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Advisor Bios

Rachael Switalski, Director 
Internal Transfers and Special Cases

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, Assistant Director, Advising
S-Z Incoming Freshmen 2015
Plus all Construction Management and Engineering Technology Students

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 11 years now and is dedicated to helping her students succeed.  Jenn’s husband also works at Drexel as a Systems Administrator in the School of Biomedical Engineering and together they have four children: Carter, Brynn, Reid & Emerson Mae. In her spare time (ha, with 4 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.

Noelle Palladino, Assistant Director, Transfer Advising
D-Z Incoming Transfers 2015

Noelle PalladinoNoelle Palladino, a native of North Jersey, graduated from Rutgers University in 1999 and moved to the South Jersey area.  Shortly afterwards she started working for Drexel University. Noelle has worked for the College of Engineering from the start of her career, almost 16 years (ACK!!!), and has been working with transfer students for the last 14 years. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her husband and children, Dominic and Gemma, going to the beach, and during hockey season, cheering on the New Jersey Devils – NJ pride! (sorry Flyers/Rangers fans – don’t hold that against me)

Emily Bogunovich, Senior Academic Advisor 
P-R Incoming Freshmen 2015
Plus ExCite Engineering Learning Community Students

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 overseen the Engineering Learning Community program since 2009. 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 two cats.  She is a big fan of pizza and is always willing to offer advice on where to go to get a slice.

Dionne Gordon-Starks, Senior Academic Advisor 
A-D Incoming Freshmen 2015
A-C Incoming Transfers 2015

Dionne Gordon-Starks

Dionne has been a professional advisor within the field of higher education for over 15 years.  Her background in career and academic advising has helped her shape a very holistic approach to the field of advising.  Dionne holds a Masters of Science in Higher Education with a concentration in student development from Drexel University and is also a proud alumnus from Saint Joseph’s University.  Dionne resides in Philadelphia with her husband and son.  She wears many hats and enjoys activities which include: cooking, traveling, attending church, reading and football!  Her favorite football team is the Pittsburgh Steelers

Rosie Kelly, Academic Advisor
M-O Incoming Freshman 2015
plus all PECK Students

Rosie Kelly is a proud Delaware County native, and graduate of Saint Joseph’s University. During her time as a student, Rosie got involved (hey freshmen- that’s the secret!) and discovered her love for higher education. She has since held positions in Financial Aid and Admissions before joining the advising team in the College of Engineering. An avid Philadelphia sports fan, Rosie will never stop loving the Phightin’ Phillies, and can often be found snacking on crab fries and swooning over Chase Utley at the game. She recently earned her Master’s in Leadership from Cabrini College and is focusing on her next big project: planning her July 2016 wedding! Her dream is to travel to London and cross Abbey Road (she’s a bit of a Beatles fan), after having been bitten by the travel bug (she saw the pyramids of Giza- in person!). When she’s not busy exploring Philadelphia, she can be found catching up on Real Housewives and attempting to cook.

Colby Hepner, Academic Advisor
International Incoming Freshman 2015
Plus Global Engineering Learning Community Students

Colby HepnerColby Hepner, born and raised in Central PA, is the newest member to the advising staff but has been working in the College of Engineering for over a year. A proud graduate of Drexel, Colby has run the crazy gamut that is Drexel University and is ready to share his experiences and give some advice to all of the Engineering students. He holds a degree in International Studies, studied in South Korea twice, and is always eager to learn about new cultures (but more importantly try their food). In his spare time, Colby enjoys watching too much TV, attempting to play the guitar, going to fitness classes at the gym, exploring the many restaurants of Philly, keeping up to date with the latest celebrity gossip, spending time with friends, and making people laugh.

Dr. Adam Fontecchio, Associate Dean

Dr. Fontecchio is a graduate of Brown University where he earned his B.A., M.S. and Ph.D. While at Brown, he was a NASA Graduate Student Research Fellow which allowed him to travel around the world conducting research that involved using fundamental investigations of liquid crystal interactions to develop novel devices.  His research continues to focus on electro-optics; liquid crystals; polymer dispersed liquid crystals; holography; remote sensing; color filtration; electrically switchable Bragg gratings.  Dr. Fontecchio currently resides in Downingtown, PA with his wife and 2 daughters.  In his spare time he enjoys cooking and is a die-hard New England Patriots fan.