Drexel's Top Stories of 2013
December 18, 2013
By Matt Erickson
From kitchens where people cook poultry to the 29-story façade of Philadelphia’s Cira Centre to the basketball court at the Daskalakis Athletic Center, the stories of Drexel’s 2013 reached a lot of places. Drexel made headlines with its boundary-pushing research, its transforming campus and its students’ success.
There’s too much to fit into one list, but in this space we’ve tried to round up some of the Drexel news that most shaped the year, on campus and off. So take a look back, recall the stories that had people talking in 2013 and, most important, remember this: Don’t wash your chicken.
Most Buzzed-About Drexel Stories of the Year
These are the Drexel stories that went viral this year, creating the most buzz in the media:
“Don’t Wash Your Chicken!”
This forceful message from Jennifer Quinlan, an associate professor at Drexel, shattered a commonly held cooking belief and got a lot of people talking. Her series of video mini-dramas drew notice from NPR, Prevention magazine and others.
‘Pong’ Over Philly: Drexel Prof Transforms Cira Centre Into Classic Arcade Game
A 29-story version of the classic video game “Pong” in April was a dream come true for associate professor Frank Lee and an irresistible story for media outlets far and wide. It also landed Drexel in the record books, as the skyscraper “Pong” game was named an official Guinness World Record in November.
Vending Machine Dispenses MacBooks for Student Use
When Drexel’s Hagerty Library added a vending machine that dispenses not cans of soda or bags of chips but laptop computers, it made all-hours studying easier and safer for students. It also caught the attention of people off campus.
Most-Viewed Features on DrexelNow
These are the DrexelNow features that accumulated the most pageviews during the year:
Drexel Students and Twin Sisters Both Make Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading Squad
Only 38 women were chosen for the 2013 Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading Squad in the spring. Two of them were Drexel students—and twin sisters: Sage and Gabriella Cifaloglio, a junior business administration major and a senior design and merchandising major, respectively. It was Sage’s second year on the squad.
Puppy Pawlooza: Students Can De-Stress By Playing With Dogs
With finals approaching in December, students had the chance to take a break by cuddling up with a group of specially trained therapy dogs. This puppy-pun-filled preview story spread far and wide as the anticipation built, attracting more than 700 “likes” on Facebook. If you missed the furry fun, you can check out this video on Drexel’s Facebook page.
Drexel Grad Student Has One of the ‘Worst Jobs in Science’
Jake Owens’ month-long stint collecting samples of bush meat from an illegal market in Africa involved quite the list of occupational hazards: the smell of rotting meat, criminals armed with blowtorches and machetes, mysterious hair loss. In fact, according to Popular Science magazine, it was one of the “worst jobs” in science.
Most-Watched Drexel YouTube Clips
These are the videos that drew the most views on Drexel’s YouTube channel this year:
Don’t Wash Your Chicken
This video gave the story behind Jennifer Quinlan’s campaign to dispel the misconception that poultry should be washed before cooking it, and it apparently turned some heads, to the tune of more than 185,000 views.
This clip is only 30 seconds long, but its implications are huge. An animation demonstrates how DAVEI, a molecule developed at Drexel, fools the AIDS virus into disarming itself with a “pop.”
Scaling the Cira Centre
In this video, viewers went behind associate professor Frank Lee’s quest to create the world’s largest video game.
Top Drexel Athletics Moments
These were the big moments, each a first in Drexel history, that highlighted a successful year in Dragon athletics:
Women’s Basketball Makes History, Wins 2013 WNIT Championship
The Drexel women’s basketball team won the first postseason championship in the history of Philadelphia Division I women’s basketball in April when the Dragons defeated Utah in the WNIT championship game, 46-43, at the John A. Daskalakis Athletic Center. Hollie Mershon was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player as she and fellow senior Taylor Wootton led the Dragons past two SEC schools — Auburn and Florida — and the Pac-12’s Utes en route to the title.
Drexel Crew Wins the 2013 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta
Drexel won the overall team title, the men’s points trophy and the men’s varsity eight gold medal at the 2013 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. Director of Rowing Paul Savell sent a program-high 12 boats to the semifinals and advanced six of nine shells to the grand finals. The Dragons won four gold medals, a silver and a bronze, giving Drexel its highest medal total at the Dad Vail in school history.
Men’s Soccer Captures First CAA Tournament Title
The Drexel men’s soccer team won its first-ever Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship in November when the Dragons knocked off No. 21 William & Mary, 1-0, in the championship game at Vidas Field. Drexel earned a second straight NCAA Tournament bid for the first time in school history with the win.