A Message from Dean Dave Jones

As readers of The Honor Roll know, the Pennoni Honors College attempts to enrich our students’ educational opportunities in various ways. We also like to project what we do and value to audiences beyond Drexel, both the academy in general and the broader public. This issue of The Honor Roll features two of our most popular educational enrichment programs and two of our outreach initiatives.


This past summer, a record 137 Drexel freshmen presented their research at our annual STAR poster day. The STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Program supports talented and ambitious Drexel students for 10 weeks of research under the mentorship of a Drexel professor. Participation in STAR often leads to presentations at conferences or research papers coauthored with faculty mentors. One of our stories highlights a particularly productive student-mentor STAR relationship.

About three years ago, the College initiated the idea of between short-term travel courses entailing visits oversees or domestically outside the Delaware Valley to give students meaningful experiences of different cultures or opportunities to learn about institutions where they are most prominent. We began tentatively with just one a year, then gradually increased the number of such courses. This past September alone, we offered three travel-integrated courses during the break. One of our stories in this issue describes a course in Washington, D.C. This spring break we will have a travel-integrated course in Florence on Galileo and his times. Over June break,we plan to take a group of students to Cape Town to explore contemporary and past cultures of South Africa.

Two of our most prominent vehicles for projecting Honors activities and values to the broader public are The Smart Set, which attracts over 2 million visits per year, and The Drexel InterView, which is carried on over 330 public, educational, and community television stations. One of our stories describes how The Drexel InterView traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, to produce six episodes of the show. While The Drexel InterView will continue to be produced primarily in Philadelphia, we hope to visit at least one remote location each year for special programs.

The host of The Drexel InterView, Dr. Paula Marantz Cohen, Distinguished Professor of English and an associate of the Honors College, features in a second story this issue. She initiated and directed a documentary on Chinese higher education. While the project involved collaborative efforts with several other Drexel Colleges and with Chinese television, the Honors College was primarily responsible for its completion. The film serves Drexel’s strategic goal of achieving a global reach.

I hope you enjoy the stories.

Dave Jones
Dean