jennifer Matthews, a native of South Jersey, graduated from Randolph-Macon College located in Richmond, VA with a BA in Psychology. Jenn has a true passion for sports and was a four-year starter on the RMC women’s soccer team. She went on to attend graduate school here at Drexel University (Go Dragons!) where she earned her MS in Education. Jenn has worked as an Academic Advisor here at Drexel at both the graduate and undergraduate levels for nearly 10 years now and has a passion for helping students. Jenn’s husband also works at Drexel as a Systems Administrator in the School of BioMedical Engineering and together they have three children: Carter, Brynn & Reid. They’re also expecting baby #4 in late January! In her spare time (ha, with 3.5 kids that’s almost comical), she enjoys drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee, spending time with family and friends, loving on her kiddos and cheering on the Phillies, Union, Flyers and Eagles.
Terri Baker, Academic Advisor (Q-T)
Terri Baker hails from the Commonwealth of Virginia where she attended Bridgewater College earning a bachelor's degree in Communications/Broadcast Journalism and Old Dominion University for a master's degree in Higher Education. Although she always dreamed of being the next Oprah Winfrey, Terri's love for college students led her away from the camera and back to campus. She has worked in several areas of higher education including residence life, student affairs, athletic academic support, new student orientation, learning communities, and event planning. In addition to academic advising, Terri is a coordinator for the Engineering Learning Community program. When she's not advising undergraduate Engineering students, she can usually befound teaching a Zumba class, trying out new restaurants in Philadelphia or planning her next obstacle race adventure. She completed a Rugged Maniac race last spring and is training for a Warrior Dash this summer. A self-admitted country girl, Terrienjoys the outdoors and tries to get back to the mountains of Virginia every chance she gets. She also enjoys cooking (without cheese!), watching sports, and retail therapy. To her students, Terri's words of advice would be: "Freshman year marks the beginning of a new era in your life. It's not thirteenth grade. It's college! Work it. Live it. Love it. It'll be hard but so very worth it."
Noelle Palladino, Transfer Coordinator/Advisor (Freshmen: U-Z | Transfers: L-Z)
Noelle Palladino, a native of North Jersey, is the Transfer Coordinator for the College of Engineering. After graduating from Rutgers University in 1999 she moved to the South Jersey area and starting working for Drexel University. She has worked for the College of Engineering for almost 14 years and has been working with transfer students for the last 12 years. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her husband and children, Dominic and Gigi, going to the beach, and during hockey season, cheering on the New Jersey Devils – NJ pride!
Dr. Adam Fontecchio, Associate Dean
Dr. Fontecchio’s research involves fundamental investigations of liquid crystal interactions to develop novel devices. Using Holographically-formed Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (H-PDLC) Bragg gratings, he has developed novel multiplexed formation techniques for reflective displays, remote sensing wavelength filtration, and a novel strain gauge. He has also investigated the materials development of polymer / liquid crystal systems for optimization of electro-optical characteristics. In 1998 he received a NASA Rhode Island Space Grant Fellowship, and from 1999 – 2002 he was a NASA Graduate Student Research Fellow at Goddard Space Flight Center where he investigated Holographically-formed Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal technology for space-borne remote sensing applications. He traveled to Tokyo, Japan in the summer of 2000 as part of the National Science Foundation Summer Institute, where he studied polymer-stabilized liquid crystal devices at the NTT Cyberspace Laboratories. He has collaborated with researchers at the Josef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia, through an NSF funded program. At the 2000 International Liquid Crystal Conference held in Sendai, Japan, he was awarded the Best Poster Award from a field of more than 800 posters. He has also served as a Visiting Lecturer in Physics at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth campus.