Office of the Provost
Letter from the Provost - Summer 2014

Well Wishes for the Summer Term

The start of the summer term is always different from that of other terms. There is a more relaxed, congenial atmosphere on campus. Students lounge outside; and green and flowering portions of campus signal urban summer. I hope that this term becomes a time for you to complete projects that are still undone and contemplate new and exciting academic, creative, and research initiatives, to enjoy seasonal favorite spots, and to vary your pace. The Provost’s Office will be working with colleges to prepare for the busy fall term and our incoming students.

This season also marks some changes in the professional lives of those who have served Drexel admirably. I especially want to thank Professor Rebecca Ingalls, Department of English & Philosophy, for her cogent and enjoyable profiles, contributed to this Newsletter as a service, over many years. We wish her well in her new career.

Distinguished Professor Paula Marantz Cohen becomes Dean Cohen, Pennoni Honors College.  Paula has been engaged in many of the Honors College’s programs, notably teaching superb Honors courses and hosting The Drexel InterView, conversations with internationally distinguished figures from a wide swath of human accomplishments. Paula follows Dean Dave Jones, whose improvements to Honors have resulted in a more rigorous, richer education for our Honors students and enhancements to programs like Fellowships and STAR that serve the entire University.  We look forward to watching Paula add her deep academic experience, discernment, and imagination to an already-flourishing College.

Our summer in Academic Affairs focuses on three important projects (each elaborated in articles, below): Program Alignment and Review, Strategic Faculty Hiring, and commencing initiatives featured in both Transforming the Modern Urban University: Drexel University Strategic Plan, 2012-2017 and Priorities for Enhancing Academic Quality: 2012-2017—our Academic Strategic Plan.

Program Alignment and Review—or PAR—is the University’s first systematic, ongoing review of all academic programs, featuring opportunities for self-study and reflection by our faculty and also the advantages of external colleagues’ perspectives on opportunities for improvement, areas of growth, and recognition for ongoing successes.  Overseen centrally, by a standing PAR Committee with generous representation from Faculty Senate and our cadre of deans, we have initiated five-year review cycles that will help ensure the quality and timeliness of every Drexel academic program.  The PAR Committee will also consider our overall academic organizational structure, recommending alignments, re-alignments, or new configurations to enhance teaching, learning, and research at Drexel.  Already, the process has fruitfully separated the School of Education from Goodwin College, helping us attract a new dean with national standing to build on the School Dean Bill Lynch so admirably developed.  The Center for Hospitality and Sport Management is also flourishing under the leadership of Dr. Jon Deutsch, Drexel Honors graduate and nationally-recognized culinary expert. The College of Computing and Informatics, completing its first year, has consolidated programs and increased research proposals and student enrollment. New knowledge emerges from inter-disciplines, trans-disciplines, and regions of investigation unimagined just a few years ago.  We want to encourage investigation and exploration unfettered by boundaries represented by departments, colleges, and schools, where such demarcation impedes exploration.  Addressing the world’s problems needs to take scholars and researchers wherever they need to go and in collaborations encouraged by the institution.

Consequently, we are approaching faculty hiring strategically and thematically in the same ways.  Collaborative identification of those key areas in which Drexel can make a significant impact on the world’s knowledge will impel hiring.  Joint or collaborative hiring will emerge, as will hires in a single field for a single department, where there is need.  The process of identifying those key areas is underway, and it’s a thrilling prospect to know that from such disciplined focus will emerge real opportunities for lasting intellectual contributions.

We look forward to progress along many fronts, as articulated in both the University Strategic Plan and the Academic Plan.  In particular, we are implementing a decentralized, transparent budget model that will provide greater responsibility for colleges to manage their own budgets while incenting behaviors that will help advance the University’s mission.  These are big challenges, worthy of our time and energy during the next five years.

I very much hope you will participate in helping us create the new Drexel University that truly represents the aspirations of all in our community.  I hope, too, that your summer is filled with plans fulfilled, joyous times with friends and family, and visits to summer places you love.


In This Issue...


Book Review

Past Issues of the Newsletter

A Message from the editor

On behalf of the entire Newsletter Advisory Board, please let me start by conveying my sincere gratitude to all of our many authors who submit articles for the Provost’s Newsletter.  It is these generous contributions of time and effort that make each issue possible.  With each publication, the Newsletter has grown not only in length, but also in significant stimulation to a reasonable segment of our community of readers.  The Spring 2014 publication featured three new sections: Student Spotlight, Alumni News, and Links to College, School and Various Other Drexel News.  We are excited to have three more additions: "Book Review", which appears in this publication, and "From the Faculty Senate" and "Adjunct Faculty Corner", which will appear soon.

I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank Rebecca Ingalls for her many contributions towards the Faculty Feature article each quarter.  Every interview Rebecca wrote was well prepared and developed, obviously due to her knack for asking the right questions that induced her sources to talk freely and from the heart, then finding the right words and linking them to feelings and thoughts.


Please send comments and questions pertaining to the Provost’s Newsletter or articles of interest to the attention of Donna McVicker,, Editor.


Drexel in China, May 2014
By Julie Mostov, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives

President Fry and a delgation of Drexel University faculty and staff attend the annual meeting of the
Shanghai Advanced Research Institute Advisory Board in May 2014.

A Drexel University delegation, led by President Fry and including Julie Mostov, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives; Suhada Jayasuriya, Distinguished University Professor and Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM); Wei Sun., Albert Soffa Chair Professor, MEM and Director, Drexel-SARI Center, and David Velinsky, Vice President for Academy Science, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and Head of the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Sciences were in China last month on a multi-city trip.  The visit included performances by The Philadelphia Orchestra, meetings at the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI) and the newly established ShanghaiTech, and the announcement of a new partnership with the Tianjin Museum of Natural History, deepening the sister city relationship between Philadelphia and Tianjin.

At the annual meeting of the SARI Advisory Board, Professor Wei Sun reviewed the research activities of the last year at the joint Drexel-SARI Center, including visits by Drexel faculty and students, and on-going projects, as well as a highly successful alumni night of networking. SARI researchers who were selected along with Drexel professors as Co-PIs on three joint projects on Energy and the Environment also presented slides of these collaborative research projects during the annual meeting.

Following this meeting, the Drexel team met a select group of leaders from ShanghaiTech University, an innovative new university jointly established by the Shanghai Municipal Government and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and viewed its impressive campus being built next to SARI. ShanghaiTech is led by Dr. Jiang Mianheng, Drexel alumnus, and is designed to promote first-class undergraduate and graduate education and cutting-edge research. Presidents Fry and Jiang signed an MOU to promote collaboration in education and research and faculty and student exchange between our two universities.

President Fry views a model of Shanghai Tech University with Gao Lin, Office of the President, ShanghaiTech University.

President Fry and Dr. Jiang Mianheng, President of ShanghaiTech University sign an MOU to promote collaboration in education and research and faculty and student exchange.

President Fry and Dr. Mostov then traveled to Tianjin, where they were met by David Velinsky for meetings at Nankai University (our partner university in Tianjin) and the Tianjin Museum of Natural History. Drexel University began a successful collaboration with Nankai University in December 2012, a relationship supported by both Mayor Michael Nutter and Mayor Huang Xingguo who witnessed the signing of the agreements. President Fry presented Nankai University President, GONG Ke, with a letter from Mayor Nutter to Mayor Huang, celebrating our continued collaboration and the addition of a new partnership between the ANS and the Tianjin Museum of Natural History. 

A gift is presented by David Valinski, Vice President for Academy Science, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University to Huang Ke Li, Director, Professor, Tianjin Natural History Museum.

After meetings with Nankai President, faculty, and staff, the group visited the Museum of Natural History, and signed an MOU, paving the way for exchange of people, ideas, collections, and exhibitions between these institutions and our Sister Cities.

Drexel University was the Education Partner for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2014 Tour of Asia and China Residency.  This partnership created opportunities for the Drexel community in China, including incoming students and their families, to experience this world renowned orchestra first hand.  The innovative program continues to represent a bridge for cultural, educational, and diplomatic exchange between China and the United States, as the two nations celebrate 35 years of diplomatic relations. This was the first tour with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who made a lasting impression on audiences in Beijing and Shanghai with Drexel and guests in attendance.

Faculty Features

Leadership, Collaboration, Community Healing
By Rebecca Ingalls, PhD, Director of the First-Year Writing Program,
Associate Professor, Department of English & Philosophy

One person, one decision, one moment can change your life. It’s not a cliché—it’s an extraordinary event. And sometimes, that one element that changes your life sends a giant wave through you, enabling you to change others’ lives. One of the things that I have found to be most important about this Faculty Feature column is how it can make visible not only the extraordinary achievements of some of our luminous faculty, but also the serendipitous paths they’ve taken to accomplish those feats. Indeed, the triumphs of Drexel’s faculty help to draw its many applicants every year. Imagine the wisdom students would gain if they knew the complex, unexpected, opportune, and downright impressive career decisions made and risks taken by the very people who teach them. As much as this column hopes to celebrate the pillars of excellence at Drexel, it also hopes to celebrate the process of building them.

For Dr. Patricia Gerrity, Associate Dean for Community Programs in the College of Nursing and Health Professions here at Drexel, a major shift came at the end of her nursing education. While growing up in the south Bronx, Gerrity knew she was a good student, but it wasn’t until after attending a diploma school in nursing and enrolling at the University of Pennsylvania to earn her BSN that she “fell in love with education broadly.” While focusing on her BSN, however, Gerrity’s exposure to a political world in which she was not well treated was disheartening. While working in the ER at Children’s Hospital, raising her young child, and going to school during the day, Gerrity’s path through nursing took an unexpected, inspiring turn in her last course: Public Health. Says Gerrity, “The person who taught it to me just changed my life. I saw this whole other role for nurses.”

So inspired was she that she decided to go on to get a master’s in public health nursing. In this pursuit, the bigger picture—the wide world of liberal education and the applied relevance of nursing in that larger scope—began to come into view. And then it expanded further, as Gerrity explains: “The person running the Masters in Public Health Nursing was getting a degree in the Department of City and Regional Planning. She introduced me to the possibilities within that field, and I moved right into the doctoral program.”

In the spirit of Gerrity’s somewhat rebellious longing for what she calls “broad education,” Penn’s interdisciplinary program was a lovely fit. Gerrity’s study as a doctoral student in this program built a critical foundation for the work that lay ahead of her as a researcher, a professor, and a community health advocate. The rigorous doctoral requirements of synthesizing three areas across the disciplines and establishing strong ties with those professors helped Gerrity to cultivate knowledge in quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as health economics and finance. The diversity of her dissertation committee exposed her to planning theory, systems theory, landscape architecture, epidemiology, anthropology, ethnography, and grant writing. And today, Gerrity credits that “one professor who treated me like a bright adult woman, who changed my career. My whole life.”

Gerrity’s first academic position was at LaSalle, where she worked to start the first nurse-managed health center, which supported a growing community of families. After becoming full professor and an endowed chair at LaSalle, Gerrity was drawn to Drexel’s new School of Public Health, and the joint initiative in 1996 between Drexel and the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) to build a community health center in the 11th Street corridor. Not only was this community in desperate need of access to healthcare, but it was also accustomed to the study of outsiders from whom, as Gerrity explains, its residents saw no return. For Gerrity, who was asked to lead this initiative, the project necessarily began with a question: “How do I start in the community?” She reflects, “I was glad I did ethnography. You learn how to be invited to participate in a community. I said I wanted to come down and work with the residents. I was told I had to talk with a community leader. They didn’t want anything to do with me. They were tired of being studied, assessed, and interviewed. I had to gain their trust.” Gerrity worked to place a faculty member and students in each of the four housing developments in the area, and she worked with the School of Public Health to do a Future Search that included a local high school. Together, the community (members of the community are part of the Community Advisory Board) decided they wanted a health center, and they worked together to create it. While the center had its beginnings in the Harrison Plaza Community Center, a $3.3 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration and support from PHA supported the establishment of the center’s permanent home at 850 N. 11th Street in 2002. Over the last decade, the center has grown enormously. Gerrity: “It was the first nurse-managed health center in the country built from the ground up, and we never expected it to take off the way it did.” Last year, the center served 6,000 patients and hosted 32,000 clinical visits.

Unsurprisingly, the center needs to expand. Thanks to the help of the Friends of 11th Street donors, which includes major funders in the city and beyond, and to the generosity of Bill Cosby, who grew up in the area and did a benefit performance in 2012 to support the expansion, the center will grow to accommodate its many community members and programs. Gerrity lists them with pride and excitement: “creative arts therapy, mind body therapists, mindfulness meditation, integrative restoration, power over pain, an urban farm, a teaching kitchen.” The center has worked with the Mural Arts Program and the Porch Light Initiative to create a mural called “Healing Home” right at the center, and they are planning to do another mural on the fence around a local elementary school. Internal collaborations at Drexel have been invaluable, as Gerrity and her team worked with Drexel’s iSchool—now the College of Computing and Informatics—to construct a system of patient tracking, and the center has received funding from the Provost’s Office for a full-time health services researcher. What’s more, the center is working toward Sanctuary Certification for trauma informed care, making it the first health center in the nation to seek this credential. And, although the center is still little known by the larger Drexel community, Gerrity finds that “the more people come, the more they find it in their hearts to support our work.”

The center has also become a field classroom, where Gerrity passes on her interdisciplinary approach to students. With nursing students doing their clinical rotations, 3 full-time and 2-part-time Co-ops, and students from across the disciplines, Gerrity sees the heart of her teaching at the center. “I wouldn’t be here if it were just nurses, without the other essential health professions within the college,” she says, and by now it seems impossible to imagine it any other way, knowing what I know about the path she followed to get here. “I like working in teams,” she says, and she pulls out a few artifacts. One is what she calls “The Spaghetti Diagram,” a multi-colored, multi-branched chart of the numerous people and programs that come together to make the center work. The others are two photographs: one, a collage of photos taken by neighborhood resident children that hangs at the center, and the other a photograph of a wellness visit, in which the young mother of a baby is watching her child delight in the benefits of music therapy. Each of these artifacts visually captures the collaboration that is the soul of the center’s service to its community.

It’s “community healing,” Gerrity explains, as she looks fondly upon the images. As she reflects further on the magnitude and the intricacy of the work she does, she paraphrases for me the words of William Hazlitt that drive her: “Man is the only animal that cries because man alone sees the difference between what is and what could be.” Gerrity’s journey has taken her right into the center of what she believes public health nursing is. “You see that it doesn’t have to be that way,” she says. After hearing her story, I am without a doubt that it was Gerrity’s hunger for the vastness of education, both theoretical and applied, both in the classroom and in the lives of urban residents, that has given her the gift of knowing how to approach that reality. It’s one thing to recognize “what is,” and it’s something else to make “what could be” possible.

Eight Drexel Faculty Earn Promotions to Full Professor
By Matt Erickson, Staff Writer, University Communications

Eight Drexel faculty members will be promoted to full professor effective September 1. And with expertise ranging from architecture to photography, research topics everywhere from overeating to solar energy and international connections stretching to India, Japan, Ireland and beyond, they’re a diverse group.

The promoted professors come from six different Drexel colleges and schools. The accomplishments that helped them reach this point are many, and they’re varied. Learn more about their work as scholars, teachers and leaders below.

Kathleen Fisher, PhD, College of Nursing and Health Professions
Fisher’s research focusing on intellectual disability was funded by the National Institutes of Health and multiple foundations, and received awards from international (The Australasian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability) and regional (The Suzanne Feetham Nurse Scientist Family Research Award) groups. Fisher has also been a visiting professor at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. A sought-after teacher and faculty mentor, she served as supervising professor for six doctoral students and methodologist for another 10 doctoral students. Happily married for over 33 years, she is the mother of three children. 

Evan Forman, PhD, College of Arts and Sciences
Forman will become a professor in the Department of Psychology, where he is also director of graduate studies. A clinical psychologist, his research interests include health-related behavior changes, especially related to obesity, overeating and food cravings. As the primary investigator on the “Mind Your Health” project sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, he compares standard and acceptance-based cognitive-behavioral interventions for obesity. His lab also developed a mobile app, “TakeControl,” designed to treat binge-eating disorder. Another Stein Family Fellow, he is the author of 75 scientific publications and book chapters.

Usha Menon, PhD, College of Arts and Sciences
Menon will be a professor of anthropology in the Department of Culture and Communication. She has written extensively on various aspects of Hindu society and civilization, in particular goddess worship, gender relations, emotional functioning, religious violence, Hindu morality and Hindu women and Western-style feminism. Her work on Hindu women seeks to study the ways in which they either do or do not empower themselves within the concrete contexts of their lives instead of focusing on questions of individual liberty or gender equality. She is the author of “Women, Wellbeing and the Ethics of Domesticity in an Odia Hindu Temple Town” (2013).

James Mitchell, College of Engineering
Mitchell is the director of Drexel’s Architectural Engineering program. He is a registered architect and former principal in the Philadelphia design firm Jordan-Mitchell, Inc. He has shaped the Architectural Engineering program, led it to accreditation and developed MS and PhD degrees. His research has primarily been in the area of engineering education. He has served as associate dean of engineering and as interim department head. He has twice won the College of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award and has also won a University Teaching Excellence award and a University service award.

Andrea Modica, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Modica, a photographer, is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. Modica's work is published in several monographs, including “Treadwell,” “Minor League,” “Human Being” and “Fountain.” Her photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the George Eastman House, the National Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution and many others. She teaches workshops at the International Center for Photography, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, and the Maine Media Workshops. Her work can be viewed at

Jeffrey Popyack, PhD, College of Computing & Informatics
Popyack will become a professor of computer science, where he served 10 years as the associate head for undergraduate affairs. His research interests are in operations research, artificial intelligence and computer science education. He is primarily responsible for the freshman computer science curriculum and artificial intelligence track courses at Drexel. He has been the principal investigator on four National Science Foundation education grants and has also received grants from Microsoft and IBM. In 1999, he was awarded Drexel’s Undergraduate Teaching Award for Senior Faculty, and in 2007 he received the College of Engineering Outstanding Service Award.

Konstantinos Serfes, PhD, School of Economics, LeBow College of Business
Serfes’ research interests lie in industrial organization, applied game theory and microeconomics. Specifically, his research uses game-theory models to study strategic interactions of firms in oligopoly markets. He has written on issues related to price discrimination, product customization, two-sided markets, the venture capital market, entrepreneurship and tax competition, among other subjects. He is the current LeBow Betsy Cohen Research Scholar, and he is a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Jonathan Spanier, PhD, College of Engineering
Spanier, who will be a professor of materials science and engineering, is an innovator in the area of materials for efficient and inexpensive solar energy conversion and electronics. He leads international programs in renewable energy and sustainability, participates in the Japan Trust International Research Cooperation Program and directs one of the University’s research core facilities. As associate dean in the College of Engineering, he orchestrated development of a new strategic plan. A Stein Family Fellow, Spanier received the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, the Louis R. Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Distinguished Service Award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Student Spotlight

Seven Drexel Students Offered Fulbright Grants
By Alissa Falcone, Communications Associate, Office of Communications

For the second consecutive year a record-breaking seven Drexel students and alumni have been offered study and research grants by the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Some of Drexel’s grantees and alternates have already received other prestigious fellowships this year, such as the Critical Language Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. But the high number of grantees is as impressive as the “non-traditional” fields of research and study that will be represented.

“The fact that four grantees are from the College of Engineering and two are in the College of Nursing and Health Professions is pretty unusual,” said Rona Buchalter, PhD, director of the Drexel Fellowships Office. “And one of those is in an online program—not what you typically see in Fulbright.”

The four College of Engineering recipients are part of a growing Fulbright trend to expand the role of American students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in the global spectrum.

“The State Department has expressed a real desire to see more STEM applicants for Fulbright, and I think our students are benefiting from that,” Buchalter said.

Matt D’Arcy will travel to South Korea to join the mission efforts of KAUSAT-5, a small spacecraft designed and developed by the Space Systems Research Laboratory of Korea Aerospace University. The Honors student will graduate in 2014 from the College of Engineering with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Amanda Decker will work with the oncology and medical engineering departments at Ruhr University of Bochum in Germany. She will study sonoporation as a drug delivery system and apply her chemical engineering plant skills through design work on microbubbles for large-scale pharmaceutical use. Decker, an Honors student, will graduate in 2014 from the College of Engineering with a BS/MS in chemical engineering.

Kerry Hamilton will conduct a risk assessment of Brisbane’s roof-harvested rainwater at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Kerry was an Association of Schools of Public Health fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency and currently serves as president of Drexel Graduate Women in Science and Engineering, which organizes academic, community service and networking events for the Drexel community. Hamilton is an environmental engineering PhD student in the College of Engineering who will graduate in 2016.

Adams Rackes will collaborate with a leader in indoor air quality from Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina to develop a labeling system for naturally ventilated buildings. The architectural engineering honors student will graduate in 2016 from the College of Engineering with a PhD.

Bradley Boehringer will partner with Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland to establish and implement a mobile nursing simulation center for the country’s rural areas. Boehringer recently graduated from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions with a master’s degree in nursing education.

Lauren Pitts will study the impact of father-daughter communication on adolescent daughters’ sexual decision-making in Barbados. Before graduating with a master’s in Family Therapy from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions in 2013, Lauren was awarded the department’s Ivan Boszomenyi-Nagy Social Justice and Clinical Excellence Award, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/ Health Resources and Services Administration scholarship. She is currently working on her EdD in Educational Leadership and Management and will graduate in 2017.

Hunter Snyder will explore the relationship of Greenland’s Inuit population with labor and land in light of the transformations caused by mining activity in the Arctic. He will travel to Greenland and Denmark for his work. Snyder is also a recipient of the National Geographic Young Explorer Award, a National Science Foundation EAGER Grant, an American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship and a grant from the Arctic Institute of North America. He graduated from the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in film and video studies and is currently a graduate student of anthropology at the University of Oxford.

Emily Buck, an alternate, hopes to conduct biomedical research on proteins in damaged cardiac tissue at Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne as a Fulbright recipient. She will also do the research as a 2014-15 Whitaker Fellow. Emily is also a 2013-14 Goldwater Scholar and 2014-17 NSF Graduate Research Fellow. The honors student will graduate in 2014 with a materials science and engineering BS/MS in 2014.

This year’s Fulbright recipients reflect the strong track record Drexel has established in recent years. From 2003 to 2013, at least 29 Drexel students and alumni have received Fulbright awards.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards funding for one academic year of self-designed study, research, creative projects, or teaching English in one of over 140 countries around the world.

For more information, visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website or email

International Area Studies Student Receives Boren Scholarship
By Diane E. Ketler, Marketing & Communications Associate, College of Arts and Sciences

International Area Studies Student Jennifer Siew

Jennifer Siew’s passport has been put to good use over the years. Since coming to Drexel, the international area studies major has traveled to seven countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Israel. Now, thanks to the prestigious Boren Scholarship, Siew is adding Brazil to her pages of arrival stamps.

The Boren Scholarship provides U.S. undergraduates with up to $20,000 to study abroad in areas critical to U.S. interests. In addition to studying Portuguese, Siew will be researching Brazil’s initiatives in microfinance and public health, with the hopes of one day creating a sister program in the Middle East.

Q: Why did you choose to go to Brazil to study microfinance and public health? Is there something specific about the way they’re approaching those topics that interests you?

A: Brazil's development over the last decade or so has been immense, and they've done a lot in the way of improving their health indicators and lifting people out of poverty. Brazil's public health system—a Systema Unico de Saude, or SUS—was revolutionary when it was first introduced in the late ’80s and its Community Health Worker (CHW) program is considered to be a model by first world nations, particularly in the UK.

At the same time, Brazil has a great Community Development Bank (CDB) system, targeting areas without access to normal, formal banking systems. I am interested, in general, in how microfinance services and community healthcare can intersect to lift people out of poverty—a growing interest of organizations such as the World Bank—and Brazil provides a nice source of study for this. 

I also feel that Brazil is the perfect place for me now because eventually I would like to create sister programs in Palestine—and other Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries dealing with these services—and Brazil has recently demonstrated interest in further involvement in the MENA area, particularly Palestine.

Q: And on top of all that, you’re taking up Portuguese? When did you start studying the language?

A: I started studying Portuguese when I arrived to Brazil! That was early March, so it's been about two months now. I study at the Dialogo School for Portuguese in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. I have about five hours of class, Monday through Friday.  Currently, I speak a strange hybrid of Modern Standard, Egyptian, and Levantine Arabic, and now, some Portuguese as well.

Q: What do you hope to take away from your time in South America?

A: In July, I will be moving to Sao Paulo to study at the University there, USP. When I leave, I hope to—of course—be nearly fluent in Portuguese, and I hope to have done much groundwork and research on the services and organizations I mentioned previously. I want to make a lot of connections with the workers in this field, and hopefully speak with many people who are served by these organizations as well.

Eventually, I would like to come back to Brazil and continue research, looking at the successes and failures of these Brazilian programs, helping to improve them, and creating policy suggestions for such programs in Palestine. Of course, there is still much work to be done here, as Brazil has a huge disparity between its poorer and richer populations, so I'd like to work here a bit as well, in addition to Palestine. I'm hoping to partner with a professor or faculty member at USP to conduct my research more formally, but if that doesn’t work out, I will be trying to travel and network with as many organizations as possible.

As an aside, I'm also becoming incredibly interested in the Afro-Brazilian culture here—it's so rich and omnipresent; I'd like to do some more exploration of that as well!

Want to learn more about Siew? Read her 2013 feature “Focused” in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Ask magazine.

College of Medicine Student Awarded American Medical Women’s Association Fellowship
By Ed Federico, Media Relations Manager

Maranatha (Stephany) Gabaud

Maranatha (Stephany) Gabaud, a third-year medical student at Drexel University College of Medicine, was recently named a 2013-2015 Anne C. Carter Global Health Fellow by the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). Gabaud is one of only four women medical students awarded this fellowship in the country. This is a two-year fellowship that offers the awardees the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the practice of international medicine during their medical education.

"During my lifetime, I lived and volunteered in my community here in the United States and my native country of Haiti. The experience of living in both countries gave me a firsthand look at the health disparities that plague the health care system in the U.S. and abroad,” said Gabaud.

“As a future physician, I hope to combine my medical background and the global health expertise that I will gain from the Anne C. Carter Fellowship to help bridge the health care gap that exists in the U.S. and in other developing countries. I am truly honored to have been awarded this opportunity."

Gabaud earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences and a minor in public health at the University of South Florida before coming to Drexel to continue her studies. During her tenure as the co-president of the AMWA chapter at Drexel, Gabaud developed a community service project in which AMWA members collaborated with the Eliza Shirley House (women’s shelter) to educate women about breast cancer. She is passionate about increasing access to health care for women and children worldwide.

The Carter Global Health Fellowship
The first year of The Anne C. Carter Global Health Fellowship focuses on a global health curriculum, local project development and mentorship. The second year focuses on in-depth planning and preparation for a medical service-learning trip to Engeye Clinic in Uganda. The Carter Fellowship culminates in a capstone global health project in Engeye. The fellows selected for 2013-2015 will be the fourth cohort of fellows and will be expected to actively work with their predecessors, as well as assist the subsequent class in their transition, to provide good continuity.

Each Fellow will have approximately $1,000 to fund her local project planning and to subsidize expenses for her international global health project and trip to Uganda. Fellows will not be required to travel abroad if medical school scheduling does not allow; however, all Fellows must plan a capstone project, even if the project addresses a more local global health issue.

Geoffrey Beene Design Scholarship
By Brittanie Sterner, Executive Assistant to the Dean and Communications Coordinator Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Graduate Fashion Design student Yi Deng received the highly coveted $25,000 Geoffrey Beene Design Scholarship, awarded each year to the most exemplary and innovative women’s wear design student in the country. Established in 2007 by the Geoffrey Beene Foundation and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) as part of the CFDA’s core scholarships, the prestigious award program engages students in a specialized teaching curriculum centered on the work of legendary American designer Geoffrey Beene and on the advancement of the art form. Yi Deng was part of Professor Cynthia Golembuski’s Fashion Presentation class which studied Geoffrey Beene’s work and brought students to the Fox Historic Costume Collection, where curator Clare Sauro shared garments designed by Beene and discussed their many signature elements.

Food Science Students Create Sriracha Chocolate Nut Bar
By Matthew Gray, Director, Marketing and Enrollment Management
Center for Hospitality and Sport Management

In many convenience stores, supermarkets and health food stores, you’ll find shelves of nutrition bars that feature various healthy components such as protein, fiber, nuts, whole grains and fruits.  What you haven’t seen before is a bar that contains sriracha, chocolate and nuts. Though, that may change now that a team of aspiring research chefs from the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management has been awarded a $5,000 grant through the Allan Kalish Food Innovation Fund.

The Alan Kalish Food Innovation Fund supports Drexel University students in the creation of food product development for consumer packaged goods or food-service.  The fund was created to spur the advance of products that are healthy or can be a component of a healthy diet and are affordable by the average Philadelphia wage earner.

The Sriracha Nut Bar was created by Rob Facciolo, Wai Lam, Lanre Akisanya and Julia Hanna, all graduate students in the Food Science program. Their idea was to come up with a tasty and fulfilling snack bar that is satisfying to the palate and convenient. They also gave consideration for the bar to be healthy and provide energy at the same time.  Fortunately, this came naturally to college students who have back-to-back class and are always on the go.

The idea of partnering chocolate and nuts with sriracha was based on the combination of sweet and heat being popular with millennials. During the process, the product went through six iterations featuring different ingredients, methods, ratios and flavor components to find the right flavor balance. The final product contains toasted oats, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds held together with almond butter and honey; topped with a spiced sriracha chocolate.

As the first winners of the Alan Kalish Food Innovation Fund, the team will use the award for a shelf life study, packaging and consumer testing.  The team will also be doing financial calculations to determine retail cost along with gaining a bettering understanding on legislation involving allergens.

The group plans on marketing the product locally to cafes, coffee shops and bakeries and eventually to larger stores including Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Nine Students Honored at the 24th Annual Cooperative Education Awards
By Jill R. Marateck, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Steinbright Career Development Center

On May 8, The Cooperative Education Awards recognized nine outstanding students, for their exceptional effort in fulfilling the goals and ideals of cooperative education:

M. David Boodey, Business & Engineering ’14, completed his third co-op experience at Teva Pharmaceuticals.  He was nominated by Dr. Ernest Jones, Director of US Supply Planning. David was responsible for the implementation of a supply chain transformative initiative with Teva’s Salt Lake City manufacturing site. “It is because of David’s overall effectiveness through co-op, his continued strong performance as a part-time employee while completing his degree, his intuitive understanding of supply dynamics, and his career potential that he is deserving of recognition as an outstanding co-op,” said Jones.

Jhan-Duc Duclos is a senior Biomedical Engineering major with a concentration in Biomechanics and Human Performance. He is in Drexel’s five-year accelerated BS/MS Program, and will be graduating in September 2014 with a dual degree from the School of Biomedical Engineering. Jhan-Duc completed two of his co-ops with Lockheed Martin in the company’s Weapon Control Systems department, and was nominated for this award by John Furlong. “With respect to testing, Jhan-Duc was more independent, thorough, and reliable than most new engineers, let alone most co-ops,” said Furlong.

Christine Luby, Nutrition and Foods ’14, was nominated by Tim Flohr of the Drexel University Center for Hospitality and Sport Management program, and was recognized for her determination, dependability and creativity. Flohr credits Christine with transforming the entire culinary arts and hospitality department into, “an even more effective learning environment for students, employees and future co-ops alike.”

Krysten Minnici is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering. Krysten will complete her studies in Italy and Spain as part of the EAGLES (Engineers as Global Leaders for Energy Sustainability) Dual Degree program. Krysten was nominated by Robert Barsotti, of Arkema Inc., where she worked as a Materials Engineer/Chemist. During her co-op, Krysten successfully mastered more than a dozen polymer testing techniques and also became an expert in the weathering of polymer systems.

Ethan O’Neill, Information Systems’14, completed all three of his co-op positions with Computer Science Corporation, (CSC) and was nominated by his manager, Kurt Phillips. His position supported the Intelink Service Management Center (ISMC) in a demanding, fast-paced environment. In this role, Ethan had to acquire and maintain security clearance from the US Government. He showed exemplary work performance, producing work of the highest quality, and consistently bringing energy and enthusiasm to the workplace.

Emily Rugh, Culinary Science ’14 was nominated by Tobin Bickley, Chief Operating Officer at La Colombe Torrefaction. During her co-op Emily was responsible for assisting with two important product development projects at La Colombe that included working on the Pure Black ready-to-drink coffee, and the recently launched rum distillery. Using her knowledge from her coursework at Drexel, Emily successfully helped extend the shelf life of the ready-to-drink coffee from 3 weeks to 2 months. “Emily has never been considered merely a student, but a true professional,” said Bickley.

Aaron Strauss, Communications ‘14, was nominated by Daniel Piotrowski, Director of Proposals, at Catapult Learning, LLC. “Aaron was our first co-op student in the proposals department at Catapult Learning and has set the bar extremely high. His work initiative, dedication, and dependability are on levels of a seasoned management employee,” said Piotrowski.

Stephanie Zeitz is a senior in the School of Education, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Teaching, Learning & Curriculum. Steph was nominated by Jessica Skinner, Academics Coordinator, at Scholar Academies. Without Steph’s assistance this summer we would not have been able to offer all of the professional development for our network in such a polished and professional way. Her impact will outlast the six months she was with us,” said Skinner.

Yuxing Zhang is a senior majoring in Interior Design in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Yuxing worked at Wharton Operations in the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for her sole co-op. Yuxing was nominated by Aileen Sprat for her strong work ethic and initiative when completing tasks. “Yuxing’s work was flawless, dependable, and thoughtful. Her presence in Wharton Operations improved the overall productivity of the office and her talents have been a great benefit to the school,” said Sprat.

Walgreens Awards Scholarship to Kristen Nesbitt
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Coordinator, Marketing Communications
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Current Drexel Family Nurse Practitioner student Kristen Joy Nesbitt was surprised by Walgreens representatives during a meeting at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia on May 5. During the lunch meeting, Nesbitt learned she was the recipient of a scholarship from Walgreens when Edward C. Hatton, Market Manager of Clinical Operations for the Philadelphia Tri-State & Washington D.C. handed her a check for $5,000. Nesbitt was also congratulated by Michele Emery, Regional Manager of Clinical Operations for Take Care Health Systems LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens.

Kristen Joy Nesbitt holding her scholarship check.

Current Drexel Family Nurse Practitioner student Kristen Joy Nesbitt was surprised by Walgreens representatives during a meeting at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia on May 5. During the lunch meeting, Nesbitt learned she was the recipient of a scholarship from Walgreens when Edward C. Hatton, Market Manager of Clinical Operations for the Philadelphia Tri-State & Washington D.C. handed her a check for $5,000. Nesbitt was also congratulated by Michele Emery, Regional Manager of Clinical Operations for Take Care Health Systems LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens.

Selection criteria for the Walgreens Scholarship included requirements such as: the student must be currently enrolled in a Family Nurse Practitioner or Doctor of Nursing Practice program and in their last year of study, have an interest in retail health and a willingness to rotate through one of Walgreens’ clinics, and must prepare an essay explaining their interest in retail health.

Faculty and staff from the College of Nursing and Health Professions were on hand to help Nesbitt celebrate the scholarship award. In attendance: Dr. Gloria Donnelly, Dean of the College; Dr. Al Rundio, Associate Dean for Post-Licensure and Graduate Nursing Programs; Dr. Kym Montgomery, Chair of the Nurse Practitioner Track; Jennifer Mondillo, an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Graduate Nursing; AtNena Tucker, an assistant clinical professor in the BSN Program; Amanda Paulker, Academic Advisor, Graduate Nursing Programs; and Laura Valenti, Executive Director of College Engagement.

NSNA Awards A.J. Jannetti Career Mobility Scholarship
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Coordinator, Marketing Communications
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Bachelor of Science in Nursing student Adam Pearson was awarded the A.J. Jannetti Career Mobility Scholarship from the Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA), sponsored by Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. Rising above hundreds of applicants, Pearson won one of 91 scholarships awarded for the 2014-2015 academic year. All of the recipients and sponsors were acknowledged at the NSNA’s 62nd Annual Convention in April in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Nursing Student to Battalion Commander
By Mahmoud Shurbaji, Marketing Communications Co-op
College of Nursing and Health Professions

BSN student Sarah Getsay is looking forward to her senior year as Cadet Battalion Commander of Drexel’s Army ROTC. Getsay, a rising senior at the College of Nursing and Health Professions, has been selected to hold this highest ranking position for the upcoming fall and winter terms. In her new role, Getsay will be responsible for all battalion activities and ensuring that the commander’s intent is fulfilled in every training event. Getsay will be working with a staff comprised of other senior students from the university to set the standard and direction of her unit while providing guidance and support to younger cadets.

BSN student Sarah Getsay, Cadet Battalion Commander of Drexel’s Army ROTC

This selection came after a four-day Joint Field Training Exercise at Fort Dix, New Jersey, from April 10-13. The exercise is the final formal training for the cadets before their Leadership Development and Assessment (LDAC) course during the summer, a twenty-nine day capstone that evaluates leadership skills in a garrison and tactical environment. Drexel Army ROTC, along with cadets from Temple and Widener Universities, made up a group of sixty-seven junior cadets. During the exercise, cadets practiced STX lanes and patrolling, which are squad- and platoon-level tactical exercises. Cadets were also assigned to various levels of leadership positions such as squad leader or platoon leader and were evaluated on several different competencies that assessed their abilities to lead and accomplish a mission. Getsay was tasked with the extra duty of carrying over forty pounds of ammunition in her ruck throughout the exercise.

Getsay said that although the weekend was exciting, all of the cadets were thankful to be able to wash their hands for the first time in five days upon their return, as well as feast on pizza and Chinese food.

Getsay transferred to Drexel University during her sophomore year from Grove City College after changing her major from Biology to Nursing. She first heard about Army ROTC while visiting another university and decided to inquire about ROTC opportunities in Philadelphia. When she came to visit Philadelphia, Getsay applied for Drexel’s three-year ROTC nursing scholarship, for which she had to complete an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and a formal interview at the Drexel ROTC Unit. Getsay was awarded a full-tuition scholarship and packed her bags to move to Philadelphia.

Getsay says that being a cadet in the ROTC has been beneficial in so many ways. It has forced her to become more adaptable and resilient in difficult situations. “There’s so many times that I’ve been tested on my grasp of military knowledge and had to think on my feet. I’ve also been physically challenged,” explained Getsay. She is a member of the Ranger Challenge Team, a group of nine cadets that participates in physically intense competitions every year where events such as weapons assembly contests and 10k ruck marches take place. Getsay said that although the mental and physical stress can be difficult at times, she “wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything,” as she believes they have made her a tougher, stronger, and more well-rounded individual. “Just from the two years I’ve spent in ROTC, I feel that I have become better at both leading and following and learning when to step into either role,” she said.

Getsay said that the leadership skills she has picked up as a cadet have helped her as a student nurse as well, and will absolutely contribute to  her success as a nursing leader in the Army. Getsay notes that she is excited for her future career in the Army and hopes to receive Active Duty Status so that she can fulfill her goal of being stationed at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii for her first assignment. In terms of her nursing career, Getsay hopes to pursue either a critical care or an emergency medicine specialty. She said she can picture herself as an Army Flight Nurse or a Nurse Anesthetist.

Getsay closed, “We have an amazing program here at Drexel, and it will be an honor to lead it come this September!”

Students Spot Elderly’s Need for Good Sneakers
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Coordinator, Marketing Communications
College of Nursing and Health Professions

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Class of 2016 from the College of Nursing and Health Professions visited the Philadelphia Nursing Home this February to practice functional mobility and walking with assistive devices. “During our visit we were disheartened to notice that many of the residents had poor walking patterns as a result of ill-fitting footwear rather than anatomical impairments,” explained Colleen McQuate, one of the DPT students. “We felt strongly that if these people had the physical ability to walk, then they should have the opportunity to do so, and consequently the idea of a shoe drive was born.”

The project quickly came to fruition, and within a month and a half the DPT class was able to collect 150 pairs of gently used sneakers. “It is easy to forget how the little things in life so many of us take for granted can truly impact the quality of someone else’s life,” McQuate continued. “We hope that this simple donation project will enhance the lives of the nursing home residents by affording them greater mobility and independence.” McQuate and her peers from the DPT Class of 2016’s Community Service Committee- Lauren Dennison, Korinne Wenger, and Brian Dougherty- delivered the shoes to the nursing home on May 19.

The DPT class was able to collect 150 pairs of gently used sneakers.
DPT Class of 2016’s Community Service Committee - Colleen McQuate, Lauren Dennison, Korinne Wenger, and Brian Dougherty delivering shoes.


Macy Student Fellows Visit Independence Blue Cross Foundation
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Coordinator, Marketing Communications
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Macy Undergraduate Fellows with Dr. Roberta Waite at the Independence Blue Cross Foundation.

This year’s class of Macy Undergraduate Fellows had a unique opportunity to learn about community programs this quarter. During their Leadership in Action and Community Health course, they were invited to visit the Independence Blue Cross Foundation to hear firsthand about the many community health initiatives underway at the Foundation.

Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, President of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, hosted Dr. Roberta Waite, creator of the Macy Undergraduate Leader Program, and the class of Macy students on-site at the Foundation. There they heard from a panel of four speakers who discussed various initiatives in the community, encompassing not only nursing initiatives but also interdisciplinary programs that were relevant to students in all health professions who are enrolled in the course.

Developed in 2011 by Dr. Waite, a Macy Faculty Scholar alumna of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Program aims to mold students from the College of Nursing and Health Professions into future leaders in the healthcare field. The final course in a series of three courses required to complete the one-year program is titled Leadership in Action and Community Health. Students in the course examine roles and functions carried out by leaders in healthcare, especially those who advocate for underserved populations. They are also learning about national policies that affect community health, advocacy movements in healthcare, healthcare delivery models and their role as it relates to patient advocacy, and about health disparities related to race, class, and culture that impact the community.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Grant
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Coordinator, Marketing Communications
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Master’s in Nutrition student Tiffany Huang ’14 was awarded a mini-grant from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, as a member of the Kids Eat Right campaign. Kids Eat Right is a member-driven public education platform designed to ensure that sound nutrition recommendations are part of childhood obesity prevention. As a recipient of the grant, Huang will give two presentations to youth and adults participating in health education workshops at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center.

Faulkenstein Scholarship Award
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Coordinator, Marketing Communications
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Students Amanda Hall, Danielle Spearman, and Zakiyyah Musin-Fall were awarded Drexel’s Faulkenstein Scholarship for this academic year. Professor Faulkenstein was a cherished faculty member in the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ Nurse Practitioner Program who passed away in 2010. The scholarship, established in her honor, is awarded to Nurse Practitioner students who demonstrate high academic achievement and need for financial support.

A Record-Breaking Year for Graduate Studies
By Sandra Golis, Administrative Coordinator, Graduate Studies

GSA’s “Most Popular Event of the Year” Persian Student Association’s Iranian New Year:
Nowruz 1393, March 28, 2014, Main Building

Each year, the end of the spring term means another academic year has come and gone.  It is not only a time to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduate students, but also for well wishes and goodbyes.  It is easier to say goodbye knowing the expenditure of another year has come in exchange for the wonderful milestones in the lives of our graduate students.

More than 200 doctoral candidates and 1,200 master’s students received their degrees at Commencement this past June.  Graduates have acquired post docs at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Imperial College, Duke University, and the University of Pennsylvania, faculty positions at Temple University, and jobs in industry at companies like Level-3 Communications, Jack In The Box, Urban Outfitters and Aqua America.  In addition, Graduate Studies has awarded the inaugural Parental Accommodation Fellowship to relieve the recipient of teaching assistantship duties in order to care for his newborn.  Graduates have won Lindau, Fulbright, Whitaker, DAAD and GRFP Fellowships.  They have been published in innumerable journals and 130 students have traveled across the country (and the world) to present at professional meetings and conferences for which the Office of Graduate Studies has awarded more than $33,600 in travel subsidy, the most ever in the history of the program. This includes seven graduate students who were awarded the Higher Education Advocate Travel Award (HEATA) for the purpose of promoting graduate education at Drexel and sharing their experiences with students at their former high schools and alma maters.  PhD candidate, Samuel Laurencin, was chosen to be the keynote speaker at his former high school’s commencement ceremony at George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science in Philadelphia. You can see his speech and our other HEATA presentation here.

On campus, our graduate student groups have utilized the Graduate Student Lounge in Main Building in a myriad of ways and the space has been a venue for more than 200 meetings and events.  Plans and fundraising for Phase II of development in the Graduate Student Lounge including furniture and technology upgrades will commence this summer.  The Graduate Student Association (GSA) and daughter organizations have organized charity functions to benefit the 11th Street Family Health Services Center, Spell Writing Labs, Philabundance, and other charities.  One standout graduate student group hosted the year’s most popular event, Iranian New Year: Nowruz 1393, to benefit the Child Foundation to support education of children in need at Iran hosted by the Persian Student Association in collaboration with groups from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania.  The GSA hosted a series of career panels in academia and industry, placement workshops, financial workshops, and its inaugural Creativity & Innovation Colloquium bringing in big names in research to share their experiences and advice with graduate students.  Most importantly, this year’s graduate student leaders have engaged the student body in record numbers. We expect that next year’s incoming graduate student leadership will be just as ambitious and forward thinking.  For a full list of 2014 Graduate Student Day and Commencement Award recipients, please visit our website.

It is important to note that these achievements would not have been possible without the support and guidance of department’s faculty and graduate advisors as well as the leadership of Drexel University through President John Fry, Provost Mark Greenberg, and Senior Vice Provost John DiNardo.  Graduate Studies would like to thank them for their continued support and advocacy for graduate education and co-curricular programs at Drexel.

Finally, the Office of Graduate Studies would like to recognize the accomplishments of our leader, the Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Dr. Teck-Kah Lim, recipient of the GSA’s “Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award” and the 24th Annual Cooperative Education’s “Faculty of the Year Award” for cultivating international and graduate coops and creating opportunities for our students in Malaysia, as well as bringing Malaysian students to Drexel in record numbers. Congratulations, Dr. Lim!

Office of Graduate Studies staff (left to right) Sandra Golis, Natalie Marciano, Dr. Teck-Kah Lim, 24th Annual Cooperative Education’s “Faculty of the Year Award” recipient 2014, and Tsz Kwok.

College & School News

Smart Belly Band
By Brittanie Sterner, Executive Assistant to the Dean and Communications Coordinator
Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

In an innovative marriage of fashion design, science and digital fabrication, Genevieve Dion, Director of the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab and Professor of Fashion Design in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, are progressing further with the development of a “smart garment” that will be able to monitor a pregnant woman’s baby in real time.

Dion is leading a team of researchers from Drexel’s Colleges of Medicine and Engineering in developing a maternity belly band that will track uterine contractions and real-time heart rates. The wearable technology will be especially useful in monitoring high-risk pregnancies in a non-invasive manner. The belly band, in time, may have applications for routine checkups, in addition to allowing doctors to monitor their patients from both inside and outside of a hospital.

Using computerized knitting software, electrically conductive thread, and a passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, Dion—who was recently named by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business—designed a prototype of the stylish and seamless belly band. The project was produced at the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab located in Drexel’s ExCITe Center, with support from the Coulter-Drexel Partnership for Innovation in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems.

The mission of the Haute Technology Lab is to advance the field of wearable technology with the development of modular, flexible production for high-performance textile applications. In other words – the fabrics of the future. This summer the belly band prototype will be put through its first clinical trials.

Researchers on the project include Owen Montgomery, M.D., head of obstetrics and gynecology at Drexel’s College of Medicine; and Kapil Dandekar, PhD, Adam Fontecchio, PhD, and Timothy Kurzweg, PhD, from the College of Engineering. Their research centers on signal processing algorithms that monitor changes in received signal characteristics from the RFID tag.

2014 Fashion Show
By Brittanie Sterner, Executive Assistant to the Dean and Communications Coordinator
Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

The annual Drexel Fashion Show, always a tour-de-force of exceptional work from the collections of senior and graduate Fashion Design students in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, took place on Saturday, June 7 at the Urban Outfitters Headquarters in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard located at 5000 South Broad Street.

Thirty-two collections ranging from eveningwear to bridal, sportswear, men’s, women’s, and children’s wear hit the runway during two sold-out shows. Instead of being limited by a singular theme, students were encouraged to develop their collections based on their own personal inspirations. This year’s collections drew inspiration from South Korean and Spanish cultural heritages, Art Nouveau, marine life, the reflection of streetlights on the Seine, and the veins of leaves. Students began research in the fall and spent seven months creating pieces that brought their visions to life, both illustrating and constructing the final garments.

The students’ collections were eligible for a number of awards from notable designers and retailers. Local fashion influencers were also in attendance to judge the work and present the awards.

Design & Merchandising students handled all aspects of the show’s production and management, including organizing the staging of the show, casting the models, marketing and public relations, box office administration and front of house operations.

The curation of music for the fashion show was managed by 15 students in the Music Industry Program, as part of the Mad Dragon Music Publishing practicum course, under the direction of Assistant Professor Michelle Manghise. Music Industry students handled music supervision for the runway segment of the show, selecting, editing and sequencing music that reflected the artistic vision of the designers, engaged the audience and set the overall tone for the event.

DUTV, Drexel University’s cable television station carried in the Philadelphia region by Comcast and FIOS, recorded the show for broadcast at a later date, with production handled by Cinema & Television students.

Researchers on the project include Owen Montgomery, M.D., head of obstetrics and gynecology at Drexel’s College of Medicine; and Kapil Dandekar, PhD, Adam Fontecchio, PhD, and Timothy Kurzweg, PhD, from the College of Engineering. Their research centers on signal processing algorithms that monitor changes in received signal characteristics from the RFID tag. 

Westphal in Los Angeles
By Brittanie Sterner, Executive Assistant to the Dean and Communications Coordinator
Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

This summer will mark the third installment of the “Westphal in LA” program, where students from the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design descend upon Hollywood to work at internships with leading companies in the television, film and entertainment industries, while taking credits towards their degree.

Forty-four students are enrolled in Westphal in Los Angeles 2014, with 32 students from Cinema & TV and 12 from Music Industry. The companies they’ll intern with include Brave New Films, Image Movers, Principato-Young Entertainment, Fremantle Media, Little Pond Television, Super 78, MGM-HD, Studio System News, Aero Films and others. The students will live and take classes in a luxury apartment complex in downtown Los Angeles.

Working and studying in LA for the summer gives students hands-on experiences and the beginnings of a network of relationships in an industry-town where many Westphal alumni build careers after graduation. Additionally, a number of students stay on in Los Angeles for several months while working at their co-ops. For more information about the program, please contact Karin Kelly at or Ian Abrams at

Anoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design Faculty News
By Brittanie Sterner, Executive Assistant to the Dean and Communications Coordinator
Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Nicole Koltick, Architecture + Interiors Assistant Professor, will hold a prestigious residency this summer at the MacDowell Colony, a highly selective art colony in New Hampshire that selects its fellows based solely on artistic excellence. Previous fellows include the winners of at least 61 Pulitzer Prizes. Notable fellows have included Thornton Wilder, who wrote Our Town during his residency, Aaron Copland, who composed Appalachian Spring and Leonard Bernstein who composed MASS while at the colony. More recent fellows include Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections), Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex) and Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones).  During her 6-week residency Koltick will develop a book that explores the intersection of the natural and the built environment.

Genevieve Dion, Shima Seiki Haute Technology Laboratory Director and Assistant Professor, Fashion Design, was named by Fast Company as one of The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2014 for her development of digitally fabricated “smart garments.”
Debra Ruben, Interior Design Program Director, received a $147,000 Stormwater Incentive Grant from the City of Philadelphia in support of the Morton McMichael School Playground Project. Ruben has led the project for the past two years, working with McMichael School teachers and students and Drexel faculty and students in a series of participatory design seminars to create a safe, educational and sustainable playground for the grade school, which is located in West Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood. The Stormwater Incentive Grant will support initial site work and the design of a water management system. The team hopes to begin construction this year. Click here to read more about the project.

Bill Fennelly, Theatre professor, won the Dallas Column Theatre Award for “best direction of a musical” and “best musical production” for his production of “Fly By Night.” The critically acclaimed show, which follows a group of New Yorkers during the 1965 blackout, played at the Dallas Theater Center in Spring 2013.

Drexel Launches Casino Training Lab
Matthew Gray, Director, Marketing and Enrollment Management
Center for Hospitality and Sport Management

Students with an interest in casino operations and management can now learn directly in the Dennis Gomes Memorial Casino Training Lab, made possible in part by generous donations from Bally Technologies, Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers and Tropicana Atlantic City.

The new casino training lab will be dedicated in the name of the late gaming executive, Dennis Gomes, a gaming visionary, and with the support of the Gomes family. Gomes was well known in the casino industry, holding top executive position both in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

The casino training lab offers students a live operational experience of slot machine protocols and mock customer interactions in a real-time learning atmosphere. Going beyond the standard text books and field trips, the slot machines enable students to study the operational elements of electronic gaming equipment.

Bob Ambrose, instructor of hospitality and gaming, shows a student a reel strip from a slot machine.

The casino management program is designed to expose students to the unique operating conditions and management challenges associated with the operation of a casino. Courses include discussions of gaming legislation, electronic boards, slot validations systems, slot communication systems, player tracking, preventative maintenance and general troubleshooting of slot machine problems. Students also gain hands-on experience through cooperative education opportunities at major industry establishments.

The slot machines were installed in Drexel’s Paul Peck Problem Solving and Research Building (101 N. 33rd St.) in April 2014, making Drexel the first university on the East Coast to provide on-site casino gaming equipment for educational purposes.

The machines will not accept currency and are subject to all of the rules and regulations that apply to casinos, including 24-hour surveillance and notification of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s Enforcement Agency of every use.

Prior to his gaming career Dennis Gomes was a top investigator for the Nevada Gaming Commission; the 1995 movie “Casino” was based on his investigations.

Drexel University’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship Launches Bachelor’s Degree, Minors
By Joseph Master, Director of Communications, Close School of Entrepreneurship

Drexel University’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship has announced the launching of a bachelor's degree program in entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as three entrepreneurship minors, including social entrepreneurshiphealth innovations and energy innovations.

With the launch of the B.A. in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Close School is the first freestanding school of entrepreneurship in the nation outside of a business school to offer its own degrees.

"In typical Drexel fashion, the launch of our undergraduate degree and minors represents a disruptive innovation in higher education," said Donna Marie De Carolis, founding dean of the Close School. "Our programs address a very real market demand — namely an increasingly competitive 21st century workforce that values initiative, independence and the intellectual dexterity to rethink old ways of doing things and invent new ones. We are preparing students to meet the job market on solid footing and to create their own opportunities."

The 181-credit B.A. in Entrepreneurship and Innovation emphasizes interdisciplinary coursework in collaboration with other Drexel colleges and schools, with a focus on training students to build entrepreneurial skills such as resilience, collaboration, and the ability to identify and evaluate new opportunities to manage the process of innovation.

"These skills are not only pertinent to launching new ventures, they are also essential to pursing innovation within established companies," said De Carolis.

Each of the three, multidisciplinary, 24-credit entrepreneurship minors, which are available to all Drexel undergraduate students, explore some of the world's most pressing issues in health care, energy and social change. The minors allow students to supplement their chosen field of study with coursework that prepares them for new venture creation and entrepreneurial innovation within existing organizations.

In addition to the academic plan of study, the Close School offers co-curricular programs to complement its coursework, including an Entrepreneurship Living-Learning Community that allows like-minded freshmen to live in a residential environment dedicated to entrepreneurship programming, as well as an Entrepreneurship Co-op that pays qualified Drexel students from all academic disciplines to work for their own companies for six months. The Close School’s Baiada Institute supports these programs with an array of resources, including full-fledged company incubation, mentorship and other entrepreneurship-themed programming.

"Our goal is for the Close School to be a pathway to entrepreneurship for all Drexel students, from all colleges and majors," De Carolis said. "With the full support of Drexel President John Fry and the Charles and Barbara Close Foundation, the launch of our undergraduate major and minors solidifies Drexel’s commitment to entrepreneurship education and to the creation of an innovation ecosystem here in Philadelphia. We are one step closer to making Drexel the nation’s premiere hub for entrepreneurship education, research and thought leadership." 

Bio Course Spreads Science by Paying it Forward
By Diane E. Ketler, Marketing & Communications Associate, College of Arts and Sciences

Biology prof Monica Togna grew up in an inner city as the seventh of eight children. While she considers herself  “one of the lucky ones”—surrounded by supportive teachers and family members—many children she grew up with were not as fortunate.

“Cities can be a tough place for any little kid,” Togna says. “I don’t know where I would be [today] without the extra opportunities, the encouragement and the discipline.”

Togna and the students of her community-based-learning course, Connections in Biology, are paying that support forward to the 6th and 7th grade students of Philadelphia’s Locke Elementary School.

Since the start of the spring term, Togna’s students have been leading an after-school science club at Locke, building on concepts and skills they’ve learned in their Drexel courses, connecting those ideas to weekly lessons and demonstrations, and identifying careers that utilize those ideas in the real world. Concepts range from DNA extraction using common over-the-counter supplies, to microbiology, biodiversity and genetics.

Since the start of the spring term, Togna’s students have been leading an after-school science club at Locke, building on concepts and skills they’ve learned in their Drexel courses, connecting those ideas to weekly lessons and demonstrations, and identifying careers that utilize those ideas in the real world. Concepts range from DNA extraction using common over-the-counter supplies, to microbiology, biodiversity and genetics.

“The [Locke] students experience science in a hands-on, inquiry-based, fun manner, and also see what a typical college student/scientist is like in real life," Togna says.

Locke students working with ‘atomic slime’.

"Hopefully, some of them will begin to visualize themselves in that role in their own futures.”

Sparking a passion for science at a young age is key; she points to national STEM reports and standardized test scores, which show a sharp drop in achievement and interest in science-related disciplines after 4th and 5th grade.

“The Philadelphia school districts are no exception,” she says. “Budget cuts have left many schools in a tough situation. The need for additional science exposure and enrichment is clear.”

When Togna proposed the Connections in Biology course, she was worried there might not be enough student interest on campus.

In just 36 hours, she was pleasantly—and overwhelmingly—proven wrong.

“The course filled within a day and a half…I get emails every day from students who are waitlisted or who are inquiring about when the course will run again. That’s not a testament to me; it’s a testament to our students and the atmosphere cultivated at Drexel.”

It’s a win-win for everyone involved, she explains. Drexel students refine their planning and communication skills and connect their course material to the bigger picture, and the children at Locke receive the same support and encouragement that made such a difference in Togna’s own life.

“If I can make a difference, even in a small way, then that is my driving force. I am thankful Drexel and its students are giving me that chance.”

Drexel University Computing Academy Celebrates 5th Year
By Kerry Boland, writer/editor, College of Computing & Informatics

This summer, 32 high school sophomores and juniors will arrive at Drexel’s main campus, move their belongings into Towers Hall, and begin an intense five weeks of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-focused learning and fun as part of the Drexel University Computing Academy (DUCA). The program, running from June 22 to July 25, celebrates its fifth year in existence and its first year residing in the new College of Computing & Informatics (CCI). The program’s courses—taught by CCI and the College of Engineering faculty—encourage interdisciplinary learning across multiple domains, including information technology, game design and development, computer networking & security, social media, and digital arts & media.

DUCA students rebuild a central processing unit during a hardware course during the summer 2013 program.

With the help of DUCA’s residential life staff, students gain critical thinking and leadership skills through hands-on activities and group projects, make new friends during game nights and barbeques, and explore all that Philadelphia has to offer through field trips to area historical sites such as the Constitution Center. 

“Each year's DUCA staff is a talented, diverse group of people who are pleasure to work with, but I'm particularly excited about this year's staff because ten out of eleven of us are former DUCA students. That means this year's staff has a special passion for the program, and they're all looking forward to recreating the great experiences they had as students,” said Ann Trachte, DUCA residential life director and alumna.

Most of all, DUCA addresses the national demand for STEM education. In November 2009, the White House administration moved STEM education into the national spotlight by launching the “Educate to Innovate” initiative—a decade-long campaign to bolster resources for science and math teachers, while encouraging and inspiring American students to achieve in STEM fields. According to US2020, an organization founded by tech corporations responding to the White House’s STEM education challenge, there will be 1.2 million U.S. job openings in STEM fields by 2018. With only 16 percent of American high school seniors being proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career, a large national shortfall is predicted for professionals able to enter these fields.

This year, DUCA furthered its commitment to STEM education by offering its first student scholarship through the Eugene and Meher Garfield DUCA Scholars Endowed Fund. Established in June 2013 by University supporters Meher and Eugene Garfield, PhD (HD ’04), the scholarship funds one economically underserved high school student per year from Philadelphia, Delaware Valley, or southern New Jersey areas to attend DUCA.

While gaining a glimpse of college life, DUCA students can explore new topics and develop and hone their technical skills in a supportive environment. “DUCA attracts a diverse group of students from all over the U.S., some of which have limited or no prior computing knowledge,” said DUCA executive director Dr. Brenda Sheridan. “Despite varying levels of skill, students come away from DUCA having a better sense of what they would like to study in college, or even where they’d like to study.”

Out of the 50 students that graduated from DUCA in 2012, 91% of high school seniors applied to Drexel with a 28% yield. Students who successfully complete DUCA and subsequently enroll at Drexel University are also eligible to receive a $3,000 renewable scholarship to apply to their studies at Drexel. For more information about the program, please visit

Drexel Researchers Claim Two NSF CAREER Awards
By Kate Gamble, Marketing Communications Manager, College of Engineering

Two Drexel University College of Engineering faculty have earned recognition from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their significant research endeavors.

Emin Caglan Kumbur, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Department, has received a grant award totaling $400,000 for his research entitled, “The Electrochemical Flow Capacitor: Capacitive Energy Storage in Flowable Media.” Kumbur’s research involves working on next generation energy storage and conversion systems for use in transportation, portable and grid-scale applications. His studies consist of experimental and computational studies aimed at understanding the mass/charge transport phenomena, the internal structure of materials, performance diagnostics, and system design to address the scientific challenges in these emerging systems. Kumbur also serves as the principal investigator of the Electrochemical Energy Systems Laboratory.

Mark Hempstead, Ph.D., Junior Colehower Chair and Assistant Professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has received a grant award of $470,000. His research entitled, “Combating Dark Silicon through Specialization: Communication-Aware Tiled Many-Accelerator Architectures,” focuses on how the computer industry’s steady gains in computing performance will slow and even cease all together because of a condition known as Dark Silicon. Dark Silicon is the result of an increase in power density that will make it necessary to leave sections of a microchip powered off. The consequences of Dark Silicon could be widespread, limiting the increasing benefits all aspects of society---from medicine, commerce to entertainment----have reaped from advances in computing. Currently, Hempstead leads research efforts to solve Dark Silicon problems by reducing the power consumed by computing devices in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department where his research group, Drexel Power-Aware Computing Lab, investigates methods to increase energy efficiency across the boundaries of circuits, architecture, and systems.

“We are proud of our faculty and it’s a great honor to see them join the ranks of the more than 40 Drexel engineering faculty members that have received CAREER awards,” said Dr. Joseph B. Hughes, dean of the College of Engineering. See more on the College of Engineering website.

WellSpan York Hospital Becomes Regional Medical Campus
By Rachel Quimby, Media & Public Relations Director
Drexel University College of Medicine

WellSpan York Hospital will serve as a regional medical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine under a new agreement signed by both institutions. The designation expands on an already existing academic affiliation.

Drexel University College of Medicine and WellSpan York Hospital have had an affiliation agreement since 2003, enabling Drexel medical students to rotate through select clinical specialties at York during their third and fourth years. Now, under the new regional medical campus designation, Drexel medical students will have the option to select WellSpanYork Hospital as their primary clinical campus and complete all of their required clinical rotations there. WellSpan York Hospital will provide the full two years of training in core clinical areas such as surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, neurology, and psychiatry.

“We’re very proud of the strong relationship we’ve built with WellSpan York Hospital over the years and we’re very excited to expand our affiliation,” said Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, Annenberg Dean and senior vice president of medical affairs at Drexel University College of Medicine. “Our students have always received an outstanding clinical education at WellSpan York Hospital. It is a wonderful opportunity for them to now have the choice of experiencing their entire required clinical rotations at this magnificent campus.”

Richard Sloan, MD, director of medical education, WellSpan York Hospital, said, “WellSpan has long regarded its medical education programs as integral to its ability to provide the community with the best and brightest physicians.  This new relationship with Drexel University College of Medicine serves to further strengthen our medical education programs and, therefore, our ability to make quality primary care convenient and easy to access in the communities we serve.”

As a regional medical campus, WellSpan York Hospital expects to attract more medical students from south central Pennsylvania who want to stay in the area after receiving their medical degree and eventually practice in the area.

Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, Annenberg Dean of Drexel University College of Medicine, presents a Drexel white coat to Richard Sloan, MD, director of medical education at WellSpan York Hospital. Sloan has been appointed associate dean of the regional medical campus.

The new regional medical campus designation took effect July 1, 2014. Sloan has been appointed associate dean of the regional medical campus.

Drexel Breaks Ground for Expansion of 11th Street Family Health Services, Renaming Building for Shellers
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Drexel broke ground on June 6 for a major expansion of its nurse-managed health center in North Philadelphia.

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke was on hand for the ceremonial event with Drexel President John A. Fry, benefactors Stephen and Sandra Sheller, College of Nursing and Health Professions Dean Gloria Donnelly, PhD, 11th Street Director Patricia Gerrity, PhD, Drexel trustees, faculty and students, and staff, patients and community members at 11th Street.

“When a neighborhood doesn’t have a good health care option, illness can be a barrier to every other type of progress that residents seek to make,” said Fry. “The nurses who founded the 11th Street center had innovative ideas for a holistic approach that not only treated illness, but sowed the seeds of good health. The staff handled more than 32,000 clinical visits from patients last year. That’s an incredible number, and pretty close to the maximum that the current facility can handle.”

The new two-story expansion will improve and expand current services offered to patients and the community in the center which is nationally recognized as a model of integrated care. It will also provide space for more students and faculty from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions to train in interdisciplinary care. Dedicated space in the new wing will be available for more primary care visits, as well as for services provided by graduate students in Drexel’s department of Couple and Family Therapy, plus new studio space for dance, music and art therapies. More space also opens the potential for developing new programming and services in response to the community’s evolving needs.

“As a company, Gilbane always stresses the importance of giving back so we’re very excited to be involved in a project that aligns with our core values and one that will fulfill such a critical need in the community,” said Greg Dunkle, senior vice president at Gilbane Building Company, which is building the new wing at 11th Street.

The expansion is made possible by a gift of $2.5 million from the Sheller Family Foundation; the expanded building will be renamed the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center.

“This center is a testament to what can happen when a community and a university work together,” Gerrity said.

The expanded health center building will be approximately 34,000 square feet, about double the size of the current 17,000 square foot space.

The center is a comprehensive nurse-managed health care home targeting a medically underserved population. The center provides primary care integrated with behavioral health, dental care and a full range of health-promotion programs, while offering Drexel students clinical training opportunities, at the forefront of a rapidly evolving health care system. The center is located in North Philadelphia in the middle of four public housing developments, offering affordable services to urban residents and to all who seek care.

Construction is expected to be complete in the fall of 2015.

BAYADA Renews Gift to College of Nursing and Health Professions
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

The College of Nursing and Health Professions is pleased to announce that its gift from BAYADA Home Health Care has been renewed for another five years, until 2019. BAYADA has pledged a generous sum of $200,000, to be paid to the College in $40,000 increments at the end of each calendar year, beginning in 2014. This gift has been designated for the BAYADA Award for Technological Innovation in Nursing Education and Practice, which is promoted each year by the College and bestowed upon two winners at the Drexel University Nursing Education Institute (DUNEI) conference.

BAYADA Home Health Care’s initial gift to the College resulted in the establishment of the BAYADA Award for Technical Innovation in Nursing Education and Practice in 2004. Two separate $10,000 cash prizes are awarded annually to applicants who have made a significant contribution to nursing education or practice via the development or adoption of a new technology. 

Founded in 1975 by J. Mark Baiada, BAYADA Home Health Care provides nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, hospice, and assistive care services to children, adults, and seniors in the comfort of their homes. Headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, BAYADA employs more than 19,000 nurses, home health aides, therapists, medical social workers, and other home health care professionals who serve their communities in 22 states from more than 290 offices. For more information, visit

College of Nursing and Health Professions Receives Helene Fuld Trust Grant
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

The College of Nursing and Health Professions is pleased to announce that the Helene Fuld Health Trust has awarded the College a $650,000 grant to fund financial aid for students enrolled in the College’s Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) BSN Program. Leadership at the College of Nursing and Health Professions was notified of the grant by the Charitable Advisory Discretionary Committee for the Helene Fuld Health Trust in April.

The grant will be paid in three installments, each of which will be divided in half. Half of every installment will be used for current financial aid for students enrolled in the ACE BSN Program; the other half will be placed in an Endowment Fund.

The Accelerated Career Entry BSN Program is an innovative 11-month intensive second degree program for students wishing to earn a degree in nursing after having already completed undergraduate or graduate degrees in other subjects. Many of our ACE BSN students enroll in the program in order to make a career change.

"We are truly grateful for this generous commitment from the Helene Fuld Health Trust,” said Dr. Gloria Donnelly, Dean of the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions.  “Their support not only provides financial assistance for our ACE students; it allows them to fulfill their dreams of becoming health care professionals."

American Academy of Nursing Inductee
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Dr. Linda Wilson, an associate professor and the Assistant Dean for Special Projects, Simulation, and Continuing Nursing Education Accreditation at the College of Nursing and Health Professions, has been selected for induction into the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing.

Research Co-op Funding
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

The Office of the Provost and the Steinbright Career Development Center of Drexel University have granted $7,250 in research co-op funding to Dr. Rose Ann DiMaria-Ghalili for the upcoming fall/winter co-op cycle. Dr. DiMaria-Ghalili is an associate professor in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at the College of Nursing and Health Professions and also has a courtesy appointment with the College’s Nutrition Sciences Department. The funding will contribute toward a full-time research co-op position in support of Dr. DiMaria Ghalili’s current research project. The research co-op fund initiative is designed to encourage more senior students to enroll in graduate programs leading to a doctorate degree immediately upon graduation. By increasing research co-op opportunities at Drexel University across diverse majors of study, the University expects to increase awareness and excitement about research among high performing students who may not otherwise be contemplating graduate study.

Clinical & Translational Research Institute Seed Fund Competition Winner
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Dr. Jennifer Nasser, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, was one of six winners of Drexel University’s Clinical & Translational Research Institute (CTRI) Seed Fund Competition. Of the 35 excellent proposals, Dr. Nasser’s submission was one of six projects selected for approximately $75,000 of funding. Her proposal was titled fNIRS assessment of dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in response to food as a marker for “loss of control.”

National League for Nursing Fellow
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Dr. Roberta Waite, an associate professor and Assistant Dean of Academic Integration and Evaluation of Community Programs, has been accepted as a Fellow of the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education (ANEF).Fellows in the NLN Academy of Nursing Education are individuals who have made enduring and substantial contributions to nursing education as teachers, mentors, scholars, public policy advocates, practice partners, and administrators. They provide visionary leadership and are recognized for their expertise in nursing education. On May 19, Dr. Waite received her acceptance letter, notifying her that she will join the eighth class of the NLN’s Academy of Nursing Education. She will be formally inducted into the Academy on September 19, 2014 at a ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona.

Faculty Take Simulation on the Road to the Himalayas
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

A team of three nursing professors from the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions, led by Dr. Jill Derstine, traveled to Eternal University’s Akal College of Nursing, located in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. Dr. Derstine, along with Dr. Leland “Rocky” Rockstraw and Dr. Marylou McHugh, taught Akal College faculty and students about how healthcare simulation promotes critical thinking and safe patient care. The three experts conducted India’s Northern Regional Workshop on Simulation April 7-9, which was attended by Akal’s nursing faculty, visiting nursing faculty from the northern region of India, and nursing students.

Dr. Derstine, Dr. Leland “Rocky” Rockstraw and Dr. Marylou McHugh with Akal College faculty and students in India.

India’s national infant mortality and maternal mortality rates are high due in part to the gap in available obstetrics services in the rural mountains of Northern India.  With this understanding, Drexel’s Office of International Programs provided a grant to our faculty so that they may supply the Akal College of Nursing with two birthing simulators (Laerdal’s “MamaNatalie”), which allows for the simulation of normal to complex birthing scenarios, a high fidelity and low technology venue which allows students to practice in a clinically safe environment the assessment, monitoring, and treatment of mother and child during childbirth.

In addition to using the simulators, students from both the College of Nursing and the College of Education of Eternal University participated in a standardized patient scenario. Immediately following the simulations, students were lead in debriefing by Drs. McHugh and Rockstraw, during which they reported that they felt excited, more confident, and that they had a safe environment to learn.

Senior University official Dr. Neelam Kaur, Advisor, Health and Education, stated in a recent press release that the visiting Drexel team “has put the Akal College of Nursing at Baru Sahib on the world map in context by bringing the latest innovations in Nursing Education (Nursing Informatics, Global Nursing and now Simulation) at the doorstep of this remote, deep rural pocket nestled in the North West Himalayas.”

Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions has had a relationship with the Akal College of Nursing since 2007. According to Dr. Rockstraw, Assist Dean, Simulation and Technology Academic Operations, “What better way to advance nursing education by incorporating healthcare simulation, which allows students to practice and explore key competencies and critical thinking in a safe environment?”

Autism Conference Coming to Drexel
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Drs. Ellen Giarelli and Kathleen Fisher from the College of Nursing and Health Professions and Dr. Jennifer Plumb from the University’s AJ Drexel Autism Center were awarded conference grant funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NIH/AHRQ. The one-day conference with invitational speakers and networking opportunities, Creating Integrated Healthcare for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder, will take place November 8, 2014 on Drexel’s Main Campus.

The purpose of the conference is to provide the health care community with an opportunity to discuss and co-create solutions to the problems associated with the provision of medical and nursing care to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who require treatments in a variety of settings. Attendees will define and describe the ideal environmental, behavioral, and/or individual supports during the provision of medical care to people with ASD; barriers to the delivery of integrated care in emergency departments and in-patient acute care settings; and technology or information system improvements needed to eliminate the barriers to inter-professional communication, across acute care settings.

For those individuals who cannot attend the conference in-person, the day’s events will be accessible via synchronous webinar. The conference will specifically target nurses, nurse administrators, and unit coordinators to discuss integrated care for people living with ASD. Panelists will present clinical and theoretical concepts followed by discussion and open forums to explore how concepts can be translated to clinical settings to improve patient care and generate creative problem-solving approaches to adapting patient assessment protocols, adapting patient teaching and treatment protocols, and to modifying environmental factors to promote optimal therapeutic milieus. After the conference, discussion will be ongoing on social networks and webpages and the sharing of ideas, research information, and access to conference materials will continue.  

Founding Editor of New Journal Pedagogy in Health Promotion: The Science of Teaching and Learning
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Dr. Stephen F. Gambescia, the Assistant Dean of Academic and Student Affairs and a clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ Health Services Administration Department, has been appointed founding editor of the new journal Pedagogy in Health Promotion: The Science of Teaching and Learning. The journal is sponsored by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), a professional association solely dedicated to the profession of health education. The journal will be published by Sage publications, a publisher of hundreds of journals including the top journals in health, behavioral, and social sciences. Dr. Gambescia notes that, “This journal will round out the talent and give voice to those involved in professional preparation and continuing professional education in this field." The first issue is scheduled for release in Spring 2015. The journal will be open to all health profession specialists as long as their work addresses learning and teaching in the area of health promotion.

Marc Fliegelman Named Nursing Excellence Finalist
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Marc Fliegelman, a nurse at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center

"To keep patients comfortable is my primary concern," said Marc Fliegelman, a nurse at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center. Fliegelman has been working as a community public health nurse since graduating from nursing school in the 1970s. He has just been named a 2014 Philadelphia/Tri-State Nursing Excellence GEM Award regional finalist in the Home, Community & Ambulatory Care category.  "It's really a privilege to be a part of the team at 11th Street," Fliegelman said.  "I'm excited to be named a finalist for this award."

Fliegelman spent the majority of his career in hospice care helping patients feel comfortable during the final days of their lives. He uses his experiences to teach Drexel nursing students during their community public health (CPH) clinical rotations. He said that, in addition to the medical knowledge a nurse needs to have, being a nurse also means being a social worker, a therapist, and a support person for patients and families. 

"To keep patients comfortable is my primary concern," said Marc Fliegelman, a nurse at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center. Fliegelman has been working as a community public health nurse since graduating from nursing school in the 1970s. He has just been named a 2014 Philadelphia/Tri-State Nursing Excellence GEM Award regional finalist in the Home, Community & Ambulatory Care category. 

"It's really a privilege to be a part of the team at 11th Street," Fliegelman said.  "I'm excited to be named a finalist for this award."

Fliegelman spent the majority of his career in hospice care helping patients feel comfortable during the final days of their lives. He uses his experiences to teach Drexel nursing students during their community public health (CPH) clinical rotations. He said that, in addition to the medical knowledge a nurse needs to have, being a nurse also means being a social worker, a therapist, and a support person for patients and families. 

"A great transformation happens with the students, even within a ten-week term," Fliegelman elaborated. “They see the reality in peoples’ homes with their families.”  Students on CPH rotation learn that people live in an infinite number of situations and have many family constellations. Some of the families they visit are a lot like their own families, with many problems and barriers to good health. They also learn that a lot of the problems patients face are psychosocial.  It may be hard for a patient to be healthy due to the environment they live in or because of financial challenges they face.  Students on CPH rotation have gotten the opportunity to make house visits to patients in diverse living situations around North Philadelphia, including patients residing in homeless shelters.

Fliegelman continues to make house visits as part of his work at 11th Street. "People call me for anything they need," he said.  He helps patients access transportation to care, build family relationships, find food, and pay for utilities. A lot of the time he visits patients and just sits and listens. Some patients don't have anyone they can talk to and they are thrilled to have someone listen to them, he said. 

"Compassion for other people is the key ingredient to being a great nurse," Fliegelman finished.

Fliegelman will be honored at the Nursing Excellence GEM Awards program on May 13 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. At the event, one finalist in each category will be named a regional winner, and those six will then move on to the national program representing this region. The six national winners, who will be selected from among all of our regional winners from coast to coast, will then be announced in the fall.

The Brain on Broccoli: Dr. Nasser Shows Rachael Ray
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Dr. Jennifer Nasser, associate professor of Nutrition Sciences at the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Rachael Ray, a well-known television personality and celebrity chef recently invited Dr. Jennifer Nasser, an associate professor of Nutrition Sciences at the College of Nursing and Health Professions to join her on set to explain human brain responses to certain foods. Drs. Christoffer and Dr. Alexander Van Tulleken, who met Dr. Nasser while filming a BBC Horizon documentary, recommended her to Rachael Ray. Ray was interested in hearing about the cutting-edge research Dr. Nasser conducts here at the College.

The human brain is the most fascinating organ in the body. It controls everything from picking up a pencil to resisting a food you may not enjoy. Dr. Nasser’s goal was to show the audience the incredible responses the brain has to different foods through her research with electroretinography (ERG) techniques, which is a “non-invasive technique to monitor brain dopamine response to oral food stimulation.”

“The experiment tested how the control center of the brain responded to different foods. The sides are like the breaks which tell you to stop,” explained Dr. Nasser. “The middle part right above your nose is like the gas pedal, which tells you to keep going.” Dr. Nasser attached the functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) device to the audience participant’s forehead. This device has the ability to track brain waves to show how the brain reacts to certain oral food stimuli in real-time. While the fNIRS device was being used, the participant was required to eat a bowl of broccoli for five minutes and a bowl of chocolate for another five minutes. Following the conclusion of the experiment, a graph was shown to Ray and the audience, demonstrating the brain’s stopping signals in response to chocolate and broccoli.

The results were eye-opening. The graphs showed that in response to broccoli, the stopping signals were strong, telling the participant to stop eating. In response to the chocolate, however, the stopping signals did not kick in, which translated to the brain telling the participant to keep eating. As shown below, the “most favorite” graph shows the signals in response to chocolate, which appear to stay constant. The “least favorite” graph shows the signals in response to broccoli, which appear to increase strongly toward the end of the five-minute eating period.

As concluded by Dr. Nasser’s research, the brain favored the consumption of chocolate dramatically more than it did broccoli.

“The Rachel Ray show was a great opportunity to showcase the research being conducted at the College,” said Dr. Nasser. “I was happy to be on the show and have an opportunity to showcase my work.  Rachael Ray is a gracious host and just as ‘real’ in person as she is on TV.”

Professor Changes Lives for Thousands in Philly and Nigeria
By Mary Kate O’Keefe, Marketing Coordinator
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Omolabake Fadeyibi, an instructor of Health Assessment and Community Health at Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions realized her dream of giving back to the two places she calls home when she created her own non-profit organization, LabakCare. Fadeyibi is working tirelessly to help those in need of healthcare both locally in Philadelphia and abroad in her native Nigeria.

Today, LabakCare is a symbol of humanity, and inspires people to follow their dreams against all odds.

Born in a remote village in Western Nigeria, Fadeyibi grew up with almost nothing- including no access to healthcare services. “The rich got richer, and the poor, like me, got poorer. Poor people were left by themselves with no healthcare,” explained Fadeyibi. In addition to the lack of healthcare, education was a commodity which few could afford. For Fadeyibi, nursing became a path out of poverty. “Nursing school was free back then. If you passed an exam, you could go to nursing school, which was government sponsored and free,” she explained. After becoming a registered nurse in Nigera, Fadeyibi came to Philadelphia to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Temple University.

In 2006, Fadeyibi founded LabakCare, which offers free preventative medicine to those with no access to healthcare services. When she travelled back to Nigeria for a health fair, Fadeyibi screened for diabetes, high-blood pressure, rashes, infections, and even cancer. “I saw that people in Nigeria needed help to fix their chronic conditions that they didn’t know they had. I even saw people with blood pressures of 200/140!”

“People all over the world need help too. I saw there were opportunities to give back in Philadelphia as well,” elaborated Fadeyibi. LabakCare joined with local churches and organizations like Volunteers of America to provide healthcare to the homeless and other vulnerable populations in Philadelphia. “During flu season, we gave free flu vaccines at local homeless shelters. We also provided medications and health education,” she said. Today, LabakCare hosts one or more screening and education events per month to help those in need in the Philadelphia region.

In 2012, Fadeyibi’s organization went back to Nigeria for eight days, visiting the villages of Abeokuta, Igangan, and Agugu. The number of volunteer providers in LabakCare grew since its founding in 2006, and now includes nurses, physicians, and local Nigerians. Through fundraising and support from the Catholic Medical Mission, Fadeyibi was able to bring $30,000 worth of medications like anti-fungals, vitamins, pain medications, and diabetes medications to local Nigerian villages. The organization was able to see more than 2,000 patients in approximately one week, and offered maternal services, children’s healthcare, diabetes care, nutrition education, STD preventative care, cancer screenings, and pain remedies. “Our trip was a success and I could see that the people were very happy and grateful,” Fadeyibi said.

Poverty ultimately did not deter Fadeyibi’s path to success and LabakCare is a testament to her passion as a healthcare provider. In the future, she hopes to have Drexel students and other volunteers come to Nigeria to do community health practicums. “We want to explore other areas of the world, wherever help is needed. It started with just me, but now we continue to grow,” she ended.

Dr. Paula Marantz Cohen Named Dean of Pennoni Honors College
By Erica Levi Zelinger, Communication Specialist, Pennoni Honors College

Dr. Paula Marantz Cohen, a Distinguished Professor of English in the College of Arts & Sciences, has been chosen as the new dean of Pennoni Honors College. Dr. Cohen will take over the post September 1, replacing Dean Dave Jones, who has held the position since 2008.

Cohen, who has been a faculty member since 1982, says she is devoted to the university. “I’m very grateful to this institution,” Cohen says. “I feel I have been blessed in having my career develop here. I have been able to do what I love.” And now, Cohen acknowledges, she’d like to do something new.

“The Honors College is so strong already and yet has so much potential. I look forward to bringing it to the next level of quality and exposure,” she says. “I’ve spent my career teaching and doing a lot of creative things connected to myself – writing, filmmaking, etc. But I’m at a stage in my career where I’d like to help support and build programs, and help faculty and staff, as well as students, realize themselves more fully. Chuck Pennoni, who endowed the Honors College, is a kind of model in this respect. He’s done so much for Drexel in return for what it gave him. I’m also particularly pleased to follow my predecessors, Mark Greenberg and Dave Jones, terrific leaders of the College, who brought it to this point. “

Dr. Cohen will draw on her experiences as a teacher – the “delightful journey” she has taken with students – as a guide for running the Honors College.

Cohen has gone on more than 200 of these journeys over her 32 years at Drexel, teaching courses on Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen, on fiction and nonfiction writing, on classic American film and American silent film, and on theme-based courses ranging from Literature and the Family to Money and Morals in the Victorian Age. She designed and led the original Corporate Communications Program, directed the Literature (now the English) Major, and has collaborated on courses and projects with faculty in Engineering, Film & Video, Business, and other disciplines.

Dr. Cohen has brought her love of literature and film to the Drexel InterView, an award-winning, original television series that she produces and hosts. The show, which broadcasts on more than 400 cable stations, features a half-hour conversation with a nationally known or emerging talent in the arts, culture, science, or business world.

She recently led a team to China, where she produced and directed, in conjunction with the Pennoni Honors College and China Education Television, the documentary film Two Universities and the Future of China. The film won a Bronze Remi and was screened at a number of U.S. film festivals and in China.

Dr. Cohen has also been involved in developing and leading academic programs. She has chaired and served on numerous committees at the University, including SCAA, tenure and promotion (at all levels), dean and department head review and search committees, and various department, college and University-level curriculum and strategic planning committees. She has also organized numerous panels and two international conferences.

Dean Dave Jones, a colleague and longtime friend of Cohen’s, says he is delighted she was chosen. Her broad, interdisciplinary background and record of accomplishment will prove valuable in guiding the College to new achievements. “No other faculty member at Drexel has participated in nearly as many aspects of the Honors College as Dr. Cohen has,” says Jones. “Her contributions have been terrific, she loves the Honors College, she’s loaded with new ideas, and she is persistent and tenacious.”

She is the author of 10 books, including the award-winning Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth (Oxford UP) and the bestselling Jane Austen in Boca (St. Martin's Press). Her books have been featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair and People Magazine and have been Literary Guild, Book of the Month Club and Mystery Guild selections. Dr. Cohen has written frequently for The Yale Review, The American Scholar, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Southwest Review, The Times Literary Supplement and The Smart Set, and her essays have also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Salmagundi, The Hudson Review, Raritan and The Huffington Post. She has published extensively in peer-reviewed academic journals and contributed numerous chapters to scholarly books. She has been a keynote or plenary speaker at many national and international conferences, including the Henry James International Conference, the Alfred Hitchcock Centennial Conference and the Fred Astaire International Conference at Oxford University. Dr. Cohen is a co-editor of jml: Journal of Modern Literature and recipient of a Fulbright Grant, a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, a Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award and several Philadelphia Press Association Awards.

Dr. Cohen received a B.A. cum laude in English and French literature from Yale University and a Ph.D. with Distinction in English Literature from Columbia University. 

Links to College, School, and Various Other Drexel News
By Donna McVicker, MS, Director of Provost Operations and Assistant to the Provost, and Jim Mergenthal, Director of Web Development, Office of the Provost

Autism Institute    NEW ADDITION

College of Arts & Sciences

School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

LeBow College of Business
LeBow College of Business Quarterly Research Newsletter

College of Computing and Informatics

Drexel University Online – A Better U     NEW ADDITION

School of Education

College of Engineering

Close School of Entrepreneurship

Pennoni Honors College

Center for Hospitality and Sport Management     NEW ADDITION

Institute for Energy and the Environment     NEW ADDITION

School of Law

Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Drexel University College of Medicine

College of Nursing and Health Professions

Goodwin College of Professional Studies

School of Public Health

University Libraries


2014 Commencement
The Office of the Provost

The Office of the Provost would like to thank everyone who assisted at Drexel’s 127th Commencement Ceremonies as we celebrated our students’ accomplishments on a joyous occasion for all of our graduates and their families.  Your collaboration was appreciated and, while assisting with these events, you were provided with a wonderful opportunity to meet and spend some time with colleagues, graduates and our special guests. 

You are to be commended for your time and efforts on behalf of the University. 

2014 Provost Award
By Donna McVicker, Director of Provost Operations and Assistant to the Provost

Please join me in congratulating our colleague, Vicki McKee, Director, Legal Administration, as the recipient of the 2014 Provost’s Award.

At the May 2014 Faculty Recognition Awards Dinner celebration, Provost Mark Greenberg stated the following:

“For tireless, joyful service to the Office of the General Counsel and in support of our Trustees and those of us who support them, Vicki McKee has been chosen to receive the Provost’s Award this year.  Vicki puts her intelligence, good spirits, and sense of organization and of tact into everything she does.  Her warmth, helpfulness, and selflessness characterize all that she does.  Vicki’s hours conform only to the needs of her job.  Call the Office of the General Counsel early or late and Vicki is there; emails continue during evenings and weekends, when necessary.  Whether at Board meetings or Commencement and other major ceremonies, in addition to her regular duties, Vicki pitches in, seeks to help, and only wants the best for our students, staff, and the University.  She brightens any encounters one is fortunate enough to have with her.  And her meticulous attention to detail ensures that the University’s business is conducted efficiently and securely.  Vicki exudes joy in her work and in interacting with her colleagues.  And that truly creates an infectious halo of cheerfulness around her that makes every encounter a pleasure.   For her dedication to us all, we are pleased to present the 2014 Provost’s Award to Vicki McKee.”

Congratulations on this well-deserved award, Vicki.

Preparing for AY 2014-2015 – New Faculty Orientation and Faculty Learning Communities
By Allison H. Keene, Administrative Coordinator II
Drexel Center for Academic Excellence

The Drexel Center for Academic Excellence’s (DCAE) 2013-2014 Academic Year ended with another successful Showcase of Teaching, a guest lecture by Brian Coppola, PhD, from the University of Michigan and a co-sponsored event with the Drexel Writing Center and Fellowships Office.  Preparations are now underway for September’s New Faculty Orientation and the selection of 2014-2015 Faculty Learning Communities.

Brian Coppola, PhD,

Drexel’s Second Annual Showcase of Teaching took place this past April and included 88 presenters, a 12% increase over last year’s numbers.  Faculty and PhD students from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, LeBow College of Business, Goodwin College of Professional Studies, Pennoni Honors College, College of Nursing and Health Professions, College of Computing and Informatics, School of Education, School of Public Health, School of Law, Center for Hospitality and Sport Management, Office of Disability Resources, and University Libraries were all on hand to share their respective classroom innovations and best practices. The event also featured a plenary address by Brian Coppola, PhD from the University of Michigan’s Chemistry Department entitled, “The Distinctiveness of the Higher Education”, which is available on the DCAE website:

In addition to his plenary address, Dr. Coppola was on campus the day before the showcase to meet with deans, department heads and other administrators regarding how to support faculty engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Later that same day, Dr. Coppola presented a two-hour workshop entitled “Engaging Faculty Inquiry on Teaching and Learning”, which was recorded and also available on the DCAE website.

For the month of May, the DCAE teamed up with the Drexel Writing Center and the Fellowships Office to offer a co-sponsored workshop, “The Role of the Faculty Reviewer: Helping Students with Personal Statements and Research Proposals.” Presenters during this session included Rona Buchalter, PhD; Rachel Wenrick, MFA; Scott Warnock, PhD; and Dan Driscoll, MFA.

Even before the 2013-2014 Academic Year ended, the DCAE started preparing for its largest annual event, New Faculty Orientation, which occurs every September. This year’s orientation will be hosted on September 2 and 3 and will serve as the university’s onboarding experience for all new faculty hires. Over the course of these two days, new faculty members will be exposed to what Drexel has to offer both to them and to their students.  This Fall, DCAE will be presenting best practice topics with selected interactive formats in addition to more networking sessions for new faculty, DCAE Fellows and faculty from across the university. It will also provide opportunities for new faculty to visit the unique and innovative spaces on campus.  The full schedule will be available on the DCAE website in August.

Planning is also underway for the third year of the Faculty Learning Community initiative, which began during the 2012-2013 academic year under the premise that faculty need a space to explore specific ideas or themes related to best practices in teaching and learning. Led by one or two faculty facilitators, groups will consist of no more than 12 faculty members representing multiple disciplines. Once formed, these groups will promote faculty research on a selected topic for implementation in the classroom and allow participants to share new approaches to teaching. During the past two years of the initiative, FLCs have centered on topics such as: online teaching and learning, best practices for writing instruction, teaching and learning best practices for international students and incorporating technology into the classroom.

A call for proposals went out in late May with all applications due by June 25. At this time, a blind review process is currently taking place and all applicants will be notified of their status on or before July 18. Once the final topics have been approved, the DCAE will put out a call for participants. Please check the DCAE website for updates, which will be posted as they become available.

Faculty Development & Equity Initiatives
By Ellonda L. Green, MEd, The Office of Faculty Development & Equity

Update on Adjunct Faculty Initiative
The Office of the Provost, supported by the Office of Faculty Development & Equity (FDE), is leading an initiative to create a positive work environment for all faculty members, particularly Drexel’s adjunct faculty.  A multidisciplinary committee has been created which includes the Provost, representatives from its adjunct faculty and full-time faculty, administrators, and the faculty senate. After surveying all faculty members through a brief online survey, the committee discovered that while the vast majority of adjunct faculty members enjoy teaching at Drexel and would recommend teaching at Drexel to their non-Drexel colleagues, issues of salary comparability, eligibility for benefits, the need for enhanced professional development, and issues with email access, warrant prompt attention. The committee is working diligently on those issues and has embarked on a mission to acquire space for adjunct faculty to meet with students and a mechanism to enable adjunct faculty members to have a voice in university-wide shared governance. 

Career Development Awardees for Academic Year 2014-2015
This year, the Office of Faculty Development & Equity celebrated its seventh cycle of the Career Development Awards (CDAs), which are designed to help junior tenure-track faculty members increase their exposure to senior colleagues at other institutions who can serve as mentors and role models. As the CDA Review Committee evaluated proposals, it discovered many highly qualified, well-organized and outstanding applications. As a result, instead of awarding just five awards, the committee received approval to increase the number of awards to seven.  The awardees for Academic Year 2014-2015 are:

Girija Kaimal, Ed.D., M.A.
Department of Creative Arts Therapies
"Understanding the Underlying Mechanisms of Health and Human Development through Self-Expression in the Creative Arts"

Leslie Lamberson, Ph.D. 
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
"Virtual Fields Method (VFM): A Transformative Measurement Technique"

Philip Massey, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Department of Community Health and Prevention
"Health Literacy in the Context of Health Promotion"

H. Dennis Park, Ph.D.
Department of Management
"How Venture Capital (VC) Funding Affects a New Venture's Innovation Focus Through its Life Cycle"

Chris Sims, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
"Cognition, Computation, and Rationality"

Kara Spiller, Ph.D.
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
"A New Multi-Institution International Collaboration to Engineer Vascularized Tissues"

Deborah Turner, Ph.D.
College of Computing and Informatics
"How People Interact with Information to Move Across Contexts Over Time When Negotiating A Better Quality of Life"

This past May, Provost Mark Greenberg emceed the annual Career Development Award Luncheon to honor the winners. Please visit for more information on Drexel’s Career Development Awards.

The seven award winners (left to right): Deborah Turner, Ph.D.; H. Dennis Park, Ph.D.; Kara Spiller, Ph.D.; Girija Kaimal, Ed.D., M.A.; Philip Massey, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Chris Sims, Ph.D.

For more information on activities of the Office of Faculty Development & Equity, please contact Janet Fleetwood, Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, at

Summer Renewal and Growth
By Linda Marion, Marlin Killen, Ray Lum, Vicki Brace, Sara Perkel, Stephanie Sutcliffe, Fran Cornelius, and Allen Grant

Seasons change. Like most people, we welcome the change as we look forward to the more relaxed days of summer; yet, some things stay the same. Classes are starting again for the summer quarter and have been underway for the summer semester. For many faculty members summer is a time to revisit courses taught during the year and to consider changes they may want to incorporate for fall term. Please remember, the Fellows are available during the summer to help faculty with course design review questions and needs.  The Fellows are happy to provide individual consultation with faculty members and to conduct reviews of course design using the Drexel University Core Design Elements Checklist (DUCDEC) and the Quality Matters (QM) Rubric. Detailed information about opportunities for consultation and course review are posted on the INSPIRE website ( 

Just as the seasons change, so too do the Fellows. Although many of the Fellows - Fran Cornelius (CNHP), Allen Grant (SoE), Ray Lum (SPH), Marlin Killen (COAS), Linda Marion (CCI) - continue to provide service to the Drexel Community, the Fellows are sorry to bid farewell to two members of the team and are pleased to introduce three new members. Karyn Holt, CNHP and John Via, CoE have been invaluable contributors to the success of the Fellows’ efforts in promoting quality initiatives in online education. Both Karyn and John will continue participating in quality initiatives through the Online Learning Council. The three new Fellows - Vicki Brace, CCI, Sara Perkel, DUCoM, and Stephanie Sutcliffe, CoE and SoE – have been active in the Online Learning Council and online education in their respective colleges for some time.

Vicki J. Brace, MSIO and MSEd, is the Instructional Designer for CCI (College of Computing and Informatics). She has worked in higher education developing online courses for seven years, as a director and instructional designer.  Prior to that, Vicki worked in the private sector developing online training for telecommunication companies such as Lucent technologies, TIC and AT&T in the development and delivery of online training for U.S. based trainers and deployment technicians. Vicki is a member of the OLC Accessibility Committee and the Scalability Committee.

Sara Perkel, MBA, is an Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine and the Program Director for the graduate programs in clinical research. Her role is to develop the curriculum for these online graduate certificate and master’s programs as well as to assist faculty with the development of their online courses. She participates in the Blackboard Learn Workgroup, several committees of the Online Learning Council, and is co-chair of the OLC Scalability Committee.

Dr. Stephanie Sutcliffe is Assistant Director of Instructional Design for the College of Engineering, Adult Education/Custom Development, and the School of Education. She facilitates the design, development and delivery of online programs while working closely with instructors and the Learning Technologies Group (LTG) to develop the necessary multimedia for online courses. Stephanie has taught undergraduate and graduate level online courses in the areas of multimedia development, learning technologies, instructional design, project management, and computer applications.

New this coming academic year is the introduction of online learning course design into the Teaching Assistant Training Workshop for Doctoral Students, EDUC 775.  Over the summer, the Online Learning Council Fellows will be working with Office of Graduate Studies and Drs. Teck Lim and Alexis Finger to explore the best pathways to integrate elements of online course design and teaching.  This is especially important as the University expands its online offerings.

The Fellows extends wishes for a wonderful summer looks forward to active participation at the annual summer professional development workshop. Look for more information to be disseminated soon.

French Toast and Research Networking: Together At Last
By Jen Britton, Associate Director, Lindy Institute

The Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation has launched a monthly research networking breakfast. A forum for sharing ideas and results, the breakfast—held normally on the last Thursday of each month—offers a chance for faculty, staff, and graduate students across the university to trade notes, get feedback, and share ideas about community-based projects.

The idea for the breakfast came from a couple of directions: (1) a steadily growing interest among faculty to connect with community residents and stakeholders in the neighborhoods close to Drexel as well as around the city of Philadelphia and beyond; and, (2) a noticeable lack of times and places for researchers and practitioners working with community partners to step out of their silos and talk with one another.

One of the network breakfast’s early presenters was Christian Hunold, Interim Head of Political Science in the Department of History and Politics, Drexel University College of Arts & Sciences. Hunold points out that “the breakfasts have been a great way to meet faculty from other departments and colleges and to learn about the participatory research and citizen science projects being done on campus. Forums like this really help drive forward Drexel’s One University campaign. For example, the initiative by faculty from CoAS, Westphal, and Public Health to create the Collaborative Research Lab (CORE Lab) at the Dornsife Center grew out of our getting to know one another over a few months at the breakfasts.”

The format is simple, with low barriers to participation. Each month, a volunteer presents for just ten minutes about a particular project that can illuminate a conversation about content and methodology. Presenters are encouraged not to bring a laptop with PowerPoint slides, in order to avoid soporific lecture dynamics. After a quick overview of the project including a sketch of methods, results, and points of interest, the group shifts to open and unstructured conversation.

As Jon Coddington, Head of the Department of Architecture + Interiors, Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, notes, “not your normal academic meeting, since it begins with the best breakfast on campus. The substantive presentations, lively discussion and collegial sharing of ideas quickly transform the initial thoughts of food when entering, to food for thought when leaving. It is one of the few meetings my colleagues and I look forward to.”

With this breakfast series, the Lindy Institute aims to facilitate new collaborations around community-engaged work and to support Drexel’s ambition to become the most civically engaged university in the nation. Everyone is welcome to attend and to get on the calendar as a presenter. Upcoming breakfast dates include July 24, August 28, and September 25. They start at 8:30 and are located in the Liberty View room on the sixth floor of MacAlister Hall. Please come hungry and ready to talk!

For more information or to join the email list, contact Jen Britton at

Senior Exit Survey and Enrolled Student Survey Update
By Stephen DiPietro, PhD, Associate Vice Provost for University Assessment Operations

Institutional Research, Assessment & Effectiveness (IRAE) is pleased to report a 96% response rate for the 2014 Senior Exit Survey.  Responses were received from 2,016 seniors. That is an exceptional response from Drexel’s 2014 graduates and a congratulatory note was sent to each student thanking them for their participation and welcoming them to the Young Alumni Association.  The survey effort was coordinated through the IRAE office, with survey liaisons in each college taking a proactive role, a marketing campaign throughout the university and, of course, a series of e-mail reminders.

A new initiative undertaken by IRAE this year is the Enrolled Student Satisfaction Survey aimed at assessing undergraduate satisfaction levels in a variety of areas that impact the student experience at Drexel.  Surveys were distributed to all undergraduate students with a goal of achieving a response from at least 5,000 undergraduates across all years. IRAE is pleased to report that the goal was exceeded with over 5,305 surveys being completed.

The results from both surveys will be announced sometime in August.

Summary of 2013-2014 Monthly Workshop Series; Workshops Coming this Fall
By Stephen DiPietro, PhD, Associate Vice Provost for University Assessment Operations

Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness (IRAE) completed its first year of monthly professional development workshops on various assessment topics, and is excited about the results. Workshop attendees represented each and every college and school of the university, along with individuals from other areas of Drexel including Human Resources, SCDC, Office of International Programs, University Libraries, amongst others. Preliminary evaluation results indicate that 100% of the attendees either agreed or agreed strongly that each speaker showed subject matter expertise and knowledge; 91% felt presenters were effective, clear and responsive to participants; and, 93% felt that the information was useful and current.

IRAE will be offering another workshop series for AY 2014-15 beginning in October, and is in the process of surveying last year’s attendees for topic ideas. Workshops and their venues will be announced at the start of the Fall Term.  IRAE expresses its gratitude in helping to make these workshops such a success.

Quarterly Improvement Newsletter Report
By Stephen DiPietro, PhD, Associate Vice Provost for University Assessment Operations

IRAE is pleased to report that its recent effort to highlight some of the inspired ways Drexel’s faculty and staff are working to make Drexel even better through innovation in assessment, teaching and learning has been very successful. The two editions of the Quality Improvement Quarterly that were made available on–line this year were viewed by over 2,000 individuals, and with three editions scheduled for next year, IRAE looks forward to serving a growing audience within the Drexel community. The publication focuses on new initiatives, features articles written by Drexel faculty, faculty and staff interviews, and links to resources in the assessment and evaluation field. The next edition of Drexel’s assessment newsletter, Quality Improvement Quarterly, will be published in the Fall Quarter. 

Program Alignment and Review
By Jan Biros, EdD, Senior Vice Provost for Budget, Planning and Administration

The first official year of the Program Alignment and Review (PAR) process was completed in June. Nineteen programs engaged in the self-study process, and each hosted distinguished colleagues from esteemed programs for a thorough assessment of each program.  By the end of June, these programs will work with their deans to prepare an action plan based on the prioritization and feasibility of both internal observations and external recommendations. These action plans will provide a roadmap for cost efficiencies, consolidations, and tangible outcomes realized.

In addition to individual program reviews, the PAR Standing Committee identified two larger issues to address:  Writing Across Disciplines and the Integration of the DSLP’s throughout the curriculum.  Two University Academic Committees (UAC’s) were created to address these broad issues that will work with the PAR Standing Committee to study and report on these topics.

The PAR process is collecting vast amounts of important information with which to inform academic decision-making at Drexel.  Many will want to know what outcomes and accomplishments have resulted from PAR, how much was invested in making recommended change and improvements, and the overall trends in academic programming.  Additionally, the President has requested reports documenting the metrics of our progress, and those supporting PAR are working hard to determine the best means to collect and manage results that will make them more accessible and usable by others.  Having an overall positive effect on quality, efficacy, and recognition, PAR is helping create a culture of excellence; improved operating efficiencies; increased applications, enrollment, and graduation rates; and, augmented research productivity.

Assessment Conference in September
By Stephen DiPietro, PhD, Associate Vice Provost for University Assessment Operations

IRAE is looking forward to welcoming participants from all over the United States in September for "Myths and Movements: Reimagining Higher Education Assessment". The planning committee has helped envision Drexel’s first foray into hosting a regional conference focused on bringing faculty and administrators together throughout the middle states region and beyond to take a fresh look at the state of assessment in higher education. A fantastic response has been received from the higher education community, and over 60 concurrent sessions in 8 time slots with presenters from 50+ institutions from across the country and abroad will be featured. Additionally, a block of “mini” sessions will take place, four plenary addresses by noted speakers including Peggy Maki, Tom Angelo, Todd Zakrajsek, Steven Hales, and others, a point-counterpoint debate on assessment in higher education, and numerous other activities including an opening night reception in Dinosaur Hall at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, as well as an optional evening tour of colonial and contemporary Philadelphia. A surprise guest and giveaways that include printers and tablets will also be featured. Please be reminded that this event is free to all Drexel faculty and staff by registering here. The preliminary program is available for review in a Schedule-at-a-Glance” format. Go to:  Please note that at this early date some details of the program may be subject to change, but the changes going forward will be minor. IRAE believes that the conference will be unique, restorative and beneficial to all who will attend, and hopes to see you there.  Please contact Stephen DiPietro, Associate Vice Provost for University Assessment Operations and Evaluation at with any questions

Don’t Get Left Behind: Faculty Help Shape Drexel’s Story through Faculty Portfolios
By Jenny James Lee, Marketing & Events Associate, Drexel University Libraries

What is the impact of research, scholarly publications, creative expressions or instruction taking place at Drexel? What story do faculty achievements tell about the institution?

Drexel’s evolving Faculty Portfolios program will soon be able to provide snapshots of the academic pursuits at Drexel including the global reach of research, diversity of art exhibits or patents, and rankings of citations to publications authored by Drexel faculty. Currently, with completed profiles for only about 12% of the faculty in the system, analysis of data in Faculty Portfolios show details that Drexel faculty published a mere 4,600 articles, applied for less than 100 patents and taught nearly 8,000 undergraduate level courses.

But, this story is certainly not complete; much more is happening at Drexel.  Therefore, faculty are encouraged to add their profile information to the Faculty Portfolios database by following the four easy steps that can be found at   Faculty should direct questions to their library liaison or by contacting Beth Ten Have, Director of Academic Partnerships at


Anoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design: Graphic Design USA Recognizes Students to Watch in 2014
By Brittanie Sterner, Executive Assistant to the Dean and Communications Coordinator
Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Graphic Design USA magazine (GD USA) recognized 2014 Graphic Design alums Luis Quevedo and Gerre Mae Barcebal as “Students to Watch in 2014.” One of the most respected trade publications for graphic designers and other creative professionals, GD USA highlights a group of students and professionals in its annual “People to Watch” issue. Quevedo and Barcebal were 2 of 25 total students selected for GD USA’s 2014 list. Click here to read his listing in GD USA.

Kristy Jost, Fashion Design alum and College of Engineering Doctoral student, won an international award from the National Science Foundation for the poster on her work combining fashion design and materials science as part of the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute and the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Laboratory, which is directed by Genevieve Dion. The poster, “Wearable Power,” was recently translated into French and published in Le Monde.

Cathy Hernandez, Arts Administration Online alum (‘10), was appointed the Executive Director of the Louisiana State Council of the Arts.

Book Review

Johansson,C. and Felten, P. Transforming Students: Fulfilling the Promise of Higher Education. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press. 2014.
By Gloria F. Donnelly, PhD, RN, FAAN Dean and Professor
College of Nursing and Health Professions

With commencement behind us and a new academic year looming, it is a good time to reflect on transformation; not only the students’ but also the University’s and our own.  Johansson and Felten’s book is useful in focusing on one of the major issues facing higher education today; creating learning environments that are “transformative not merely only informative.”  Adeptly weaving their own qualitative research eliciting the stories of students and teachers at a residential university, with research findings from the higher education and developmental literature, Johansson and Felten propose a process of student transformation that involves disruption of previously held ideas and ideals; reflective analysis; verification and action on new understandings and the integration of new ways of being.

The book’s 6 chapters explore (1) tensions experienced by the student between the university as “home,” a safe environment, and a place in which to explore new territories and venture out; (2) tensions experienced by faculty in balancing challenge and support as disruption of ideas and values occur; (3) the essence of student reflection and critical communications with faculty and student colleagues; (4) actions that students take based on their new found ideas and values; (5) the primacy of relationships in promoting deep learning; and, finally (6) transformation of the university environment that should deliberately match the goals of student transformation.

Transforming Students gets you back to basics, not only to how students learn and develop but also to why we chose teaching as a profession and how crucial teacher-student relationships are to the transformative process.  The book also emphasizes the importance of experiences beyond the University, like community engagement and study abroad.  Finally, Johansson and Felton’s work provides a useful metaphor, i.e.,  universities today are much like students struggling to transform; from shedding the old ways, values and ideas to designing environments that foster transformational processes; to exploring and influencing the improvement of environments beyond the University; and to questioning our own identity as an educational institution.  Universities need to continuously write their own stories as part of a transformation process leading to “new ways of being.”


This message to the Drexel Community via Drexel Announcement Mail was approved by
Dr. Mark Greenberg, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs